Eitoku Academy has a legacy of being a school for the ultimate elite, the best of the best. And the most rich and powerful students there have formed the Correct 5 clique to maintain the integrity of their school. Unfortunately, new student Oto Edogawa doesn't have the pedigreed background of her peers and has to work part-time jobs to help make ends meet. Will a chance encounter with Haruto Kaguragi, the leader of the Correct 5, put everything at risk?
As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first four chapters of Hana Nochi Hare were published in English in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release. VIZ Media will digitally release the series in volume format under the Shojo Beat imprint starting in December 2015.
First of all, let's start with a summary. Basically this manga takes place 2 years after the events of Hana Yori Dango. There's a new clique by the name The Correct 5, as you might have guessed it's made up of 5 Eitoku student, 4 boys and a girl. Their purpose? Well their purpose is to keep the prestige of the school by removing students who come from a lower socio-economic background and can't contribute to the school's improvement. When they find someone who has not made a donation to the school for sometime they force them to quit. Now
our main heroine comes from an ex-nouveau riche family that is currently in debt meaning if people were to find out they'd ostracize her and probably the Correct 5 would force her to quit school as well, so she makes up lies to hide the truth.
Unfortunately one day while she's working part-time the leader of the Correct 5 discovers her, but she also discovers his unusual and embarrassing hobby. So they must both keep their mouths shut as to not endanger their position.
Sounds rather promising. So let's see why despite the premise, this manga would be better not existing in my opinion.
The plot had a lot of promise in the first couple of chapters, the pace is good, the characters' reactions make sense and it promises rivalry between the main heroine and antagonist. You're thinking "Ok, I'm ready. Here we go" as neither of them wants their truth to come out. After a few chapters the story stops making sense. I mentioned in the summary that the Correct 5 are kicking out students. Now why are they doing that? Well one reason is cause their leader(Haruto Kakuragi) is snobbish but also because less and less people are picking Eitoku to attend to. As a result it's hard to maintain the school when less students means less donations. Unfortunately the actions of the Correct 5 regarding school maintenance make absolutely no fucking sense. How exactly do their actions encourage enrollments? They don't, because why would they? Who the fuck would want to go in a school that treats its students this shitty when there are obviously better options out there. Very few people. So their second reason has no practical purpose and it's stupid.
While bringing prestige to Eitoku is kept around as a plot device it's executed in a rather childish manner and not in any way meaningful or realistic at all nor creative.
The animosity between the main heroine and the leader of the Correct 5 is never really explored in any depth. It's only a plot device for a romance story. I have nothing against romance stories but I didn't feel the time that transpired from rivarly to romantic interest made any sense whatsoever. (because they go from enemies to romantic interest in a matter of 3-4 chapters if not less)
Another problem with the story is that it begins very early to show signs of inconsistency for its characters. The characters don't make decisions based on their personalities but to take the plot someplace the mangaka wanted to go. Because of that the characters suffer too.
This story shares a lot of similarities with Hana Yori Dango. It's natural of course, but it feels like Kamio Yoko was trying to write Hana Yori Dango all over with weaker characters, get from point A to point B in less time, take out most if not all the highs the original had, leave the lows and remove whatever passion she has for writing manga. Also get ready for many stupid coincidences and bad timings you'll want to start banging your head against the wall.
What I'm trying to say it that if you're trying to get a Hana Yori Dango experience then you should just go read the original. The flaws in the original can be found in abundance here, unfortunately emotional and memorable scenes aren't particularly common. I feel that Kamio Yoko brought on the tiredness she had accumulated from writing the original Hana Yori Dango. Somewhere in the middle of the original she started losing inspiration and creativity and when I read the 2nd season I feel like she has yet to recover it from it. I would like to be a lot more specific on everything I find wrong with the plot but it will get very spoiler-y.
The art is decent by Shoujo standards. I can't quite put my finger on it but sometimes I feel like the characters are soul-less or not as expressive as I would like. I've felt this way ever since the art shift in the original Hana Yori Dango. Either way her characters look cute no doubt. They do suffer from weird proportions sometimes (like when she draws them full-body). I think this art will not obstruct or discourage most people from giving any of Kamio Yoko's other works a try (though I hope they do skip this particular manga but because the plot and characters are stupid).
The characters are...bad to say the least. They are recycled from the original. I get the feeling that Kamio Yoko was trying to make them a bit different than Tsukushi and Tsukasa but for some reason she gave up and decided to write a fusion of old and new. The fusion was a failure. The new characters have inherited the stupidest and most annoying traits of the original characters.
Oto Edogawa inherited Tsukushi's indecisiveness that drives you nuts at some point and very little of her determination. She's one of the most annoying Shoujo heroine's I've ever encountered. She hardly ever makes her own choice and outside characters seem to resolve her conflicted feelings and dilemmas. Her struggles are hard to relate because of how badly she's written. On top of that she looks almost exactly like Tsukushi BUT the color of her hair.
Let me get a bit into more detail.
