Hello and welcome to the first ever manga chat review, where Christina (A Reader of Fictions), Debby (The Snuggly Orange), Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) and I read a ton of our favorite manga series, chat about our feels and in the process try to convince YOU to try them. The chats will alternate on each of our blogs depending on who chooses the series. Maybe you’re a vetern manga reader and have read the same ones we’re reading. If so, tell us how you felt about it. Or maybe you’ve been interested in trying out manga, but the strange titles and odd behaviors of the characters has you a wee bit scared. Never fear because we’ll make a manga outta you!

As you can see, the chat this time is on good old Cuddlebuggery because I had first pick. WOOT!

Hana Kimi

Goodreads

THE PRETTIEST BOY IN SCHOOL…ISN’T A BOY!
Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself a transfer to a high school in Japan…but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she’s going to an all-guys’ high school…and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they’re more than classmates…they’re roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates–and the school nurse–must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation…

I chose Hana Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo because it was one of the first manga series that made me swoon. Also, I’m a book pusher and Gillian was a manga virgin. Seemed as good a time as any to dive back into Hana Kimi.

 

Gillian
Okay, I guess I’ll start with the most important aspect of any piece of fiction: THE SHIP? YAY OR NAY?

Christina
Almost entirely YAY.

Debby
Well obviously yay.

Steph
YAY

Gillian
WE ARE OF AN ACCORD

Christina
They’re not an OTP level ship for me, but they’re pretty darn adorbs.

Gillian
Whenever Sano had EMOTIONS I basically died.

Christina
This is the part where Debby yells at me.

Debby
I’d agree, Christina. I definitely had some issues with the instalove-esque elements.

Christina
OH WOW

Debby
But YES to Sano and his cuteness.

Christina
*high fives*

Gillian
I mean, she is a creeping stalker who in real life should probably be hospitalized, but I was willing to go with it for cuteness purposes here. I mean, she’s a drawing. I can forgive her.

Christina
Agree on Sano’s feels. Particularly at the end when someone’s knocking on the door of their room. *coughs*

Gillian
YESSSSS

Debby
Hahahaha, Gillian, exactly. I was so much more flexible on the instalove because of the level of cute.

Christina
And, yes, Mizuki’s a total stalker. I saw you high jump once so I found every article about you ever and moved to Japan to go to an all boys’ school so I could look at you in person!

Gillian
I mostly shipped it because of SANO. I love seeing reserved, “nobody taught me to love or emote or be human” characters suddenly become all GOOEY INSIDE

Debby
^^; I’ve said it many times, but once more for the record: I really love how they changed that in the jdrama.

Steph
It’s funny because the first time I read it, the insta-love flew right over my head.

Christina
I didn’t really think it was instalove. Like, Mizuki should have instaloved, but she was too naive to realize what was going on.

Steph
This time, it bothered me more.

ChristinaSano and Mizuki
If only the jdrama hadn’t only used Sano’s sullen moments. X_X

Gillian
I was expecting it, so I just went with it. Plus, it took them a LONGLONGLONGLONG time for anything to happen, and we saw over and over again why, despite stalking/instalove, they’re actually perfect for each other as a couple.

Steph
I watched the Kdrama. Sano=not cute.

Debby
Yeah, I missed Sano’s internal monologues in the jdrama xD his thoughts towards Mizuki were one of my favorite parts.

Christina
I thought you watched the jdrama, Steph? But you watched To the Beautiful You? <===(Random Steph Interruption: Ohhh, now I don’t even know what I watched.)

Gillian
Plus, Mizuki is so cute and cheerful and naive that I kind of didn’t care she was a creeper.

Christina
Sano’s internal monologues are key, because he doesn’t show much on the surface.

Debby
Fair enough, I think maybe it’s not really fair to call it instalove, but just the stalking… her reason for going to Japan… she’s a creep.

Steph
See, I’m okay with instalove as long as the author makes it believable for me. This is a case where I can see why the relationship worked. And the characters were realistic about the situation despite their feelings.

Gillian
Agree on Sano’s monologues being the best and most necessary aspects.

