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|Digital List Price:||CDN$ 7.99|
|Print List Price:||CDN$ 10.99|
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Honey and Clover, Vol. 1: v. 1 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 184 pages|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First of all, the main characters are boys, not girls. I liked the idea of a girls' manga seen through a guy's eyes. All of the characters are interesting and pretty realistic. These are the kind of characters you could imagine existing in the real world. There is romance in "Honey and Clover," but it's handled in an understated way. What I mean is, it's there, but it's not the focus of the manga; it's just one more part of the characters' lives. There is so much more to the story and the characters than just their romantic entanglements. The focus of the story is still relationships, though, and these are all handled tenderly and realistically. There are relationships between friends, students and teachers, and even family.
"Honey and Clover" is also very good at showing the value of ordinary moments. The characters do ordinary things- go on picnics, do school work, and just talk to one another over lunch. But it's these moments that make up life, and that's what this manga is about.
The art is simple but pretty. I think it does a good job of showing the characters' personalities and telling the story. The only problem I had is that chibi style is used a little too often. Still, the chibi is cute, so it's not too much of a problem.
Some people might be bored with "Honey and Clover" for its slow pace and ordinary story. But those who are looking for something sweet, true to life, and even poignant won't be disappointed.
Having spawned an anime series, a live drama and film, it's no surprise that many men and women have enjoyed "honey and clover" and now available from Viz Media via their Shojo Beat imprint is "honey and clover".
Part of my interest in wanting to read the manga is that I enjoyed the film but I felt that there were much back story of the characters that I figured, if I really want to enjoy this series, start with the manga. And so, after reading volume 1, I was surprised how different the manga series and the live film were.
In the manga series, the story revolves around three guys who live in an apartment complex and attend an art school. They are:
Yuta Takemoto: One of the primary characters, Takemoto is the youngest of the guys and majoring in architectural design. He seems to have a ho-hum life but is the normal guy of the group who has taken a liking to the gifted artist Hagumi.
Shinobu Morita: A carefree, does whatever he wants type of guy. Very cool but very strange. A gifted sculptor who has attended the University for years, has not graduated but tends to make money doing freelance work and constantly on the move. He is drawn to Hagumi because she reminds him of a Koropokkur (a leprechaun or fairy) that he actually takes pictures of her in situations and puts it on the Internet and promoting her as one.
Takumi Mayama: Mayama is the quiet type. A senpai for Takemoto and works at a design firm in which he likes the owner Rika. Although he knows that he'll never get that close to Rika, he somewhat does what he can for her. He is also the guy that Morita turned to when he needed help but now Mayama has passed the duty on to Takemoto.
Characters also featured are:
Hagumi: A shy, gifted sculptor who is being taken care of by her uncle, Professor Hanamoto. She is not very talkative and very, very short. She is almost like a little girl but she's actually 18 and her cuteness makes everyone in a good mood. She does have a hard time knowing that so many people expect a lot of things from her because of her talent but also knows that because of dedicating her life to that talent, she doesn't live a normal life like the other girls in school.
Ayumi Yamada: Yamada aka "Iron Man" is another gifted student at the art school who is madly in love with Mayama. She knows that he is not interested in her but she takes it hard and sometimes can't tolerate his attitude but she does because she's so in love with him. She's very blunt, very beautiful, very athletic but also can get very violent (ala her karate moves).
What I found quite charming about this storyline is that it's life of a college student. Trying to do your best at school, not knowing your own future after school, not having enough money and just the fun that people have amongst friends.
Chapter 1 is more like an introduction to the characters but you can't help but laugh when you see Morita making Hagu pose as a Koropokkur.
Chapter 2 features a guy coming to the University to see if the Koropokkur is real and the guys learn that Morita is making money off his popular website but Hagu is not to thrilled about what Morita is doing that he does something nice for her.
Chapter 3 is how the guys can't understand why all the girls give him so much attention. Especially since he's lazy, oversleeps and uses the public faucet to shower and you get an idea of how far out Morita really is. In one point, Morita needs clothes, so he grabs the curtains from Professor Hanamoto's class and wears the clothes like Moses from the "Ten Commandments" with no shame.
Chapter 4 features the guys really hungry and haven't eaten any meat for a long while because they are broke. They survive by the noodles brought home by one of the guys who live in the apartment but things change when Lohmeyer-san returns back on campus from the family farm and brings so much ham, sausage and vegetables for the guys that Takemoto learns why everyone loves him.
Chapter 5 features the guys and Hagu going out for some fun and light some fireworks and Takemoto gets to see a kind side of Hagu.
Chapter 6 features Mayama getting a phone call from someone and Takemoto suspects that he may have a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Morita is contacted to do a high paying job and Takemoto tries to make himself look great in front of Hagu and tells her that he'll create something for her, since he is an architectural major.
