Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Honey and Clover vol. 1 - Chica Umino

Reading this has made me realise how much I missed reading manga. From now on I won't make the same mistake and will stop snubbing English-translated manga. I've been missing the same selection we get in Italy of old and new manga, but I can see now that the choice here is not so bad after all :P
Honey and Clover is something I've discovered on the net. I've read many positive reviews and decided to buy from Book Depository despite knowing very little about it.
Three words: it was hilarious!

It's about a group of art students who live in the same building and dream all day of eating meat, because they can't afford to buy it.
There's Morita, who seems to be a girls magnet, although (or because) he's shabby and doesn't care what other people think.
Then there's thoughtful, sensitive and shy Takemoto, who seems to be the main character, although I would be tempted to say that there isn't really one. The story seems to focus slightly more on him, but only slightly.
The third guy is Mayama. He's a senior and seems to be the most serious of the three, but he's hiding a crush on an older woman (as far as I could tell).
The first day of school they meet Hagu, a tiny shy 18-year-old girl, who looks and act a lot younger, but is an extremely talented and well-regarded artist.
Immediately Morita and Takemoto fall in love with her, both in very different ways.

There's so much I liked about this first volume. The humour is exactly the kind that cracks me up. The funny faces, the exaggerations, the taking fun of itself. When Morita compares Hagu to a koropokkur I was in bits (although I had no idea what the hell a koropokkur was and had to look it up, not knowing that there's a very handy glossary at the end of the volume!). While Hagu's facial expressions are constantly priceless.
The style is kind of messy and the lines are not as polished like in other manga I'm used to (see Ai Yazawa's Nana and Paradise Kiss), but it didn't bother me at all. The story was just too funny.
My favourite characters for now are Morita and Hagu, but I'm looking forward to reading more and seeing how the rest of the characters develop.

And now click here to have a look at the scans of Honey and Clover I found! You can get an idea of what I'm talking about:)

I couldn't find any blog reviews, but maybe I'm just tired. Please let me know if you any!

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And now I'd like to talk a little about two awesome website called One manga and AnimeA
They have tons of scans of manga it's almost scary. I don't like reading on the computer, but this is great for having a peek at a manga, maybe reading few pages, and decide if you like it or not.
So, seeing as I mentioned a few manga in one of my previous posts, I'll give you the links to some of them, so you can have a look:)

Click to read the first pages of each manga (all these PG 15+ I'd say)
Oh and they are all read from right to left.
Video Girl Ai
Ghost in the shell
RG Veda

Not rated:
Nausicaa of the valley of the wind Yay!!! read it! it's my favourite movie (and manga) by Hayao Miyazaki.
Maison Ikkoku

And many more. If I can think of more to recommend I'll post them in my next manga review:)


mariel said...

I still haven't read any manga. Its a genre that doesn't jump out at me, but I've already suprised myself with how much I enjoyed graphic novels, so I'll definitely give some manga a go for Rhinoa's challenge this year! Any recommendations?! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I love that Manga can be so silly and funny sometimes. It's a great way to escape and break up reading some longer fiction. I'm glad you enjoyed taking a chance on this series, I will definitely look out for it. Thanks for the website links. I still can't believe I haven't watched Ghost in the Shell.

Ana S. said...

This sounds like such a fun series. And thanks for the links! I knew about Onemanga, but not the other one. There's something that bugs me about those sites, though...that you can't see the whole page at once, without scrolling down. I wish there was a zoom option. Still, it's free, so I can't really complain :P

I loved the Nausicaa movie, so I bet I'd enjoy the manga too.

valentina said...

hi Mariel, just pick any of those above, have a look and decide which one you like better! I personally love Maison Ikkoku and Nana the most.

Rhinoa, that is so true, and they're also very quick reads so I don't feel bad for reading them.I'm looking forward to read the second in the series. It has arrived in the shop but I couldn't find it! maybe tomorrow...

Ana, you know there's an option on AnimeA where you can switch on the resize button. Basically it shows you the whole page. Only the writing is too small for me so I prefer scrolling.

Jill said...

I haven't heard of this one, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for it. Thanks for those site links - definitely useful for getting a sneak peek! I LOVE Nausicaa - and all of Miyazaki's films. I've joined the graphic novel challenge as well as Rhinoa's manga challenge, so I have some fun reading ahead! :-) It will be great to get ideas and see what everyone else is reading, too.