I started this manga as part of my strong heroines project and it did not disappoint. I really ended up loving it, probably a lot more than I expected to. The drawing style is a bit different and so I wasn’t sure if I would like the series. Needless to say, it was very good, so good in fact that I read it in about 3 days. I’m pretty good at marathoning manga series and this one was definitely worth it. I would rank it closely alongside my favorites, including Skip Beat! and Ouran High School Host Club. I recommend this manga wholeheartedly to all shoujo lovers. Read on for my opinions.
The plot is about a young Japanese girl who lives in America named Mizuki. She idolizes a star high jumper from Japan named Izumi Sano. Sano inspires Mizuki, so she decides to move to Japan to become friends with him. To do this, Mizuki transfers to an all-boys school that Sano attends and pretends to be a boy. Things become even more complicated when Mizuki ends up being roommates with Sano and having to keep her secret from him. Sano discovers that Mizuki is a girl right away and decides to help her keep the secret without her knowing. A relationship slowly develops between the two as they discover their feelings for each other. Mizuki also has to deal with the problem of keeping her secret and her best friend Nakatsu having a crush on her as well (although he is very stressed about it because he thinks he is gay). The group of rowdy boys get into all sorts of hilarious trouble and the love story is wonderful.
I really enjoyed the amount of characters in this series as well as their unique characteristics. I felt like a lot of detail was put into the personalities of each person, whether it was Sano’s quiet personality or a side character like Nakao, Mizuki’s friend and school idol. There were some particular characters that really stood out, my favorite being the school nurse, Umeda. Umeda sensei is sassy, sarcastic, and completely gay. I love that he acts like he hates everyone, but still really cares for Mizuki who seeks his advice. I also love his fur-trimmed trench coats. The siblings in this manga also behave so wonderfully and realistically. They fight, respect each other, and overall love each other. I really enjoyed that aspect of the series.
The plot was also very good. I don’t recall any slow moments, and I was always eager to read on to the next chapter. The series was a perfect length and I didn’t feel like they were dragging on “the girl secret” for too long. Sano knew about the secret quickly which took away the possibility of the revelation cliche. I was very pleased with that. The best part of the series was that the end went very well with the quality of the overall manga. There were some very touching moments in the final chapters, including a noble act by the students for Mizuki and a wonderful end to a cute romance. I knew this manga was really good because it made me so happy at the end. Everything was so perfect that I started to tear up a bit in the final chapter. Maybe I was just emotional, but it is more likely that the end of this manga was just so great that I felt a lot of emotions. Those emotions indicate to me that the plot was very well thought out.
I recommend this manga to anyone who loves a good love story with lots of humor. I giggled a lot and smiled a lot when reading it which is a nice reaction to get from reading. The art style may be a bit different, but it is really beautiful often and I got used to it easily. If anyone is looking for a good marathon read that has an ending, try out Hana Kimi. There is also an upcoming Korean drama based on the series starring SHINee’s Minho, so I’m looking forward to that. I give this series a 4.5/5 for my manga review.