Title: Koko ni Iru yo!
Author: TOUYAMA Ema”
Kodansha Comics, 2007
Hmm, the thing that grabbed my attention when I first saw this manga on the shelf was the fact that the cover art looks like it belongs on a shounen manga instead of a shoujo one. The art style is very similar to those “moe” harem series for guys. I wondered about the artist. It seemed a bit unusual for a shoujo series. I was also attracted by the picture on the back cover (which you can’t see in my scan ^_^) . This is a very cute, touching story. I think some people many not like the heroine in this because she is very timid, but I still enjoyed it. This is volume 1 of a series. I need to stop reading these right when volume 1 comes out because I always end up wanting to read more NOW, and I have to wait months for the next volume ;_;
SUMINO Hikage has a very unfortunate life. She is very shy and unassuming, and has little confidence in herself. In middle school she had no friends. There is something about her that makes everyone else forget she exists or not notice she is there. At restaurants, waitresses forget to take her order. On school trips, she is left behind when everyone leaves on the bus. Tired of all this, she vowed that high school would be different. She was going to be normal and make friends (even though the very idea was scary!). Unfortunately, her bad luck continued, and on the first day of school before the opening ceremony, she was hit by a car while rescuing a cat in the street. While this was great for the cat, poor Hikage was stuck in the hospital for a while, and by the time she was able to start school again, everyone in all of her classes had already formed their cliques of friends.
As she is very small and shy, Hikage could not work up the nerve to invade any of the set groups. The few times she did attempt to be part of the class, she was ignored and shunned. Hikage’s presence is so insignificant in the class that when she is not there, people notice her empty desk, but can’t remember who sits there. When she IS in class, teachers pass right over her and forget she is there. Her desk is set far away from all the others. It is almost as if she is invisible, or in a different world from everyone else. Naturally, this situation makes Hikage very sad, but she doesn’t know what to do. Her only outlet for her feelings is the blog she keeps online. Every day she posts her thoughts and impressions of school and her classmates. Online she can almost be normal. People even read her blog, and she has conversations with them in the comments section.
One of the subjects of Hikage’s blog are the popular people in her class, including two boys who are so shining and vital, it is as if they also exist in a different world, one on a much higher lever than Hikage. They are Teru and Hinata. Their situation is almost the complete opposite of Hikage’s. The class revolves around them. Everyone pays attention to what they do and where they are. If Hinata should miss a class, everyone immediately worries and looks for him. Everyone’s desks in class sort of inch towards theirs. Hikage can only watch them from a distance, so completely on the outside that even talking to them seems impossible.
One day, Hikage’s whole world changes. Teru and Hinata, goofing off outside, encounter Hikage and don’t hesitate to include her in their anctics (though she just stands there too stunned to move). As they leave to go back to class, Hinata says her name. SUMINO Hikage. Her whole name. He knows it! No one at her school has ever remembered her name, not even her teachers. This one simple thing is so amazing and joyous for Hikage. It is one tiny connection between herself and the rest of the world. Someone knows her name. Then she finds out that someone has been watching her, aware of her existence. Such a fabulous thing is almost beyond her comprehension! Things are only just beginning for Hikage now.
This story follows Hikage as she begins to open up like a sunflower under the sun’s rays. Slowly, bit by bit, the world will somehow acknowledge her existence, and maybe she will be able to join in and be a part of it all.