Evergreen Volume 1 Manga Review

Evergreen Volume 1 Manga Review

***SPOILERS***

Evergreen Volume 1 MangaYOSHIMATSU Hotaku is a high school boy who has a genetic heart issue from his now deceased father that has required him to have open heart surgery, leaving an ugly scar. He’s the president of the manga club and writes the club’s newsletter. They produce only five copies, but only one is taken every publication by a mystery reader. Hotaku’s best friend is On-chan, who’s the only other serious member of the manga club. Hotaku’s other friend is Soga, who likes On-chan and is a very popular guy at school. Hotaku has a crush on the swimming club star, AWAYA Niki, but lacks the self confidence to approach her.

When the swimming teacher demands that Hotaku take a swimming test, allowing him to do it after classes, Hotaku is forced to do so. However, the swim club shows up during his test and Niki, seeing Hotaku’s shame over knowing his scar is showing through a t-shirt, covers by giving him her towel. However, Hotaku has a negative reaction to her act of kindness. On-chan discovers that Niki is their lone reader as Hotaku finds the courage to return Niki’s towel, now cleaned, where he manages to tell Niki he wants to be her friend and she agrees.

Hotaku visits his elderly grandmother on his father’s side, who’s in the hospital. She gives him a key to a cabin, having given another one to her other grandchild. Later, during a rainy day on the way school, Hotaku discovers Niki has no umbrella and gives her his. Girls in the class, who like Soga tell Hotaku that Niki is using him, causing him to doubt Niki. The girls then attack Niki, accusing her of using Hotaku to get to Soga. She fends them off, defending Hotaku, but quietly wondering what Hotaku is thinking.

Review:

The only reason I became aware of this manga (and subsequently interested in this manga) was that Takemiya-sensei is the author. Since I love his Toradora! work, I was keen to give this a try. So far, I have not been disappointed.

The first volume sets up the premise nicely and the characters of Hotaku and On-chan (who’s full name I missed). Niki’s character has a nice set up, but it wasn’t until the end of the volume that we start to get a sense of things from her perspective. I hope we see more of that in future volumes and that the manga isn’t just Hotaku’s story. (I get the sense this will be the case.)

One thing I want to see from this manga is a romance story between Niki and Hotaku, whom are seemingly from different worlds. One thing I don’t want to see is a love triangle between Niki, Hotaku, and On-chan, which could be being set up here. Since Hotaku and On-chan are close friends, I can see the story injecting that On-chan suddenly realizes she has feelings for Hotaku, but decides to nobly step aside until Hotaku finds out and then has a decision to make.  I don’t want this to be the case.

Niki is an interesting character. She clearly has an interest in Hotaku beyond the fact that she’s aware that he watches her during swim practice. She’s reading what he’s writing for some reason. It may be that she’s just as interested in Hotaku as he is interested in her. I really look forward to learning more about her.

As to Hotaku, his early negative reaction to Niki’s act of kindness seemed a little odd, but I guess I could understand it since he has low self confidence. It was more understandable for Hotaku to turn cold toward Niki when girls in his class warned him that Niki was using him. He feels inferior to Niki, so the first hint that she might not really like him, he jumps on this. It will be interesting to see how both characters deal with this situation.

The introduction of Hotaku’s grandmother and the key she gave him gave me the strongest feeling that it is possible that Niki might be the other grandchild to be given a key. I hope I’m wrong there since it will put a crimp in my desire for a Hotaku x Niki relationship. We’ll see where that goes.

As to Seven Seas, the Japanese honorifics are retained, which will always be a plus for me. We get a couple of color pages at the start as well as well as 4-koma comic strip on the inside back cover.

In the end, this was an interesting start to a manga series. I am interested in seeing where things go from here.

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4 Responses to “Evergreen Volume 1 Manga Review”

  1. arimareiji says:

    I could be misremembering, but I don’t think this was all that long. To be honest, I’m kinda glad – I don’t think I have the subtlety needed to say anything meaningful without it being a spoiler to an intelligent reader.

    Regardless of whether you like or hate the ending, I think this is one you wouldn’t want spoiled.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Yeah, I don’t want to be spoiled. I didn’t realize it was so short, but it apparently only has four volumes. I just finished volume 3, so I have to write a review for it.

  2. ctrn says:

    I’m not gonna spoil it.

    Just one thing: when this manga ended, I wasn’t really disappointed. The story doesn’t have significant plots twists, and it was apparent that it could go longer and turn better (and different), but I believe it was axed. So I don’t know if the author really ended it properly.

    I was expecting more from it.

    PD: After “Shinigami-sama ni Saigo no Onegai o” almost no axed ending affects me. That was a bad move to the readers.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      it was apparent that it could go longer and turn better (and different), but I believe it was axed. So I don’t know if the author really ended it properly.

      My understanding is that titles are written in such a way so that if they aren’t popular, they have a quick ending. If they have some popularity, they have an ending to reflect that. And then ultra popular titles are allowed to go for however long. What’s weird is that there are sources that claim the manga is technically still ongoing, even though only four volumes were produced.

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