Aug 14, 2011
kaedesumire (All reviews)
What can I say? I absolutely adore this manga. I love it so much that I decided to write my first review for it.

I should start by saying that in order to read Hana Yori Dango, I feel like I had to overcome a few crucial things.

First: the art: I'm a stickler for pretty drawn manga (I'm shallow, hah), so when I first saw HYD, i was skeptical. It was a bit dated, with the characters all looking kind of...heavy? But the story was so funny and so engaging, that I kept going.

Second: the shoujo "cliches". Yeah, they are to be expected of this genre, but when I encountered the first one in HYD, I wondered how it would be handled. Yokio Kamio knows how to write in cliches with panache and A LOT of humor, trust me. And her characters make what would be boring situations into something funny, heartfelt, and marvelous . And so I kept reading...

Third, and final: translation gaps. This wasn't a problem with the manga itself, but with my own resources. I'm not a native Japanese speaker, so I had to rely on the English Scanlations I found online. At a certain volume, I think in the late teens, there would be a lot of empty speaking bubbles. This is understandable, since this manga is long, and it has to be difficult to translate the entire thing. At first it frustrated me, especially since I was so hooked into the manga, but I went on, drawing my own conclusions from the pictures alone. Thankfully, these weren't very crucial scenes. I kept reading.

And was it was all worth it. The art grew significantly better, the plot just kept getting more exciting, and the translated speaking bubbles came back again (side note: the missing bubble encouraged me to buy the manga all the more!)

Before I knew it, 3 days passed had by, and I had read all 200 + chapters and extra side stories. Since that time, I have reread some of the chapters too.

Overall: I love this manga. It is one of my favorites. I love the characters, the story, the art. It is a masterpiece. It is no wonder that it is Japan's bestselling shoujo manga of all time. Braw Yokio Kamio, bravoo!