Fifteen-year-old Ishimori Uka is a very shy girl that can't stand being in front of someone. One day she meets a boy on the streets who's just as refreshing as lemon soda. He helped her when she was bullied and that boy made her wanting to change so she can properly express herself.
I am shocked that this adorable manga has not received a single review yet! I am fairly sure that this manga is quite popular, yet I haven't seen much hype or reviews so I shall start one now.
Plot (8/10): This manga is almost a replica of Kimi Ni Todoke, story wise. This manga is about a girl name Uka Ishimori who is constantly misunderstood and bullied for her odd behavior of freezing at a presence of someone else. Uka desperately wants to change herself and dreams of having longtime friends. She believed that what she was striving for was an impossible dream, until she
met the main male lead, Kai Miura. Yes, this is a story of the typical shy girl receiving help from the popular, standing out dude just like Kimi Ni Todoke. If you really liked Kimi ni Todoke setting and storyline, then look no further. Honey Lemon Soda not only focuses on the romance between the shy girl and the popular guy, but this manga showcases Uka's growth and willpower to overcome bullying, weaknesses, and tough goals.
Art (9/10): The art is gorgeous. Whenever Uka or Kai smiles, it's just so pleasing to look at.
Characters (9/10): At first, I was worried about Uka in the beginning of the manga. She is the typical, shy, good-natured, and sensitive shoujo lead. But boy was I glad that this manga proved me wrong. Although she does get saved by Kai plenty of times in the manga, she knows how to defend herself and have a strong mentality. Seriously, I get easily impatient with shoujo leads lately and their constant whining/crying/misunderstanding. But Uka is a composed, reasonable, and selfless character that made this series much more enjoyable. Of course, she doesn't start out this way, and reading her grow into such a strong character is a refreshing feeling. And when she does do typical cliches habits such as running away in embarrassment, she improves flaws and ceases these actions. As for my final thoughts on Uka... she just deserves everything cause she's such a pure, strong girl.
The main male lead is also quite different. He definitely has a soft side, but he's no good guy like Kazehaya from Kimi ni Todoke. It's kind of hard to describe his character because he's a mystery to all the other characters and the readers. However, he is a strong support for Uka, and not only does he develop Uka's character, but Uka also helps him grow. And yes, he is dreadfully handsome and many girls fawn over him.
I would have given the character rating a 10 if this manga didn't mess up on one thing: the side characters. I was pretty excited to learn about Uka and Kai's friend group, but they were pretty much ignored for a good chunk of time. I don't even remember their names (sadly) but I am interested in their characters.
Another positive aspect of the characters is the love rival role. The main love rival was actually incredibly likable and sweet. Usually in other shoujo mangas, the love rival has ulterior motives, is manipulative, and sometimes just plain annoying. However, I really appreciated the change and how the love rival didn't cause too much drama or cause tension. A bit of spoiler, but to have a good taste of the love rival, Serina dumped water on her friends when they started to bad mouth Uka in front of everyone. Serina had no ulterior motives to look "good" in front of Kai or because she wanted to have a good reputation, but she really was pissed that her friends would straight out bully her classmate.
Enjoyment (10/10) : I think I may have ranted a bit too much of the character category, but really, this was an enjoyable manga. Although this may be similar to Kimi -ni Todoke, I personally enjoyed Honey Lemon Soda more. This series may not be as fluffy, but the characterization, development, and lack of drama are there. While the romance doesn't immediately happen (you have to be a patient person haha), there are many adorable moments in this manga that can make for it. It's sometimes funny to read because whenever there is a potential cliche moment that makes you cringe, Uka disproves the readers by taking a REASONABLE action that prevents the infuriating drama that it could have caused.
Anyway, this is a sweet manga that you should definitely read. The manga offers a slow-paced romance, inspiring characters, and a lesson to never give up as well as finding an everlasting bond between friends.
I stumbled on this little manga by accident. At first I wasn't to interesting because it's very shojo, very school life......and I'm more of a Josei type, buuuut then, next thing I know it's 3 AM and I'm Laughing out loud by myself.
I swear once In a while I crack up, some expressions or reactions are too funny that's why for arts it's a 10 for me
I love the story and love the characters.
the main girl is superb, she start as a weak girl, always needing protection, but becomes very strong and independent.
love how they mature throughout the chapters. I love the art, the
details, it's very lively.
Every character has their own personality and their own touch to the story.
