Honey Hunt Volume 4 by Miki Aihara
Honey Hunt continues to deliver plenty of soap opera goodness. Yura is a rising teen idol, throwing herself into show business as a way of rebelling against her toxic actress mother and absent musician father. She’s achieved a small level of success, but has no idea how to feel about her relationship with the equally cute teen idol brothers Q-ta and Haruka. As I was reading the earlier volumes I thought that it wouldn’t be a Aihara manga unless the heroine was juggling the attentions of at least three men and now it is only too obvious that Yura’s manager has a crush on her too.
The best scene in this manga was when Yura’s manager Keiichi informs her that she has to give up on the idea of romance for a year so she can focus on her career. Poor Yura trusts Keiichi entirely and she confesses that Q-ta has kissed her as they’re driving back from a job. Keiichi leans in close as if to kiss her too, and when she freaks out he informs her that she has to learn how to handle men hitting on her if she’s going to be a real celebrity. Throughout this whole scene, the driver of the car is looking at this train wreck in the rear view mirror with a hilarious expression of disbelief on her face. After several Haruka-centric volumes Q-ta is back and he shows himself to be charismatic but incredibly selfish. He tends to pop up and pull Yura away from her other commitments, but then he spends most of his time with her talking about his obsession with her father’s talent. Yura actually does stand up for herself and tells him not to take her out if her father is all he’s going to talk about.
Yura runs off with Q-ta on the evening her drama airs on TV, abandoning her housemate’s planned party for her. It is pretty clear that Q-ta is not the best influence for her. Haruka at least seems to care about her more than her show business pedigree. I’m firmly on team Haruka but knowing Aihara’s tendency to pair up her heroines with the most disappointing romantic partner possible, I’m predicting that she will end up with Q-ta and I will seethe inwardly when I put down the final volume of this series. But along the way I’m enjoying all the romantic complications and Aihara’s slick art that seems to get better and better at portraying teenage mortification and the agony of first love.