Christina
There was definitely a lot of relationship development. She really opened him up, and he’s sort of grounding for her.

Gillian
YES

Christina
Ironic since he flies through the air for his sport, but whatever.

Gillian
Hahahahaha

Debby
lawl

Steph
LOL

Gillian
I will admit to become extremely, embarrassingly emotional when she left school and they all lined up for her like that.

Steph
I did too!

Debbyending
Oh man.

Steph
THESE TEARS. sad

Debby
So many feels.

Christina
I’m pretty sure I was laughing through that part, but my memory of it has been overwhelmed by the jdrama.

Gillian
Yes. There were actual physical tears.
CHRISTINA YOU ARE HEARTLESS

Christina
WATCH THE JDRAMA. IT WAS HILARIOUS.

Steph
So you ARE a robot?

Christina
ALL THESE DUDES SHE HAS NEVER EVER TALKED TO ARE LIKE OMG I AM SO SAD YOU’RE LEAVING

Debby
Even in the jdrama, I had trouble holding back tears, Christina, you are ridiculous.

Christina
And one of them is like “Do you know who I am?” and she says his name and that’s the whole exchange.

Gillian
BUT NAKATSU! AND SANO! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!

Steph
It’s called RESPECT, Christina. They had it.

Christina
What is that?

Gillian
R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!!

Christina
Find out what it means to me?
Take care of TCP
SOCK IT TO ME SOCK IT TO ME
A LITTLE RESPECT
Ahem
And maybe I’m a heartless monster.

Steph
You are hopeless. I abandon this pointless journey to find Christina’s heart.

Gillian
I looooooved the way they all banded together to hide her secret, and then to support her, and it went RIGHT TO MY FEELS, OKAY?

Debby
Christina, I’m going to need you to watch 1 Liter of Tears, because I want to know if it’s possible to make you cry.

Gillian
Christina’s heart is so small you can’t even find it on an x-ray. Like the Grinch. Even though hearts don’t show up on X-Rays. A Heart-Ray.

Christina
This would explain why I hate Christmas music.

Debby
Bahahaha

Christina
Except for Snoopy’s Christmas, because it is made of magic.

Debby
BLAST THIS CHRISTMAS MUSIC. IT’S JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT.

Christina
And You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch because reasons.

Steph
SO HANA KIMI

Christina
But let’s talk about how someone else is heartless and unsympathetic.

Gillian
We must focus.

Christina
SO DEBBY, YOU HATED NAKATSU.

Steph
WHAT?

Debby
*sigh* I knew this would come.

Christina
HA

Gillian
YOU HATE NAKATSU??!?!?!?!

Debby
I just don’t care for him at all.
Nope.

Steph
The Orange One must explain.

Christina
Personally, I think Nakatsu is hilarious.

Gillian
BUT HE’S SO INSANE AND HE HAS TO QUESTION HIS PERSONALITY AND HE’S SO FUNNY AND NAKATSU VISION, YOU GUYS!!!
And by personality, I mean sexuality.

Nakatsu

Debby
I just, it’s a personal thing with me – I cannot handle characters who are so awkward, I feel bad for them.

Christina
And he falls in love with her without knowing she’s a girl. He kinda outdoes Sano in that respect.

Gillian
YES

Christina
But he’s okay with being awkward so it didn’t bother me.

Debby
If I have to cringe because I feel uncomfortable because of a character I will not like them very much.

Gillian
Yeah, I never felt uncomfortable. I didn’t think Nakatsu did, either. He just kind of WAS himself.

Christina
He doesn’t make me cringe, because he’s totally okay with who he is and does everything so sincerely.

Steph
I felt bad for Nakatsu.

Christina
That’s also why everyone accepts him as is. He was really popular.

Gillian
He loves Ashiya! Male, female, whichever!

Debby
But we could also just say that Sano and Mizuki was so OTP for me I just didn’t even want to bother with Nakatsu. Would that make it better? ^^;

Steph
He was such a good friend to her in the end.

