Hyoko Romantica, by HATTA Ayuko

Hyoko Romantica, by HATTA Ayuko
Title: Hyoko Romantica
Author:HATTA Ayuko
ISBN# 978-4-08-846135-9
Margaret Comics, 2007

Ahhh! This series is so crazy-cute-adorable! I liked this book so much, I can’t believe I haven’t seen more mention of it anywhere, considering it is reasonably recent. This is a silly romantic comedy with a great tsundere hero and a ridiculous heroine. The art is super cute and clean and detailed. Each page is filled with lots of stuff going on, and there are a lot of hilarious facial expressions. Hyoko Romantica is the main story, and it fills up most of the volume. There are two other amusing short stories after it to complete the book.

The main story here is all about a very romantic girl named NAKAMOTO Hiyori. Even though she looks like a tomboy, she is actually the type who wishes she were a princess and dreams of meeting her destined prince. She has a great imagination and a love of girly things. Her room at home is very princess-themed (canopy bed, cute plush toys, girly furniture, etc). Hiyori often gets a bit carried away with her imagination and at school she is very funny, wacky, outgoing, and a bit foolish. She has lots of energy. She doesn’t take things too seriously, and tends to go into “70’s shoujo manga mode” when she is thinking about her prince. (She is suddenly drawn in a retro shoujo style with sparkly eyes and simple lines)

Will the very spirited Hiyori find her destined prince? Well, there is one obvious candidate for that role, even though he would be the last one to say so. Naitou is the idol of the school, with hordes of girls drooling over his every move. But even though he is handsome and popular, his personality is very bad. He is arrogant and rude, and puts up with all the adoration rather reluctantly. Hiyori isn’t too impressed by Naitou (at first she didn’t even realize he was so popular) but then something happens that changes her mind.

Hiyori has a special place she likes to go to. It is her secret place. The place is a field, with some gentle grass-covered hills and flowers. There is a large tree that dominates the scene, and Hiyori likes to visit that tree and sit under it. One evening, she discovers that she is not alone in her special place. There, sitting under the tree, is Naitou! He sits facing away from her, and in her surprise, Hiyori begs him not to look at her, and sits on the other side of the tree trunk, facing away from him. They both sort of enjoy the atmosphere for a bit, before he asks if she believes in fate. He does. Hiyori does too, and thinks that there is one person we are destined to love and be with. He agrees, and for a moment they share a special bond.

Hiyori knows that she has found her prince at last. Naitou is her destined one! She immediately gets up to leave, and he says he has never encountered anyone at the tree before, and he hopes they can meet again. However, from the brightness of the setting sun behind her, Naitou is unable to see that the girl he just met is Hiyori.

Hiyori is ecstatic! She has met destined one! It is Naitou! Hiyori’s enthusiasm bubbles over and at school the next day she can’t wait to greet him (along with all his other fans). But Naitou doesn’t recognize her. While he does declare that he is destined to love one person only, obviously referring to Hiyori, he doesn’t realize Hiyori was the girl under the tree! In fact, he is his usual nasty self to her! No, he is even meaner than usual! Poor Hiyori!

What follows is a crazy story of clueless boys, crazy fangirls, mistaken identity, and general insanity. Will Naitou ever realize that Hiyori is his destined true love? This is such an amusing comedy, the characters are really so silly 🙂

The next story is about a very adorable and determined guy who is trying to woo a girl who refuses to date any boys. It’s not that she likes girls instead, but rather, she still feels traumatized from when a male childhood friend pinned her down when she was 13 and kissed her. Even though she rejects with lightning speed her new suitor’s request to date her, he doesn’t give up, and shows her that not all guys are bad after all. Really, he is insanely adorable, I am surprised she could resist him 🙂

The last story follows the plight of a girl named Suika. Her problem is that she has a rather large chest. So large, that most guys she knows don’t actually talk to HER, they talk to her CHEST. When guys ask her out, they never even meet her eyes. This is frustrating and humiliating to Suika. No matter what she does, she always ends up being taken advantage of because of her chest. Will she ever meet someone who will like her for herself?

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