Honey Hunt Volume 6
Although considered a promising actress-to-be, Yura is also a dishrag, typical of Aihara’s young women. All that matters to her is whether she has the attention of the man she’s crushing on, risking her career (such as it is — she demonstrates no talent, just family connections) for a date. She gets jobs after press coverage based on whom she might be dating.
Much of the art features Yura’s yearning, upturned face, mostly huge eyes seeking validation. She’s full of pity for herself, not believing anyone could like her or find her pretty. The only time she’s happy is in Q-ta’s arms or when she’s heard his voice, leading to ridiculous mood swings. That means she doesn’t notice the danger signs, when he pressures her into sex and then tells her if her career makes it difficult for them to be together, she should quit.
Then there’s the relationship with her manager, called Boss. He secretly (well, to her — it’s obvious to everyone else) wants her for himself, even given the age difference and connections of responsibility that make his interest creepy for this reader. So when she has to get his permission to date someone her own age — well, the implications aren’t particularly savory, especially when he vows to himself to lie to her for her own good.
It’s even weirder later, when the boyfriend bails on their date to go hang out with her father, a respected composer, at the suggestion of the manager. She feels bad, but knows his work comes first, although he doesn’t give her the same courtesy. All these guys, plotting to control the girl’s life, all out of a twisted definition of love. She’s got the same problem, mistaking “being needed” for “being loved”.
The treatment of sex is also based on stereotypical warnings, where she’s made responsible for him not being able to hold back. In other words, the girl is responsible for sex, while the boy is absolved by being unable to resist his instincts. This is the same old crap Aihara gave us in Hot Gimmick, where the “happy ending” is a girl unable to stand up for herself getting paired with a controlling cute guy.
Note also that with this volume, the series went on hiatus. The creator “plans to relaunch the series in the near future”, as she stated last year at this time, but there’s no word yet on when. Readers may want to be aware of that status before getting involved in the story. (This wouldn’t be the first time Aihara ended a series in unsatisfying fashion.)
(The publisher provided a review copy.)