Chapter 7 introduces Ayumi Yamada and how she is in love with Mayama. Meanwhile, Takemoto finds out who the girl that called Mayama is. Her name is Rika, a colleague of Professor Hanamoto and Mayama's boss and that Mayama was just doing a lot of work for her. But Mayama does like her and Yamada takes it very hard.
Chapter 8 focuses on Hagu and how the pressures of being a talented sculptor and not having a normal life like the other young women on campus starts to make her depressed. The pressures of life start to drain her emotionally.
Chapter 9 is about Christmas and Morita invites everyone to Hanamoto-san's office for a Christmas party.
The final pages feature a bonus manga diary titled "Life of Umino" and a glossary of terms used in the manga such as words like what is "Koropokkur" or what is a "system 6' operating system.
I really enjoyed this first volume. Similar to young novels or manga (or even dramas) such as "Asunaro Hakusho", "Wakamono no Subete" or "Hakusen Nagashi", I really enjoy stories that cover young adult life. From the parties to just hanging out with friends, meeting new people, career choices to finding love (or not finding love), "honey and clover" is one of those series that is realistic in the sense that many people can related to these characters. So, you really take an interest towards the characters and I really liked the overall development of the characters through the course of the nine chapters.
Umino's artwork and her storytelling is enjoyable, beautiful and has a good balance of entertainment through humor and that occasional love triangle drama that pulls you in.
So, I was very surprised of the differences between the life film and the manga. With the film, there's so much that can't be done in a film under two hours from a manga series that has many chapters of storyline and character development. I can see why so many people were entertained by this manga series. It's very entertaining and artwork that is just beautiful look at.
This is one of those stories that appeals appeals to both men and women and overall, the first volume is quite entertaining thus far. Definitely check it out!
Honey and Clover focuses on a group of male art school students scraping by and an artistic genius named Hagumi that stumbles into their lives. "Hagu" is eighteen but looks (and often acts) much younger. She's a shy girl who is both blessed and cursed by her talent and the expectations it brings. The rest of the cast is endearingly odd - a collection of over the top personalities that still come across as genuine and feel like real friends.
Unfortunately the manga didn't come together for me all that well. There's tons of potential in the story and characters, but the backbone appears to be a love triangle, one of my least favorite plot anchors. A couple of running jokes are already getting on my nerves. I also didn't care for the art. It's well done from a technical standpoint, but my personal dislike of the style pulled me out of the story often.
While traces of the elements that make Honey and Clover a much beloved series are evident in this first volume and definitely worth a try if you enjoy shoujo, the art drags things down and overall I'm just not interested enough to continue reading.
This story captures what youth's about, having doubts about our future and facing unrequited love, that at some point,we have all encountered. This manga it's also a comedy about normal things that we live every day. At firt it may seem boring, but it's not.
In the manga world, Honey is also distinctive because it is a book primarily for girls, but told from the point of view of its male characters; it is set in the world of college life, not the more typical high school setting; and its artwork is sketchy, loose, almost unfinished in appearance, perhaps reflecting the work-in-progress nature of its major characters.
Those three characters all live in the same Tokyo apartment building. One is Yuta, a determined but decidedly "normal" young architecture student who falls unrequitedly in love with Hagumi, an 18-year old art student. Shinobu is a carefree dude's dude, fairly mysterious, and also smitten with Hagumi, whom he believes could very well be a Koropokkur, or fairy. The third male roommate is Takumi, a neutral party in the Hagumi love triangle, a good friend who is frustratingly infatuated with a coworker at the design firm for which he works.
Fascinatingly, Honey's characters are largely interchangeable at first, only coming into sharper focus as their desires are more explicitly revealed. Still, Honey and Clover--unlike the soapy Melrose Place--is very episodic in nature, almost picaresque, with brief episodes quote-unquote happening, then dissolving into a shrug, before resonating chapters later. (For better or worse, there are no homicides or car crashes in Honey).The storytelling works brilliantly as a rendering of post-adolescent angst, ennui, and alienation. Umino's characters sometimes barely have pulses, their goals seem mostly inconsequential, their hearts are shadowy and elliptical, and then their romantic longing sharpens their intent and their meaning. Having male characters tell this romantically inclined story, when most other manga would have turned narrative chores over to female characters, is a bold and effective stroke. Male readers may be more likely to connect with the story, while few female readers are likely to be repelled.
If you're looking for a manga to wow you with sensational art and sensationalistic storytelling, this is definitely not the book for you. Honey and Clover is hushed, searching, and grounded--no spells, swords, or conspiracies--though the mysteries of the heart are as apparent, and compellingly revealed, here as in any other manga. A fine book for older readers.
-- J. Rentilly