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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
9
Honey Hunt, Vol. 1
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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.
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on October 21, 2013
it's a good product and i like it. it in a good condition.
you should try honey hunt out and i noe u will like it!
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on July 28, 2015
LOVE IT
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on November 23, 2009
Her mother is a popular actress, and her father is an award-winning composer. But daughter Yura Onozuka is just an ordinary schoolgirl who keeps out of the spotlight. All this changes, however, after she learns that her parents are getting divorced and catches her mother getting hot and heavy with the guy she thought was her only friend. She allows high-powered talent agent Keiichi Mizorogi to convince her to try to become a star herself. Now it's time for revenge!

Yura is not long in the biz, having landed her first gig as a Noodle Girl before she meets twin brothers and rival musicians Q-ta and Haruka. The former seems easygoing and eager to please, and when he finds out Yura's father is a famous composer, he proposes to her on the spot in order to become the man's son-in-law. Haruka, on the other hand, has nothing but contempt for her in the beginning. Nevertheless, both seem affected strongly by her presence.

There is something vaguely distasteful about the creator's choice of title for this manga--it sounds like something that ought rightfully to be labeled adults-only. Fortunately, Honey Hunt's heroine is quite likable and has a bit more backbone than Hatsumi Narita, the heroine of Miki Aihara's previous series, Hot Gimmick (also published by Viz). The creator shows marked improvement here with respect to character development, and you don't have to feel like you are betraying your feminist ideals while reading it. And although many readers familiar with shoujo manga will note substantial similarities to Yoshiki Nakamura's Skip Beat!, that series is much more about show business than it is about burgeoning love between man and woman, whereas this one clearly puts teens and their torrid relationships first.

Indeed, Aihara is the undisputed master at creating characters of monstrously reprehensible proportions--world's worst parents are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of Aihara-style Titanic-sinkers--and you will find yourself feeling most sympathetic to Yura's plight. The narrative ploy that drives her into showbiz, the desire to get back at her mother by becoming a better actress, is little more than domestic psychodrama rationale, yet you cannot help but root for the otherwise ordinary, good-hearted Yura. Happily, the story does not tease, and she has an improbably big break within the first 200 pages. While you may not be convinced by her sudden success, you will be pleased to see the manga's plot progressing apace.

As always Aihara's artwork is a reliable source of reader pleasure. She has a clean yet reasonably detailed style of line work that is both easy on the eyes yet not so minimalist that you feel like the artist is trying to cheat you out of a fully imagined sequential art world. Her character designs are always especially appealing. She draws a good range of facial expressions, and female fans tend to go especially gaga over her male characters, even when their only redeeming personal features are their pretty faces. Recommended to teen readers and fans of shoujo manga.

-- Casey Brienza
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VINE VOICEon May 10, 2009
When I first heard that "Honey Hunt" was going to be serialized in "Shojo Beat," I was a little worried. I loved "Hot Gimmick," Aihara's previous work, but was bothered by the passive heroine and selfish love interest. Fortunately, the characters in "Honey Hunt" are much better than those of that series. They're balanced instead of stereotypical. Yura is kind of shy and doesn't have much confidence in herself, but she's not down on herself, and she doesn't mind standing up for herself once in a while. She reacts to her situation in a realistic way.

The story is hard to judge at this point. There's not a whole lot going on in the first volume, but it's only the beginning. Yura finds out that her parents are getting divorced AND that her mother has been having an affair with her (Yura's) crush. Feeling rejected by her selfish mother and her absent father, she decides to get revenge by becoming famous herself. This sounds a little like another "Shojo Beat" manga, "Skip Beat" (which I highly recommend), but the tones are different. "Skip Beat" focuses more on the acting aspect of the story, while "Honey Hunt" focuses more on romance. There is some drama, but it's not over the top like in "Hot Gimmick." I thought Yura's situation with her parents was realistic enough, and the problems she encounters in her path to stardom all help to show and develop her personality. The romance is sweet, and, although I have a favorite, I like all of the love interests.

Like Yura, they're balanced. Q-ta, a musician, is cheerful and laid back, but he's a little clueless. It's hard to tell whether he's really interested in Yura or just trying to get close to her father (and his idol). Haruka, Q-Ta's twin and the lead singer for a boy band, is a little rude, but not mean-spirited. He's a little unnerved by his interest in Yura. Haruka and Q-Ta don't get along so well, but they don't hate each other. They can have a conversation without being at each others' throats. Finally there's Keiichi, Yura's manager. He seems to be all about business, but he might be keeping his true feelings hidden... The most recent chapter serialized at this point is chapter 10, and I'm still not sure who Yura's going to end up with.

