Review of Hime Doll!!!
Keep your chins up Baltimorians. Spring time is only a few months away. And when in doubt, you always have your musical charm. Happening at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, don’t miss your chance to see the Carnival of Animals. Take in the Saint-Saëns classic while learning about the sounds of an orchestra. Then afterwards, come home and enjoy this week’s manga of choice, Hime Doll!!!
Hime Doll!!! is a manga by KYOU Kazuro following the misadventures of two completely opposite people. It kind of sounds like every romance anyone has ever read at first thought. It’s not quite that. For one, this manga is created as a shonen (manga usually directed towards male audiences). While romances in shonen are also not anything new, it’s not really anything common either. This is especially true when one considers that guys of all ages would usually like to see an explosion rather than a kissing scene. All the same, this manga is a delightful piece of work.
The art in this manga is nothing short of cute. It’s a story about idols and beauticians after all, so it’s meant to be appealing. At the same time, it’s not a shojo style manga. Everyone is not really about overly gorgeous, and the men don’t look like they have on just as much make-up as the women. In fact, the manga goes out of its way to make characters look as plain as possible. This also goes far to enhance on the “cute” aspect of the art as you watch characters pull a 180® in looks. And yet there are some characters made to counter the readers’ objectivity of beauty, a.k.a. Mari. Getting back to the overall art quality of the manga, characters are the central focus. Alternatively, the background art seems to suffer. It’s “sufficient” to give the manga a sense of space and dimension. The background only really is given detail when doing a significant wide panel that’s supposed to elicit an emotional response.
The story itself is pretty straight forward. The boy, Kyoutarou, meets the girl, Alto. She scares the crap out of him. He tries to avoid her, finds a secret out about her. She threatens his life if his secret is exposed and the story progresses. As bleak and bland as that sounds, the story builds on top of this premise in funny and endearing ways. The story is all about the characters and showing how they change and adapt. It’s about them getting over their troubles, and seeing if their willing to overcoming their inner demons. In sixteen chapters, the author introduces a pleasant barrage of supporting characters. KYOU does a good job at poking at the problems the characters would face if their situation was real. At the same time, there were exaggerations that just didn’t feel necessary and probably could have been accomplished with a simpler obstacle. In the same light, one can’t complain too much because despite the exaggeration, the manga didn’t seem to drag. It was the right size to tell the story without trying to fill the reader in with unnecessary side tales and other filler.
Closing this out, Hime Doll!!! was definitely an enjoyable manga. Like everything in existence, it was not without its flaws. However, that’s alright. It was still able to deliver a good story with great characterization. It is with hope that KYOU Kazuro will continue to create good stories like this one. That said, here’s hoping you give this manga a chance. And as always, keep laughing, reading, watching, and being the amazing otakus that you all are.