English: I Am Here!
Synonyms: Here I Am!, I'm Right Here!
Published: Jun 2, 2007 to Dec 17, 2008
Authors: Tooyama, Ema (Story & Art)
Score: 7.971 (scored by 11020 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsromance school school life shoujo
Aug 7, 2011 6:46 AM
I am here!
The phrase that sums up Sumino Hikage, the main character of the manga with the same title. She’s an 8th grader with a very reserved personality. If she gets picked on, she doesn’t speak up. If somebody bumps into her, she’s the one to apologize. She’s just someone who doesn’t want any problems and shows that in a way that comes off very lonely. See, nobody notices her.
Sumino could be the plainest girl you’ve ever seen in a manga. No eye-catching features, no bizarre personality, no weird clothes. And this works so perfectly in this story. Sumino struggles all her life with the fact that there is no one around that acknowledges her fully. Everybody just seems to look over her and then move on without wanting to know what kind of girl she is. This results in her being lonely with no real friends. And what’s worse, people THINK she wants to be lonely because she doesn’t really do anything to socialize. Blame it on her personality or her ordinary appearance, but this makes it very easy to sympathize with her.
This puts Sumino in a vicious circle. She does not want to be lonely but can’t get any friends. People see that she hasn’t got any friends so people think she likes to be lonely. And that circle, is what makes Sumino such a believable character. Anyone can understand this situation and has experienced it to some extent. But because she’s so invisible and reclusive, she just can’t break out of that circle even though she wants it so badly. It’s sad to see that something that appears to be so easy, is actually not possible to do without at least one other person. It takes two to break a circle, and lucky for Sumino, she’s got 1,5.
Because Sumino has an online blog. Not just any blog. A very personal blog. She posts pictures of nature there and writes articles to ease the loneliness. But sadly, that doesn’t work out either. Nobody seems to comment on her efforts. Even her blog seems to get overlooked without anyone caring about it. She even goes so far to make a public request to anyone reading her blog, to leave a comment. Anyone.
And luckily, her efforts were not in vain. She finally got someone to comment on her blog. A long-time reader and first-time commenter. Their online relationship begins to grow as this person comments more and more, boosting Sumino’s confidence. This person even begins to motivate and cheer for Sumino to find friends in the real world. ‘’Work hard! You can do it!’’. And finally, someone noticed her at school. From here on, Sumino’s real-life journey begins. Together with the help of the growing number of people who cheer for her online, she starts being pro-active and successfully makes friends. She’s even got a love-life starting.
Although the story of the manga is very well-told and makes freshly use of modern phenomena, there are some things that aren’t done very well. All the characters are your typical Shoujou-characters. Sumino is the shy girl next door who can’t do anything on her own. The first person to fully acknowledge her in real-life is the handsome and popular student whom everybody likes. Of course, he seems to be attracted to Sumino somehow. And the love-rival of Sumino is also your typical girl who picks a fight at every possible moment. The only ones who truly excel at being interesting characters are the people on Sumino’s blog. They seem to truly care about her and show that in a way that’s very touching. Helping people via the internet is very normal in the modern day but may be frowned upon by some. This manga shows that there is nothing wrong with online contacts and can even be a genuine source of help. These characters also become more and more important at the end of the manga with a nice plot-twist.
Koko ni Iru yo! is a story for anyone that can relate even a slightest bit to the idea of receiving help online for normal problems. The art is truly beautiful and highlights the innocence of particularly Sumino who does not chooses to be lonely, though she can’t really do anything about it herself. If you can stomach some stereotypical Shoujou elements here and there and focus on the message of the story, this will be one familiar ride you do not want to miss. read more
May 11, 2009 2:11 PM
People don't really take notice of those lone wolves in the world. They believe that they prefer to be alone, to be secluded from humanity. Though, 99% of the time that isn't the case. It's lonley, and Sumino is the perfect character to show the truth.
Hinata's help to bring Sumino into the sunlight is extremly touching. For those who have felt such lonliness will be sure to shed some tears for this manga.
Beautiful art work, beautiful story, just an all beautiful manga.
