When I was younger, I absolutely loved this series. Hikari was tough but kind and Kei was the silent but cool type (aka, my type). Then as the years passed by, I reread it. And reread it again. And realized…meh. SA wasn’t as good as I thought it was. The first few volumes were enjoyable and I loved the relationship between all the SA members, especially Hikari and Kei. But everything sort of went downhill for me.
What essentially ruined my reading experience was Kei and Hikari’s relationship. Their relationship became too repetitive. They’d have a misunderstanding, then start to drift apart until their friends put them together through a certain situation (or they finally TALKED). Then Kei would sigh, fall to the ground with relief, and say some line like “I thought you hated me.” Then Hikari would reassure him that she didn't and they were back to normal once more. Until the situation happens AGAIN.
It really hurts me to say that Kei and Hikari’s relationship was the most boring relationship in all of SA. Their relationship when they were children was more interesting than their relationship as teenagers! Even the relationship between Tadashi’s puppet and Aoi were more interesting! Do you understand me? I’d rather read a whole chapter about the relationship between the Tadashi Puppet and Aoi!
Wait…was that a spoiler? Whatever, you guys don’t even know what I’m talking about unless you read it, in which case, it’s not a spoiler.
The series got a little better during the later volumes, but from there on, I was just trudging through the series just to finish it and see if my prediction for the ending was right. And yup…it was…*sigh.
Overall, SA had potential, but then it took the typical shoujo route.
One thing I’d like to point out is Minami’s drawing style. Early in the series, I loved her defined and sharp features, but as the story progressed, her style changed into a more “shoujo” style, which disappointed me. Her faces became rounder and her eyes became bigger. And the blushing. All the damn blushings.
However, there’s one thing that hasn’t died off from SA. And that’s the humor. Whenever I need a good light laugh, I just flip open any volume and can find at least three scenes to chuckle at. Good job with the humor…not so good job with the romance (between Kei and Hikari only. The other characters were fine. But it says a lot when I’m bored of the MAIN couple).