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9.04.2006

The prettiest boy in school...isn't a boy! | The kawaii-ness that is the Hana-Kimi manga

In a word: adowable ^^

This, to me, perfectly describes Hana-Kimi (花ざかりの君たちへ Hanazakari no kimitachi e / For You in Full Blossom)—Nakajo Hisaya's masterpiece of awww-some, non-YAOI love in a boy's boarding school.

Front cover - HanaKimi ID Vol. 2 (Level Comics)

Hanazakari no kimitachi e
© Nakajo Hisaya/Hakusensha
[First serialized in Hana to Yume]
Published in Indonesia
as For You in Full Blossom
by Level Comics

note This Hana-Kimi post (originally published 2006.09.04)—itself an edit of an earlier Hana-Kimi fanlistings entry—was tweaked on 2006.12.22. Major changes: I moved the VIZ Shôjo (English) and Level Comics (Indonesian) releases to their own separate pages since I plan future edits to those pages. Now, back to our “regularly scheduled programming” ^^

That Hana-Kimi makes its own voice heard, its own style up and noticed, and its crop of supremely droolable bishounen drive the female populace crazy-obsessed is, to put it mildly, eyebrow-raising. After all, the title of the first English volume gives away the plot in one line (but that's forgivable; even I'm wont to use it); it has to distinguish itself from all those cross-dressing shoujo manga so beloved by the genre; and it has to keep readers hooked without the benefit of magical girl action or hefty doses of angst (no offense meant to fans of either sub-genre). What there IS in Hana-Kimi are sighs aplenty. Hearts a-thumpin'. Guffaws and face faults by the bucket-load. There's a girl (Mizuki) who literally crosses an ocean to be with the high jumper she worships (Sano)—even if it means infiltrating an all-boys' school and genderbending. There's a thousand and one eyecandy. There's a really, really kawaii wan-chan called Yujiro (if he doesn't irrepressively and irrevocably endear Hana-Kimi to you, I dunno what will ^^).

Affectionate Yujiro from Hana-Kimi Vol. 2 - VIZ ShôjoWorried Yujiro from Hana-Kimi Vol. 2 - VIZ Shôjo

[These panels retain their original right to left orientation.]

But seriously, there's enough squee-provoking excitement here to satisfy anyone but the most stoic reader.

This is a queer manga, comments Umeda-sensei in Hana-Kimi Vol. 2 - VIZ Shôjo

And like Mizuki sez, this isn't a queer manga, as can be seen below in this articulate and witty introduction, excerpted from Wish I Had Her Problem, written by NotHayama (my fave acerbic Sleep is for the Weak critic):

Mizuki is a lucky, lucky girl. She transferred to an all-boys school to meet her idol, Sano Izumi, a record-setting high jumper and sad bishounen. Because it's that kind of manga, Mizuki not only ends up in Sano's class, but also gets assigned to be his roommate. Now she not only has to pretend to be a boy day and night, but also deal with her newly-budding romance while her female pheromones make half the dorm question their sexuality. Will Mizuki make everyone's lives better in proper shoujo fashion? Of course. Will she and Sano end up in all kinds of accidental awkward situations? Hell yes. Will secondary-love-interest-with-no-chance Nakatsu ever get any from anyone? Probably not.

(If you haven't read this series) Intrigued yet? If not, lemme quote the review's parting shot:

If you want a warm and fuzzy love story that leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting for somebody to get kissed already, this is probably a series for you.

The thing about waiting for somebody to get kissed already was so on the money that I almost fell from my ergonomically-designed chair (after a particularly loud snort) when I read that line.

shipment

I ship canon. Sano x Mizuki OTP all da way, whoo!!

Sano hugs the sleeping Mizuki from Hana-Kimi Vol. 5 - VIZ Shôjo

There are 23 volumes of Hana-Kimi. Yup, you read that right. Twenty-three. Wish someone had told me before I bought the first three VIZ Shôjo releases nearing year-end last year and became totally addicted. And we're just over the halfway mark *sigh*. Good thing my neighborhood library carries this series... well, to be frank, they do because I requested it. *cheesy grin*

warnings à la Dindrane

  • terminal cuteness
  • near-unrelenting cheer(fulness)
  • totally endearing characters
  • WAFF
  • the shortest shorts
  • her cover's blown by the first chapter...
  • ...yet the series manages to breach the 100 barrier
  • the doctor gets to kiss more often than the heroine
  • a li'l BL (you blink, you miss)
  • KimuTaku, James Spader, and Leonardo DiCaprio (you hafta read it)
Front cover - HanaKimi ID Vol. 1 (Level Comics)

Anyhoo... I could say all this gushing's in aid of Gramedia publishing the official Indonesian version, released under the title For You in Full Blossom. The use of the same English title as VIZ, I get, though why the publishers decided to use a chou-creepy Olde English/vampirish typeface on the cover is beyond me. Furthermore, placing Hana-Kimi under the Level Comics imprint made what VIZ originally rated for Older Teens a Mature-audience-only read in this part of the world.

