"Back in the day, that place was a house filled with magic—a place where you ended up smiling even if you were crying. Surely, an invisible wizard must have lived there. Or so I thought."
What's a young child to do when her mother leaves her father for another man? Or when her father remarries a woman who brings along a child from a previous marriage? Or when her childhood neighbor friend invites her to live with him?
Imagine your parents never truly being there for you and all of sudden you have no home to go to. Where will you go? Taiyou no Ie by Taamo is a story about a girl and a man who have known each other from when they were little. The girl, Motomiya Mao, is a high school student who finds herself turning to her twenty-three year old friend, Nakamura Hiro, once again for solace in the house they’ve spent their blissful childhood days in.
I’ve read some of Taamo’s other works before and to be honest, none of them particularly struck me. They are all either way too fast or way too fluffy to my liking which is the main reason for my wariness for this reading this one. I can say now, however, that I did not make a mistake with Taiyou no Ie which is a lovely read with real life problems told in an interesting, captivating way. We have Motomiya Mao who is struggling with her present life, her father just remarried and Nakamura Hiro who is struggling with his past life, reminiscing the good old days when he is still frolicking carefree with Mao and his siblings. Together combined is the recipe for the story, Taiyou no Ie.
The storyline has got to be the strongest points in this story which is surprising since I think her previous works, Isshoni Ofuro and Onegai, Sensei, are all terribly rushed and just plain unbelievable. In the world of manga and anime, I know the term ‘unbelievable’ is more often present than not since sometimes the impossible is needed for effective escapism but sometimes all a person needs is relatable situations for an enjoyable time. And this one does just that. The premise is fairly simple with the two leads having their own individual but similar problems that overlaps and brings them together. But the way everything is executed is what captivates me. Taamo slows everything to a great pace, not forgetting any detail that is needed to get from one event to another. It is this ability that sets this story different from most and places it on an enjoyment scale far above than others.
And now for the characters. Taamo is unafraid to develop the main lead’s characters. She lets us enter the troubled minds of both Mao and Hiro, creating an understanding of how they have become what they are. She also creates a special bond which is lacking in the rest of her works. It is subtle but it’s natural, unlike most shoujo stories out there. Most shoujo will have some sexual tension once the heroine moves in the same house with the hero but not in Taiyou no Ie. Instead, Hiro sets a curfew and time schedule like any other responsible adult should and Mao does her best with the housework even if it ends in disaster just like any other insecure teenager her age. Romance is not rushed between them and you can truly tell that they care for one another if not in a romantic way, it is in a loveable family way.
Art is great as usual though I am not really one to judge since I enjoy any artwork as long as the storyline is superb. There are some messily drawn parts which makes it hard to decipher it but other than that, there is no big concern when it comes to art.
There are many things we take for granted such as a house and that person who is there to say ‘welcome back’ when you come back from a school day or work. Taiyou no Ie is a wonderful manga that will touch your heartstrings with such messages, a delightful difference from the rest of the mangas that seem to pop up for solely guilty pleasure. So enter the lives of a girl and a man and the journey in which they find what family and love truly is. read more
I honestly can't believe that this has the shoujo tag, as it's like no other in the genre that I've read, and I've made my way around the shoujo area!
Anyway, I'll cut right to the chase.
I actually don't think I've spotted any cliches yet. The story seems very refreshing and original, and although I guess it does use the tragedy cliche a little bit, the characters make up for it with their realistically-portrayed emotions. Our heroine, Mao, has problems with her family, and as such is often alone. Her childhood friend who is 7 years older than her usually finds her and invites her to his house so she won't feel so alone. It's got a typical slice-of-life feel to it, I'll admit, but with the darker tones mixed in with the light comedy, it's very refreshing.
The art is excellent. I've never read or seen manga or anime with characters that have "scribbles" for eyes, and on that matter, I've never seen the models for the characters in other series (besides Daiki, but only because of the glasses and hairstyle). Mao is usually the only one with the unique style, but on occasion you can find moments where other characters are like this, too. It's very odd, but I really think it's adorable, and it's definitely a new (and better, in my opinion) take on art; it's a nice, needed break from the generic shoujo manga art style. The only reason why this isn't a solid 10 is because sometimes when the characters' mouths are open, it's hard to tell that they *are* open. It looks like they just have really large lips at times, and it's one of those "can't unsee" moments. It's just a little distracting.
Taiyou no Ie's characters are very well-thought out and original. I can't say I've seen the characters' personalities in other stories, so it's nice to not be reminded of others when you're reading this one. Mao's interactions with everyone around her are nice and oftentimes cute, and when the story focuses on Hiro it's even nicer, seeing as in the shoujo genre we usually get very little insight as to what the main love interest (though that's debatable at this point) is thinking. There hasn't been very much at school that we've seen so far, but Mao has two friends looking out for her, and they seem nice enough. All in all, the manga introduces new characters with...a bit more delicacy than others, I guess. Mangaka Taama makes a good point of reusing characters instead of adding a million and forgetting about them.
I can honestly say that I really, really love this manga so far, and I know it'll only get better. Chapters are longer than most at an average of 40 pages, and the art makes it better than those manga that you just skip through to get to the next chapter already. I haven't met any characters yet that make me go, "Ugh, why isn't s/he just dead?" and it's got to be that this isn't primarily a dramatic series. Sure, it's got drama at times, but what story doesn't? It doesn't waste time with misunderstandings or all that other junk that's pretty prominent in the shoujo category. It really deserves more of the slice-of-life than the shoujo tag.
