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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/16/2008 Archived Entry: "Manga Review: Hitohira vol. 1"

Hitohira vol. 1
Story and Art: Idumi Kirihara
Published by Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10: 1934496421
ISBN-13: 978-1934496428

Review by Kris

Ah, the theatre. It is infectious once you get it in your veins. I was a shy kid growing up. I loved to perform for various imaginary friends. I never liked performing in front of real people though. It wasn't until I was twelve-years-old and saw Pirates of Penzance performed at my sister's high school. The lights, the costumes, and the music enchanted me. I knew that I wanted to perform. I soon found myself going to local theatre performances. In the ninth grade I enrolled in my schools theatre class and found myself freed from the things that held me back. I was portraying someone else. I was no longer that shy, self-conscious girl. I was whomever I wanted to be.

You're probably wondering why I took this walk down memory lane. Hitohira is the tale of Mugi Asai. She is a small and very timid freshman. She decided that she wanted to attend the same high school as her friend. Her friend applied to an arts high school, and so did Mugi. Mugi is so timid that she barely speaks above a whisper when speaking to others. When she found out that she passed the exam, she couldn't help but shout her excitement. Surprising not only herself, she caught the attention of the Theatre Research Club director, Nono Ichinose.

Not only is Mugi shy, but she's kind of clumsy and embarrasses easily. Those qualities, however, are what makes her endearing to all those who meet her. She ends up getting roped into the Theatre Research Club along with her classmate Kai Nishida (who was strong-armed into the club by his older sister who is a member). What surprises and disaster await Mugi? You'll have to read Hitohira vol. 1 to find out.

Aurora Publishing has three arms (did that sentence sound weird to you?). I've read books from their josei line (Luv Luv Press) and their boys love line (Deux Press), but this was my first time reading anything released from their shojo line (the Aurora line). I must say that in regards to the quality I already knew what to expect, but I didn't know what I was in for title wise. I have to say that I am very pleased. I found myself being drawn into the story immediately. I could see myself in Mugi's shoes. Idumi Kirihara-sensei's art is richly detailed and pulls you into the story as well. The characters are each unique in their own way. It is very cute and I caught myself giggling out loud.

I'm not a stranger to shojo titles, but I will admit that I don't read as much as I would like. If you hadn't noticed I read way more yaoi titles, but with this release of Hitohira through Aurora I am going to make a concerted effort to read more shojo in the future. I recommend this title to girls young and old. Pick it up and give it a chance. It's worth it!

EDIT: 11/05/08 - This link is to access Aurora Publishing's key release page for Hitohira. It's pretty cool, check it out!

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