Title: Hirunaka no Ryuusei (Daytime Shooting Star)
Author: YAMAMORI Mika
Margaret Comics 2011
I’ve been hooked on this series for a long time. It’s kind of shocking that I haven’t included it here yet. I blame my own laziness about updating my site. I’m so sorry! ;_; This is a fun shoujo story with really clean, lovely artwork and appealing characters. As I write this, there are already 7 volumes out. This is one of those series where I buy each volume the moment it comes out. I’m pretty sure that due to the subject matter, a series like this will never be licensed for English release, which is a shame. I’d love to own shiny translated volumes. Mmmm.
This is the story of a country girl named Suzume. She’s a bit of a dreamy and odd girl who is more likely to be off somewhere gazing at the sky than in class at school where she belongs. She does have some friends, but there is something about her introverted seriousness that keeps people from really being close to her. When Suzume’s parents announce that they are moving overseas due to her father’s work, Suzume is shocked. Furthermore, they aren’t taking Suzume with them. Instead of leaving her to live along in the countryside, they have decided she will move to Tokyo to live with her uncle, her mother’s brother. He runs a cafe there and has a spare room she can use. Suzume is not thrilled with this, but nevertheless finds herself in the big city for the first time, going to live with an uncle she has never met. Naturally, considering she’s from the country, Suzume has a hard time navigating the bustling train station, and is soon lost. However a strange guy appears to help her. He is young, in his 20’s, but he looks kind of sloppy, with black-framed glasses and a funny hat covering messy dark hair. He grabs Suzume’s arm and offers to help her find her way. Now Suzume may be a lost country girl, but she isn’t totally stupid. Accepting offers from strangers is not a great idea, and she refuses the strange guy’s help. But maybe she should have accepted, because after a while, Suzume becomes thoroughly lost and tired and actually falls asleep on a park bench. How dangerous!
Only in shoujo manga land could she be so lucky to have the guy actually find her in the park, not be a creeper, and helpfully deliver her to the very place she was trying to go, her uncle’s cafe. Sure enough, when Suzume wakes up, she finds herself with her uncle. What about that weird guy? Oh, his name is Shishio, and he’s actually a friend of her uncle! Wow, how lucky. In real life, he’d probably be a total creeper, and she would have been in serious trouble! Anyway, Shishio is an outgoing funny guy. He may look odd, but he means well.
Starting a new school can be scary, but Suzume soon discovers she knows someone there — the guy from yesterday, Shishio! Only… he’s her homeroom teacher! What?! How can such a funny-looking guy be a teacher? Well, it turns out he cleans up nicely when he puts in some effort, and when he wears a suit and removes his glasses, he is actually a handsome young guy. In fact, he’s downright popular with the girls at school. Suzume is surprised, but again, takes this new development in stride and decides to focus on making friends. The guy in the seat next to her seems to be her best bet. At least, that’s what she thought when he offered his textbook for her to use in class. Could he be a new friend? but no, he is otherwise rude and silent towards her.
Perhaps Suzume’s country bumpkin style and quiet demeanor will hinder her progress. Will she be able to settle in to life in the bustling city? People in Tokyo are different than the kids she knew in the country. In fact, one is already not happy to see a new girl talking to a certain rude boy! How can Suzume make a possible enemy so soon? How will Suzume get by in the big city?
This is a teacher-student story. As Suzume struggles to adapt to Tokyo, she finds herself observing Shishio more closely and coming into contact with him quite a bit, as he is a friend of her uncle. She slowly begins to fall for him and Suzume experiences her first love, an unrequited crush. There is also a love triangle situation with the rude boy in her class, Mamura. Between Mamura and Shishio, what will Suzume do? So much unrequited love and longing. It’s an impossible situation.
I’m really enjoying this series. It does have similarities to other series in this genre, such as “Sensei!” by Kawamura Kaname and the relationships follow a similar pattern, but there is such a charming quality to Suzume, Mamura, and Shishio that really grabs me. The artwork is so simple and beautiful. The black black hair of Suzume, the straightforward way the eyes are drawn, with their dark lashes and penetrating gazes. So nice. I wish a US publisher would take a chance on a teacher-student series, but I just can’t imagine them doing that. I will keep my fingers crossed though!