I normally do not write about manga’s unless they have been adapted into a drama and I happen to be watching it, but these days I find myself becoming passionately invested in a certain one. Since Kaichou wa Maid Sama has ended, I was stuck looking for another shoujo to fill the void, and I think I might have found it. Hirunaka no Ryuushei (ひるなかの流星) is a manga gaining steam in the shoujo community. I get really ticked off with the overused story lines and manga characters in shoujo mangas, yet I somehow find myself going back to them. This one in particular has caught my attention even though it contains a plot device that I’m not fond about—a teacher-student relationship. These situations are always sticky and create a nebulous cloud of uncertainty and weird feelings. When it comes down to it, you just convince yourself it’s just a manga and root for the illegal relationship to happen without batting an eye. Truly, this manga isn’t overly different from other teacher-student shoujo mangas out there, but it prompts a certain question that I’ve been asking myself lately..which I will get to after I rant a bit more.
Let’s just put it out there from now, I ship Suzume and Shishio. I acknowledge Mamura as a wonderful contender to battle out for Suzume’s feelings, but personally I don’t think in the end he should get the girl. Even more so, I think this is still a typical shoujo manga and he won’t be getting her in the end either way. I’ve seen a lot of people rooting for Mamura and I can understand why. He is aware of Suzume’s feelings, he continues to be clear to Suzume about his own feelings towards her, and he is always there at the right time to swoop in and say some really nice phrase and protect her from being hurt. He’s doing exactly what a scripted second lead does and it’s great that he’s getting a chance to sway the pendulum in his direction. I don’t like these perfect innocent nice guys, and I feel there is way more for Suzume to learn and gain in the end if she and Shioshio end up together.
The way Shishio broke it off with Suzume was a bit pathetic, in that he should have told her the real reason why he was doing so, but then again, Suzume was naive enough to actually believe the reason he gave her. Both characters in my book are immature, and honestly even if Shishio disregarded her uncle’s warning and continued to have a relationship with her, I still see Suzume being in heartache. She probably wouldn’t want Shishio to see her hurting and end up running to Mamura or better yet, Mamura coming to her in order to ease the pain. Love is love, but when it happens with the right timing it is even more rewarding. This is probably the most perfect time, Suzume being a young high school girl gets to enjoy her youth, face a bit of heartache, and grow stronger to actually fight alongside her one and true love. Only once did I really see Suzume be fully aware of how dangerous her feelings toward her teacher was, and that’s when they were going on their date to the aquarium. Even then, she took it to the extreme..it’s like she doesn’t yet know how to handle this taboo relationship, and if the student body got a whiff of this, she would be torn apart.
Now back to my initial comment I made about a question that has been popping up lately in my own analysis of drama watching and manga reading. I think all of us someway or another get caught up with how awesome each guy is, and who is the best one for the girl. We tend to list out the pros and cons, the magnitude of rights and wrongs for each character and figure out which one will cause the heroine less pain. Well, who does Suzume really love? Who does her heart really beat for? I know Mamura and Shishio fans alike can tell me who it is, even if Suzume herself seems to be swaying in her feelings. Mamura swears he can protect Suzume, but what’s to say Shishio hasn’t already done just that. I really hate when a character who knows they love a person lies to them in order to protect them, but in regards to the maturity level of each character in Hirunaka no Ryuushei, this may have actually been for the best. Shishio’s sacrifice doesn’t mean he’s weak or loves her less..it actually means the exact opposite. Mamura is a a great guy, but he is in a much better position than Shishio to be declaring his love towards Suzume, and in the right time Shishio will be able to do the same too.
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