So far, I'm enjoying "Honey Hunt." I really appreciate the balance in the characters and story. Shojo characters tend to go to one extreme or another- really strong or really weak, really sweet or really mean- so the realism here is refreshing. The lack of extremes doesn't make the characters any less distinctive, either. The plot's a little under-developed in this volume, but the story is still being set up. It's not too slow or too fast. "Honey Hunt" is off to a good start and has the potential to become a great manga. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
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Having read the "Hot Gimmick!" graphic novel by Miki Aihara, suffice to say, I've immediately become a fan of her work. As a fan of Japanese dramas, I tend to enjoy dramatic storylines that revolve around young adult or adult couples. A story that doesn't always have to incorporate a supernatural or magical element, but a story that is real and dramatic. Aihara does a magnificent job with that and her latest manga series available in America is "Honey Hunt".

Yura is the daughter of popular and beautiful actress Yukari Shiraki (think of her popularity like a Julia Roberts or a Kate Winslett) and popular musician Takayuki Onozuka, the first Japanese to win an Academy Award. Yura is quite normal and despite being the daughter of a popular actress and musician, she does not hone their entertainment skills and there is a lot of pressure and expectation from her teachers and students at school because of her talented parents.

While her father is staying in New York and her mother is always working, Yura confides to her friend/tutor Shin. Her best friend and a guy she thinks she's attracted to. One time, while both were watching an interview on television with Yura's mother Yukari, she sees how talented of an actress she is because she is able to lie about being a great mother despite having a busy schedule as an actress.

Her mother walks in while Yura and Shin are watching television and immediately we get to see how Yukari is when the cameras are not on her. Yukari tells her daughter that her father was caught with another woman and that their agreement was to keep their affairs with other people down low and hidden. Yura is just shocked because she never knew her parents had such an arrangement.

She tells Yura that she and her father will divorce and that she is selling their home and that she is old enough to make her own decisions and do what she wants. For now, her father's manager Keiichi Mizorogi will hide her from paparazzi and have her staying at another location until the news of the divorce dies down.

While at her new place, Yura feels a bit isolated and all she wants to do is be with Shin but also wants to see if her mother changed her mind about the divorce. So, Yura sneaks out and goes back home and what she sees is absolutely shocking. Her friend Shin and her mother Yukari making out.

Her mother tells her that they have been seeing each other for quite awhile and that she can't help that Shin likes her better than her. Shin says that he considered Yura like a younger sister. Her mother then tells Yura that she can still stay at her place if she'd like and that she can't move in with her father because the woman he is having an affair with is pregnant. You see how Yukari is behind the cameras, she's a cold mother.

With paparazzi around their home, Yukari declares in front of all of them that she hates all of them and wishes her parents would both go to Hell!

While the paparazzi try to get more out of her, her father's manager Keiichi steps in and helps her. He tells her that he will give her a place to stay if he can represent her. And for Yura, she feels that it would be her best revenge to be an actress that would rival her mother. To succeed as an actress so both of her parents will respect her.

Yura's normal life will now change as she enters the world of entertainment and prepares for the life of auditioning and also meeting the popular guys in the industry who suddenly take interest in her.

Will this normal girl with no entertainment skills be able to survive in the entertainment industry?

JUDGMENT CALL:

"Honey Hunt" vol. 1 is quite enjoyable and entertaining. Although female underdog manga have been seen in popular series such as "Hana Yori no Dango" to "Gunbuster", Aihara goes a different direction with this series and focuses on the entertainment industry.

The relationship between Yukari and Yura may harken memories of "Mommy Dearest" and the real life (lack of) relationship between actress Joan Crawford and her daughter. The main difference is that with Yura, she was shielded away from the negative things that her parents were doing. She knew that her parents were busy talents but not until one was caught for their infidelity and until Yura herself catches her mother's infidelity with her friend, when things start to spiral out of control.

Of course, this story could have gotten dark and similar to Aihara's "Hot Gimmick!" and could have gone towards a whole new direction but Aihara manages to make the first volume upbeat and in a way, having the main character of Yura being saved by her father's manager and getting her into the entertainment industry in order to boost her confidence but also, help her get back at her parents by becoming successful in the industry.

