Honey Hunt – Volume 2 by Miki Aihara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 22, 2009 by  

“Entertaining and fun!  For those who are interested in Japanese music or entertainment can find ‘Honey Hunt’ highly enjoyable.  Another fantastic Miki Aihara manga series!”

Image courtesy of © Miki AIHARA/Shogakukuan, Inc..  All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Honey Hunt Vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Miki Aihara (相原実貴)



RATED: T for Older Teen

Life’s not easy when you’re living in the shadow of your famous parents.  Can shy Yura, the daughter of an award-winning composer and a world-renowned actress, find the courage to step out on her own now that her super-celebrity parents are getting divorced?

It’s only the first day of Yura’s acting career and things are already getting out of hand.  Someone has ruined her costume and there isn’t enough time to find a replacement.  With the director ready to roll on a promotional photo shoot without her, Yura had better think fast if she wants to keep her job from going down to the tubes.  Can she find a solution to her wardrobe malfunction in time to get in front of the camera?

Having read the “Hot Gimmick!” graphic novel by Miki Aihara, suffice to say, I’ve immediately become a fan of her work.  As a fan of Japanese dramas, I tend to enjoy dramatic storylines that revolve around young adult or adult couples.  A story that doesn’t always have to incorporate a supernatural or magical element, but a story that is real and dramatic.  Aihara does a magnificent job with that and her latest manga series available in America is “Honey Hunt”.  And I’m really enjoying it so far!

Yura is the daughter of popular and beautiful actress Yukari Shiraki and popular musician Takayuki Onozuka, the first Japanese to win an Academy Award.   Yura is quite normal and despite being the daughter of a popular actress and musician, she does not hone their entertainment skills and there is a lot of pressure and expectation from her teachers and students at school because of her talented parents.

While her father is staying in New York and her mother is always working, Yura confides to her friend/tutor Shin.  Her best friend and a guy she thinks she’s attracted to.  One time, while both were watching an interview on television with Yura’s mother Yukari, she sees how talented of an actress she is because she is able to lie about being a great mother despite having a busy  schedule as an actress.

In the last volume, we see Yura’s life made upside down with her mother’s announcement that she is divorcing her father.  To make things even worst, her mother is sleeping with the guy that she likes.

An infuriated Yura promises herself that she will get back at her mother, by being a better actress than her.  And under the direction of her father’s manager Keiichi Mizorogi, Yura scores her first major part and that is for a major ramen commercial.

Here is a spoiler-less summary of each chapter:

  • CHAPTER 6 – It’s the big day for the ramen photo shoot but someone has purposely sabotaged Yura by ruining her dress.
  • CHAPTER 7 – It’s Yura’s big day as a press conference for “SLURP!” Cup Noodle by Nissen Foods will be her debut appearance to the media.  But when a reporter asks if she is daughter of popular actress Yukari Shiraki and popular musician Takayuki Onozuka, Yura suddenly has doubts if she was hired based on her talent or because of her family.
  • CHAPTER 8 – Infuriated at her manager, Yura runs away and runs into Q-ta.
  • CHAPTER 9 – Yura and Q-ta have a heart-to-heart talk.  Meanwhile, Q-ta’s brother Haruka starts to see Yura in a more positive light.
  • CHAPTER 10 – Yura has her first reading for a drama based on her ramen character and she reads with major actress Rinko Koizumi (who doesn’t like Yura, because of her mother).  Meanwhile, Yura’s manager has a message for Q-ta.

“Honey Hunt Volume 2” was simply another fantastic volume.  I really dig the pop culture that goes behind-the-scenes of the story and also for J-pop fans, they will definitely like the pop culture references such as the banner over 101, the Oricon reference and even the play on Rinko Koizumi.  Obviously a play on real-life actress/singer Kyoko Koizumi.  And did I mention how cool the artwork and character designs are?  I enjoy Miki Aihara’s artwork on her previous manga series “Hot Gimmick!” and “Honey Hunt” is no exception.  Also, the way that Miki Aihara draws the characters and incorporates that Tokyo street style into character’s fashion is pretty cool and I dig that!

But what I enjoy is the drama aspect of the series, I can easily see such a storyline becoming a Japanese drama in Japan.  An actress with no acting experience at all, who is able to transform into her character and just catch the eyes of the people around her.  And of course, you get an idea that there will be some sort of love triangle between Yura, Q-ta and his brother/rival Haruka.

Overall, another captivating and highly enjoyable volume of “Honey Hunt”.  Definitely recommended!

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