She starts off decent. She's a girl who has to lie out of fear her friends will stop associating with her if they were to find out she's actually poor and in debt. That's a very good starting point. She's also not impressed by the Correct 5 despite how handsome and cool they look because she's threatened by them. That's completely fair. When she's found out instead of acting like a victim she sees an opportunity. Just as the leader of C5 knows her secret she knows his, so she decides to use that to keep herself safe. Now at this point you might say "Woah, that really makes her different and interesting compared to so many airhead shoujo MC's" and I say "Hold your horses, she'll be an airhead MC in a few more chapters". All the common sense of Oto Edogawa is abandoned pretty soon. How? Well let me explain some more.
So Oto and Haruto (C5 leader) are both in uncomfortable positions for reasons explained above. In a way though if no one says anything no one's truth comes out. Despite that Haruto is persuaded by his friends (the rest of C5) to go after Oto romantically so that instead of his enemy she becomes his ally. Oto on the other hand at this point not only dislikes them because of the shit they do but they also pose a PERSONAL threat to her since they know. So one day her friends from work invite her to BBQ and Haruto comes out of nowhere and invites them all to his house for BBQ. Oto's train of thought is as follows:
Me poor->Friends have money->I have to lie->Friends will keep talking to me->C5 are a threat to me for obvious reasons->I get found out-> I'm scared->They are a personal danger now->I know secret of C5 that can save me->Get invited out of nowhere to go for BBQ by guy who's my enemy->Go to his house anyway
How does that make any sense? She's not forced or abducted (like say Tsukushi who is given a makeover)but instead goes to his house of her own free will. Just a stupid decision for the character, but mostly from the mangaka who could not find any other way to develop any sort of romance between the two. This is the point where the plot and characters stop making sense (So at about 3-4 chapters). Also she apologizes for idiotic shit and her priorities are stupid.
Then let's give a look at Haruto. Haruto has been spared Tsukasa's cruelty. His background is also quite different from Tsukasa. Whereas Tsukasa was the bully, Haruto was the victim in the past (of other people). So what's Haruto's motivation? Well Haruto was saved once by Tsukasa and ever since he idolizes him. One of the sides of Tsukasa he can't understand is how he could fall in love with a commoner. Nice setup right? Well fuck you because when Oto goes to his BBQ she hits him with a slab of meat on his face because he's is being condescending towards her and her friends. So after that Haruto starts getting interested in her. Wow, totally not like how Tsuakasa fell for Tsukushi (with a kick to his face, though quite deserved). The stupidity that Tsukasa carried, which worked to soften the rest of his character, has also been passed on to Haruto but it does not have the same effect on Haruto because Haruto is mostly a wimp but more importantly because Haruto isn't as dark as Tsukasa so he essentially doesn't need pounds of stupidity to make him more appealing and endearing. It really makes him annoying and pretty stupid. Also many of the stupid things Tsukasa said made sense in the context that Tsukasa was bad at Japanese. Whereas the stupidity that Haruto has makes him annoying as fuck.
I also fon't understand at all why Haruto would like someone like Oto and the other way around, it feels like Kamio Yoko is using the same reasoning as in the original but here that reasoning can't stand because Oto is not headstrong and can't really beat people who deserve it plus she's even more dismissive of Haruto than Tsukushi despite developing feelings for him very early (unlike Tsukushi). And I don't understand why Oto likes Haruto either, sure he's saved her and you'd expect that to be a reason but she cites his childishness and for the life of me I don't quite understand it. I think the chemistry just isn't there and it's forced that's why we're getting such weak reasons that are repeats of the original.
With the exception of Airi, the rest of C5 doesn't really get much screentime. And that's a shame really because if they did I could stop having a deja vu 10 chapters in a row. All I know is that one is a Nishikado Soujirou clone, one guy looks like a delinquent and I could say he reminds me somewhat of Tsukasa but I really have no idea who he is other than he does martial arts, then there's glasses guy who I also hardly know anything about, he seems like the stereotypical smart guy of the group because he makes apps and that's it. That's C5. Then there's Airi who's similar to Sakurako and I kinda like her. She's the only other C5 member we get to know for a few chapters.
Then there's another guy who is also the love interest of the main heroine, Hase Tenma. He appears to be a sort of perfect guy, he's good at everything and despite showing up a lot more in the manga than all of C5 together I can't quite say what his weaknesses are even now. I can't really like him but I can't also dislike him. Actually he's that guy who's a total catch that for some reason likes the mediocre main character and who'll probably be the bigger man and make her choice for her (as in leave so she can be with the person she loves that she won't admit because boo-hoo). I like his character design cause he's striking but we mostly know what to expect of him I feel. Unless he does a heel turn though I feel even that will be more in order to serve the plot (if perfect guy proves to be secretly a jerk or psycho then MC and readers won't have to feel bad about not being interested in him). He's just boring really.
Around chapter 5 I stopped enjoying it and realized it's like I'm reading a Hana Yori Dango written by an 8 year old with a crush on the guy who sometimes pulls her hair. But I was curious to see if it'd ever get any good or some interesting plot progression but all I got was character inconsistencies, a romance with hardly any chemistry, no drama (at least the original had some rather shocking bullying scenes), no fucking intimacy between the two leads (boring guy gets more action that the main love interest WTF). Even the jokes are old. I mean come on...accidental boob grab really? That's so last decade. Just everything is so watered down, I can't even believe it's even listed as Shounen. Hana Yori Dango had a lot more action guys, more violence, more bullying, more romance, and more "accidentally" intimate scenes (never forget that cabin in the snow).