Dec 7, 2009 5:52 PM
This was formulaic and pretty syrupy, but still a very enjoyable read. I've always liked shy, quiet, timid heroines. The solitary girl whom no one ever notices is suddenly being pursued by one of the most popular boys in school, and he gradually coaxes her out of her shell. I like that formula no matter how many times I see it.
It's a decent story IF you like the genre. I think more could have been done with her blog friends and I'm not sure I like who she ended up with. I was left feeling like the other one would have been better, and that that was where the author was taking things but that she was forced to end the story prematurely.
The heroine was drawn really nicely. I've seen better looking male leads though. They were handsome, they just didn't have that beautiful, sparkly quality that you sometimes see in shoujo boys. I would've preferred if they'd all looked a bit older too, but that's really up to the mangaka and her target audience. I guess because it was such an innocent love story, she went with a more middle-schoolish look.
Teru was very well-developed, thanks to a flashback and a scene involving his parents. Hinata was a lot vaguer, which is unfortunate considering that he got so much more "air time." As for the heroine, we know a lot about her feelings of loneliness and her desire to belong, but we never learn about her family or why she became such a loner, except that she broke her leg and started attending school late. I think one painful flashback that explained some of her fear of people would have helped.
Not a unique story, but it'll be memorable for me because I love the "shy girl rescued by a popular guy" formula. read more
Oct 8, 2009 3:54 PM
It is, in my opinion, extremely realistic overall, but there is also a slight hint of classic shoujo--shy girl, no friends, afraid to talk to everyone--and instead finds joy in her online friends who comment on her blog, Black Rabbit and MegaPIG. No doubt, Koko ni Iru yo is one of the most encouraging manga I have ever read. Even if it is just a manga, it, at least for me, gave me courage and lifted my spirits highly. ^^
Art: Such pretty artwork! In my opinion it was above average of most shoujo. The official color pages were colored amazingly and the characters were very nice. And of course, the guys were total bishies. I've got to admit, I'm a big art freak--I usually can't read a manga with below average art. But I've got to say this mangaka's drawings are the best I've seen in a very long time.
Characters: I think the main character, Hikage, was extremely well developed. She starts out as an anti-social person who just wants to fit in and gradually, with the encouragement of her online friends MegaPIG and Black Rabbit, she does. It doesn't happen automatically like in some manga, Hikage trying to fit in actually takes time and I thought that was great. The other two main side characters, Hinata and Teru, I also thought were very nicely portrayed. ^^ I love them both and honestly, it's really hard to hate any character.
Enjoyment: I tried to stay up all night reading this but unfortunately I wasn't allowed to, heh~. I was so into Koko ni Iru Yo that I spent all my free time at school reading it. Because GOSH it's addicting. Most chapters left me hanging off my seat and wanting more.
Story: VERY sweet. I can't even describe the cuteness of this manga~. It's good all the way up to it's last chapter and in my opinion it was the perfect length. It didn't drag, and yet it wasn't too short either. I was personally very pleased with the final pairing, and I know some might think otherwise, but for me the person who she ends up with made this manga very unique. ^^ This storyline is definitely at the top of my list.
Overall: This manga will always be one of my favorites. Koko ni Iru yo made me smile the entire way through and was just amazing. You won't regret reading it, it's definitely one to pick up if you have time and a must-read. Don't judge a manga by it's cover, especially not this one. Ema Tooyama did a wonderful job on this series and everything turned out beyond my expectations. read more
Feb 9, 2012 4:05 PM
Story: The story is absolutely amazing. I swear. Anyone who starts reading cannot stop. The setting and the climax are awesome. You have to admit that the romance in this manga is unbelievably awesome (unless you're not the romantic type XD). It's very cute in many ways and you can be touched by many words the characters say. I must admit that I cried so many times when reading this. When I read this, I kept thinking that I'm the main character in a very bad situation. The story-line is great; one of the best~! ^^
Art: I must admit, I cannot draw like Tooyama, Ema at all. Her skills are beyond my reach. The art is just so amazing! Hikage was drawn so nicely along with the two boys! She totally deserves to get her work turned into an anime. It is outstanding! Enough said. OwO
Characters: When I started reading, I knew straight away that Hikage is the kind of character I like. She started out as a girl who doesn't stand out much and just wants to be part of the class and make friends. She can be very straight forward sometimes, but very shy at other times too. Even though she doesn't have much confidence in herself (like me :P), she still tries her best. She is kind to EVERYONE; even the ones who treated her so badly. Hinata was a sweet kind boy who helped Hikage through hard times. He can be very serious at times too, but overall.. he is pretty awesome as a main character. Teru's personality is just hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing every time he does something. Even though he doesn't look like it, but he can also be very caring and helpful at times. The characters are all outstanding and I just can't make myself hate them.
