Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review: TAKANE & HANA Volume 1


MANGAKA: Yuki Shiwasu
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane
LETTERS: Freeman Wong
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9900-7; paperback (February 2018); Rated “T” for “Teen”
200pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Takane & Hana is a shojo manga from creator Yuki Shiwasu.  A romantic comedy, the series uses the familiar “opposites attract” scenario to focus on a female high school student and a young businessman and heir, who both have strong personalities.  The series originally began publication in the Japanese shojo manga magazine, Hana to Yume.

Hana Nonomura is 16-years-old, and she is about to meet a man who could be her husband.  Why?  Her 23-year-old sister, Yukari, has refused to go to an arranged marriage meeting with 26-year-old Takane Saibara, the heir to a vast business fortune.  Hana and Yukari's father works for the company owned by Takane's family.  Fearing that he might lose his job because of Yukari's refusal, their father convinces Hana to be Yukari's stand-in and save face for their family.

As Takane & Hana, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 4) opens, Hana is sitting with her father in the room where the arranged marriage meeting is to be held, but the perspective groom, Takane, heir to the Takaba Group, is a no-show.  When he does finally arrive, Takane proves to be snobby and condescending, but he is about to discover that Hana may still be in high school, but she is no push-over

[This volume includes a bonus story, “Takane & Hana & Jr.,” an afterword, unpublished scene, and character introductions.]

The Takane & Hana manga is a high school shojo romance in which one of the star-crossed lovers is ten years older than the other.  Still, readers will recognize the familiar tropes of young shojo manga in love

Takane & Hana Graphic Novel Volume 1 is a manga narrative feeling its way in its early chapters.  These first four chapters don't equal exceptional material, but Takane & Hana has potential.  All it needs is a third character (or more) to come between the lead characters.  What creator Yuki Shiwasu offers here promises that more fun is coming.

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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