This is a very good story, and I would recommend it to anybody who's a fan of the slice-of-life, drama, or shoujo category. I haven't read enough to know about the romance yet, but I'm sure that will happen eventually. Actually... I can't think of a reason why you *shouldn't* read this, unless you're not a fan of these 4 genres.
+ Refreshing, original plot and characters
+ Less of a drama, more of a slice-of-life
+ Actually realistic scenarios and emotions
+ Great, unique art
- Sometimes, mouths can look like large lips
- If you're not a fan of tragedy (no matter how light), you may not like thisread more
Such a nice manga! Honestly, there`s very little i would change in this story. Very, very good shoujo manga (also worth noting that this was my first completed shoujo too!) from beginning to the end. Ain`t gonna lie, my first impression was quite bad, mainly because of the art and the fact that the heroine looked way too young and i didn`t like the age gap between the two main characters at all. That and the fact that i was kinda tired back then of annoying love triangles and shoujo/shounen romance tropes (still am), so i really didn`t feel like reading it based on my flawed initial impression, which led me to drop it instantly.
Luckily, a few days ago, i decided to give it another try and i`m honestly quite happy i did it, because i had a blast reading it! A very good and compelling story about family and love that has way more to it than what meets the eye.
If i had to summarize Taiyou no Ie in a single word, it would be "genuine". It`s a really genuine manga, with very genuine characters dealing with very genuine issues, both romantic and familiar. The drama never feels forced, it never felt too light nor to dark either. Just right. The character drama here also feels amazingly cliché-free, and the way it tackled the usual shoujo tropes was truly refreshing without never being annoying. The last arc with the heroine`s mother (little spoiler here, i`m sorry) was also extremely powerful, imo. The way the author handled the whole deal was superbly done and even a bit surprising given how realistic and deeply emotive it was. It was also the ultimate "puzzle piece" in Mao`s development as a character and in her relationship with both her family and Hiro, and it finally gave, in my opinion, the necessary balance and impulse that the story needed to be more than just good. To become special and all the more worthy. With such a great final arc, not only it gave a fantastic sense of completeness to the development of pretty much every single character in the cast, but also made the overall theme and even the main duo`s dynamics all the more significant and poignant. At the end of its run, it managed to turn into something great and clearly one of the best romance manga i`ve read.
You know, I always feel like the best stories, the ones that really leave a mark on you are those that end up being greater than the sum of its parts. The ones who manage to be consistent from start to finish, especially with their characters. The ones who get progressively better and whose incessant narrative crescendo results in a giant, virtuous, compelling bang. A lot of stories manage to achieve amazing climaxes throughout their run but somehow end up lacking the consistency (perhaps even talent) to always deliver and make the whole thing as satisfying as it promised to us readers, consequently falling short of making a definite impact at the end.
And i gotta say that Taiyou no Ie was truly a wholesome experience, with some of the finest writing i`ve seen in a while. Sure, it may not be groundbreaking, but not only was able to deliver a truly powerful message, but also did pretty much everything right, in a very genuine way that only a few manga can. And i think that`s the biggest praise i can possibly give it.read more
“I no longer have a home. I no longer have a place to return to. Nobody is waiting for me anyway. There’s nobody who needs me.”
Mao is a teenage girl who doesn't know the warmth of family. Her mother ran away with another man, and her father actively distances himself from her. Her only happy memories were with Hiro, Daiki, and Hina Nakamura, but even those days were numbered, as the neighboring Nakamuras split apart after the parents died in an accident. Years later, after Mao runs away from her father’s new family, Hiro invites Mao to stay with him in the now-empty Nakamura household. What follows is an engaging and heartwarming tale of friendship, reconciliation, mutual understanding, and love.
Throughout the story, Mao struggles primarily with her sense of belonging. She can't face her uninvolved father, her stepmother, and her stepsister who seemingly “took her place” in their household. She often turns to Hiro for solace, but even in the Nakamura household, she feels like she's imposing on Hiro. Part of Mao’s journey is realizing that she’s not deadweight; that she’s kind, supportive, and especially important to those who love her. Development is taken step-by-step, and guided by Hiro's reassuring support, Mao strives to gather the courage to confront her father, who is still scarred by her mother's betrayal. On the other hand, Hiro seeks to reunite with his younger brother and sister, who were adopted by relatives after an accident took away their parents. Personal insecurities and doubts prevented them from reuniting in the past, but after inviting Mao over, Hiro resolves to break down the barriers of time and trauma that had separated them for so long.
Often easier said than done, expressing one’s true feelings is the central theme of the story. The characters all have their reasons for hesitating in confiding with others, whether it’d be the fear of hurting someone else’s feelings or having little self-confidence. However, it’s often what’s left unsaid that leads to the most regret and pain, and the story gives us plenty of reason to cheer on the characters as they struggle to find the courage to say what they need to say. This theme also contributes to what's particularly striking about Taiyou no Ie: how endearing the characters are. Even when the emotions and relationships can get a bit convoluted, the characters are always trying their damned hardest to confront them and move on. It's hard to hate on the messier romantic elements when you have such an earnest cast, and this quality is exactly why Taiyou no Ie distinguishes itself from the typically frustrating romance shoujo manga.
Each characters’ internal conflicts and doubts are shown meticulously. They may not be who they initially seem, and many develop as they confront their most important issues. Interactions are natural, relationships are developed steadily, and the balance between drama and slice-of-life is just right. Should you read Taiyou no Ie? If you’re looking for a mature romance with heart-warming family themes, potent character development, and poignant drama, Taiyou no Ie might just be it. read more