Manga Review: “Honey Hunt” Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: Honey Hunt Volume Two by Miki Aihara on Blogcritics.

Honey Hunt Volume Two is a manga by Miki Aihara, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2009. The series is rated “T+” for older teens, and I agree with this rating.

Honey Hunt Volume 2
Written by: Miki Aihara
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 7, 2009

I know that in my review of Honey Hunt Volume One I said that I wouldn’t be in a hurry to read future volumes of this series. However, when I went to the library, I saw Volume Two sitting on the shelf. I decided that since it was right in front of me, I might as well check it out and see whether or not the series continues to feel as derivative as it did in Volume One.

In this volume, Yura begins doing the work she’s required to do for the lead role of the commercial and television show project that she was cast in near the end of Volume One. At a press conference, Yura realizes that her manager, Keiichi, has broken the promise that he made to her about not mentioning the fact that her parents are celebrities. Feeling betrayed, Yura runs away from the home where she has been living as part of being represented by Keiichi’s agency.

Yura’s relationship with Q-Ta Minamitani, the singer with a popular music group, also develops over the course of this volume. Haruka, Q-Ta’s brother and member of another group, is starting to feel conflicted over feelings that he seems to be developing for Yura.

Yura also starts learning some harsh realities of show business. These lessons include how much people around her are willing to exploit her famous parentage and how other actors who have competed with her mother will judge her and treat her worse than other actors in a production.

By the time I finished reading this volume, there were a lot of respects where this series still felt a bit derivative. However, by the end of the volume, I found myself caring about Yura a lot more and starting to root for her. And as more information about the truth behind her current situation started coming out, I also found myself starting to feel a little sorry for Yura.

When it comes to the art in this volume, it seems as if Aihara has started refining her character designs. In fact, those characters who I thought looked a little to similar to characters in Hot Gimmick! have started to look a little more unique; while you can still see the Hot Gimmick! characters that they’re based on, Aihara seems to have tweaked the designs of the characters just enough to be able to differentiate them.

While I can’t say that Honey Hunt is the best shojo manga series I’ve ever read, this volume has started to see the characters and story evolve in such a way to make it feel a little less derivative. After reading this volume, I would be a little more willing to go to a little more effort to read future volumes of this series to see how the story continues.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Honey Hunt Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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