*Suki — Recommended Series

Suki, contrary to first guess, isn’t the name of the young girl on the cover; she’s Hina. Instead, it’s from the phrase “Suki, Dakara Suki” (“I like you, that’s why I like you”). That kind of simple acceptance is a hallmark of Hina’s naiveté.

Suki Book 1 cover
Suki Book 1
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Hina lives alone with only two teddy bears for company. One snowy night, her new substitute teacher moves into the empty house next door. She’s thrilled to have a neighbor who shares her likes — childlike things such as eating pancakes, holding hands, walking in the snow — but her friends try to protect her from inappropriate behavior. No one wants to force her to grow up for fear of damaging her innocence, but she doesn’t know enough to protect herself from gossip or other dangers.

Suki Book 2 cover
Suki Book 2
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Hina may be in high school, but she’s still a kid mentally. While her friends are giggling over how cute their new teacher is, she doesn’t understand why her too-familiar comments or actions might be misinterpreted. She isn’t yet mature enough to worry, so her friends do that for her, while the neighbor tries to reinforce their roles by insisting she call him “sensei” (“teacher”) instead of using his name.

Hina’s innocence is well portrayed without becoming stupid or cloying. She likes to talk to her bears and sing her own little made-up songs of charming nonsense. Her favorite stories are picture books about bears, and their author becomes a supporting character in later volumes. These books are included in the text, and they often serve as analogies for what’s going on in her life.

Suki Book 3 cover
Suki Book 3
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Hina is drawn in several different styles, as appropriate: a tousled-haired gamine, unaware of her attractiveness; a simplified cartoon with button eyes, to emphasize her emotional youth; or with added ears and tail, as though someone scribbled on her picture, when she’s acting puppy-dog-ish. She loves being patted on the head, for instance, and she doesn’t mind being called a monkey because she thinks they’re cute.

The three books in this series trace her growth from liking to love, as she explores the emotion her neighbor raises in her. We also learn why she lives alone and how her neighbor is more than he seems. Her childlike innocence protects her from the very real dangers she faces, and her joy of living inspires those around her. Suki is a modern fairy tale, but it’s affecting all the same. If only more people could be so honest and open with themselves and others.

Hina makes a cameo in the second volume of Legal Drug, another Clamp series about two boys being sent on mysterious errands.

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10 Comments

  1. Truthfully, I didn’t much like this series. It was too dry cut and boring to read.

  2. That’s what makes horse races. :)

    I think this series, more than many, allows readers to bring a lot of themselves to it, which may account for varying responses.

  3. [...] (One brief correction: he says that “There are no shared universes in Japanese comics. Characters don’t meet and crossover or team up.” That’s not completely true — some of the Clamp books do, with a character from Suki appearing in a volume of Legal Drug, for instance, and Tsubasa seeming like nothing but guest appearances — but they are rare.) [...]

  4. The first time I read this series I though Hina was mentally challenged but after I read through it a second time the story started to grow on me. This had become one of my favorite Clamp series along with Chobits and xxxHolic.

  5. [...] I’d heard that several of my favorites — Kodocha: Sana’s Stage, Marmalade Boy, Suki — were no longer available, but it’s nice to have it officially confirmed. [...]

  6. i love this series
    i only read volume one
    but i cant find 2 or 3 anywhere
    i want to buy them from a store though
    i cant buy things online

    do you now where else to buy this manga

  7. Unfortunately, it appears that the publisher may no longer be keeping the series in print, so you might have to hunt for them if you can’t order online. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  8. love suki iv got all the books ^_^

  9. oh kazumi
    you can buy them in book stors called w h smith
    or world planet….

    i hope this is a good help on finding the books

  10. you know what im going to add this web page to my fav because it is one of my fav places on the computer ^_^

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