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Honey Hunt volume 6 by Miki Aihara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 26, 2011 by  



The final story of the first arc of “Honey Hunt”, If you are a J-Pop or entertainment/pop culture fan, you will definitely want to pick up Miki Aihara’s manga series.  It’s addicting, emotional, dramatic, fun and just a wonderful manga series worth checking out!

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

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MANGA TITLE: Honey Hunt Vol. 6

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

RELEASED ON DECEMBER 10, 2010

With Yura and Q-ta’s relationship now revealed to the public, Mizorogi will need to decide whether or not to interfere. What will Haruka do when he has the chance to tell Yura his true feelings? And when Q-ta visits Yura at her house, the two of them end up in the bedroom all alone…

For J-Pop fans, whenever you can find manga that showcases Japanese dramas and Japanese music, it’s a rarity. But for Miki Aihara, her last five volumes of “Honey Hunt” is a solid manga series that revolves around Japanese entertainment and pop culture but unfortunately, like many manga, sometimes a mangaka go on a hiatus to return to a series later.

Unfortunately, this is is the case with “Honey Hunt”, a series that Miki Aihara plans to return to later in the future but for now she is currently working on a new manga series titled “Go-ji kara Kyu-ji Made”.

I have to say that I really enjoyed Miki Aihara’s “Hot Gimmick” manga series and I’m enjoying “Honey Hunt” even more. Mainly because it is less dysfunctional and because the storyline revolves around the Japanese entertainment industry.

With a total of five volumes now available in the US courtesy of Viz Media under its Shojo Beat imprint, volume 6 is now here and the storyline starts to heat up even more because, not only is there a love triangle, now it seems there is a love square and possibly two brothers vying for Yura’s attention.

For those not familiar with “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 (popular 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?

And at the end of volume 4, Yura decides to leave with Q-ta without her manager knowing and lies to him. Will their be ramifications for her lying to Keiichi?

In Volume 5, Yura’s relationship with Q-Ta gets even stronger and both want to make their love public and it gets to the point where the two end up being showcased on live television and the whole country learning about their relationship.  Of course, this is concern to her manager Keiichi because he knows that it takes Yura away from her focus as an actress but can it be… Keiichi may be having feelings for her?

In volume 6 of “Honey Hunt”, the relationship between Q-Ta and Yura takes a step forward and both want to go even further in their relationship…sexually.  And because of the nationwide coverage on Yura and Q-Ta’s relationship, she even begins to best her mother in the ratings.

But problems arise for Yura when her father, the popular musician Takayuki Onozuka arrives in Japan and for Q-Ta, even before he met Yura, he has always been in love with her father’s music and has simply idolized him.  Knowing this, Yura’s manager secretly uses this to his advantage to keep Yura and Q-Ta away from each other, so she can focus on her work. But will she?

Q-Ta’s brother Haruka knows that if Onozuka is in town and wants to meet with Q-Ta, he will literally drop Yura to be with him instead.  Also, seeing this opportunity as a way for him to make his move and let Yura know that he likes her as well.

With so many things going on with the men in Yura’s life, how will she deal with the situation?

Here is a spoiler-less summary of each chapter of “Honey Hunt” Vol. 6:

  • CHAPTER 25 – Yura and Q-Ta’s public relationship has lead to her drama topping the ratings.
  • CHAPTER 26 – Yura and Q-Ta take the next step in their relationship.
  • CHAPTER 27 – Yura finds out that her father has come back to Japan and is not too thrilled.  Meanwhile, while Q-Ta introduces Yura to her mother, he receives a call to come and meet with Yura’s father.
  • CHAPTER 28 – Yura feels dejected that Q-Ta would leave her alone for her father and Haruka tries to explain to her how much her father means to Q-Ta but also Haruka sees this opportunity to let Yura know about his feelings for her.
  • CHAPTER 29 – Yura is shocked that Haruka tried to make his move but also that he wants her to focus on the business, so when she runs off to meet her manager, he tells her the same thing.  Should she focus on her work or her emotions of being in love with Q-Ta?
  • CHAPTER 30 – Q-Ta asks Yura an important question which literally may end Yura’s acting career.

All things must come to an end and while this is not the final issue of “Honey Hunt”, for those who have followed manga series in Japan that have gone on hiatus, sometimes a mangaka can take a year to 10 years or more before they return to the storyline.  And unfortunately, “Honey Hunt” starts to get better and ends with a cliffhanger that literally leaves readers wanting more but knowing that there may not be anymore for the near future.

Needless to say, “Honey Hunt” Vol. 6 is more of an emotional volume as it clearly deals with Yura’s emotions as the men in her life all start to make decisions that affect her.

For her manager Keiichi (who may have feelings for her), he keeps asking her to focus on business, full well knowing that her emotions are growing stronger for Q-Ta and literally ruining her chance at become a superstar.

For Q-Ta, the arrival of Yura’s father to Japan and he wanting to work with him is a dream come true and for Q-Ta, Yura’s father has been his music idol and the fact that he will be spending a lot of time with him frustrates and scares Yura, especially since she has literally separated herself from her parents.

And for Q-Ta’s brother Haruka, he has been waiting for the opportunity to show his love for Yura and now may be the chance, while she is fragile…. but will that be a good idea?

Of course, things are changing so rapidly in Yura’s life as she is becoming more popular as an actress, her drama actually has surpassed her mother’s drama ratings but she’s emotionally unstable.  Can she continue to work?  Her heart is telling her to be with Q-Ta.  But will she throw all that she has worked hard for, just to be with him?

These are questions that have plagued her for the entire series and those questions will continue to linger until Aihara returns to “Honey Hunt”…hopefully sooner than later.

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, “Honey Hunt” volume 6 is another captivating, deeply emotional but addicting volume that is literally a cliffhanger for the first arc of the series.  I look forward to the second arc when the series ever returns.

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