Upon entering high school, the very quiet but extremely cute Suiren becomes the immediate center of attention among the boys, but one particular boy does not look her way. The story of a quiet girl and a quiet boy.
Hibi Chouchou is the absolutely adorable story of probably the most quiet girl ever falling in love with a super quiet boy. It follows their awkward and super sweet relationship over the whole of their time at high school, so this is definitley a good one if you like slow burning relationships. Of course, the main focus is the characters themselves, not the story. The main character, Suiren, is possibly the quietest character I've ever encountered. She's a little weird, but is generally a very cute character. Kawasumi is probably a little less quiet than Suiren (still really quiet, and basically can't talk to girls), and is amazing at karate. He's also a super adorable character (you starting to see where I'm going with this? ^^) The other characters in the series are a bit louder than the main two, but are all very interesting. They may not all be completely likable at first, but I definitley found myself sympathising with a lot of them by the end. Basically, if you like quiet characters, super cute but super slow building relationships and general adorableness, then this series is definitley for you.
This was an adorable story with little substance, and moved rather slowly, and yet I found it refreshing and charming in its own way. The innocent and pure nature of the main couple's slowly-progressing relationship touched me. The art was very cute and pleasant to look at, and I especially love the way the artist draws Suiren's eyes and hair (so cute!!). However, I think I might have given up if I hadn't realized about a third of the way through that the only way to logically explain the behavior of these two main leads is that they are actually not neurotypical. No mention is made of it in the story, but when you consider how they act and speak, everything makes perfect sense. My headcanon is that Suiren has a speech impediment which she is extremely self-conscious about (which is why she doesn't talk much), and Taichi has Asperger's or some form of high-functioning autism. Boom. Every conflict, all the awkward silences and stilted interactions, it all makes sense and is explained by this simple "fact." And if you take this into consideration, it gives an extra layer of meaning and dimension to their relationship. It's a story about two young people who are very quiet/withdrawn and don't have well-developed social skills but who still find love in their own way, because they have a mutual understanding. They're on the same wavelength and can accept each other as they are, quirks and all. This headcanon saved the story for me and enabled me to enjoy it more than I otherwise would have. Without it, they are very bland and boring main characters who seem more like cutouts glued onto a popsicle stick than real people. That is my main criticism. Overall, I give it a 7/10 because it was very cute and enjoyable, but not the most challenging/thought-provoking story (unless you are like me and overanalyze everything until you get some oddball headcanon, lol). If you like cute slow-burn innocent romances and/or shoujo slice-of-life manga, I will whole-heartedly recommend it. And my opinion is that your experience with this story will be improved if you keep my headcanon in mind. ;)
The manga is really great. Very gentle and pure love story. The character designs are very refreshing and cute specially the female protogonist even though other character designs are also lovely on eyes. The story is going in a nice pace. I think everyone will love the story. Those who got bored from usual violence, power, harem and eechi might find it refreshing and beautiful.
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