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Hirunaka no Ryuusei, also known as Daytime Shooting Star, is a manga by Mika Yamamori. She soon became one of my favorite, if not my favorite, mangaka and it’s all thanks to this manga. I came across it when it was still ongoing somewhere in 2015, by coincidence. From time to time I browse through a few chapters of manga that are popular at the time. I’m very glad I chose to do this at the time that Hirunaka no Ryuusei was part of this list!
..But I love your style!
Mika Yamamori is also known for, among others, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet and Sugars. She has also released a special of Hirunaka no Ryuusei, named Hirunaka no Ryuusei Bangai-hen in which she elaborates on some of the blanks that were left after the manga ended. On top of that there is also a crosscover called Hibi Chouchou × Hirunaka no Ryuusei in which some of the main characters from the Hirunaka no Ryuusei manga appear.
The one downside to reading a manga from this author is the predictability of who the main character is going to end up with. The first time you read one of her manga’s it surprises you, but after this the pattern continues in her other manga. This is kind of disappointing, although for me it didn’t take any of the interest I had in her stories away. Mainly because Mika Yamamori always manages to captivate me with her drawing style and the way the relationships between the characters develop.
As I mentioned before I am simply in love with the drawing style of Mika Yamamori. Her character designs are simple and yet still interesting and the style itself is simply put: beautiful. The colored covers of the volumes of this manga don’t do the style much justice as it makes the style seem a lot less detailed. The shading is very basic and takes away from the character designs. This is why I prefer the black and white drawings within the manga over the covers.
Heartache and hormones
The storyline follows Suzume Yasano, a fifteen-year-old girl has lived in the Japanese countryside all of her life, until now. She is forced to move to Tokyo to live with her uncle, Yukichi Kumamoto, after her father’s work makes him and her mother leave Japan. Being from the countryside Suzume isn’t used to the big city and quickly finds herself lost on her way to her uncle’s house. Luckily she runs into a peculiar looking stranger who helps her get to her destination. There she finds out that this man, named Satsuki Shishio, is a friend of her uncle’s. This comes as a surprise to her, but when she finds out the man is also her homeroom teacher she is stunned!
In this shoujo manga the relationship between Suzume and Satsuki is focused on quite a bit, as Suzume develops a crush on her teacher. From this a romantic relationship ensues. This relationship is far from the usual student-teacher relationship you’d find in just any shoujo manga. In fact it is portrayed in a very realistic way, showing all the hardships and heartache that such a relationship would bring. This makes it a very interesting manga to read.
Aside from Satsuki, Suzume also meets some other characters, among who her male classmate Daiki Mamura. Who has a hard time being around girls, because he is very shy, but this doesn’t initially shine through. Most of his other classmates think he is uninterested in contact with girls, because he comes across as cool and aloof. Physical contact with girls makes him blush profusely and once Suzume discovers this she uses this information to ‘blackmail’ him into becoming her friend by threatening to reveal this secret of his. Gradually he and Suzume grow closer. Daiki becomes more and more comfortable around her and more aware of her.
Another person Suzume meets is a female classmate named Yuyuka Nekota, who is in love with Daiki, unfortunately for her it is one sided. Yuyuka tends to put on a ‘cute’ façade to hide her true self, when in truth she is a pretty blunt person. Initially she tries to get close to Suzume because she believes Suzume has a crush on Daiki. Yuyuka wants to get closer to Daiki through Suzume, but Suzume very quickly realizes her true intentions. After a lecture from Suzume, the two soon become friends. Slowly Yuyuka feels more comfortable with showing her true self to others.
Falling in love and all the wonderful and heartbreaking experiences that accompany this are the main focus of this manga. Suzume is pretty oblivious when it comes to love and has never been in love before, so it takes her a while to figure out that she has fallen in love. As is the case in real life as well, love doesn’t always come easy and that is also a point of focus in this manga. Suzume experiences a rollercoaster of emotions during the course of the manga, in which you see her grow from an insecure girl to someone who clearly knows what she wants when it comes to life and love.
The characters’ backgrounds are well thought out and elaborated on throughout the story. You keep discovering new and unexpected things about each of the main characters. But what’s even more exciting to see is that the characters’ keep discovering more and more about each other and themselves along the way. They grow and gain new perspectives on life and love, which makes for a very interesting story to read.
Conclusion: I love it!
In conclusion: I am in love with the storyline, characters and the general subject of this manga. The characters and story are well thought out and the drawing style appeals to me. Although the story features some very common subjects for a shoujo manga it is far from unoriginal. Despite all of this the biggest and only downside to this manga, in my opinion, is that if you are familiar with the author you’ll expect who is going to end up with Suzume in the end. This can be a problem for some readers, but I feel that Mika Yamamori makes up for it with the way she portrays the characters and their relationships. I’d highly recommend this manga to anyone who is into romance stories and shoujo manga!
Mangaka: Mika Yamamori
Published: 20th of May 2011