The literature industry is suffering from the publishing recession. While the literary magazine 'Mokuren' was grieving over the present state of affairs, a composition intended for their Newcomer's Award was sent to their editing department. However, it completely ignored the application rules. It should have been torn to shreds, but the work caught the eye of a sole editor. As a result, the world began to change.
Here's my take after reading 24 chapters of the vellichor of Hibiki: Shousetsuka ni Naru Houhou (Hibiki: Becoming a Novelist) by Mitsuharu Yanamoto.
It's seldom that I would find a manga relating to something I like, well... not actually reading books, but something about literature/writing. Hibiki satisfy that urge for me to read such story but at the same time making it really interesting with quirky the cast of characters
The story revolves around the decline of literature industry due to publishing recession, and Hibiki 15 year old introverted bookworm who had submitted a literary work that could possibly save the falling industry.
It may seem
like a boring premise, but because of the characters and their interactions it becomes a an entertaining piece to read.
Akui Hibiki is no doubt the center piece of the story. Her introverted nature, strong presence, and unyielding to what she stands for attitude is what really moves the story. The supporting cast of characters in the literature club is also second to none as they have a chance to develop without taking much away from the focus of the story; they all grow up as you progress with each chapters.
The art is not bad but you can appreciate the effort that Yanamoto-san had put in it. This should not put you away from the entertainment value of the story.
Since it is still an ongoing manga, it is still yet to develop further and I am looking forward on how the story would develop onto.
With that said, I would give Hibiki: Shousetsuka ni Naru Houhou 9 copies of Akihito Sobue's novels out of 10!
NOVELIST/ GENIUS/ WRITING INDUSTRY/ SLICES OF LIFE
When you read this manga, please read it like a literature or a novel. To take the most out of this book, this near masterpiece, readers must take this manga slow and absorb it little by little. By the end, you would wonder where your time has gone and when upcoming chapters are going to be updated.
Two words I like about this manga: "Blatantly Truthful". Not only does this manga realistically portray the society and life, but also shows how Hibiki acts, which is the real reason I find this manga piece attractive.
This mangaka is definitely well educated
and well read. In order to write and draw piece about the theme of "novelist" or "writing industry", the mangaka must have a ton of research/resources to pave out the background and help the story progress. Along the way, the mangaka must make sure the story flows smoothly while adding some pieces and slices of life to create some surprising plot twist or climax. This mangaka has done all that.
Honestly, the only reason I did not rate this manga as a perfect 10 is because of the art. As a bias standpoint, I don't enjoy Yanamoto san's art. Thus, it is a -2 for me. Yet, it doesn't mean the mangaka does not put any effort into this manga. Emotions and the background are still well drawn.
Main reason I read this manga. So real and so truthful. Got some creepiness involved (slightly spoiled), but this is totally part of life.
Finished all 51 chapters in one read. Waiting for the upcoming chapters for sure!
Overall: 9.5 (not 9, not 10, but 9.5)
Art is the only reason that blocks me from giving it a 10 (hence the -0.5). Sorry man, but I have to compare it to the other mangas. Aside from the "art" category, well deserved 10.
This manga cannot be underestimated. Dialogues cannot be skipped. After doing those two, just sit back and enjoy the manga as if it is a novel because it is entertaining while educational towards life and writing industry.
(Small spoilers may be listed here, just be warned)
The reason why I read up to chapter 33 is because I couldn't stand it anymore. And I will explain why below.
Story - 7
It wasn't bad. It kept me reading, and I was interested in what would happen next. What next big award would crop up? What will everyone do in response to that? Will Hibiki become even more famous? It definitely was one of the factors that made me read so far.
Art - 5
It was mediocre. It's not the most beautiful art I've seen, but it's sufficient enough. I appreciate its simplicity, though sometimes the simplicity
Character - 4
Hooooo boy. This is the reason why I had to drop this manga. Oh god, the CHARACTERS. Let's analyze each and one of them, alright? I'm listing them here from the characters that were most captivating/likable to least.
Rika - I thought it was particularly interesting how the author made a gyaru girl one of the most intelligent and sympathetic around, which really is the opposite of the common trope of dumb, brash gyaru girls. She was, by far, the most likable and interesting character. Her portrayal and development are more consistent than anyone else. She was one of the main reasons I stuck around to chapter 33.