I could say that (the thing about celebrating Gramedia's publication), but I really shouldn't. Because the truth is, I just wanted to rave about Hana-Kimi. *beams, then frowns because the gap between Level releases is hellishly long*

update | Level already released volumes 1 to 3, with the latest volume 4 coming out 2006.12.12. VIZ Media, which publishes the English versions, is scheduled to market volume 15, subtitled A Kiss Is Just a Kiss? on December 19, 2006.

my near-impossible Hana-Kimi wish list

Getting the latest Hana-Kimi tankoubon is not a problem, I don't think. But these?

Dorama
According to Nakajo Hisaya-sensei's website, there's supposed to be one. (In production? Finished principal photography? Airing??) Whatever, I want the Indonesian sub! (Working on the theory that the louder and the more frequently I wail, the higher the probability that someone will hear/read and take pity on me ^^')

Drama CDs
Four of them supposedly exist and Nakajo Hisaya-sensei reported on the making of a special drama CD—a really, really, *rare* item—in the eighth volume omake, Let's go to a voice-over session.

This drama CD given away through Hana to Yume ("Flowers and Dreams," the shoujo manga magazine in which Hana-Kimi was serialized) issue 7, 1999 starred the following seiyuu:

And here they are, drawn in Nakajo Hisaya-sensei's inimitable style, but still recognizable from their RL pix:

Hana-Kimi drama CD cast drawn in Vol. 8 - VIZ Shôjo

There's another Making of... omake in volume 12. The same cast reprise their roles, with the additions of

Hana-Kimi drama CD cast drawn in volume 12 - VIZ Shôjo
Anime
There are already four drama CDs—a couple seasons' worth of anime ought to be doable (hey, Ouran Koukou Host Club got the full twenty-six eps and at last check, that manga series still logs in under the ten tankoubon mark). I'm not even asking for BONES to do the animation; Studio DEEN or Group TAC is okay by me ^^

Sano Izumi
k, I already got him from Quizilla and am now giving Mizuki some competition ^^

Sano

Izumi Sano likes you. He may be cold hearted to you sometimes. But deep down he truly cares for you and adores your personality. You may adore him in return secretly but you don't want him to know that.

I've taken the quiz; I've also joined the fanlistings. ^^

~nik who finally realizes that Hana-Kimi has overtaken both Hanadan (urk) and Hot Gimmick in the fave shoujo manga stakes (she's a li'l slow dat way ^^')
花木兰

copyright information

Hanazakara no kimitachi e is © Nakajo Hisaya. First published in Japan by HAKUSENSHA Inc. English text © VIZ Media, LLC. Indonesian language copyright by Level Comics, Gramedia Group Surabaya.

Images used here are not intended to infringe on these intellectual rights.

links in

end note(s)

enough .... excitement The original line goes: [T]here is enough aesthetic excitement here to satisfy anyone but a damned fool. The quote comes from The Indian Uprising, one of fifteen short stories contained in Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts by Donald Barthelme. I studied him during sophomore year college and this quote stuck.

warnings Mouichido, arigatou gozaimashita to Dindrane of Needcoffee.com for coming up with this oh-so useful convention.

level comics mature rating It seems Gramedia places manga under the Level imprint—meaning Dewasa or Mature reads—when the title in question "features adult themes and a more complex and challenging storyline"—my translation of the back cover blurb that originally goes:

Level Comics menghadirkan komik untuk pembaca dewasa dengan menampilkan tema dewasa, alur cerita yang lebih kompleks, dan lebih menantang.

wild vanilla Nakajo Hisaya-sensei's home on the web is very purtily named thus and is really very, very purty. In pink. Check it out ^^

invaluable resource(s)

Anime News Network · dramatic.talk · Sleep is for the Weak » NotHayama's Hana-Kimi review · VIZ Media

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

omigod..
It's Hana kimi!!
It indeed look's like a queer manga ^^ (haha I'm joking)

The pica's are great.. Thanx!!

bye A Hana-Kimi-Fan

Alice [Small Town Book Blog] said...

This is beyond old but I have to tell you that I'm watching the TV series... it's so funny/hilarious/ridiculous/stupid. In love. But all of the actors are WAY not hot. (But maybe it's because I am totally not attracted to Asians. D:)

huamulan03 said...

@Alice [Small Town Book Blog]-san,
To each his or her own bishie :D Thanks for sharing ^^

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Arigatou gozaimuchness,
Niki

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