'Raw' is the word I would use to describe Hope. It deals with some very dark, heavy concepts. Reading it, I felt hurt a lot. The protagonist goes through many trials and tribulations.
This pain is honestly the major draw of Hope. The art expresses it very well. There were a few times where I just had to stop and admire the depth of what I was looking at. Riding the highs and lows of the journey was quite enthralling.
But these are the only outstanding qualities of Hope. Even if I enjoyed myself, Hope lacks heavily in story and character development.
The story, while compelling, lacks reality. Severely. Things happen in it that would never actually happen in real life - and reality is a key factor in making a drama manga truly good. It also moves along at uneven paces. Some chapters take place over what appears to weeks, and then sometimes one day will take several chapters. Characters are picked up and dropped so quickly at the easiest convenience and for some truly trivial reasons, and others for not-so trivial reasons.
The biggest drawback was the highly under-developed characters. The only developed character was Hikari, the protagonist. Every other character is boiled down to a single trait: inspiring, plain evil, the rival, and etc. It made for predictable story, except when the random unrealistic things happened, and made the only true relationship the reader has with Hikari. I literally feel nothing for the other characters. Given that Hope started off quite strongly with a lovely friendship, it was quite disappointing to see how poorly used other characters were by the end.
Ultimately, these flaws didn't stop me from enjoying Hope. I was eager to keep reading from the get-go, and for all the sadness you experience in it, there's an equal number of up-lifting moments. That's what Hope is about really. It's about over-coming obstacles and rising above them.
Don't read Hope for the story. Read it for great representations of emotion. read more