Christina
(In fact, the writers of your beloved jdrama totally shipped Mizuki with Nakatsu)

Gillian
I mean, you always knew he wouldn’t interfere with Sano/Muzuki really. Clearly endgame.

Debby
I mean, I do definitely respect that sexuality issue, but I just don’t really have any feels for him sorry. Indifferent

Christina
Yeah, he didn’t stand a chance. Poor guy. But he took that really well, which makes me like him even more.

Steph
HEARTLESS
You and Christina can sit in a corner.

Christina
He remained a really good friend to both of them.

Debby
That’s okay, Christina and I can make the heartless club. It’s only for cool people.

Gillian
Side note: These smiley faces look like melting peeps. ew happy

Christina
OMG THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE
thumbs up

Steph
It’s like they’re saying, “I’m MEEEELLLLTTTINGGGGG!”

Gillian
You made a thumb, that is magical, how did you even accomplish that

Steph
sad

Gillian
SAD PEEP

Steph
sick
That one is for you, Gillian.

Christina
We are off course again, but that really meshes well with the larger narrative of Hana-Kimi.

Debby
cool

Gillian
YES. Hana Kimi needed some EDITING AND FOCUS AND SHORTENING.

Debby
UGH THE FILLER STORIES

Christina
cop “I’m going to need you to get on track, ladies.”

Debby
WHY DO YOU DRAG STUPID STORY
I got so bored in the middle.

Christina
It went on WAY too long.

Gillian
I am not sure Nakatsu’s cheating scandal or the three or four vacations or the model scout or the inter-school competition needed to happen.

Christina
The worst were all of the festivals.They’re usually fun in manga, but these didn’t add to the larger story AT ALL.

Gillian
If I were reading this manga in REAL TIME, having to wait between volumes… I’d kill myself.

Debby
See, I don’t even remember those anymore. I was so bored, it didn’t register in my memory banks.

Christina
They always included like five pages of dialogue heavy Nanba infodumps.

Gillian
Fucking Nanba and his infodumps.
I mean, I liked Nanba, but… REALLY.

Steph
The side character stories were interesting.

Christina
I don’t care about the history of this festival OMG is it really so complex?
I wish there had been more of a focus on all of them, if the story was going to be so long and less distracting festivals and hauntings.

Steph
At one point I was all, “Why do I care about this character’s life? Take me back to Sano!” But by the end of some (like the doctor’s) I was all, “OMG… I NEED MORE.”

Gillian
I only liked the excursions and things when it lead to shippy things. Like naked Sano and Mizuki in a hot tub together and NOT SEEING ANYTHING, OBVIOUSLY.

Debby
It took a while for me to be able to tell any of the side characters apart. They were so left out for like half of the series.

ChristinaHana-kimi-UmedaHokuto
Oh, I loooove the doctor, but they totally delved into his back story but then did nothing with it.
Why did we need to know about his crush on his high school friend?

Steph
True, he was kinda left out in the end.

Gillian
Good question.

Christina
He just settled down with the photographer. I ship it btw.

Gillian
Even though the photographer is also a creeper.

Debby
Their relationship was amazing.

Steph
But she ends up with Minami…

Christina
Yeah, but the doctor was totally a creeper too. He had no business working with children.

Gillian
TRUTH

Debby
bahahaha
The doctor is a boss, I can’t get enough of him.

Gillian
Being a creeper pays off romantically in the world of manga.

Steph
He was always taking his clothes off. It was awesome.

Christina
Oh yeah, the photographer’s ex-wife hooks up with Minami. I forgot.
WEIRD. I do not ship it.

Debby
I cannot really bring myself to ship Minami with anyone.

GillianJulia
Haha

Christina
I ship Minami chasing after Julia and her saying no.

Gillian
ME TOO

Debby
TRUE

Christina
That was hilarious to me.

Debby
That was better. I wish they had done something with that.

Christina
FOR REAL

Gillian
Julia was awesome.

Steph
Julia was awesome.
JINX

Gillian
YOU OWE ME A SODA

Christina
They dropped every plot line but the Sano/Mizuki one.

