Mika is just a normal high school student who dreams of having a wonderful love. And then one day, she happens to meet Hiro, the guy of her destiny. While experiencing many sad events, despite getting hurt, the time she spends with him is still one of the most happy moments in her life…
Warning: This series contains mature scenes and themes including drugs, rape, teenage pregnancy, etc.
I am writing this review to try to persuade you NOT to give this series a chance.
After reading MoonLight's review, I was convinced to give Koizora a try. As much as I hate to admit it, I often judge manga by their cover - I'm more likely to read something if the art looks appealing to me. In the case of Koizora, the characters and detailing are spot on and art is more or less to my taste.
I've read numerous comments on the manga that touch on how sad it was, how touching, and how they would read it over and over. This bothers me
as there were many themes in the manga that I thought were frankly quite wrong and troubling.
These themes were:
1) Rape is not a big deal, do not prosecute it.
Rape is a sensitive topic and the way the mangaka treated the issue was highly inappropriate. Rape is scarring, it has overbearing effects on the victim. Very few people actually just "feel better" right away. It's awful how the only retribution the rapists received was being forced to make an apology. "Sorry" doesn't make it better. Most rapists repeat their crime if not prosecuted and corrected.
2) Friendship should be fragile and revolve around attitudes about the opposite sex. It's never the guy's fault.
Aya's friendship with Mika was completely unhealthy. There was little trust. Aya repeatedly blamed Mika even in situations where the guy could've been at fault. True friendship should not be blame games. And it's never just one person's fault - this manga too often takes a misogynist viewpoint.
3) It is okay to hurt someone, mentally and physically, so that they are protected from the truth.
Lies hurt, often more than the truth does. Mika forgave Hiro far too easily for the damage he did.
4) Attempts at suicide will always result in positive outcomes.
The mangaka uses suicide too lightly, throwing it in whenever there needs to be an element of drama, and then having others come to the character's rescue. There are issues in mental health related to suicide, it isn't something you should be using to make your plot transitions. People who attempt suicide need to get proper help. Not just carry on with their lives. If you're going to use suicide in a manga, at least show gradual recovery and therapy.
5) Being someone's wife as a life goal/dream.
It's a nice goal to have, but to have that be the protagonist's main dream? Really? What are you going to do when that someone doesn't like you anymore? Please, always aspire to have something of interest outside of your significant other. It's never good to live a life where your happiness is entirely dependent on another person's decisions.
If you do read the manga/have read it, I hope you will note the lack of caution taken when approaching these topics.
Do NOT take suicide nor rape lightly.
I finished the manga for the sake of closure, but it was difficult for me to enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed other mangas. I wanted to see where mangaka was going with all the drama she implicated with Hiro and I must say even in that regard, I was thoroughly disappointed. The ending was indeed sad, but cliche and predictable.
To end on a slightly positive note, I did enjoy the little "be strong" and "enjoy life" messages the mangaka emphasized. I liked the perseverance of the protagonist and most of the characters were likable. I liked the development of the romance between Mika and Hiro despite it taking a huge turn for the worse. The mangaka's good at animating romance, not so good at avoiding cliches and sensitive topics.
Art can be influential. I ask that you please take caution in learning attitudes and behaviours from mangas. There are often stereotypes and insensitive behaviours that don't appear "wrong" at first.
Koizora: Love Sky – Sad Love Story is a heavy drama manga for mature audiences. Despite the multiple sad events that occur in this manga, Koizora aims to make the reader appreciate life a lot more. It teaches you that there’s no such thing as regret but that you should treasure every moment of your past. Your past helps you become stronger and become a greater person towards the people you meet in the future. The message is indeed inspirational, but the mangaka could’ve done a better job at appealing to her readers.
Koizora is rumored to be based on a true sad love story
by the author Mika herself. Personally, it’s hard for me to believe one person could go through multiple tragedies (gang rape, pregnancy, heartbreak, etc.) in such a short time span (~2 months). The pacing was too rushed, and it seems that the author is trying too hard to tug at the readers’ heartstrings by introducing one unfortunate event after another. To be clear, the tragedies are not a horrible thing to include in a manga, but it carries on for at least 3 volumes. It would’ve been more enjoyable if they were only spaced out and not crowded together. The reader cannot help but expect bad luck for Mika at every turn.
Clichéd stories are entertaining in some shoujo manga, but it was greatly overused in Koizora. The timeline takes place from high school to college. The manga revolves around Mika’s struggle with life itself, and her bad luck does not occur until she becomes romantic with a delinquent named Hiroki during her 2nd year of high school. Her love for Hiroki overcomes all of the bad events she experiences during their relationship. As long as she has him, she’s happy. The first few chapters are depressing with the mangaka throwing balls of sadness at the reader. The characters do not handle situations realistically most of the time. E.g. Tragedies happen, but the character acts normal as if nothing happened. Therefore, the inspirational message behind this shoujo manga may not immediately occur to the reader. The story lightens and becomes promising in the middle, but the reader could be disappointed with some of the characters’ choices, especially Mika. The manga has a hopeful ending, and it succeeds in fulfilling its objective of being a sad love story.
