Title: Honey Darling!
Cult Comics 2005
Here is another unusual entry here for me. For once I am talking about a book I don’t actually own. For every other title I talk about on this site, I own the actual book I am describing. In this case, I rented the book online from CD Japan’s online manga rental service. It’s pretty awesome. For a small fee, you can purchase tickets that allow you to rent a book (3 tickets gets you a book for a year) and read it online. Of course, the titles are only available in Japanese, but I like the random and obscure older series they carry. I look forward to checking out more series this way, it seems like an interesting legal way to read manga online. I just wished they offered these titles in English, too 🙂 I’m all for legal online manga! Anyway, as for this book, I do actually own some titles by this author, Rikachi, just not this specific one. 🙂 The cover attracted me with its bright colors and cute main couple. A description on the back indicated that there were idol singers involved here, so… well, you know, I can’t resist idol singer manga!
This is a one-shot volume divided up into 4 stories, one for each member of the boy band it features. This book was published by Cult comics, which is an indicator that in spite of the boy-band/idol subject matter, the stories here are actually pretty smutty, and the intended reading audience for this book is older. I had a difficult time reading this one, as my Japanese is getting rusty, and there were no furigana to help me out when reading it, but I think I got the gist of the story. It has been a while since I have covered a smutty series! ^_^;
The first story is about an average girl named Chyoko. All of her friends at school are fans of the popular idol group, Beet Sweets. In particular, Ueha-kun is really cute! Chyoko was a fan of the group, and wished she could meet them, but she never thought she would become family! Chyoko is shocked when her father tells her he has gotten remarried, and that his new wife has a son… Ueha! Ueha has the image of being cool and stylish. He likes girls with pretty smiles. However, Chyoko soon discovers that the reality is very different from his image. At home, he is sloppy, messy, and a bit bossy. Chyoko argues a lot with him. It’s especially jarring to notice the differences when she is arguing with him, and one of his gentle, cool commercials is playing on a nearby TV! Thanks to him leaving his bag at home one day, Chyoko goes to visit Ueha at his entertainment company’s offices in order to deliver it to him. There, she sees how popular the group really is, and she finally gets to meet the other members. Soon Chyoko starts to fall for Ueha (of course!) but he is her step-sibling, and she doesn’t have a pretty smile…
The next story is about the short and cute member of Beet Sweets, Keiki. Keiki has that younger sweet little brother sort of look, and is always dressed in silly cute outfits. You would never guess he already had a girlfriend! His girlfriend is a very tall girl named Ruu. Keiki is already very short, and Ruu is taller than average girls, so when they are together, they look very mismatched. Aside from her height, Ruu is an average girl who works at a bookstore. One of her co-workers there is a very tall and handsome guy. He seems to really like Ruu. And, he is an appropriate height for her. Ruu has kept her relationship with Keiki a secret. With this new co-worker love interest after her, what will Ruu do?
Story #3 is about the moody, cool guy of Beet Sweets, Seika. He is cool and popular, and is in a lot of TV dramas where his character always has tense, sad scenes where he has to cry. While watching one of his dramas on TV, a waitress named Tonoko realizes she recognizes Seika. He is that small, nerdy, shy boy from back in elementary and middle school! The boy she always liked! She still likes him now, even though he’s in all these weepy dramas. But how can she reach him and make him remember her? It’s an unfortunate accident that makes him remember her now, and what he remembers isn’t good — she was the one responsible for his greatest humiliation back in elementary school! Seika was totally clueless about that part of the past, and is shocked by how much he is angered by his memories of her. Will she ever get him to forgive her?
Kokona is a 22 year old office lady. Her looks are average, maybe even a bit frumpy. Thus, she couldn’t be more shocked when Ritsu, a member of the hot idol group Beet Sweets, announces that he likes her, and asks her to date him! Wait, how can this happen? Kokona happens to be friends with Kurumi, a famous idol girl. They grew up together, though Kokona is 5 years older. Apparently, when he was visiting Kurumi, Ritsu saw a photograph of Kokona, and fell in love at first sight. Kokona can’t believe it, and is reluctant to fall into his pace. Ritsu is an outgoing, funny guy, known as a mood-maker, who sets everyone at ease and makes lots of jokes. While Kokona is a plain office lady. She is 5 years older than him! The few times they go out together are wonderful, but Kokona can’t lose the suspicion that he must really like Kurumi. After all, Kurumi is so pretty, whenever Kokona stood with her in a photograph, the difference in their looks was even more pronounced! Can Ritsu really like her? What can he do to prove it?
These 4 stories are very cute, and, as I mentioned before, do get rather smutty at the end as each girl at some point or other falls into bed with one of the guys. Personally, the smut in these stories actually sort of stands out as unnecessary, like it was added in just to make the cute romances fit into a more adult magazine. The book would be fine without them. Haha, it’s unusual for me to like a book in spite of the smut! 😀