Honey and Clover Manga Volume 3

Honey and Clover Manga Volume 3

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Honey and Clover Manga Volume 3I’d been forced to stop buying the Honey and Clover manga due to financial reasons in 2008 and though I’d been back in financial means since 2009, I’d been reluctant to restart this manga series even though I loved the anime franchise, I loved the live-action movie, and I loved the live-action TV series.  The main reason was because I’m just not that keen on Umino-sensei’s character designs for Hagu and the way she does some facial stuff, especially in the eyes, for all the characters.  However, I thought I’d give it a go again just the same.

*SPOILERS!*

This volume, in brief, has Christmas approaching with Ayu staying with Hagu and thus the two of them end up working selling Christmas cakes. Hagu gets inspired by Morita and Takemoto struggles on whether to tell Hagu that Morita made her broach. After Christmas, the gang takes a long trip, ending up at a Ferris Wheel where Morita arranges for Ayu and Mayama to be together while he, Takemoto, and Hagu are in the next car and feeling uncomfortable.  Hanamoto-sensei returns from his trip abroad, where it is revealed he’d been missing Hagu fiercely.

At the hanami, the vendors from the same shopping district as Ayu’s father are frustrated that Ayu is still hung up on Mayama, though one says that because he never took advantage of her like some guys would have, he’s to be praised.  Morita finds Hagu and after his usual teasing of her, kisses her, causing her to really be off her game when it comes to her artwork. Morita’s brother arrives at the dorm to get Morita’s passport and lets Takemoto know that Morita will be gone for months. Takemoto decides to tell Morita some things to settle the love-triangle between himself, Morita, and Hagu, but Morita’s plane has already departed.

In the bonus story, Ayu and Hagu make tea cozies.

Reading this volume, I’m amazed at how I remember everything from the anime, suggesting that the anime did a fairly good adaptation.

Anyway, as I read, I find myself thinking of how amazing it is for these characters to remain close friends in spite of everything.  There’s the unrequited love that Ayu still has for Mayama.  Though it isn’t heavy in this volume, Mayama still has an unrequited love for Rika-san.  Takemoto is friends with Hagu but though he feels more for her, he’s pretty sure its unrequited.  Morita has never expressed his love for Hagu very well, but then breaks down and kisses her before running away.  Hagu is never clear on whom she likes, but it is Morita that has her “love sick” (for lack of a better term).  Despite this, these five still hang out and do things together as friends.

While the slice-of-life stuff is interesting and entertaining, there’s not much progress made anywhere with these characters.  Morita’s kissing Hagu is the closest thing to making progress, but he leaves and from what I remember of the anime, he’s gone for a while, thus rendering any progress void.  Still, despite the ugly character design aspects at times, the charm of the overall story is good, which I guess is why it has been adapted multiple times.

On the Viz side, there are translator notes, which is great. I don’t like how they’ve shifted the reading order for the notes, because you don’t suddenly go from left column, left-to-right, to right column, right to left.  That’s just stupid.

Honorifics are used, but I still think that Mayama addressed Morita as “Morita-san,” not “Morita-senpai.”  I’m not 100% sure on that.

So, I’ll continue blogging this manga series as soon as the rest of the volumes come in.

Update: Clearly, though I got the rest of the manga, I just didn’t have it in me to continue blogging it.
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