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May 27, 2016

Bento Bako Weekly: Honey So Sweet volume 2

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Written by: Kristin
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honeysosweet2Title: Honey So Sweet
Author: Amu Meguro
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volume 2, $9.99
Vintage: 2012 by Shueisha, April 2016 by Viz Media
Genre: School romance

[Review of volume 1]

After a conversation with Onise, Kogure becomes confused about her feelings for Sou, her uncle and guardian. Sou has always made her happy, but she is experiencing other feelings for Onise, that are similar, but somehow different. Yashiro offers to listen and provides some advice – wait for the answer to reveal itself. While helping Onise study for exams, Kogure receives her first kiss when Onise gives her a tiny peck while she naps. Onise is way more freaked out by what he’s done than Kogure is, but it does help her realize that the kind of happiness Onise makes her feel is different from Sou. Meanwhile, Onise seeks advice from Misaki, and decides that he can’t just be friends with Kogure anymore. The day after finals, Kogure arranges a time to meet so she can tell Onise how she feels. Both of them are late – Onise gets into a fight, and Kogure loses track of time while making cookies. On top of that, it starts pouring rain. Despite these obstacles, they still manage to get their feelings out in the open, and officially start dating. Onise sees one further obstacle, however. Knowing how important Sou is to Kogure, and how he has taken on a parental role for her, Onise attempts to seek Sou’s blessing.

I had to go back and re-read volume one of this series, because I could not even remember what it was about. It’s just not memorable. That said, I also know I am not the target audience. Young teenage girls are, and it’s been a while since I was one of those. Even so, I’m still not sure it’s that memorable. Fluffy and innocent are its defining characteristics, and that’s fine, but they’re also the series’ only characteristics. There’s not much else going on. After a chat on Twitter, I was helped along to the conclusion that the innocent nature of this series is really great for young teen girls who are otherwise bombarded with sex in the media, and encouraged to become more mature far too quickly. It doesn’t work on me; I’m old and cynical. Not that I need all my shojo to be sexually mature, but a tiny peck on the lips is the end of the world for Kogure and Onise. It’s extreme, but, again, I don’t remember what it was like to be a teenage girl. Was holding hands at thirteen that big a deal? (I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was nineteen, though, so I honestly don’t have any idea.) I get the feeling Japan is significantly more conservative on this front than America. The “too long, didn’t read” conclusion here is to pick this up for your middle school daughter, your pre-teen niece. Put it in your school libraries, it’s quite safe. Probably don’t bother with it if you’re over twenty-six. Definitely don’t bother with it if you’re thirty-plus, cynical, and jaded like I am.

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net
@girlg33k_kris

Review copy from Viz Media.

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