Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her "milady", she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he's a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal?
In general, shoujo features more innocent romance, while josei doesn't shy away from delving into the sexual side of relationships, with a more mature approach to storytelling and issues. Chou yo Hana yo fits firmly into the second category, its story built on office romance with a little twist.
Chou yo Hana yo revolves around Chouko Kuze, whose family lost their fortune and is now struggling to stay afloat. She gets a job as a secretary under a very inappropriate boss, who turns out to be none other than the servant who used to tend to her as a child — and still insists on doing
that, in an odd mistress/servant - superior/subordinate dynamic.
Right off the bat, the story is unusual for a Yuki Yoshihara manga: her scripts usually rely on subverting shoujo tropes and stereotypes, most often by having the main female character be horny and assertive while her love interest is the "prey". Here, Yoshihara plays the personality tropes straight, with Masayuki relentlessly pursuing Chouko instead, oftentimes in outlandish ways bordering on sexual harrassment. Other characters are given appropriate time as well, though I loved Suou and Mikihiko the most.
As a comedy, Chou yo Hana yo relies on raunchy humor and visual jokes that often interrupt a more serious scene; most of their effectiveness comes from how bizarre they are, and this is a big reason why I love Yoshihara's manga. However, there are two main issues I have with this manga, which I wasn't able to overlook even knowing it isn't supposed to be that "deep":
1) 95% of the manga is Masayuki treating Chouko as a lady (ojou-san) in private and like a slave at work. His hot-and-cold attitude, while funny in the first two volumes, got old really fast. Furthermore, considering how much Masayuki insists on not breaking the ojou/servant dynamic, we don't really get to see much of their relationship when they were in these roles and it doesn't feel like the two connect too well as adults.
2) Some of the sexual harrassment crosses the line into "too much". A certain subplot has Chouko almost raped after having a spiked drink and the outcome is handled very poorly. Other than that, the constant sexual harrassment from Masayuki himself was annoying.
The art is clean, with pleasant-looking character designs, as is the norm with Yuki Yoshihara; with Masayuki hogging the story so much, Chouko in monstrous chibi form (Yoshihara's own words) doesn't appear quite as often. There's also some fairly explicit sexual content later on, but it's done tastefully and not dwelled on for too long. Yoshihara has her specific style but it's easy to tell the characters apart, and we even get a cameo from Itadakimasu's Maria, although she is more toned down.
All in all, Chou yo Hana yo is a cute story, albeit one that I feel went on for too long; the sweet spot would have probably been around 5 volumes, without losing any of the story either. If you've already read other works of Yoshihara's and are familiar with her style, it might come across as less funny. However, it's OK if you're in the mood for some wacky office romance with a different relationship dynamic than what you'd usually encounter.
I have read the first five volumes, and I am eagerly awaiting more!
The story bascially revolves around a mistress/butler relationship - although now, many years later, they are poor. Chouka has just started working, and who should be her boss, but her previous servant, Masayuki. Whose opening question appears to be "are you a virgin?".
And this pretty much sets the tone. It is pretty much a humourous exploration of the relationship between these two. And their relationship has so many levels. That of master and servant, that of boss and subordinant, that of boyfriend and girlfriend.
I like the art. I sometimes find Chouko's
chibi a bit uuuuugly, but she looks quite nice most of the time. Despite there being quite a cast of characters, everyone that you need to know is drawn well, and clearly
The characters are archetypes. Across the 5 volumes that I have read, I do see Chouko and Masayuki changing - and that is nice. The side characters are also important, and there are a few side stories that I really hope get resolved! Masayuki's character in particular I like. It is through him that a lot of the humour is worked. All in all, I have to say, I *like* the characters, and I look forward seeing where they go!
I reccomend this to people who like saucy humour. I have been laughing out loud whilst reading this. There is a lot of visual humour. and overall it is just plain funny! A lot of the humour does centre around sex, so if that is not your thing, avoid it. Otherwise, this is light, and humourous, and all in all, a lot of fun!
What happens if the person you love is your superior as well as your servant? Well you got to read this manga to figure it out!
If your are looking for a really serious romance, this is not the one you should be reading. This manga is a farce (a type of comedy that uses improbable situations, physical humor and silliness to entertain).
The story revolves around these two main character: Doumoto and Chouko. Doumoto is Chouko's lover, superior, and servant. All these three panels of their lifestyle creates a humorous romance story. It is not really a serious romance but there are moments when it really
gives you the feels. Most of the time the jokes are centered around 'sex', but without a doubt I have to say that those jokes were some of the best that I have read. All in all, the story is really captivating with lot of comedic plot that leaves you smiling until your cheek hurts.
Moving on, the art is perfect for the story. I mean it is not something that really excites your eyes, but something that tickles your stomach. What I mean to say is the art also uses 'unrealistic' drawing such as chibi Chouko, or people getting shot with guns (but do not die) and stuff like that to create a funny atmosphere. All Characters look unique and are easy to differentiate so I have no complain here.
There is not really much of a character development here. The manga jumps right into the story, and some of the time it goes back and forth with past and present to show the relationship between our two main characters. As soon as you read first chapter you will already get an idea of what these character will turn out to be like. It might take more then the first chapter for Chouko though. She is kind of unpredictable. Doumoto is straight forward with what he wants, so you don't really have to worry about those 'awkward' moments that happens in typical shoujo mangas. Starting off, Doumoto questions Chouko,"Are you a virgin?". That just proves how open the characters are.
This is a really funny and well drawn romance manga. Like I said, this does have quite a lot of sex jokes and if you dislike such jokes this is not your cup of tea, but if you do like such jokes...What are you waiting for?
Okay I read have only read book one but want to read the remaining seven.I had never heard about when my mom stopped by a second hand bookstore and bought me a bunch of manga such as Beauty pop,etc this book caught my attention partly because being 13 i was surprised to learn my mother failed to notice the rated m square on the front cover. I read the back and was surprised it was published by shojo beat beacause it sounded like josei to me. I decided to read it right away having nothing else to do (the tv was occupied, no anime for
me) and I liked it it was funny with the chibi drawing so I give it a 8 for humour but slightly hentai with I liked.