Ryouta - While at first I thought he was an okay kid, the only one with any sense around (although his taste in girls is a little...strange), the reveal of his true self really put me off. The author certainly did a good job in suggesting what he really is like, as there are small hints here and there that are easy to pick up on. He definitely was not a likable character, but he definitely was interesting. So interesting that he got #2 on this list, though it wasn't too hard to be better than the others.
Takaya - He was a mediocre character. He was somewhat likable, but overall he was just...boring. Perhaps that was needed here to balance out the eccentricities of the others, but everyone else so overshadowed him he landed right here in the middle.
Kayoko - She, like Takaya, was also very mediocre. Her hope to make the classic "high school debut" makes her also very average. Her shy demeanor sometimes annoyed me, but not nearly as much as our last character on our list here.
Hibiki - So, not only is she the protagonist, but also the character that I detest the absolute most. I understand her "stubbornness" is supposed to be the key factor here in making her stand out, but there's a distinct line between being stubborn and being bratty. When she doesn't get her way, she knocks over bookshelves. She uses harsh words without any regard for the situation, and if words don't work, surely violence would solve it. Now, if as the story progressed she would learn how to properly behave in society, I would be fine with that. However, it takes the exact opposite turn.
What bothers me particularly is how everyone loves her for these things that would annoy anyone that was actually sane. Ryouta fell head over heels in love for her while she behaved like this -- I'm beginning to think he's infatuated with the idea of love rather than actually being in love, and is using Hibiki as the object of his adoration. And when Hibiki is beyond rude to Kayoko in making her make a split second decision to join the club, Kayoko isn't offended at all. Instead, Kayoko calls her "cool," which is the exact opposite of how she is behaving -- immaturely.
And when Rika, in chapter 33, vented just a little to Hibiki because of her frustration with failing to get an award, she then sobs and begs for forgiveness. She claims that they're friends when I have seen nothing of the sort. Friends don't invade and trash each other's houses, friends aren't awful to each other. And when the two of them are on "good terms," it's just Hibiki sitting there with a book while Rika isn't talking to her. I haven't seen any development between any of them as friends at all. Just because you're in the same club doesn't mean you're suddenly best buddies.
That was the ultimate breaking point for me. I dropped this manga because I couldn't deal with everyone's delusions anymore. It felt like I was reading a manga full of people with serious cases of Stockholm Syndrome.
As for the other characters, such as Sobue-sensei, the editor, etc., I have the same idea of them as I do for Takaya and Kayoko. The story really focuses so much on Rika, Hibiki, and Ryouta (somewhat) there's almost no development of any other character. I couldn't see why I should stick around anymore if there's no development of any other character, and the only character I'm seeing is treated as if she's a queen when she's nothing but obnoxious.
So my enjoyment and overall is a 4. It would've been a 1, but my appreciation for Rika and just how interesting Ryouta was as a character was bumped it up a lot for me.
Perhaps it does pick up and get better after chapter 33. But my annoyance has built up far too much -- it was somewhat interesting while it lasted, but I'm not staying around to continue reading because I know I won't enjoy it.
tl;dr: We all know what's true. (for the most part). But we deny it. We live our life doing and saying stupid things because it makes life easier. It makes life work. But is it worth it? What if we did what we knew was right? What if we lived with our heart on our sleeve? What if we didn't give a fuck and just kicked the shit out of people who pissed us off? That's what this manga is about. (kind of).
Story: The pacing is very good. The issues in the story are presented early and you can see the progression clearly. There's also
a good mix of sadness, joy, silliness, reality, and lunacy. In short, it's fun.
Art: It looks clean and good. Professional. Proportions are right. Perspectives are fun/appropriate. Nothing like One Punch Man though.
Character: Varied? Check. Dynamic? Possibly. Yes for some. Potentially on the way for others. Round? Yep. In short, characters subvert their tropes but are still realistic.
Enjoyment: See tl;dr
Overall? It's worth your time. (Come at me bro: https://i.lensdump.com/i/NjOG5.png)