Honey Hunt 6

June 7, 2015

Miki Aihara – Viz – 2010 – 6+ volumes

Part of me hates watching the train wreck of bad decisions and annoyingly good fortune in Yura’s life.  The other part of me loves trashy shoujo manga, and can’t get enough.

I would probably read a dozen more volumes of this, because I’m just wired to like this sort of thing.  But seriously, I want to slap Yura.  The guys in this series are at the very least, not creepy.  Q-Ta still seems to genuinely like her, and even when he leaves her in the lurch at the end of the volume, it’s kind of for an understandable reason.  His twin brother also likes Yura, and also seems like a nice guy, which is okay.  Yura’s creepy possessive manager is another story, and I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be a boyfriend candidate or not.  I sure hope not.  He’s the behind-the-scenes villain at this point, and even he’s mostly just trying to get Yura to succeed.

Yura does blow my mind, though.  I tend to dislike Q-Ta because, at one point, he tells Yura that if her manager/jobs are getting in the way of their relationship, he wishes she’d quit so they could be together.  He’s entitled to that opinion, of course, and he isn’t forcing her to quit.  He’s just expressing a wish.  What’s messed up is that Yura, who is having a hot showbiz career dropped in her lap, THE ONE SHE WANTED, is basically willing to give it up for her boyfriend.  Girl, there are other fish in the sea.

Yura hating her dad and the thing about her work interfering with her Q-Ta time are the main stories in this volume.  After getting some great jobs lined up towards the end of the volume, she basically runs away in the middle of the night, because she has a boyfriend.  Then the series went on hiatus.

Aihara says this is part one, and apparently she put this on hiatus to write another series, which… I think is still going?  Ooh, it’s about an older couple, and runs in Cheese!  YES PLEASE.  But alas, we will probably not see that one in English.  Hopefully Honey Hunt can resume when that one ends, though.

Honey Hunt 5

February 13, 2015

Miki Aihara – Viz – 2010 – 6+ volumes

I’m not sure what happened to this series.  It went on hiatus in 2010, and I don’t think Miki Aihara has made another series since.  I was waiting for this series to resume to read the rest of what I had, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

I used to LOVE Hot Gimmick, even knowing that the characters were terrible to each other.  I was also a lot younger.  I’m not sure if Honey Hunt is worse (it probably isn’t, since Q-Ta at least sort of treats Yura well), but I think my tolerance for such things has matured with time.

Basically, this volume is a fighting match between Q-Ta, who wants to date Yura, and Keiichi, her manager.  Keiichi is an adult, and his behavior bothers me a bit more than Q-Ta’s does.  Q-Ta’s got a bit of an obsessive stalker thing going (“I want to talk to Yura.  I wonder if she can stay out two nights in a row?  She’s not answering her phone, she says her schedule’s full, but I miss her.  I want to see her face.”), but he’s not openly awful to Yura, and seems to really like her, which is nice.

Keiichi seems to be telling Yura not to date Q-Ta because he’s jealous.  Which… no.  No.

Add to that the chapter on Yura’s awful mother, where we find out that she’s been putting Yura down her whole life because she doesn’t want a single person to think Yura is better than her in any way… uh.  Right.

Q-Ta does make a jerk move at the end of the volume, and his motives for doing so are pretty slimy and infuriating.  There is a nice guy dating candidate for Yura (because she needs at least three), but he’s in a distant third right now.

Yura is also… not that interesting.  Her motivation for being famous, that she wants to be more famous than her d-bag parents, is pretty weak.  And she’s otherwise unremarkable, aside from the fact that every character in the series claims she has a natural magnetism.

Sigh.  I missed you, Miki Aihara.  I do wish I could lose myself in this one again, because despite all the awful stuff, I’m a terrible sucker for shoujo drama, and this is top notch.  One more volume probably won’t be enough to pull me back in.

