Hirunaka no Ryuusei (2011)
Story & Art by Mika Yamamori
“You’re my daytime shooting star.”
Hirunaka no Ryuusei is a twelve volume shoujo manga series, written and drawn by Mika Yamamori. Fifteen year-old country girl, Suzume Yosano moves to the big, bustling city of Tokyo to live with her uncle. Upon her arrival, Suzume gets lost trying to find her uncle’s place; as a result, a kind 24 year-old stranger, Satsuki Shishio, guides her to the place. Suzume’s new infatuation for Satsuki Shishio turns complicated when she learns that he is actually her homeroom teacher at her new school.
The storyline is pretty simple, a love-triangle between the teacher, Satsuki Shishio, a female student, Suzume Yosano, and a male student, Daiki Mamura. Unlike other shoujo manga series I read, this one strictly focused on the main plot line and does not create additional subplots, which I greatly appreciated because I was able to focus more attention to understanding the main characters’ feelings and emotions towards one another and I didn’t have to read through unnecessary, boring tangents. However, I got the impression that Yamamori favored writing more chapters on Shishio and Suzume’s relationship as oppose to Daiki and Suzume’s. As a reader, I started to assume that Suzume will end up together with Shishio. Yet Yamamori’s words and art clearly expresses Suzume’s internal, conflicting feelings towards both Daiki and Shishio; as a result, a reader is kept guessing until the very end about who she ends up with. (I, undoubtedly had no idea who Suzume will end up with because I kept switching my support from one guy to the other.) The fact that Yamamori intricately keeps a reader on his or her toes about Suzume’s fate is one of the reasons why this manga series is very popular among audiences.
Also, the art in this series is fantastic. The facial expressions of each character clearly captures his or her raw, internal emotions. My favorite drawings are the ones when Suzume shows some affection to Daiki Mamura and he is seen with a blushing red face. Honestly, every time I see the smudges of red on Daiki’s face, I can’t help but find amusement and adorableness towards him.
Overall, Hirunaka no Ryuusei is a story of first love, heartbreak, and the process of “moving-on,” and it definitely deserves shiny, twinkling stars.