"Guilty pleasure" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Viz Media has licensed Honey Hunt, the latest series from Miki Aihara, author of the enormously popular Hot Gimmick. The heroine of Honey Hunt is a quiet, shy teenager named Yura, whose mother is one of Japan’s best-known actresses, and whose father is an equally famous musician. Yura’s life falls apart when her parents split up (and neither parent wants to take responsibility for her), and she catches her beautiful, vain mother having sex with the young man next door—who happens to be Yura’s own first love. Determined to get revenge by destroying her mother’s idealized public image, Yura decides to become an actress herself... and (surprise!) her newfound career involves meeting lots of gorgeous young men.

Now, I'm not gonna lie—I own every volume of Hot Gimmick, but it's not something I'm proud of. Aihara has a knack for writing insanely readable, soap opera-y shojo, but her sexual politics are straight out of the worst series romance novels of the sixties. (In the ickiest moment of Hot Gimmick, the verbally abusive, manipulative "hero" slaps the infuriatingly passive heroine, Hatsumi, for perceived infidelity.) There hasn't been any physical abuse in the Honey Hunt chapters I've read thus far, but Yura does have a lot of Hatsumi's passivity, and that makes me nervous.

Actually, the only story of Aihara's that hasn't made me feel guilty for reading it was Tokyo Boys and Girls. It wasn't great, but bits of it were pretty funny, and I don't think there was any slapping. Unfortunately, the artwork is straight-up atrocious.
Posted by: Julianka


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