by Chica Umino
Viz Media, 2008
3.5 (out of 5) STARS
Takemoto, a sophomore art student in Tokyo, thinks his greatest worries in life are finding ways to eat more meat and getting to class on time. But with friends like his, life is never going to be that uninteresting.
Of the four Josei Manga books I have read thus far for my annotated bibliography Honey and Clover is my favorite. It is light-hearted and funny. Although the plot summary names Takamoto as the main character, I would say all the characters receive about the same amount of attention. There are three main male roommates that are always hungry. One of the roommate’s cousin’s daughter is also attending the same university. She could be considered a “moe” character. A “moe” character tends to be female. They are usually cute, submissive and inspire platonic feelings in the reader. Many readers actually find them to be annoying. In Honey and Clover, Hagumi is eighteen but in the illustrations she never looks eighteen at all. She usually looks between eight and twelve. Below are some pictures of Hagumi.
The artwork in Honey and Clover is quite nice. The book has a very interesting feature in that when the characters get angry their facial expressions change so much it is difficult to recognize them. They do not even look like the same character at all. At first it was bit confusing to have the emotional characters change their appearance so much but after I became accustomed to this feature I really quite enjoyed it and found that it added additional humor to the story.
The front and back cover have color illustrations. The actual artwork inside the book is done in black and white. Because this is a light story most of the artwork is done using fine lines and very little dark coloring within the panels.
I used Academic Search Premier to find two book reviews. I have cited the book reviews below.
Krygier, S. (2008). Honey and Clover. School Library Journal, 54(9), 219.
Honey and Clover, Vol. 1. (2007). Publishers Weekly, 254(51), 35.