This manga is not good. Not as a sequel, not as a stand alone manga.
Kamio Yoko has some nice premises, I've read other manga of her (not all but still). And the characters in her other manga aren't Tsukasa and Tsukushi copies so I'm still having a hard time understanding how this abomination came to be. Was she trying to replicate the success of the original? Does she perhaps have no freedom over her projects currently? Is she in a bad spot financially? I don't know, but everything that dragged down the original is HERE. I think it's a mistake she is writing something so similar to one of her existing works, it's quite obvious she's run out of ideas.
I hope this manga is done soon. I really dunno how she could possibly keep this up for 100 or even 50 more chapters. Hana Yori Dango has been milked enough, really.
Unless this is just a way to finally give closure to our main couple (Tsukasa/Tsukushi) indirectly?
I don't really know anymore. Just go read Hana Yori Dango. If you've already read it, go and read it again., you'll still enjoy it more than this.
My youth reading series, that's why I'm here..
I think this is not a strange title anymore, one of the biggest series like Itazura na Kiss which is internationally widely known to have Korean and Taiwanese drama adaptations.
P/s : Sorry my sucks grammar.
CONTAIN A SPOILER!!
You know, I kinda have love and hate towards this series. Very, very much. In fact I had hesitated to try to read it again because the exaggerated development of its stories in the previous series. I'm seriously dead tired, it's like I'm watching drama.
BUT, if I stay this far it doesn't mean not out of the minus value. They have,
If the previous plot centered on a delinquent boy named "F4" who had high power in the school, now the wealthy ruling people clothed 'on behalf of the school' named "The Correct 5". Sounds like super hero, no, they really are super hero since F4 has left the school, the school systems has changed. But now we have a twin-tail girl, she is the pink rangers.
Overall it's very generic and repeat the same format as before. Only this time has different variations, the humor part which I really miss from Yoko-sensei; predictable but still explodes. The prologue really gives a very good premise, I laughed out loud as I read it because of its very compactness. But here's one format I've told you, just warm up and you'll be taken to the core of the story like the previous pattern.
About the characters; either is fine. Oh, a little bit 'not creative' because the heritage and physical properties are brought back here. The lead guy is a klutz, a dumbass as ever as Onmyoji, and the other side; a strong-willed girl, and again 'a commoner'. What do I like is, the two of them isn't 'dramatize every little thing' and tried way to hard. They are childish, but their behavior towards the situation is still acceptable.
For development character, I really like "bocchan's charisma" of Haruto. He is weak but not your typical bad boy, he just pretends to be Onmyoji, the one and only his heroes. And he is improved in each chapter to become a strong boy. You can say that, this is my other plus point 'cause I really like Haruto's character. Different case with Onmyoji that successfully pissed me off. Well, actually, they don't differ that much. I feel seeing reincarnation from Onyomji itself.
The art is fine though, as long as comfortable to see it. But sometimes some parts lose the balance.
Another same pattern is, how the story is develops. It has similarity; like the dumbass Haruto will fall in love with Oto. And then many problems come to her, she is completely cornered. Then, Oto would easily date other people, lie to herself and hurt them all and the conclusion is they will breaks up *poor him, the tragic fate of the seconds male character, even though he is more handsome and nice*. You got the point? The girl, definitely, kind of heroine that I dislike most. She will act like 'she is the most suffering' and here we have another inner conflict. *exhale* Now, it sounds like I'm exploding and hate towards her.
Why I give it an 8?
Firstly, I kinda understand it a little bit why it is on boys’ magazine. Just what the hell? I’m surprised why this type of series published on Shounen Jump +. There really is something wrong here. So in the other hand, as far as I read it really has: light drama (so boys can follow the story), the dumbass male lead character like we’ve seen in many shounen series, more teen-ish and how the story goes-there are points of view from two lead character but still Haruto on the lead. I come up to the conclusion after that, Yoko-sensei no doubt took many materials from the previous series but she tried to make it different.
But that doesn’t mean this one is more shounen and shoujo tag in it is gone. Well, you already know that too right? Shounen romance more like this; some fanservice here and there, a moe character and so. And it obvious, Hana Nochi Hare didn’t have any.
My suggestion is, stop compare. It is true that the F4 have the highlight here and how Haruto, Oto, and every character in it react towards them; ‘the F4 is really amazing, they are the legend!’-vibes. I think it is one of stupid mistake, the F4’s shadow still following them. Like the heck boys reader can follow the rest ‘who is the F4?’ if the previous ones published on girls’ magazine? I can’t stop thinking it doesn’t make sense at all.
All I can say is, it’s up to you if you want to read it or not. For me, it’s more like bring me to nostalgic feels so that’s why I decided to read it. Yes it is not stand-alone series, but give it a try, I like this more than before.