Gillian
Pretty much.
But that was the IMPORTANT ONE. So…

Christina
If they’d dropped that one, I would have been pissed. But we got our smoochy payoff in the end.

Gillian
Even though I could have done with more kisses. Extra kisses. I mean, they’re just so CUTE.

Christina
OH! Can we talk about what a good guy Sano is?
He’s totally swoony.

sano 2

Gillian
YES. SO SWOONY AND SINCERE.
Just a good, solid person. It’s refreshing.

Christina
He’s a wee bit controlling, but only because Mizuki is entirely without survival skills.

Debby
I just revel in all those moments when she crept into his bed, a bit like a creeper, and he was just THERE for her. My non-existent heart melted.

Gillian
By controlling, you mean trying to keep Mizuki alive.

Christina
I don’t say this lightly, but some people need to be controlled a bit.

Gillian
And not in an Edward Cullen way, in a MIZUKI DON’T GET WET AND EXPOSE YOUR SECRET way.

Christina
She would just skip across a road filled with traffic and have NO idea why that was a bad idea.

Gillian
SHE WOULD

Debby
Haha, true, she was a bit of an idiot.

Christina
Girl exposed her secret SO. MANY. TIMES.

Gillian
But without her, Sano would be sullen and sulky. They both help each other.

Christina
She’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas lights. She’s probably the bulb that blinks on and off, tbh.

Debby
Bahaha

Gillian
Ha! Or she’s the shimmery topper star, pretty and shiny but full of air.

Christina
But they were good for each other, which is the point.

Gillian
And breakable.

Christina
LOL
So dainty!
She goes to the doctor in like every volume, both for treatment and counseling.

Gillian
smile
FAT GRINNING SCARY PEEP! smile

Steph
I loved the part where he told her he would love her if she were a boy or girl.
And how it didn’t matter to him.

Gillian
YESSSS
Siiiiiigh

Steph
And then this…
sano

Gillian
FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS

Debby
STEPH WHY DO YOU SUBJECT ME TO THIS DOSE OF FEELS?

Steph
I LOVE TEARS

Gillian
I love how much he just wanted her BESIDE him. He didn’t want anything from her that she didn’t want to give, really. He just wanted her company.

Debby
Yeah, because she made him a better person…

Steph
True, but those creepy Sano moments were awesome too.

Debby
*blinks back tears*

Christina

sano mizuki

Gillian
YES. I did love whenever Sano was like… “BUT I COULD TOTALLY KISS HER RIGHT NOW. SHE’S ASLEEP. ARRRRRGH”
“OR WE’RE INCHES AWAY AGAINST A WALL AND HOT DAMN”

Christina
Oh man, and how she’d climb in bed with him and he’d be like oh god oh god.

Steph
Or when he was all, “I can’t sleep like this.”

Christina
And the fact that she thought this was totally normal behavior for two straight dude roommates.

Gillian
Them in bed together was the BEST. His fist would clench up with ALL THE FEELS.
Obvs.

Sano and Mizuki sleeping

Debby
Hahaha, I can’t believe she still didn’t think he might *possible* sort of, kind of, know.

Steph
I love me some good old fashion SEXUAL TENSION.

Gillian
I would also like to applaud the artist on this series for drawing character who are ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY APPEALING TO THE EYEBALLS. Hubba hubba, Sano.

Steph
But of course, Mizuki didn’t understand any of that. Poor Sano.

Gillian
Sano did suffer a lot from her slowness.
Like, come on, Mizuki. You FELL AGAINST HIM IN A HOT TUB. When you were sans clothing. “No way he saw anything! I’m sure of it.” GIRL.

Steph
You know what character I really enjoyed?
The psychic one.

Debby
YES
HE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES

Steph
Can’t remember his name. But he was one that used to freak everyone out with talk about ghosts.

Christina
Kayashima!

Debby
KAYASHIMA (I think oh my god I don’t know)

Steph
HILARIOUS.
Yes!

Gillian
LOVE HIMMMM
And read Nakatsu’s aura!

Christina
He got the most development after the main three and the doctor.
He knew she was a girl the WHOLE time.

