Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hana-Kimi 1

Hana Kimi 1 by Hisaya Nakajo, 2004. 184 pages. Rated T+. Published by Viz Media. Source: Library.
Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself a transfer to a high school in Japan...but not just any school To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she's going to an all-boys' high school...and disguising herself as a boy But as fate would have it, they're more than classmates...they're roommates Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates - and the school nurse - must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation...
First Sentence:
Mizuki...Are you really going back to Japan all by yourself?
Story:
The basis of the story in Hana-Kimi is one that seems to be quite popular in shojo manga, girl or boy hiding their true gender in order to attend an exclusive school...or they are just mistaken for the opposite gender thus creating confusion and mayhem. So, while the story line is not all that original, I did find myself enjoying Hana-Kimi because it was just such a light fun read.

One of the things that actually made this book more enjoyable would have to be that Mizuki's secret is not a secret for long. Well, she is only aware that the school doctor knows that she is truly a girl, although, her crush and the reason for her transferring to Osaka accidentally found out. Can you say awkward.
I am actually glad that the truth was discovered in the first volume. Otherwise, I am absolutely positive that aspect of the story-arc would have been dragged out as long as possible. My only question is when will she find out that her secret is no longer as secret as she would like it to be

So, the one thing I absolutely did not like about Hana-Kimi has nothing to do with the actual main story, but deals with the bonus story at the end of the volume. The reason i did not like the bonus story was that I just could not agree with the choice that the girl made-she ended up falling for some second cousin, even though he was a complete jerk (I don;t care if he changed for the better in the end. Oh, the bonus story has absolutely nothing to do with Hana-Kimi, just to let you know.

Character(s):
Even though Mizuki returned to Japan over a boy, I thought that she was an interesting character. I liked that even when things were at there worst that she was not about to runaway from her goal of seeing Izumi do the high jump again, and maybe even jump with him in the event. You have to admire her for not giving up, even if she is a little crazy.

Izumi, at first I did not care for him because he just came across as cold and uncaring. But as the volume progressed and the reason for why he stopped participating in the high jump was revealed I actually came to like his character. Plus, he ends up trying to protect Mizuki from the trouble that would ensue should the fact that she is a girl get around.

Nakatsu actually turned out to be my favorite character in Hana-Kimi. Although, I feel quite bad for him since he thinks that Mizuki is a boy and that he is now ten kinds of confused. What makes him a great character to read about is that his personality is a little over-the-top, and that he brings a comedic slant to the book.
Artwork:
While Hana-Kimi was an interesting read, I felt like the art was extremely similar to that from Ouran High by Bisco Hatori. So much so, that in the first few pages I thought I had picked up volume 12 of Ouran and not Hana-Kimi to read.

Even the art is very similar, I did like the way that Hisaya Nakajo depicted her characters, especially when it came to the two main male characters, Izumi and Nakatsu.

Final Verdict: Hana-Kimi 1 not as original as I would like, but still a funny and interesting read.

Hana-Kimi 1 earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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