Honey Hunt 4

April 1, 2010

Miki Aihara – Viz – 2010 – 6+ volumes

In case I had forgotten how ridiculous this series is, the first page reminds me.  “I’m not going to be satisfied until you admit you like me more than Q-ta.”  “What’s he saying?  Does that mean… that Haruka likes me?!”

Maybe it does, Yura.  Maybe it does.

Yura continues to be her regular doormat self, letting her manager boss her around and the hot celebrity twins fight over her without much of a peep on how she feels.  While I disagree with her quietly taking all the stern instructions from her manager, I also find myself agreeing with his advice: Yura keeps thinking about the hot twins while she’s scoring big celebrity jobs that she shouldn’t be getting.  So not only is she getting these impossible jobs, she’s also thinking about which twin she likes better while she does it rather than about working.  Her manager wants her to focus on her work while she builds up her career, but the boys are stealing away her concentration.  Not to mention getting involved with either of them will create a lot of gossip.  The manager wants the boys to wait a year to pick her up, which seems fair.

Unfortunately, it’s also implied that her manager has feelings for Yura, which almost invalidates all his points.  Still, if an impossible celebrity career were dropped in my lap, yeah, I think I’d be able to screen out the boys until I was sure I could make it work.

There was also one other plot point that made me dislike Yura a little more towards the end of the book, where she ditches all her friends throwing a party for her to hang out with a boy.  As terrible as that is, I am always secretly amused when shoujo manga heroines break the “bros before hos” rule.  Usually it only happens in super-trashy series like this.  B.O.D.Y. jumps to mind as another one where it happens.

But even after all that, I still tore straight through this book in record time.  I am ridiculously addicted.  And somehow, I don’t hate Yura despite the fact she is probably the embodiment of every negative stereotype you can put in a shoujo manga heroine.  I don’t like her, really, but somehow I can’t really bring myself to hate her, either.  Maybe it’s because she’s just too pathetic.

Whatever it is, it works.  This series is completely insane and somehow an amazing read despite being no good for you at all.  Like eating spoon after spoon of Hershey’s syrup.  There are certainly better things you could be reading, but honestly… only a few things are really more satisfying than this.  I can guarantee you that this series won’t take more than 20 volumes to get the main couple together, like Skip Beat.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

Honey Hunt 3

September 24, 2009

Miki Aihara – Viz – 2009 – 5+ volumes

So we finally get presented with the eternal shoujo manga question in this volume: which of the two hot celebrity twins fawning all over plain-girl Yura will win in the end?  What will happen to her acting career?  Will she ever defeat her mother, the famous celebrity, in a battle of acting talent?  Do the boys only love her because they want to get close to her famous musician father?

On one hand, the meat of the plot, the fact that the hot twin celebrities are going to fight over doormat Yura, is so ridiculous that I’d like to think it’s some sort of parody.  It’s unfortunately dead serious, but the sad thing is that I like it anyway.  It’s addictive.  I mean, what happens when Yura goes to see Haruka at one of his concerts and Q-Ta calls in the middle?  Who do you choose?  The deadbeat away in London who hasn’t bothered to call or message you in forever, or the cool dude that gives you a kiss and says he likes you right at home?  I mean, it’s like taking all the dignity that some shoujo manga pretend to have and stripping it away, and then realizing you like it anyway even though you would never, ever admit it to anyone you really knew.

It’s the very definition of a guilty pleasure, I suppose.  I can’t stop myself.  I like it way less than Hot Gimmick, but I don’t think I will ever be able to stop reading it.

Let’s see… character development… we’ve gotten some hints about the growth in Yura’s acting, though her tricks and talent are still much less impressive than Kyoko’s in Skip Beat.  Mainly, she realizes she has a crush on Q-Ta, and most of the book is spent trying to get tickets to Haruka’s concert so that he’ll tell her more about Q-Ta.  Except by coming to the concert, Haruka thinks that he will be so cool that she’ll fall in love with him instead.  Yes, that is seriously the plot.  Take what you will from it, but I couldn’t put it down.  And that’s one of Miki Aihara’s special superpowers.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

Honey Hunt 2

May 22, 2009

There’s just something in me that is drawn to stories like this.  I’m not sure what it is about Honey Hunt that I like.  I mean, there’s no romance.  The main character is extremely weak-willed and can’t make any decisions unless someone tells her how to think.  All the celebrity males in the series have a crush on her.  And, yes, she is getting work because her parents are famous.

