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Honey Hunt volume 4 by Miki Aihara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 16, 2010 by  



If you are a fan of Japanese dramas and J-Pop or dramas that deal with a love triangle, definitely give Miki Aihara’s “Honey Hunt” a try!  An enjoyable series worth checking out!

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

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MANGA TITLE: Honey Hunt Vol. 4

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

Find the courage to become a star! As Yura continues her foray into the glamorous world of acting, she’s starting to learn that success is often marred with setbacks and compromises. Although she fails to land the lead role in a new drama penned by famous screenwriter Maki Todo, she does succeed in getting offered the part of the heroine’s friend. However, her boss Keiichi cautions Yura that her increasing popularity will result in greater scrutiny of her private life by the paparazzi. Can Yura continue growing as an actress while keeping her budding relationships with Q-ta and Haruka in check?

I really enjoyed Miki Aihara’s “Hot Gimmick” manga series and now I’m enjoying “Honey Hunt”. With three volumes now available in the US courtesy of Viz Media under its Shojo Beat imprint, volume 4 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 Minamitani (the popular singer of the music group 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. With both brothers taking an interest in Yura, her manager Keiichi who is putting all his time and energy in making Yura a star has had enough.  He now wants to make sure that Yura does not have any distractions but can he prevent Yura in seeing Q-ta?

Here is a spoiler-less summary of each chapter of “Honey Hunt” Vol. 4:

  • CHAPTER 16 – Yura’s manager Keiichi has decided to makes sure Yura has no distractions.  So, he tells her to stay away from the Minamitani Brothers.
  • CHAPTER 17 – Yura secretly goes out with Q-ta and sees her mother.  But when Keiichi finds out, he knows he has to be harder on Yura.
  • CHAPTER 18 – Keiichi is making sure that nothing develops between Yura and Q-ta but during a chance meeting, both see each other once again.
  • CHAPTER 19 – Q-ta comes up with a plan in order for he and Yura to get together without Keiichi finding out.
  • LOVE LESSON 1 – This chapter is dedicated to the drama series starring Yura Onozuka, Hiroto Uehara (of KNIGHTS) and the other cast members.  A story about a girl named Nao Ando who gets calls from an anonymous  guy blackmailing her that he will send out pictures of her changing in the girl’s locker room to all the people at school if she stops talking to him.

“Honey Hunt” continues to become more entertaining with each volume.  For those who follow Japanese pop music, many fans can see the correlation between “Honey Hunt” and the J-Pop world featuring the male idol groups Arashi and KAT-TUN.  In this case, Assha and KNIGHTS.  But the story plays out like a live drama series in which we have the daughter of a popular actress who will do anything to prove her mother wrong and that is to become a major star more popular than her own mother.  Of course, once she gets into the limelight, her drive to become a major actress appears to be going quite well…that is until she meets the Minamitani Brothers.  And eventually starts following for one of them.

It’s evident that the series has the possibility of becoming more than a love triangle.  More like a love square as Yura’s manager is demanding of her time and somehow seems a bit jealous towards her attention given to the brothers.   But the question is can Miki be successful at her goal of surpassing her mother, when she’s dealing with these newfound emotions of love.  Needless to say that “Honey Hunt” continues to be a fun, drama manga series for those who enjoy Japanese dramas or love triangle storylines.  Also, a bit more lighthearted and fun compared to Aihara’s other work “Hot Gimmick!” which is the total opposite and much more darker (note: “Hot Gimmick!” is also available from Viz Media via their Viz Signature Series).

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!

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

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