Of course, this is only the first volume and not sure if the series will continue to become upbeat or get darker as the series continues but for this specific volume, I was really entertained by "Honey Hunt" and enjoyed the characters in the series. The manga series features cool character designs, fashionable and stylish characters and also, a possible love triangle thrown into the mix.

Definitely enjoyed the utilization of idol magazines such as the parody of "Potachi" based on Japanese idol mag "Potato" and connecting to the world of Johnny's Jimusho through name changes ala KOT-TON and real life KAT-TUN, KOT-TON member Koichi Domoto ala real life KinKi Kids Kohichi Dohmoto and more. So, definitely like that added J-pop flair to the manga.

Overall, "Honey Hunt" is another entertaining manga from Miki Aihara and I look forward to reading more! Definitely recommended!
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on October 1, 2009
I first heard of the "Honey Hunt" series when I finished reading Hot Gimmick. Even if, Hot Gimmick actually made me a Miki Ahira follower, I wasn't very much impressed with the way the story progressed in HG. The down point of HG was the female lead was just too lame. She lacked spirit, confidence and somehow (I should blame the author here) too stupid... A MUST praise for Miki Aihara on her art style, while it isn't extra ordinary, but it is definitely worth watch. Especially the good-looking "Bishies" she introduces in her books. The color, the presentation, even the way she twists the story among the characters is well displayed. My first impression to go ahead and read HG was her artwork and the synopsis of the story got me curious.

So far of what I have read, Yura isn't a stereotypical heroine. She is coming from an affluent showbiz background. A high school girl with famous parents, who isn't exactly enjoying the "famous" status and is quiet content with that. She's shy, a little low in confidence, gets nervous very easily, but then she has always been afraid of getting too much attention. But that doesn't mean that she is afraid of standing up for herself once in a while. The way Yura's reactions are depicted in the story, they looked more realistic to me.

In volume one, the story starts with Yura thrown in a chaotic situation. First shock, her famous parents are getting divorced; second shock, her "oh so sweet" crush is actually cheating on her and having an affair with none other than her own mother. Now comes the turning point in Yura's life where she decides on taking revenge on her selfish mother and negligent father, by becoming famous herself. Yes, it has snippets of the famous manga "Skip Beat" with the showbiz world and the revenge plot, but SB goes deeper into the world of acting and challenges involved in it. HH is leaning more towards romance and complexity of relationships, just like HG. It has a lack of melodrama (which is good) and romance is center point. Although current volume just focuses on the first romantic link, but shades of a "love triangle" can be seen. Author has used some very interesting ingredients while showing the first meetings of Yura with the three male leads (her love interests).

The balance between the male characters is again much better than HG character's. Male lead 1: Q-Ta is a famous musician, cheerful, charming, laid back, but a bit mysterious. It's hard to tell whether he is interested in Yura or is using her to get close to her father who is his idol (he reminds a bit of Azusa character in HG). Male lead 2: Haruka, Q-Ta's twin brother and his opposite in attitude. He is good looking but rude (atleast to Yura) and he is lead singer of a boy band group. He isn't mean just a bit reserved and confused about his feelings towards Yura (he has got shades of Ryoki of HG). Finally, Male Lead 3: Keiichi, Yura's manager and at first gives an impression of someone who means all business, but he keeps his feelings hidden. He reminds me of Shinogu of HG, but this one has a stronger presence in the story than Shinogu has in HG. Now let's see whom Yura is actually going to end up with.

So far, I'm enjoying the way the story is progressing and Honey Hunt is maintaining a good pace. It definitely does not give the aura a typical Shojo romance. I'd like to see how the plot develops in other volumes.
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on May 26, 2009
The story centres around Yura, a high school girl with famous parents, who has lived her life trying to avoid attention. Volume one basically starts with problems between her parents leading to her deciding to try and enter the entertainment industry.

I picked this up as a fan of Hot Gimmick and haven't been disappointed so far. The artwork is pretty and the characters are interesting and seem to be well developed. The tone can be serious but is pretty light hearted too, which makes this a fun read overall. As far as shojo series go, Miki Aihara's work is definitely among my favourites and so far, Honey Hunt seems like a solid read. This series already has me hooked- I definitely recommend it!
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on April 12, 2009
This is a really fun new manga. About a girl named Yura who grew up in a famous family and her struggles to make a life and a name for herself. If youre into manga's like Honey and Clover, Sand Chronicles, Sensual Phrase, Nana, then you will def like this one.
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