Debby
Yes! How he just accepted Nakatsu’s feelings and Mizuki’s secret.

Gillian
Loved that.

Steph
He reminds me of Toru’s BFF from Fruits Basket.

Saki Hanajima

Christina
YES OMG
Tohru’s BFFs little brother.

Megumi Hanajima

Steph
YES
Creepy child.

Debby
And I love how they gave him an ending in the additional volume.

Gillian
That was a nice surprise!

Gillian
I mean, I could have happily read four extra volumes of Sano and Mizuki snuggling, or something, but if it had to be another character, I’m glad it was him.

Steph
Yeah, I did like his ending and I loved that he knew the entire time and was all, “It’s no big deal. She’s still the same person.” God, I could have kissed him.
If he were real, that is.

Gillian
It’s okay, we’re all cartoon-sexual here.

Debby
Hahaha.

Steph
MY PEOPLE

Debby
If it helps, he’s totally a cutie pie in the jdrama too.

Kayashima jdrama

Steph
I need to watch that one.

Christina

sano mizuki kissing

Steph
DAMN YOU, Christina.

Gillian
AHHHHHHH

Steph
How did you guys feel about the ending?
I loved that she went home. They both had time to think about their feels before jumping into something official.

Gillian
YEAH

Debby
Definitely

Gillian
Their feelings weren’t just from being cooped up in the same room together all the time. The tension REMAINED.

Debby
Just the fact that they went through a long distance kind of situation made the relationship even more endearing.

Christina
I’m also really glad the wedding at the end wasn’t Sano and Mizuki’s.
REALLY GLAD

Gillian
ME TOOO

Debby
YES I loved that it was an open ended promise. happy

Christina
It’s always good to know the relationship isn’t “out of sight, out of mind.”

Gillian
*SWOON*
And when he surprised her by showing up! MY HEART!!!

Steph
If this was a YA PNR, they would have dropped out of school, Sano would quit jumping and they’d get married.

Christina
BAHAHA

Debby
Haaaaaaaaa, that’s why I don’t do YA PNR.

Christina
I’m reading two of those right now.

Debby
HAHAA YES HUSH HUSH

Gillian
lolllllz
BUT NO, THEY STUCK TO THEIR DREAMS AND LIVED THEIR LIVES FULLY AND STILL HAD THEIR LOVE

Christina
The romance ARC was the only thing that was particularly realistic. Otherwise it was so over the top.

Steph
The only question is… which PN creature would Sano be?

Debby
oooooooh

Gillian
A vampire. Just because brooding.

Christina
Vampire, probably.

Debby
I want to say angel, but that’s because I dislike vampires, werewolves, and almosteverypnrcreatureever

Gillian
Yuck, though.

Christina
I like shifters.

Steph
I don’t know, guys, I’m thinking he might be an Angel or Merman.

Christina
MERMAN
*snorks*

Gillian
MerMAN. MerMAN!!!

Debby
bahahaha
BUT GUYS HE JUMPS
FLIES THROUGH THE AIR
TOTAL ANGEL

Gillian
Okay, I get angel now.

Christina
LIKE A DOLPHIN

Steph
YES

Debby
*snickers*

Steph
Flipper.

Gillian
Nakatsu would be a werewolf, with all those emotions everywhere and they way he’d Hulk out.

Christina
animals-being-jerks-gifs-dolphin
Gillian
That dolphin is such an asshole! I love it.

Steph
BAHAHAHA

Christina
That is a very non-Sano dolphin.

Debby
I’m laughing so hard, tears might come out soon.

Christina
Nakatsu would be a really weedy werewolf.
But I do agree.

Steph
That poor little girl.

Gillian
Lifelong dolphin phobia because of that.

Debby
I could see him as a werewolf. Then I could keep disliking him.

Christina
Like you need a reason to keep disliking him.

Steph
Oh, yeah, “Pet me, Mizuki!”

Gillian
But, like, a wimpy weedy werewolf, like Christina said.
HAHAHAHA

Christina
Your dislike powers are stronger than that, Debby.