The manga is one-sided, focusing strictly on Mika. Mika is the emotionally weak female lead who is willing to do anything for love. It will become easy to develop a love-hate relationship towards her, because the majority of her actions may seem naïve. It can be understandable for a girl who is in her first relationship, but the way she handles some crises is impractical. Her behavior was too laid-back at times. However, the reader watches her slowly learn how to embrace the joys of life by refusing to have regrets about her past. This is done with the introduction of new characters in the middle who make a huge impact on her life.
There are a decent amount of characters, and they all play a part in Mika’s life. Characters include the usual people you would expect in a drama manga: jealous girlfriend/boyfriend, backstabbing friends, best friend who’s in love with best friend’s lover, new trustworthy friends, etc. Some of the characters may seem intolerable at times with their denseness, but they become more understandable near the end. It would’ve been more enjoyable if the author emphasized on some of the other important characters as well. Some scenes shown several emotions from different characters, and no dialogue revealed what was going on in that characters’ head. Some important characters had sudden changes in their personality, and the reasoning was not explained fully. Feelings were not revealed from some characters until the last few chapters of the manga.
Illustrator Ibuki Haneda did an excellent job in bringing out the characters’ emotions in dramatic scenes. The artwork itself succeeds in drawing out emotions from the reader and even give sympathy towards the characters. The backgrounds were concise and distinct from each other, as they each hold significance in the story. The heroine has a baby face that expresses her innocence.
Some characters looked too much alike, and dramatic scenes appeared deceiving because of the lack of distinct. If it was not for the dialogue, it would be difficult for the reader to understand what’s going on. During sex scenes, the characters were drawn with blank bodies, so no genitalia is shown. It wouldn’t be a problem if the manga itself was not fallen under the “Mature” category. The only mature scenes that were drawn to fit the category were the tragedies (e.g. self-harm scenes).
This manga was a major tearjerker for me, and I had the same reactions as I had with other Shoujo manga. I grew frustrated with the characters at times and was disappointed, but I later understood their reasoning. I wanted to learn more about the other main characters and their thoughts within the manga instead of solely Mika. Some of the reasoning behind the other characters’ actions became unclear to me because of that. Because of the overused cliché in the beginning, I had a hint of how the manga would end. I became emotional and sympathizing with Mika near the end, and I thank the animation for that. Instead of re-reading the manga, I may try out the adaptations. The majority of the people who have either read the novel or watched the Korean drama said that the adaptations are much more tolerable than the manga.
Koizora is typically the manga that most readers drop after reading the first few chapters, because it begins on a depressing note. Even though it gives readers a bad impression of the manga, it results in something memorable and inspirational. Unless you’re someone who does not mind such a heavy drama manga, I recommend that you at least give it a chance. I see this manga as a source to help one appreciate life and teach them what and what not to do. This manga is unique in its own way by not showing any hesitation in fulfilling its objective as a sad love story. Prepare to shed tears and love or hate characters upon turning the pages of Koizora.
I'm writing this review because I literally just finished reading the whole manga and it's one of the most tear jerking manga you will find. The story is so different and so surreal and it's so hard to comprehend the shoes that the main character is trying to withhold. She's suffering daily and daily with the love of her life and simply the life that she has while holding her lover's hand. It's amazing how this one author can make so many tragedies while making it beautiful at the same time.
Reminded me of Bokura ga ita's art. Didn't really bother me.. I
mean for me the characters and the story plot is all that matters. The art isn't mad though, like if you prefer bi-shies that are abnormally shiny..go ahead you do you. Though I do admit the way that the art is being portrayed is unique and feels like you're in every position that each characters are in.
Oh my, so many characters but each characters are so important to the point that they hold a very important meaning in a real life situation. The only thing I didn't like was that the girl tended to cry constantly but the way the guys consoled her kind of made up for all that sobbing, so I think i'm good.
I really really really enjoyed this series. It was beautiful. I would go home after school everyday and directly go to my computer and read this manga because I was so interested and couldn't wait for something to happen. It was fun, sad, emotional, and romantic at many areas. I do recommend this manga to 16+ of age because there are many and I mean MANY times where they have sex, rape, and many of those things that are unpleasing to a child's eye. But, if you can withstand such areas and focus on the main plot itself, well.. I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!
I really loved it so much, can't tell you how many times I cried and normally after a manga I don't watch the drama, but since I really loved this manga, I decided to watch it after all and that means something. Well then I hope you read it and it is NOT a waste of your time like other views that are said around me -.-
So previsible and pretty much boring. There are other mangas that are alike and yet so much better than this one (like boku no hatsukoi o kimi ni sasagu). And what's worse is that the characters all seem so weak or despicable. Beside the art, there's nothing much worth to this work in my opinion...