One of the most fascinating things about manga is that romance isn't a genre solely directed towards women. Oh, to be sure comics directed at girls arOne of the most fascinating things about manga is that romance isn't a genre solely directed towards women. Oh, to be sure comics directed at girls are more likely to be romantic than those directed at boys, but even a boys' magazine like Shonen Jump -- the home of Dragonball, One Piece and Naruto -- will run romances like Nisekoi and Kimagure Orange Road. Some are fanservicey harem comedies (Haganai, Love Hina), but plenty are serious soap operas (Good Ending, A Town Where You Live). What they all have in common, though, is a very male perspective on relationships, whether they're approaching in from a slapstick comedy angle, or melodramatic angst, or a wistful look back at youth.
Horimiya is different though. It runs in a magazine aimed at teenage boys, but in content it's not much different from girls' series like My Little Monster, Say I Love You or Blue Spring Ride -- well, there's not as much sparkling going on, but other than that. The story is even told primarily from the perspective of a girl.
Our main character is Hori, a popular girl at school who turns into a completely homebody in her off-time, taking care of her little brother and handling all the housework while her parents are both busy with work. She has a classmate named Miyamura who looks and acts like a reclusive geek in class, but is secretly tatted-up and pierced all over (a big no-no in Japanese schools). When they discover each other's secret side, they begin hanging out together, even though they have to keep the reason secret from their classmates.
While female-oriented romance (both in Japan and the US) can often have problematic content, and the male-oriented stuff in Japan is often objectifying, Horimiya is just straight-up fun, similar to My Love Story but with a stronger plot, with all the characters being fun people who treat each other with respect....more
For a minute there, I thought we were going to get a reprieve from the dark and gruesome and return to the light and fluffy zombie romance stuff. ButFor a minute there, I thought we were going to get a reprieve from the dark and gruesome and return to the light and fluffy zombie romance stuff. But no. Looks like the story's only going to get darker in the last two volumes....more
With the completely-not-surprising about Yozora's true identity and relation to Kodaka, the series starts off in a new direction. Even though Yozora iWith the completely-not-surprising about Yozora's true identity and relation to Kodaka, the series starts off in a new direction. Even though Yozora is the star of this volume (the first and last chapters are devoted to her, and she features prominently in the middle two), Rika steps up her game, tag-teaming Sena with Yozora's help and then ditching her glasses to make herself more attractive. The final chapter gives us a new perspective on Yozora, retelling the start of the series from her perspective and showing that she wasn't quite as crazy as she appeared at the time. On the downside, the rest of the cast gets squeezed out of the story -- Yukimura shows up and delivers a few good laughs, but Maria's barely present and Kobato doesn't even appear....more