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Honey Hunt Volume 3 by Miki Aihara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 17, 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. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Miki Aihara (相原実貴)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shojo Beat

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?

Still frazzled from an earlier script reading session where she just couldn’t seem to get things right, Yura drops one of her contact lenses before the next session begins – but could this be a blessing in disguise?  If everyone around her is blurry and hard to see, will Yura now be able to keep her nervousness in check?  She’d better try something because one of her co-stars, a veteran actress with high expectations, has been far from impressed with Yura’s performance.

I really enjoyed Miki Aihara’s “Hot Gimmick” manga series and now I’m enjoying “Honey Hunt”.  With two volumes now available in the US courtesy of Viz Media under its Shojo Beat imprint, volume 3 is now here and the storyline starts to heat up as we can see a major love triangle starting to develop.

In “Honey Hunt”, the manga series focuses on Yura Onozuka, a daughter of the very 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.

We seen 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.  So, 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.  In volume 2, Yura begins her try at acting and scores an audition for a popular ramen company which she gets the part.

The problem is 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).  While this is happening, we start to see Q-ta (the popular singer of Assha) starting to develop feelings for Yura while his rival/brother Haruka (poplar singer of the idol group KNIGHTS) who is in the same commercial with Yura, doesn’t like all the attention she gives to Q-ta.  But with her main priority being acting, will Yura be able to bounce back after a dreadful reading with Rinko and what about her feelings towards Q-ta?  And how will her manager Keiichi react to her blossoming fling with Q-ta?

Here is a spoiler-less summary of each chapter of “Honey Hunt” Vol. 3:

  • CHAPTER 11 – Yura needs to bounce back after her disastrous first reading with Rinko Koizumi, meanwhile Keichii has something important to tell Q-ta.
  • CHAPTER 12 – Q-ta is surprised by Keichii’s message, meanwhile he has to leave the country on business and the more time apart, Yura starts to notice something about her feelings towards Q-ta.
  • CHAPTER 13 – With Yura not knowing too much about the personal side of Q-ta, Q-ta’s brother Haruka decides to help her out if she can find a way to get tickets to his concert.
  • CHAPTER 14 – It’s the big day for the KNIGHTS concert and if Yura is able to score tickets in time.  Meanwhile, she spots a girl sitting by herself outside looking sad.  Yura wants to help her.
  • CHAPTER 15 – Something happens to Yura that makes things even more complicated in her life.

“Honey Hunt Volume 3” 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 KNIGHTS are like a Johnny’s Jimusho reference.   But things definitely heat up in volume 3 as it looks as if her career will become even more interesting, especially with her personal life as another person starts to show interest in Yura.

As for the artwork and character designs,  I really 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 modern 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 and seeing this underdog defy a lot of the bigwigs in the entertainment industry who tend to disregard her as insignificant.  You can’t help but root for Yura!

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

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