Hinata Asahi is a high school student who lives alone with only her teddy bears to keep her company. Her life becomes much more exciting when the handsome Shirou Asou, moves in next door—not only is he really cute (even if much older), but he's also her new teacher! Hina has a bit of a crush on Asou-sensei, but when the older man seems to take an interest in her as well, is it a forbidden love or something else?
Suki. Dakara Suki was first published in English as Suki: A Like Story by Tokyopop from January 1 to June 8, 2004. VIZ Media took over the license, and released Suki digitally under the VIZ Select imprint from September 23 to November 18, 2014. It has additionally been published in German, French, Spanish and Indonesian.
Sometimes the most simplistic stories can have the biggest impacts on our hearts. "Suki" would be a fantastic example of this. The love presented in this short manga is at such a level of pure beauty that one can't help but fall captive to it.
Meet Hinata Asahi: perhaps (and at no exaggeration) the world's happiest girl. She is, by quote from her friends, an "absent-minded savant". She excels in academics and sports at her High School all while managing to be extremely naive. Hinata's life takes a spectacular turn when an attractive, older man moves in next door to her. Hinata (who likes
to be called "Hina) is thrilled when it turns out that the man next door is a substitute sensei for her class at school. When Hina develops a crush on her new sensei, her friends try to convince her that not everyone is as caring as they seem.
CLAMP, CLAMP, CLAMP, CLAMP. Can I say much more? The art in Suki is part of what makes it so simple and unadulterated. The beautifully developed Hina not only delivers the goods in pure, innocent, absent-minded moe-ness. But also makes it impossible not for someone who picks up and reads a few pages of this manga to fall in love with her.
If you are going to read this story expecting for it to be about the struggles of large age differences in dating, and a lot of ecchi teacherXstudent...you might as well forget it. Suki is NOT about age difference. It is first and foremost about trust in the most unlikely circumstances. And hey- I'm not especially thrilled about the idea of a 16-year old and a 32-year old dating in real life, but CLAMP made it work. The age difference thing didn't even cross my mind. I never thought to myself, "it'll never work because he's too mature for her". The story was pure and simple. Period.
I definitely recommend this one.
Something about Suki immediately caught my interest during my CLAMP obsession phase...maybe because it was, and still is, completely different from any other CLAMP title I know of. Entirely devoid of any fantasy of magical elements and with a distinctly different style, CLAMP themselves hail Suki as a turning point in their story telling and art direction. While reading it you can observe the 'story within a story' technique later revisited in such favorites as 'Chobits'. However, after buying the complete set with much excitement, it was all downhill from there.
The thing is, Suki doesn't make much sense to me. I'll try to explain why.
is the daughter of a very rich man living on her own. She is living by herself because after being kidnapped multiple times by people eager to get ransoms from her father, she decides it would be better to live by herself thus saving her dad the unnecessary stress of going through her multiple kidnappings.
I think I do not stand alone in saying...wtf.
We're talking about the rather brilliant creative minds behind Magic Knight Rayearth, X and CLover. Minds that blend fantasy and real life, humor and darkness, and they couldn't even come up with a mildly believable story that made one iota of sense? Really?
So anyway, let's go beyond the rather weak plot and into what really matters; the characters.
Suki...is my least favorite CLAMP heroine to date. She is incredibly ditzy and naive, upbeat and cheerful, without one inch of depth to her. She has the emotional complexity of a rock. Oh, but she gets top grades so she's smart. Derp. I am pretty tolerant of innocent girls exploring the world around them; I was totally captivated by Chi from Chobits. But Suki? After being terribly betrayed by a friend near the end of the series she tosses it over her shoulder like nothing, as if the friend had merely lost a pencil she'd lent her.
Now the teacher, Shiro, is equally bland, but on the more negative side of things. Humorless, grim and wrapped around his job, from the moment he steps onto the page you know that somehow the sugary sweetness of Suki will seep into his soul and softness him into uh...would you call it love? Like? The two really have no chemistry that I could pick up on and the whole 'forbidden love' idea between student and teacher was played down so much that you didn't really feel it. And the 'surprise' about Shiro? Not very surprising. You can probably already guess it from the review.
Besides those two, there really are no characters worth mentioning...besides for the erotica novelist, whose character and occupation I found quite interesting, both in the context of the story and as himself. Still, he was not a big enough part of the story to salvage it.
I wanted to like Suki...the idea of a girl with a rather sad background living alone in a house with nothing but her bears to keep her company, falling in love with her teacher, an older, stern sort of man...now that's a brilliant idea! In the hands of Kaori Yuki it would have been dark, haunted and tormenting...in the hands of CLAMP I expected sweetness, tenderness and an undertone of sadness. Like a Card Captor Sakura without fantasy. But Suki has none of Sakura's charm, probably because she has none of Sakura's strong points, her pride and bravery and strength. Suki is just a naive girl with nothing but cheerfulness to recommend her.
On the bright side, the art, though different from CLAMP's normal fare, is beautiful and expressive as always.
All in all, not recommended, except to CLAMP fans.
Suki Dakara Suki was one of those mangas that I dipped into mostly out of boredom and slight curiosity, being somewhat of a CLAMP fan already, but didn't really expect much out of. It seemed simple enough: a cute schoolgirl, a handsome teacher, and a possible romantic outcome, or at least a sweet, unusual friendship story.
While it is true that Suki has neither the epic twists nor elaborate art style of more well-known CLAMP mangas like XXXHOLiC or Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, this actually works in its favor. Like the picture books Hina loves so much, Suki's strength lies in its ability to tug at one's
heartstrings while barely lifting a finger. It is what it seems - a cute, fairly straightforward story - but CLAMP's magic touch allows them to tell it so well that I forgot I had seen stories with similar set-ups and themes before. And while yes, much of it is going to seem familiar, the main characters were enjoyable enough to keep my interest, even when very little action was actually taking place.
I ended up reading it all in one go, and I get the feeling it won't be long before I find myself picking it up again, even if just for the smile value. If you're looking for a fast-paced, highly dramatic or action-packed story, you're obviously browsing the wrong section on this one. But if you want the manga equivalent of hot cocoa and a fuzzy warm blanket on a cold evening - with just a hint of a delightful secret ingredient that only CLAMP could come up with - then Suki Dakari Suki is sure to hit the spot.