Haruniwa by Masuda Riho
Haruniwa is a collection of 4 shorts by manga-ka Masuda Riho. While I haven’t read anything from her before, I do recall I have another collection of shorts from her hidden somewhere in this backlog pile haha.
The reason I grabbed this title blind was, as usual, due to the stunning cover. I love me some traditional art ~I’m not 100% sure but I think the coloring was done via Copic Markers :J (somehing I recently got into as well ~). I was not disappointed with the art inside, though since this is a collection of shorts done through the years, you can see the improvement from her oldest short here, Mahiru no Cinderella.
Each short deals with some sort of teenage drama. The first one, Haruniwa, felt a bit nostaligic. It’s a quiet short about kids growing up and getting ready to be adults. But what does that really mean? The main character is getting older but she doesn’t feel any different. Also, she doesn’t want to become an adult despite everyone else having expectations of her in the future.
Then you have a guy thrown in there because this is shojo and romance must be had!
The second short was just weird (Shiro to Mangekyou). I didn’t really enjoy it… The two characters interact and stuff…that’s really it…
Short #3, Hana Akane, Hikaru, wasn’t bad. I remember reading it in some Margaret magazine (The Margaret or Betsuma Sister?). The first time I read it I thought it was dumb. But now with this second reading, it wasn’t as bad to me. The main character has a sis complex and wants to be awesome like her sister, not realizing she’s pretty cool on her own. She gets chosen to be a class representative along with some guy who totally has a thing for her. She’s so confused over her feelings she doesn’t know how to respond but thankfully he’s a patient guy.
Mahiru no Cinderella is the last short and my favorite. Though the art can be distracting (those eyes…), I liked the story ~ It was simple and sweet compared to the rest which were profound and philosophical (even #2, which was something like, don’t judge people by their cover). The main dude over hears the main girl telling her friends to STFU about pressuring her to confess to main dude. She gets embarrassed and fate lands them together spearheading the class event for the school festival. Things are awkward until she tells him to think of her as a friend and they get along well. But is this really what she wants?
Gyaaaa the cuteness x3
Overall not bad. Probably not something to read if you want something simple like a sugar cookie. It’s more for those who are bored and feel like thinking about things after getting their shojo dosage.