Honey Hunt Volume One is a manga by Miki Aihara, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2009. The series is rated “T+” for older teens; after reading this first volume of the series, I would agree with this rating.
I have some familiarity with Aihara through reading the first volume of Hot Gimmick! Even though I didn’t care for Hot Gimmick!, I decided to give Honey Hunt a try. Even if I’m not impressed with one series done by a mangaka, I’m still willing to give other series by the artist a try. I don’t believe in letting one series define a mangaka’s overall body of work.
The main character of Honey Hunt is a high school senior named Yura Onozuka, and she is daughter of two celebrities. Her mother is the famous actress, Yukari Shiraki, and her father is a composer named Takayuki Onozuka. Unfortunately for Yura, she didn’t acquire her father’s musical abilities or her mother’s acting abilities. Yura tends be alone a lot of the time, with her mother away for her various acting commitments and her father working in New York.
Early in this volume, Yura’s world is torn apart when she learns her father has been having an affair while in New York and that her mother has filed for divorce. It turns out Yura’s mother has been having an affair with a young man that Yura has had a crush on. Yura runs away, but is intercepted by her father’s manager, Keiichi Mizorogi. Keiichi says he will give Yura a place to stay if she’s willing to go into show business under his management; he uses the idea of getting revenge against her parents to try to get her to agree. Yura ends up falling for this manipulation and begins her foray into show business.
As Yura is starting to try to break into the business, she also encounters two young men who are popular musicians. By the end of the volume, Aihara is definitely setting up a love triangle between Yura and the two young men.
As I finished reading this volume, I had the song “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” by the Smiths pop into my head. I realized rather quickly that the basic premise bears a striking resemblance to the Skip Beat! shojo manga series by Yoshiki Nakamura. Both titles feature teenage girls getting into show business to get revenge against someone, and they become entangled with two guys who are rivals with each other. While the “window dressing” is a little different for Honey Hunt, the overall concept is just a little too similar to Skip Beat! However, I do have to give Honey Hunt some credit for the fact that Yura’s entrance into show business is much more believable than Kyoko, the main character of Skip Beat!
Overall, I would have to say that Honey Hunt is a better work for Aihara in comparison to Hot Gimmick! Unfortunately, the story of Honey Hunt just feels a little too derivative, and some of the characters in this series look a little too similar to some of the characters from Hot Gimmick!
While I’m personally not in any hurry to continue reading this series, I think Honey Hunt has potential appeal for teenage girls.