Basically it's a good read, and I'm a sucker for love stories.
so give it a shot, don't just read the first chapter and give up.
just for info: There's more chapters out in Spanish and French. even more so raw duh..(but I don't understand Japanese sadly)
First of all, excuse my English, it's not my first nether my second language so it sucks.
Well, that's my very first review in MAL and out of all the manga I had ever read this one made me consider creating an account and wanna write a review because of the struggle that it made me go through, so let's start this.
The story is about a nerd/shy/introverted girl that has been struggling with bullying for her whole middle school days, why? Because she was a nerd, which I found hella weird, like dude aren't smart kids quite popular? Even those who are not popular
they are at least looked up to, have rivals, people who don't give a damn about them, maybe some haters who are jealous of them, but her bullies don't seem to give a heck about studies. I mean sure there's no logical reason to bully someone, but at least they should have given us a proper reason why this girl was bullied like crazy, do they force her to work for them? buy stuff for them? do their homework? or even help them to cheat in the exam? So the bullying thing might be just a way to make the girl look more innocent and pitiful so that we feel sorry for her. And why she doesn't have any friends from elementary school? So the bullying is not the reason why she doesn't have friends at all, then why?
I like the main female lead but she is kinda annoying to be honest, she is craving to have friends, she worships her classmates and looks extremely down on herself, even though she is nice, smart and respected by her teachers, like GOD she has everything to be a little more self confident and get noticed in a positive way instead of being looked at as she was some old fashioned, boring and pitiful girl, I understand that high-schoolers tend to be quite judgmental but not to the extreme and of course not like 90% of the school students.
I feel like I can't stop talking about her unreasonable situation in her classroom, but I am sorry, I can't, because it's so tiring and irritating, so Im gonna move to the male lead, that dude is hella handsome, popular and 99% of the school girls are head over heels for him, sounds like the popular/nerd love story cliché? well, it's the case, and imagine what? That poor little girl is blessed to have this cool, kind, charming guy falling for her for like no reason, well, it's not like there's no reason because the girl or Ishimori had made a great character development compared to her old self, but Kai did not have an idea who was her back then and yet he just came out of the blue and was like "hey Imma make all your dreams come true" like why he decided to support her in the first place? Out of sympathy? Well, that would be awful. A love from first sight? I don't think so, and what's next? She became quite known and admitted just because she was around him, but guess what? people around her were just too rude to accept her heartfully, no matter what she does she is still being judged, they even call her the "plain" girl because they think that she doesn't deserve that hottie to be by her side, which I don't get at all, like she is the cutest girl out there, if the author was going to make her play "the plain" she should have drawn her in way that shows it, because it hurts my pride to be honest, also a long skirt isn't enough to make a girl ugly or old fashioned, sometimes I am just like "honey, they are just so rude, it cannot be helped, just stop trying to get along with these brats already" for God sake, there's nothing wrong with being a loner, still so much better than clinging to people to feel accepted while you are fine and has good points, why don't you consider loving yourself instead? I believe that if she tried loving herself she'd have been loved without going through all the hardship.
even though the author tried hard to make it look like she is finally accepted, but God she is still not, those classmates who were fascinated in a particular moment because of one specific action of hers, they end up going back to teasing her and looking down on her ad it was something normal and happens everyday, in both mean and jokingly way, making fun of her appearance and character and actions, like I don't even know what's wrong with them, they are the most mean students I have ever seen in any other manga, they are just too unrealistically confident and arrogant like they were the most fun and classy. Sometimes I feel like that 90% characters are made awfully with a rude attitude just to make Ishimori looks like the good girl who gonna change all of them and teach them a lesson of kindness, seriously, to make the main lead a good person doesn't mean to make everyone else look so bad.
There's nothing new since we are talking about a ribbon work, because they all look the same, but at least the art is hight quality, the expressions are in point, the characters are drawn in a unique way, each of them has their own style so we can tell easily who is who just in glance, I also like the fashion, especially the boys outfits.
Finally what I liked about this whole manga is the character development of Uka, she did well, even though existing in an inconvenient environment, she still has done her best, I really admired the fact that she overcame her fears, affronted her father and told him what she wanted to do, even though I thought that it would be better if she had been accepted in that nerds school, she could have made better friends there, but otherwise she wouldn't be able to be with the yellow head which would have been better because I dislike his "flashy" character .
Well, that's all what I could say for now, I am still waiting for updates, and I'm gonna give this manga a chance for the the art and takamine sake who I found the most interesting character out there but he barely appears which pisses me off, but I have that awkward feeling that he is gonna be a part of a love triangle.