Honey So Sweet Volume 3
Given how many comics I read, I couldn’t recall the specifics of the mismatched school-age couple found in Honey So Sweet volume 3 — after all, finding romance across class or social boundaries is common in shojo manga — so I brushed up on my memories of the first two books. Plus, there’s a much-appreciated “Story Thus Far” that reminded me of the key names.
Now that the core couple, Nao and Onise, have admitted their feelings for each other, it’s time for some complications. Onise, previously a loner, has made a new friend in class, Futami. Nao’s a little jealous of the time and closeness between the two boys, but it’s part of this series’ charm that what could normally be a conflict here works out for the best in a reassuring way. That’s only a prologue, though, to the real struggle, which takes place during the school sports festival.
There are various implications of Futami being so nice and friendly and outgoing. How honest is his attitude? How much of a toll does it take on him? And how much do his friends compare themselves to them, even when they don’t want to? His popularity makes it difficult to understand when he’s being honest. Particularly once he decides to start going after Nao.
She’s uncertain about her own feelings, so she doesn’t know how to handle the discomfort she feels around Futami. She’s not strong enough yet to follow her instincts without question, even though we know she’s right. Author Amu Meguro mines a great deal of emotional struggle out of the simplest premises, but they’re universal. Many people have dealt with how to balance friendship and that special relationship.
Honey So Sweet is a soft, comfortable, and heart-warming read. (The publisher provided a review copy.)