But why do I like it so much?  I got totally caught up reading this volume.  It wasn’t even a B.O.D.Y.-like experience, where I was cursing at the characters the entire time.  Yura did a good job getting in character during her photo shoot despite some difficulties, Haruka seemed to get along with her despite himself, there was a press conference that made Yura get mad and run away, Q-Ta showed back up, Q-Ta and Haruka bantered good-naturedly back and forth about Yura, Keiichi prohibited Q-Ta from hanging out with Yura, some famous actress dissed Yura and made her a nervous wreck… you know, one thing led to another.

I keep comparing the plot to Skip Beat in my head, only because Yura keeps talking about “becoming” her character, something that is discussed at length in Skip Beat.  But again, where Kyoko works hard to force herself on people, Yura has “a special something” and celebrity parents.  I want to sympathize with her, because it would really suck to be constantly compared to your mom like that, but on the other hand, there was too much of “Ooh, I want to be a celebrity, but I don’t want to be a celebrity like that” going on.  I weep for you, Yura, for not getting to be an actress in exactly the way you want.

Also, it was especially lame when at the end of the book, she was sad about getting bullied by an older actress and all it took to snap her out of it was basically someone telling her “don’t be sad!”  Apparently simple solutions like this do not occur to her, and she takes the advice to heart enough that she forgives this person for being a total jerk about a serious promise.  Oh well.

I’ll keep reading, though.  I’ll keep reading it, and talking about it, and secretly storing it on the shelf with my favorite series.  It’s infuriating, but it’s got that special addictive touch.  That “special something,” really.  Curse that Yura, but it really does work.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

Honey Hunt 1

March 9, 2009

I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m super-excited about this series.  I loved Hot Gimmick.  But, you know, I always had this suspicion I would like it a little less if I reread it, because I know it’s trashy and I don’t think I quite realized it at the time.  This one confirmed my suspicions.

Guys.  This series is VICIOUS.  In the first chapter, we find out the main character, Yura, is the daughter of a famous actress and a world-renowned musician.  She is largely ignored and neglected at home while her parents go on TV and talk about what good parents they are.  Her only friend is her tutor and next door neighbor.  One night, her mother comes home, reveals to her that she needed to leave the house that night because her father was caught in the middle of an affair and they were going to get a divorce and sell the house.  She is given free reign to do whatever she wants.  The girl DOES NOT want this, especially since she heard nothing about it beforehand, and hadn’t actually seen either of her parents in two weeks.

Nobody seems to care about her as she is ushered off to a hotel room ahead of the paparazzi.  Her tutor sends her a message asking about her well-being, though.  She sneaks back into her house to see him… only to find him and her mother together.

Her mother tells her she’s sorry that the boy likes her better than her daughter.  WHAT.

Things sort of go downhill from there.  Her mother’s manager quits and decides to guide Yura into an acting career that she’s going to use to dominate and humiliate her mother.  Sort of like Skip Beat, I guess.  Except it’s not as good as Skip Beat, because Koyoko has a backbone and a real drive to succeed, whereas Yura just sort of… seems to luck into her parts by occasionally being friendly.  At least, so far.

Also, not only does her mother’s manager have some sort of ambiguous, possibly work-related attraction, so do both of the hot celebrities.  Who are twins.  One proposes to her.

Guys, this is pretty trashy stuff, but I’m going to eat it up with a spoon.  There’s something irresistible and addictive about this, because despite all this stuff, I LOVED IT.  This is the absolute dictionary definition of a guilty pleasure.  I can’t wait to see what ridiculousness will come after this.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.