Saturday, June 3, 2017

Horimiya Vol. #07 Manga Review

My girlfriend makes no sense.

Creative Staff:
Art: Daisuke Hagiwara
Story: Hero
Translation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Alexis Eckerman

What They Say:
The unbelievably attractive Akane Yanagi takes the stage...and maybe the lead from Miyamura?! The high school lives of the usual Kiri High suspects grow even livelier, as Hori abruptly starts demanding violence from Miyamura, the student council trio gets unusually flustered, and the sports festival arrives!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
With its sixth volume dedicated to shining light on several side characters, Horimiya shifts back into its normal position this time around with Hori and Miyamura at the forefront of the action. Just like the last several volumes, however, there isn't much in terms of story to report on. Despite that being said, I wouldn't even think of skipping out on this installment. Given just how lovable this couple (And this series as a whole) is, the 'lack of story' really doesn't really. Horimiya has proven to be incredibly fun even during moments that would typically be considered filler for any non-romantic comedy.

Without beating around the bush any longer, I'm just going to jump straight to the most important thing that we learn in volume seven -- Hori is a total masochist. Yup. She spends half of this volume trying to persuade Miyamura to essentially beat her up and yell mean things to her. I'm not sure why this was just brought to light now...but it's frickin' great. Hori is already an interesting, well-thought out and well-written character but this sudden added dimension to her shows off a new side that makes her feel...I don't know, less perfect? I'm not sure if that's the correct way to word it but what I'm trying to say is that small quirks like this are what make great characters. Of course, Miyamura is so freaked out by this new side of his girlfriend that he actually confronts her dad about it. His woes only continue when Kyousuka shrugs it off, unsurprised by his daughter's suggestive way of thinking. This family is weird, man.

During the [few] moments where Hori isn't trying to get her boyfriend to verbally abuse her, we do get to spend some time with Yoshikawa and the other less-adorable but equally enjoyable characters. The reason I mention Yoshikawa first (Apart from her being the best) is that she actually plays an even bigger part in this volume than she did in the last. Early on, she receives a confession from the super attractive Akane Yanagi. Being in love with Tooru, Yoshikawa is unable to respond to Yanagi's confession. That is until she and Tooru start pretend-dating so she can let him down in an easier fashion. At the end of the day, Yanagi winds up joining the crew and now we have a whole conglomerate of characters that like other characters. It's like a frickin' love-octagon or something. But the great part is, even with so much potential for drama, there is literally none. Zero. Everyone is just totally cool with one another. I wish high school was this easy for everyone.

There is one thing I'm confused about, however. Where the hell is Honoka? Several books ago, when she was introduced, she was made out to be some important new character that would sort of playfully get in the way of Hori and Miyamura. Ever since then, however, she's been completely absent. It's like Hagiwara forgot about her or something. In the grand scheme of things, I guess it isn't really a big deal -- it's just a little weird. It's hard for me to accept that she would just be an added plot device considering that, at least so far, that isn't something Horimiya has been inclined to incorporate.

But yeah, Hori is a masochist. That's really all you need to know about this volume.

In Summary:
After receiving an entire volume dedicated to fleshing out side characters, Horimiya has gotten back into the swing of things as we are gifted with several more adorable (And only moderately weird) romance scenes between our two protagonists. The addition of Akane Yanagi manages to avoid shaking things up a bit and ultimately serves as a means of pushing Tooru and Yuki closer together. I think that, at least thus far, this is the funniest volume of Horimiya. The sadness and self-reflection we have begun to grow accustomed to has been swapped out for a plethora of hilarious subtext and overly-animated expressions. As always, Horimiya remains a treasure to the romantic comedy genre that only grows more endearing as time goes by. If you haven't already picked it up, do yourself a favor and get to it right away.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 18, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

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