Hoshi wa Utau Volume 1 *SPOILERS*

星は歌う Volume 1
Twinkle Stars Vol. 1 (manga)

Summary: Chapter 1 introduces us to Sakuya, who’s in high school and has no parents. She lives with her guardian, the college-aged “bum” guy named Kanade (whom she calls “Kana-chan”), works at a shop for one Yuuta-san, who’s the older brother of one of her good male friends named Yuuri. Her female best friend is Hijiri, whom Sakuya refers to as Sei-chan due to the Kanji in Hijiri. It is Sakuya’s 18th birthday and a mysterious person named Chihiro-kun pays a visit, giving her a present. She thinks Chihiro-kun is a friend of Kanade’s and Kanade thinks Chihiro is Sakuya’s boyfriend. It is only after he leaves that they discover the truth.

Chapter 2 has Sakuya enlist her friends to help her search for Chihiro-kun even though Kanade is opposed to her having any contact with him. Chapter 3 has the Star Gazing Club (Sakuya and her two friends) do some star gazing where she says that the star Alphard is her favorite. Later, she wishes to see Chihiro-kun very hard and he does show up. Chapter 4 has Chihiro-kun and Sakuya talking for a long time until Chihiro-kun ends up telling her he hates her while she realizes she’s falling in love with him. Chapter 5 has Sakuya dealing with her feelings for Chihiro-kun while dealing with his telling her he hates her. Her friends and Kanade notice this. The chapter ends with Chihiro-kun showing up as a new student in her class.

Thoughts: Being a fan of Fruits Basket (even if it has gotten angst-filled of late), I was most keen on reading Takaya-sensei’s latest works (since Fruits Basket has long been over in Japan). The unfortunate thing about Hoshi wa Utau is that several of the characters look like the just stepped over from Fruits Basket and simply took a new name. I know that this can happen, but it seems more stark with Takaya-sensei’s work than other manga-ka.

First, whoa! Takaya-sensei seems to be up not only on Spider-man but X-Men as well? Then again, she is pretty up on games and the like. Considering both movie franchises were in Japan, I shouldn’t be so surprised.

As to the story, hmmmm. These are some LONG chapters at nearly 30-pages each. Unlike Fruits Basket, the story thus far didn’t instantly grab me. The first time I saw Tohru, I “fell in love with her” if you will. I really can’t say the same thing about Sakuya. She’s nice and in some ways like Tohru, but the angst-levels are already just way high here. As such, the level of fun is not that high with her. I think Sei-chan is the only one I really liked. When Yuuri just happened to touch her, she gave a semi-repulsed look and mentioned not wanting to get pregnant by him touching her. I found that amusing.

Basically, the whole first volume does set up the main characters, but outside of Sei-chan, I really don’t have any love for the characters. They are just there and doing their thing, but with nothing that grabs me. On the other hand, the characters from Fruits Basket did grab me from the start. Chihiro-kun is the oddest of all. I guess that this manga being about stars and stuff, maybe Chihiro-kun is a star or something. Maybe a guardian angel? Who knows.

Despite what I feel is a weak beginning to the series, I’ll read on in the hopes that it will get better. Right now, there’s too much angst and oddity and not enough fun.

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