Enjoyment: Like I said before. This story is so addicting. I stayed up all night (since it was summer) reading this! I really wish there was more, but it ended at a pretty good time too. I also mentioned how I cried when I read this, but I believe it was worth it. There's not much to say, but I truly believe that when I was reading this it felt like I was in heaven (;
Overall: This manga is one of my favorite one and it will never come off my list. It is just outstanding! Believe me, I love this manga a lot and I know you might too! (;
Oct 1, 2009 5:13 PM
The story is very realistic and one that many people can relate to. It's not too complicated or complex, but is very interesting and encouraging for people who have the same problem. While a few parts are a bit exaggerated (Especially when she's practically invisable, even shy people aren't that unnoticed!), most of the story is very touching and realistic.
The art was pretty good! Although in some parts I found some characters to be a little too similar, even to the point I wasn't sure who it was until their name was said somewhere in the dialogue. The backgrounds are simple and keep the focus on the most important part: the characters. The characters were also pretty great! Nearly everyone was appealing to the eye and very handsome/pretty!
I think this is almost the lowest point in the manga because of the stereotipycalness, if that's even a word. The main characters were pretty much: The shy girl who wants to become stronger and more confident (Hikage), the kind top student who is also very athletic (Hinata), and the handsome and popular boy who is actually very lonely and hides his kindness behind straightfoward and honest words (Teru). While those type of people really DO exist in real life, it's been over-used in so many manga and anime that I find it sort of annoying. The only reason I gave it an 8 was because of my irritation. But this is a very short manga so I can't expect excellent characterization. The way the relationships developed, however, was quite nice :)
I really enjoyed this series! Not only because of how realistic it is, but because I could relate to it. I went through the same thing and did nothing, and I regret that. I live in a different place now, and because of what happened before became quite the out-going, straightforward girl... The story really touched me and made me want to go back in time and act as Hikage did :)
Lovely story, realistic (Yet somewhat stereotypical) characters, good art, and something that gives shy/loners a bit of hope. It's a good story, especially for the small amount of chapters it had! If you're looking for a good entertaining, yet short, series to read I'd recommend this one! :) read more
Jan 25, 2014 2:03 PM
Near the top of the manga’s problems—but also one of its best strengths—is Sumino. She wants to have friends in real life, but people hardly notice her. But, Sumino’s personality shows through her thoughts and online blog, and it’s clear nothing about her personality keeps people away from her; there’s no sarcasm in her words, no heaviness to her demeanor, and no doubt to her courage. She’s a sweet girl who just can’t get noticed despite her efforts, and this makes her a character worth cheering for.
But at the same time, while nothing about Sumino leaves a bad image, nothing about her rounds out her personality. Putting aside how unnoticeable she is, she’s practically flawless, having stayed the same from what’s shown in her early childhood to the story’s present time, as if her non-existent presence did almost no damage to her personality. But, this isn’t to say Sumino is a bad character, it’s just that what stands out about her amounts to being very likable and not much else.
Still, Sumino’s likability is enough to make the story worth the personal involvement. Early on, it’s hard not to feel sorry for her as she tries and fails to break out of her shell. But as more people notice her, the story becomes less about Sumino’s want to change her life, and more about the love triangle with the two other leads in the playfully jaded Teru and the gently serious Hinata. But this isn’t a bad thing at all, as the story believably ties in Sumino’s development, her online blog, and Teru and Hinata’s involvement to unify the whole story instead of the romance being an afterthought to a good premise.
