Monday, May 19, 2014

Manga Review: Honey and Clover, Volume 8, by Chica Umino

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: 2009
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 1. 7. 9.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Love Triangles--who says you don't learn math in Art School?; The friends you make in college can change your whole life; Art School Unclassified R to L (Japanese Style). Ayu still can't give up on her love for Mayama, even though his relationship with Rika seems to be deepening. Nomiya's growing interest in Ayu might be a balm to her broken heart, but he's moving to Tottori for six months! Is Ayu cursed to suffer hopeless love affairs forever? Takemoto, a sophomore art student in Tokyo, thinks his greatest worries in life are finding ways to eat more meat and getting to class on time. But with friends like his, life is never going to be that tame.


This a really, really good series. I started it a really long time ago (back when the Shojo Beat magazine was still running), but then never got around to continuing it. I picked it back up a little while ago, though, and it really reminded me how much I like this series.
Back when I first read it, I really liked the humor, and the characters. Now that it’s been so long (and I’ve mature), and now that I’m in college, I find that I can appreciate the college relations and the whole concept of finding yourself at that age, and the thoughtful moments. I’m enjoying it even more now.
Also, I love the art. It has a sketch-y look to it, and it’s just so pretty. The surprised and scared expressions are hilarious, and the scenery and sweet moments are beautiful. Umino is probably one of my favorite manga-ka’s, honestly. (It also helps that she was the artist of Eden of the East, an anime series that I really loved.)
Anyway. In this volume, there was some surprising development for both Ayu and Mayama.
I’m most surprised by Mayama’s, because I really wasn’t expecting his situation to go in that direction. I’m happy about it, though. Happy for him.
I really, really like Ayu, and feel bad for her. I also wasn’t quite expecting so much to come of her and Nomiya, but I’m less surprised, and really happy about it. He’s kind of adorable. I’m excited to see more of that.
We got a hint of something deeper going on with Shinobu. I wasn’t expecting that, and am very intrigued.
There wasn’t much of Takemoto or Hagu this time, sadly. I really want to see what happens with them, and Shinobu. Plus, I just really like all of them. The company characters are fun, and I do like them, but I love the original group most. (And, Takemoto’s arch of finding himself was the absolute best thing ever.) 
I really, really like this series. It’s really funny, but it’s also very thoughtful. A bit nostalgic, sentimental. The band of characters are all very unique, and funny, and enjoyable. I’m close to the end of this series, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.

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