Debby
You’re right. *flips hair*

Gillian
Sour orange.

Christina
Actually, I think the doctor is a merman.

Debby
But it would serve as fuel to the fire.

Gillian
THE DOCTOR IS THE SHINIEST MERMAN IN ALL THE SEAS

Debby
I could be down with that.

Christina
He would love wearing the coconut bra.

Gillian
Mizuki is probably a sparkly and dim little pixie or something.
BAHAHAHAHAHA

Christina
Yeah, she’s a dense fairy.

Debby
You know, I’d see Minami as a vampire. Seducing everyone and shit.

Christina
She probably flies into walls a lot.

Gillian
AND WINDOWS

Christina
Kayashima’s obviously a necromancer.

Steph

the doctor

Gillian
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Christina
OMG, I LOVE THE DOCTOR SO.

Gillian
I feel like the artist has so much fun drawing his scenes.

Steph
Who wouldn’t?

Christina
This is basically as close to yaoi as you can get in mainstream manga, I think.

Debby
Yeah, I think so.

Steph
Yeah, probably
(We should wrap this up. It’s getting long. Someone think of a witty ending!)

Gillian
Someone just insert a picture of one of the dudes’ butt. THE END!

Steph
Sadly, I don’t think that was drawn.

Gillian
I remember one drawing of Sano with an almost-shown butt.
Like, the covers were creepin’. It was intense.

Steph
BAM. ASS.

butt

Gillian
THAT’LL DO

Debby
DONE.

Christina
*bows to Steph’s ass-finding skills*

Steph
Hahaha. It’s a gift.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
.@Nafizaa reviews Julia's House for Lost Creatures and talks about how she basically wants to hunt all of Ben... http://t.co/TK0KGSUtaK - 5 hours ago


9 Responses to ““I’ll Make a Manga Outta You”: Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo”

  1. I’ll have to try this manga–it looks very interesting! I’ve been looking for more manga to read since I finished Lovely Complex. :)

    You should try Ouran High School Host Club and Maid Sama if you haven’t already–both are fairly popular, and very funny. They’re both romance/comedy.

  2. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.. Thank you for suggesting the manga that took my manga virginity. I’ll have you know Hana-Kimi was very gentle and tender and remembered to call me back in the morning.

  3. Nice. I have not read this, even though (online) friends have recommended it. I do, however, remember enjoying the J-drama.

  4. I remember enjoying this manga years ago! Good ol’ shoujo. <3
    However hot Sano was, my favorite character was Shuichi. I mean he liked Mizuki even though he thought she was a guy and my heart broke for him when he finally came to terms that he liked a "boy" and when he discovered that she wasn't actually a boy.. T.T

    I've watched the Taiwanese drama, it was okay. The Korean one was just bleh. Wooden acting and lacks character development.

    (P.S. Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io is also a pretty sweet shoujo. :3 And not manga but http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic/page-1 is a good webcomic..)

  5. Natalie
    Twitter:

    I recommend Ouran High School Host Club, it’s the least sexist shojo manga I’ve ever read. Moe Kare is really good too (but be warned, there are a couple nude scenes. Fairly tame ones though)

  6. […] Sama. I’ve been re-reading this manga for our Manga Project, and oh my god at the level of feels this series gives me. I can’t believe I’m finally […]

  7. […] With our Manga Project, I’ve finally gotten into reading more manga. I don’t count these as books I read […]

  8. […] This is one of my favorite shoujo mangas ever. I love how it challenges gender expectations and the romance is completely adorable. If you’ve never read manga before, the strange, exaggerated mannerisms of the characters may throw you off, but trust me when I say nothing throws your feels around in a glitter machine on acid like a shoujo manga romance. The series does have a huge gap that might get you a little frustrated (side story lines and frustration at the main character), but the ending brought on the water works. Looking for an in-depth discussion? Check out this post. […]

  9. […] Hanazakari no Kimi Tachi e, or its English title For You in Full Bloom, was the first manga of our manga project, and it was a great way to kick-off the project. Hana Kimi is a great manga if you want to test the […]

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