Horimiya Volume One focuses on a popular girl named Kyouko Hori and a boring guy named Izumi Miyamura, and on how these two completely opposite characters become closer after discovering that the other has a secret.

Horimiya Volume One
Written by: HERO
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 27, 2015

Volume One introduces both Kyouko and Izumi, and establishes just how different the two of them are. But the reader quickly discovers that when Kyouko is at home, she doesn’t wear makeup and tends to not dress up as much as she does at school. It turns out that Kyouko’s parents work a lot, so it’s up to her to keep the house clean and to take care of her little brother, Souta. One day, when Souta falls and gets hurt, he is brought home by a boy with piercings and wild hair, who just happens to be Izumi. The two of them discover that the other has a different image outside of school that they hide from the other kids at school.

Souta likes Izumi, and keeps wanting him to come over and spend time with him and Kyouko. As the two main characters spend time together outside of school, they start becoming friends. And one of them seems like they could be developing feelings for the other. But it turns out that a boy in their class likes Kyouko, and Kyouko’s best friend unknowingly develops a crush on Izumi when she sees him from behind one day when he’s out and about with Kyouko.

Horimiya Volume One does a great job of establishing the characters and setting up their world and their story. HERO makes these characters very relatable and likable, and as a reader, I found myself wanting to continue reading in order to find out what would happen to them. By the end of the volume, I was also shipping Kyouko and Izumi.

When it comes to the art, the characters have very distinct looks, and the reader can’t easily confuse them. I also thought there was a very noticeable difference with the two different looks that Kyouko and Izumi have at school and at home. With the art, I found it believable that on the rare occasions that someone from school might see them in their out of school looks, that they wouldn’t be easily recognized.

Horimiya Volume One comes across as an “opposites attract” kind of story, yet it has the twist of the two opposites not being who others actually think they are. The characters and story are appealing, and I found myself wanting to read the next volume. I think Horimiya will appeal to manga readers who appreciate stories that focus on high school protagonists and potential love triangles. It’s interesting to note that this is apparently classified as a shonen manga series, which I wouldn’t have picked up on from the storytelling and the art. Yes, the art doesn’t evoke the typical shojo style, but from the story, I would have assumed it was shojo. But even though Horimiya is classified as shonen, it should still hold a lot of appeal to shojo readers.