Honey Hunt, Volume 2 by Miki Aihara
Honey Hunt continues to be the best kind of guilty pleasure. As Yura’s journey in show business begins, there are cringeworthy moments and plenty of emotional upheaval. Her first photo shoot starts out with the unthinkable – costume sabotage! Fortunately Yura is able to improvise an alternate outfit and the show goes on. Her co-star Haruka is distracted by the way she shifts from her normal unassuming personality into the character she’s portraying during the shoot. He is disturbed by her lack of talent and her budding relationship with his older brother Q-ta. Haruka informs Yura that she’s a boring schoolgirl and tells her to do her best to stay Q-ta’s favorite. She concludes that she doesn’t like him and he walks away mystified about why he cares about anything she does with Q-ta.
Q-ta’s away in London working, but he sends Yura a box of his CDs. Although Yura knows that part of the reason Q-ta is being so nice to her is due to his man-crush on her absent composer father, she’s still touched by his kindness. Yura’s lack of self-confidence is so crippling that even when Q-ta gave her his contact info, she hesitates to get in touch with him. Yura’s work on her TV show is derailed by a press conference where she’s asked about her famous parents. She thought she’d be able to make it on her own, but her manager Keiichi tipped off a reporter about her true identity. This prompts yet another episode of self-loathing for Yura, who assumes that she only got her job due to her connections in show business. Yura had thought that Keiichi believed in her talent and she runs away, not wanting to deal with her new notoriety.
I can see how Yura’s timidity and indecision might be a little annoying to some readers. But I think some of her annoying traits are true to character as a young woman from an incredibly sheltered background who is trying make it on her own. Plus, Aihara’s art is so good at detailing Yura’s emotions as she experiences the betrayal and backstabbing of show business, it is hard not to be sympathetic towards her. I was wondering when we’d see Yura’s father show up to make her life even more complicated. Her mother was such a bitch on wheels in the first volume, I do really hope that Yura manages to succeed on her own.
The three men in Yura’s life are still interesting. Q-ta treats her with kindness and compassion, but the casual way he decides to invade his brother’s apartment and rifle through his closet might point to a streak of selfishness in his personality. Yura nicknames Haruka “Mizutani the Younger” in her mind. Haruka doesn’t seem to have much of a filter on his mouth when he’s with Yura, and he’s always blurting out comments that hurt her feelings, and then feeling bad about himself afterwards. It could be that his feelings for her are deeper than Q-ta’s. Then there’s the manager Keiichi. Yura trusts him absolutely, but he’s vowed to sell her name whenever he can to maximize the amount of publicity she’ll get. He goes after Yura when she runs away, something that he’d never do for another client. I’m looking forward to reading volume 3 of this series.