Honey, titled Honey So Sweet for its North American release, is an 8 volume series by Amu Meguro that ran in Betsuma shoujo manga magazine from August 2012-December 2015. It has been licensed by Viz media and the first three volumes have been released in North America as of July 2016.
The Gist: Little did Nao Kogure realize back in middle school that when she left an umbrella and a box of bandages in the rain for injured delinquent Taiga Onise that she would meet him again in high school. Nao wants nothing to do with the gruff and frightening Taiga, but he suddenly presents her with a huge bouquet of flowers and asks her to date him—with marriage in mind! Is Taiga really so scary, or is he a sweetheart in disguise?
The Review: Honey So Sweet is a slice-of-life romance manga with a high school setting. Those don’t have the best track record in North America, so I think it’s important to recognize when a really good one comes along. So far, Amu Meguro’s adorable high school shoujo is on the path of becoming a really good series in this genre. The story treads along steadily, while the character development engages readers to relate to the protagonists.
The main characters Onise and Kogure are both very cute in an awkward high school relationship kind of way. They blush at the right moments and often blurt out embarrassing things that make their relationship fun to watch. It gives a warm fuzzy feeling when you read it, and that helps at the end of a long, tiring day. I look forward to reading much more of this series.
The Art: Amu Meguro’s work is a pleasure to read. One unique feature I noticed is that her male character actually has an asian slant to his eyes. It’s not a typical character design for shoujo artists and this stood out to me in her work. The paneling is fairly dynamic and changes up from page to page. I was looking back and was kind of disappointed there aren’t any two-page spreads. Meguro’s art is pretty enough that her characters definitely deserve one. I really like her chibi character designs that she puts on frontis pages or between chapters. The characters are always smaller than regular objects, and this fits well with her cute art style. The color pieces that are on the front covers of the books are beautifully detailed. Meguro stays with a color theme for each piece and it looks very attractive.
The Audience: This series would appeal to a younger audience, and also anyone who enjoys high school setting shoujo. The story is very appropriate for tweens and teens as the main characters are very “pure”. If you like Kimi ni Todoke, High School Debut, or Strobe Edge then you will most likely love Honey So Sweet as well.
The Media: Honey So Sweet is available from Viz media up to volume 3 as of this post. It is a completed series in Japan at 8 volumes.