Although her life isn't exactly like a shoujo manga, Miku Ikenouchi's friends are convinced that it's pretty close. They say Miku is "doing well in the spring of her life"... Miku, on the other hand, is a bit skeptical. Sure, she has recently started dating a third year, has a decent part-time job, and her home life is peaceful. In fact, you could even say that Miku is content... but, maybe, too content?
Unfortunately, when she comes home Miku no longer has time to find out that her father has quit his job, and her parents are turning their home into a... boarding house? And, even worse, one of the new boarders is a guy from her school?! Miku is quickly going to find her peaceful days a distant memory from the past...
If you think Sprout sounds like a clique shoujo manga, you're most likely right. The good thing about Sprout is that, despite the unoriginality, the enjoyment of this manga is pretty high.
The story seems a little unrealistic and the art was adequate at best. The place where this manga shines is in the relationship between the characters. The complexity that goes on between the two couples is more in depth than other shoujo mangas. I felt there was enough comical characters to not weigh down the entire series with all the drama that goes on.
Overall I feel Sprout is a good read
and I personally enjoyed it very much. I think you should definitely give it a try if you're a fan of shoujo.
Sprout starts innocently at first and can seem to be the kind of story that could be different from other shoujo mainly because of the setting the author has put in the main character in. Not many shoujo begin with a heroine that already has a boyfriend. But when her parents want to turn the house into a boarding house for some extra cash, it's easy to tell where this story is going. The heroine encounters people that invade her life and aim to stay for a while, and living in her own house will never be the same again.
What one can expect from this
manga is a tumultuous journey of love for a high school girl who thinks she knows what she wants until she sees something else that makes her think differently. However, I find fault with the way she determines this. Much of the dramatic scenes in Sprout depict the main character Miyu's feelings without many words. It's almost as if the reader is supposed to know how she's feeling just by looking at her face or thinking about the situation if they were in her shoes, which doesn't work for me. While manga typically consists of more pictures than words, I would have asked for more explanation in this case.
To add to that point, the artwork is too lackluster to portray feelings the way I think it should. Sure, Miyu cried, but was her crying genuine? I could tell when they were happy, but other more intense feelings could have been more emphasized. I think they were slightly less serious than they could have been. A lot of times the characters had poker faces on. I didn't particularly like the style, either; it's not of my taste.
The best part of this manga would have to be the characters. They aren't the perfect bunch, but the flaws that Miyu have really make her look like a real teenage girl. She isn't the perfect doll that is the usual protagonist of a shoujo manga, one who's headstrong and pretty to boot. She's the average girl who makes mistakes, gets mad, and so forth. Even if this is so, she manages to acknowledge when she's at fault and make amends.
The other characters are also a bit curious, but I won't say any more to avoid spoilers. Nonetheless, they have their own unique traits.
To be honest, I took longer reading this manga than I normally would take for a manga of this length. I was not particularly interested in the way it developed and a particular aspect of the story was quite predictable. I was dissatisfied with Miyu's unexplained feelings and the art was not eye-catching, either. At the beginning I thought it would be different from other shoujo manga, and it was, but the plot wasn't executed well enough for it to be an enjoyable read. Sprout is all right, but not a manga I'd recommend to a lot of people, if anyone at all.