Manga Reviews

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hana Kimi

Hana Kimi (original title: Hanazakari no Kimitachi e) by Hisaya Nakajo

23 volumes (complete)
Licensed by Viz

Topic: Shoujo

Japanese-American high school girl Ashiya Mizuki idolizes Japanese high school high-jump star Izumi Sano, so she transfers to his high school in Japan so she can be close to him. The fact that it's an all-boys boarding school hardly slows her down, and soon she is not only attending the same school as Sano, they're also roommates. Various complications involving Mizuki's masquerade ensue (of course), but the author also explores the other characters and takes the whole crew on various adventures in and out of school.

In reality, it would be scary and stalker-ish for a girl to go to the lengths that Mizuki does to be near Sano, but in this story it works because of the well developed characters (even the less-central ones), and the dynamics between the whole cast are a lot of fun. There's plenty of comedy/drama/angst provided by Mizuki's masquerade as a boy, but it's very well done and never too heavy. There is quite a bit of shounen ai, though nothing more graphic than a kiss, but if that bothers you, be warned. Fun, funny, and sweet without being overly saccharine, this is one of the better shoujo manga around.

Rating: 8.0/10.0

-- Review submitted by Tofuqueen


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