Barairo My Honey © Ohmi Tomu/Shogakukan
Published in Indonesia by Level Comics
as My Lovely Honey
My Lovely Honey by Ohmi Tomu
First published in Japan as Barairo My Honey by Shogakukan, originally serialized in Petit Comic
Indonesian translation by Level Comics
Barairo love: Don't look for no objectivity here
Review by huamulan03 (Some rights reserved)
Barairo My Honey has got to be Ohmi Tomu-sensei's most Awww-some story evah!, one I prefer over similarly supernatural-troped Midnight Secretary (vampires) or Kindan no Koi wo Shiyou (lycanthropes), despite or most likely because of the lean smut pickins'.
The romance comedy stars Koume and Mikage, not your average employee-boss pair; between them is a tiger (Barairo), the embodiment of Mikage's more extreme emotions. As the bonafide tiger tamer, Koume is the only one capable of keeping Barairo in line. There's another tiger tamer, Kotaro, but the distinction stops at titular, guaranteed by his status in the family that has served generations of Tiger Masters. (Yes, Mika is the latest one.)
Mika-chan, the crown prince of the powerful Tomonaga group of companies doesn't come by his inheritance easily. The strongest Tiger Master since the first Tomonaga clan head, he not only has trouble keeping the lid on his more volatile emotions (despite the Ice Man look he sports), but also in reining in some of the family's disgruntled. He was drawn to Koume even before finding out that she's the true tiger tamer.
While Koume doesn't rank up there among my favorite female protagonists, I like how her isshokenmei efforts on Mikage's behalf are always underpinned by genuine caring—even before she realizes she loves him (after which she redoubles her efforts to protect him and Barairo). Mika-chan scores high for his deviation from Sensei's standard, draconian All Girls Want Bad Boys heroes. (Okay, so Mika-chan has a bit of that in him, though he's really more Troubled But Cute.)
I give the series 8 of 10 roses, which translates to a delight even on the second or third time around.
That the storyline is largely predictable but remains engrossing attests to the investment worthiness of the leads and the manga-ka's honest, credible portrayal of their emotions. Mika's best friend Kotaro and Barairo the tiger provide welcome levity (in addition, the sunny Kotaro is the other side of the eyecandy). Art- and character design-wise, Barairo My Honey resembles other Ohmi Tomu manga I've read (Mika actually reminds me of Midnight Secretary's Kyouhei), which is NOT a complaint. (I'll take biseinen anyday...)
~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03) who thanks Level editor Lenny-san for the covers
P.S. W00t! My first review for 2010!
Cover images used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.