Honey Hunt is admittedly an odd name for a series. Yet this shojo manga series is quite good. Shojo is the catch-all term for series that are very popular with teenage females, making it the opposite counterpart to shonen which is the term for works that are popular with teenage males. Both genres contain examples of fiction that are good enough to have periphery demographics from the other than intended groups, i.e., males for shojo and females for shonen. In the case of the shonen work, Rurouni Kenshin, for instance, it is an extremely large female fan base.
Volume One of Honey Hunt begins the story of Yura Onozuka, a young Japanese girl whose parents are a world-famous composer father and actress mother. One day, her mother arrives home to announce she and Yura's father are divorcing, she doesn't care what Yura does for herself, and generally dismisses her daughter. Oh, and she is also sleeping with, and has been for some time, the boy Yura has been in love with for literally years.
Yura is crushed by the abusiveness and cruelty of her parents, especially her mother, Yukari, who puts on a false public persona of being a loving mother. Because of this, Yura lashes out at Yukari, and her father, telling them to "go to hell" in an emotional statement to reporters and paparazzi. A talent agent who does some business for her father sees this display and likes her passion. He offers her a chance to get out from under her parents' shadow and be her own person, by offering to give her a place to live and his professional help in becoming an actress. Yura accepts, and the story begins.
This was fun, but also painful, to read. It's a sweet series so far, that focuses on this shy, but kind and sensitive young girl. Yura has more to contribute to the world than she knows, and to see her rise up and start to assert herself is really heartwarming. On the other hand, the reason the girl has to learn to be assertive and that she has value in this world, is because of how often she has been treated by her absent, and in the case of her mother, emotionally abusive, parents. The treatment Yukari gave her daughter in this story elicited from me, as a reader, the same anger I felt when reading of the bad treatment of Jane or Fanny in Jane Eyre and Mansfield Park, respectively.
I loved the artwork. Right away, the artwork makes clear to the reader exactly how Yukari will be. While her style is not any different in how she is drawn than the other characters, she still comes across very differently. The author/artist of the manga, Miki Aihara, draws Yukari as an extremely beautiful woman, but one who just exudes this sense of coldness and selfishness. Very well done.
One thing I liked about this was how it shows that divorce is not just an "easy" thing to deal with, as too many media attempt to portray it as. It can be quite difficult for the children involved, as it is for Yura. Even though, I hope, most children of divorce in real-life do not have the absolute wench for a mother or jerk (we assume from what we hear of his antics, as we haven't seen him yet in volume one) for a father, it can still be hard. This series communicates that nicely.
I know that some guys will see the covers, or that this is a shojo series, and dismiss it as just for girls. It really isn't, and that would be unfortunate assumption to make. Honey Hunt is a touching, funny, yet poignant series with a heroine we can cheer for.
Definitely Highly Recommended.