Saturday, February 14, 2015

Manga review: Hana to Akuma

6019613Author: Hisamu Oto
Genre(s): Shoujo manga
Summary (Goodreads):
Ten years ago Bibi, the demon, decided to leave the demon realm and come to the human world. There he found an abandoned baby and on a whim decided to keep it. Since then he lives together with Hana...but having a 14 year-old girl around you, is it really that simple?

*I wrote this review a while back, but it got buried under all my other to-be-edited posts LOL. * 


So before I say anything else here are the facts:

1) I don't usually read manga- in fact this is the first manga I've read.  Ever.  I've only recently (very very hesitantly) started watching a few (EDIT 2/13/15: AHAHAHA "a few" she says) anime (only because there's been a lull in the k-dramaland   > .<  But I will be going back soon....).  And my friends have taken that hesitant toe dip into the anime/manga pool and grabbed my whole leg....

2) This will most likely be the first and only time I will review a manga, simply because I don't read them, and I only read this one to try out manga(s). (EDIT 2/13/15 : SAYS THE GIRL WHO IS NOW CURRENTLY READING 7 MANGAS. OMG. SEND HELP).

Now that I've laid down the facts, here are the opinions. ;)

In a nutshell: I liked it at some bits, I didn't like it at some bits (I thought the romance bits were off putting) and the ending was very nice (welllll it made me tear up a bit xD).

 I stumbled across this one when I typed up similar animes to Toradora (even though this isn't an anime, and I'm not sure how Toradora and this manga are even similar LOL), and I thought, from the short blurb, it was sort of going to be like Usagi Drop (the anime- I haven't read the manga, but I heard it gets a bit weird... so NOPE), where we see a sweet relationship between a father figure and adopted child.

I was too naive.

I'm not sure if it's a bad habit, per say, (maybe a pet peeve lol) but I HATE not finishing what I started- esp. when it comes to books. (I think the only time I'll put down a book is if it gets too racy or explicit.) I HAVE to finish a book and see how it ends no matter how much I don't want to. While Hana to Akuma wasn't one of those books where I was forcing myself to finish it, I found myself power reading through it to get to the guaranteed bittersweet ending (as promised by my friend).

And boy, did the ending deliver.  It was very bittersweet (made more so by the fact that I felt like I went on a journey with this manga), and yes, I did feel a semi-bond to all these characters.  What I really liked about the ending was how it satisfyingly tied together a big message of the manga (time is fleeting and fragile, much like a flower).

I just... REALLY didn't like the romance (...which was a good chunk of the manga actually lol).  Hana is 14, but she acts like she's 8, and the demon dude is like 200 years old (with the appearance of like a 18~20).  I guess the author (or translator?) was trying to emphasize her innocence (which I think was plenty emphasized by her actions and way she was drawn... but just my opinion) by having her refer to herself in third person- which made her seem a lot younger than her age.  Would I still have minded the age gap even if they were older/Hana acted her age? Yep.  I was expecting lots of heartwarming father-daughter bonding moments, but I got absolutely none (and the tags told me nothing...I didn't think the romance was between him and her...).  The closest we get are flashbacks to when Hana used to follow Vivi around like a shadow.  That was pretty cute.  But other than that their relationship was pure romance.  I guess my main iffy came from the fact that I was expecting one thing... and got something totally entirely different.

But as whole, this manga is touching, esp. because the message of fleeting time is so emphasized throughout.  Besides the ending, I liked the symbolism of the flowers and how Hana always gave him flowers, even if it wilted. That was really sweet.  

So I guess you could say I have VERY mixed feelings about this one.  There were good parts (the ending was so sad/ it's touching) and bad parts (the romance), and neither really outweighs the other for me.

Thanks for reading!:)

(No number rating for this one just because I was all over the place lol.)

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