Name: Koisuru Harinezumi / 恋するハリネズミ
Author/s: Nao Hinachi / ヒナチなお (Story & Art)
Number of Volumes: 5
Number of Chapters: 25
Genre: Romance, School, Shoujo
Date of Publish: Dec 13, 2013 to Nov 13, 2015
High school girl Kii Ozawa falls in love with tough-boy, troublemaker Hazuki Heiji after witnessing his remorse after he nearly punches another student. They start to each lunch together and realizes that Hazuki, the guy that gets into fight and is very cold to everyone is actually just a shy person; who doesn’t know to interact very well with others. The other students fear Hazuki because they believe he loves to punch people, Kii, determined to change the misunderstanding, she starts talking to him even in class due to that, her classmates shun and fear her the same as they do Hazuki. Hazuki’s misunderstood kindness, deals with Kii pressuring Hazuki to specify what kind of ‘like’ he feels for her, and Kii fretting over whether Hazuki is in love with his beautiful single-mother neighbor. Can Kii Ozawa make Hazuki Heiji learn the difference between ‘like’ and ‘love’?!
This review will have mild spoilers, so please proceed with caution.
This story is waaaaaaaay too cliche, this type of storyline is already being overused over and over for the past years; a ‘bad guy’ to the eyes of many meet the ‘shy girl’, they become friends and soon become lovers. Struggles includes the ‘past girl/boy of their life’ that seems never gets old. Don’t get me wrong though, I love and appreciate any type of story when it comes to shoujo, may it be cliche or not. It’s just, in majority, the story of these ‘cliche’ is poorly made; making it without giving a proper thought of deliverance. I have such a high hopes for every manga that I’ve read/I’m reading, giving them the chance they deserve, but Koisuru Harinezumi loses it’s kind of potential to grow as an exceptional shoujo manga. “Everything can start off as a cliche, but ending up as something more that people except them to.”, and this line, is the perfect way to describe what this manga should be instead. I liked that it start off something so fast but there are some unnecessary scenes that should go off slow-paced, taking it into much more depth, creating and focusing on character development
I love chapter 22 and 23; where the parents of both main characters we’re introduced though they are short-lived, it has a nice atmosphere to it. My complaint is they can broaden both chapter 22 and 23 more, adding two or three chapters more to have much definite character development and deepening of the story. To add more realistic drama feeling overall, even so, it cannot be helped anymore sine it’s been done and published. If only this manga captures the right blend and timing, it would have a different aura overall.
Does Ozawa, Kii got any character development? No. Does Heiji Hazuki got any character development? No. Is that bad? A MAJOR YES. I’m attached to Hazuki to the point I want him to myself, I have come to love the drawing of the characters, especially on how Hazuki was drawn. It feels like I’m drowning whenever I look into Hazuki’s eyes, siiiiggghhhh. It still feels odd to me on how the extra/supporting characters began to end up that way when I can’t see any type of basic foundation for growth development. Hazuki’s old friends are okay (somehow) but on the side of Kii, there’s no way I can accept that. It feel so dull and bland, no such strong basis. Same goes for the class too. It looks like Kii have no real friends at all even how much people are surronding her. It feels lonely.
To be honest, I was really hesitant to read this manga. The art was not my type so seeing the volume 1 cover, I was reluctant if I should really give it a go or not. What I don’t really like in particular is that 80% of the time, most of the characters look the same and the way they drawn, they look 10 years younger with a grown-up bodies. I’m very much drawn to a detailed drawing so when I read this manga, I haven’t seen anything a ‘masterpiece’ regarding the background and everything extra and so, I was disappointed. Background and such related is important to any type of manga, it gives off a spark, a spice overall feeling to the manga. I’d give this a four out of five because though art is an important factor for a comic for it portays the story, we cannot help but to adjust and understand that everyone has their own style of art just like Nao Hinachi, the mangaka of Koisuru Harinezumi.
I really enjoyed reading this manga all throughout. There are quite some time that I get annoyed or irritated at the pacing and the attitude of some characters yet I still enjoyed myself reading it to the end. It’s really such a waste when at the chapter 22 to the last chapter (24) feels sooooo great; the emotions are there, the settings is acceptable, everything is going well but the whole climax aura was short-lived, cut short, died and thrown away for the ending was just that.
Actually this manga is really good. It has a fluffy-fluffy, easy-going atmosphere surronding it the entire series. No matter how low or high my ratings are, it doesn’t matter for people have their own unique set of preferences and ideals. If you, yes you reader, has taken aback for considering this manga then I advice to you to reconsider it again. For new and veteran readers in the world of shoujo manga, Koisuru Harinezumi still should be one of the titles that up for the recommendation list.