Even then, some things about the story don’t mesh as well as they should. There’s a coincidence in the love triangle set-up that’s almost too good to be true, but even ignoring that, there are two moments in the story that are major turning points for Sumino that are unfortunately mishandled. The first scene solves a problem so quickly it’s a wonder how it ever was a problem to begin with, and the second scene easily pushes Sumino from being a very likable and flawless character to an outright magnanimous saint. Thankfully, the rest of the story doesn’t get close to being as eye-rolling as these three moments, and in the meantime carries itself well through pleasant artwork.
The artwork is easy on the eyes, good, but nothing outstanding. Well, except for Sumino’s face. Look at it. It’s cute. Very cute. The kind of cuteness less seen in a shoujo manga and something more akin to a male-targeted series. A small part of the sides of her hair also stick out, like animal ears, and they extend and retract with her excitement and sadness. The art adds to her likability, which I know is a word I’ve been using a lot in this review, but I can’t stress that enough.
And maybe that’s the big reason this manga is still good despite its problems. Despite Sumino’s simplicity, she has a lot of likeability. Despite the story being heavy-handed at times, it’s actually very focused and knows what it wants to say. Maybe I’m giving too much credit to Sumino’s likeability, or maybe she has the kind of charm that can make someone enjoy a good if flawed story. Worth a read? Well, reading “I am here!” is like growing a sunflower against a strong wind. The stem will sometimes bend, but those who can work through that might grow something beautiful. read more
Apr 13, 5:53 PM
Nov 23, 2009 3:01 PM
That's why I can't give this a good review. I just can't.
I give this a 2 because this type of story is dry and uninteresting. A shy girl needs to pick between two boys... that kind of thing is used everywhere. As a plot, I guess I could understand, a school romance could be said to be like this. however, when you look at the real, lonely characters don't often get this sort of lucky chance that the girl in this story gets. And maybe I'm just biased, after reading so many of these sort of tales, but the fact that there are so many of these has proven that this approach is old and tired. A good author can take something that's old and weave from it something new... I feel like nothing new has come out of this story. I can't give this more than a two... it isn't on par with other stories of it's nature.
This manga is aesthetically pleasing. I think that this fact can draw in many, many readers. If you think the art is cute, you might think that the characters too are cute so on and so forth.
There are a couple of characters that I don't really like.
Firstly, Sumino herself is kind of a faulty character in my opinion. I think that in an effort to make the reader feel bad for her, the author chose to make her pitiful. It's just not real... Even the shiest of people get angry, angrier than she ever does. Furthermore, her ascent into the sunlight did not seem like it took very long or took very much effort on her part. For someone who has the background her character had, I feel like it should've taken longer for her to be able to talk with other people in her class naturally. Truthfully, throughout the entire series she is ever growing, but I feel like that transformation takes longer.
The bully, Ayu, is also kind of out of the real. She's not really cunning, but can make an entire school believe her with a few words. I actually don't like this about a lot of manga of this general ilk-- the bully character riles an entire school on the unsuspecting heroine, and she feels smothered. Truly, it can't be so. Because of how people are, not everyone will blindly follow a bully where she leads.
I know that some people enjoyed this series... and for the most part, I can agree that it's alright. But I don't really enjoy the story that doesn't add anything to this age old formula: girl is alone, girl meets boy, boy has friends/enemies who also loves girl, girl must choose, girl is bullied for boy liking her, blah blah. As long as the story is interesting, I can keep reading in suspense. But I'm not really getting that feeling of mystery here. The only thing that is mysterious is we don't know what guy Sumino will pick. That's it. In my opinion, that's not really interesting. If she's going to come from the shadows into the light, why can't we learn more about her hardships? Why is the only mystery 'Which will Sumino choose?' Why isn't there like, 'How does Sumino deal with trouble between the friends she has who are girls?' or 'how will Sumino deal with a classmate who has been put into her previous position?' I mean, there's so much that could have been done, and nothing was done in this story. And so, I am forced to say that overall, I give this story...
Overall: 5/10 read more
Aug 24, 2011 5:56 PM