Hiyori, a small and timid girl, goes to school for the first time in a year since an accident left her hospitalized. Follow her as she struggles with her social skills, tries to make friends and maybe even a little bit more...?
When trying to find bad things to say about this manga, I'm at a complete loss. Hiyokoi is an extremely cute and satisfying manga about a shy, short girl who falls in love with her class's most popular and extremely tall boy. The story that ensues not only covers their developing romance, it also shows the progression of side characters' stories and experiences. Many conflicts occur within this manga, but the main character solves it with her purity and kindness. This manga also had some really good closure for the final chapters. If you are new to manga, this one is definitely a good "bang
for the buck". At 67 chapters, it can easily be read in a week or so, and that was just me occasionally reading it maybe 20 - 30 mins a day. Overall, I highly recommend this heartwarming, cute and cheerful manga to anyone, any day.
I feel like Hiyokoi is pretty much a must if you are a fan of school romances.
The story itself is nothing new (but then again, it doesn't have to). Shy girl enters school during the year because she had an accident, and gets noticed by the most popular guy. So far, so generic. But! In my opinion it was really, really well made;
- The main and side characters both are equally loveable
- It doesn't focus on dumb misunderstandings or love triangles to promote drama
- There is a lot of development on both sides (Yuushin isn't simply the popular guy who helps her overcome her
shyness, he himself changes and grows over time too). Hiyorin grows from the girl hiding under the desk because she's afraid of introducing herself to someone who opens up to others and takes the initiative.
- There is actual romantic development. They start dating rather early (And there are even side-character romances developing as well)
The pacing might not be for everyone, Hiyorin is a very shy person and she really needs her time to slowly change. I felt the pacing was just fine though.
The story is basically a cliche - shy girl falls in love with the most popular guy in her class-, but what is amazing is their height difference: Hiyori has an extremely small height of 140cm, while Yuushin is 190cm! She is really shy and has a hard time returning back to school, since she suffered from a serious injury that almost made her lose her school year. It will slightly remember Kimi ni Todoke, since both stories begin with the main character having trouble fitting in, but they get help from the most popular guy in class and they start having more confidence. Even
though the story is a cliche, you actually get surprised with some events.
The art is incredibly clean and well drawn. Hiyori is supposed to remind us of a little chick, and she really is as cute. Particularly, I loved the art because it wasn't that usual shoujo style, such as Koukou Debut or Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu, where the boy is idealized and so handsome that makes us want to cry. It has a very cute and enjoyable aspect to it.
As said before, it slightly resembles Kimi ni Todoke since both main characters have similar personalities and begginings, but in the end Hiyori is absolutely nothing like Sawako and Yuushin is nothing like Kazehaya. Hiyori is a very cute and sweet girl, also incredibly shy and cries for almost everything. And unlike most boys in mangas, Yuushin is irresponsible, sleeps through class almost every time, is cheerful and outgoing, making him incredibly popular. He also isn't self-centered or selfish, but still he's really slow to notice the heroine's feelings. The other characters also are very good, like Ritsuka, that is Hiyori's best friend and acts like her older sister. Natsuki, who cares for Hiyori and always helps her out, and their teacher, Mittan, who is looking for love. There is also the rival, Kisaki, who isn't much of a cliche rival at all.
I enjoyed reading this because it doesn't have that much of unnecessary drama, the light cute story and not-so-deep atmosphere is really good to read just to smile and feel good for the characters. So overall I'm giving it an 8 for making me happy and making me want more.
I thought Hiyokoi was going to be another version of Strobe Edge. Not in a bad way since I loved Strobe Edge, and honestly manga like that are never a bad thing. But, after much thought I concluded that it’s actually just a combination of manga that make you all warm and fuzzy inside that equal Hiyokoi.
Hiyori was in an accident the first day of school (the details of said accident will make you shake your head) and because of it she missed the first few months of school. That’s not her biggest problem it seems. The one thing she’s self conscious about is
her height. She is very short at 140 cm, like 4th grader short (that’s how they reference it). On her first day of class (not actually the first day) her introduction gets cut by Yuushin, the popular guy who is freakishly tall at 170 cm. He is extremely friendly to everyone and knowing of her shy nature tries to encourage her to smile more. This slice of life romance is the journey of Hiyori actually enjoying school life and making friends and something more.
Hiyokoi was slow at times, which is understandable consider our heroine is a “weird” one. A quiet, shy, and particularly short girl, who is used to being left out and unheard because of her introverted nature. When the person sitting beside her is none other than the extrovert Yuushin, she can’t help but be drawn to guy who is her polar opposite in almost every way. Hiyoki, who is nicknamed Hiyokin, decides she wants to be different and change things for herself with the help of her really good friends Riichan and Natsuki.
It has the same feel as Kimi ni Todoke and sometimes the heroine has the same innocence that is thestaple of shoujo manga everywhere. I did think it was progressing a little slower than it could have and it took me a while to actually get in the story.
The characters, for some reason I always find it harder to review the characters than the story itself. Because while I am ok with the plot having likeness with each other, I feel every character should be different. I mean if five people were put in the same scenario we’d all react differently to every situation.
That’s why even though I feel the plot is overdone in general, I do think the characters have a certain spice to them that make them memorable.
Yuushin is a classic bishie type of male lead. He is popular and loves to sleep in class. Other than random conversations he has with Hiyorin we don’t really know much about him at all in the first volume or so.
He has a sense of humor and is actually pretty charming in general, and unlike other male leads he isn’t the perfect male lead. If it wasn’t for his height he’d be an average manga guy, albeit a good looking one.
I really loved Hiyori’s friends, Riichan and Natsuki. Their personalities are fun and apart from the humor they are really good friends to Hiyorin. there are more characters that are popping in give the story a good atmosphere with their own personalities and sense of humor.
The art is easy on the eyes and delicate looking. It was drawn in a modern style of manga so if moe girls with big eyes isn’t your thing, stay away. I thought it was cute that Riichan looked so much like the Vocaloid Miku, drawn she was the most striking to me in appearance. I didn’t notice until I read the latest chapters that most 97% of the manga so far is in school or in school uniform and it amazed me I didn’t even notice at first.
All in all, it is a very nice read, the characters are funny and nice. Not a lot of drama, not really. It’s mostly sit back and get aggravated that someone could be so shy. Most short people I meet are assertive as hell. Throughout the manga you will have short stories and even characters side story that are not only funny but sweet. This mangaka has a very nice sense of humor that reflects on her work.