Art college: cradle of romance, home of bittersweet moments. Takemoto is struggling to find his direction in life, while his roommates Morita and Mayama are moving confidently - or recklessly - towards their goals. Enter Hagu-chan, the childlike and beautiful prodigy whom everyone admires; and thus the love triangles begin. Together, the trio explore the pain of first love, the trials of romantic conflict, and our loyalty to those annoying people who happen to be our closest friends.
Story: Slice-of-Life with drama, romance and comedy with the perfect amount of each. It has drama and excitement that makes you want to keep reading it but it never becomes a soap opera. It has realistic touch but has plenty of heart-warming/breaking and hilarious moments throughout the series. It's deep and really makes you think about love and life. I have little bad to say about it other than the fact that's over. However, the ending was terrific. It feels final without leaving a huge amount of questions unanswered. It also doesn't accelerate toward the end but keeps the same pace it's had since the beginning. I used to not be very accepting of the ending (I watched the anime first) but reading it, I realize how much it's best ending the mangaka could have made. Art: Honestly, this is the part that keeps it from a ten. The character designs are brillant. I love the way that she portrays characters. I usually have trouble distinguishing most shoujo and josei art (there are expectations but this is general statement). However, I would be able to know her characters and her style in one glance. My main issue is that the pages feel cluttered. For memorable scenes, there's this great simplicity which is beautiful. Those are scenes that stick with you. Except for those scenes, the pages are too busy with extra content it doesn't need. Sometimes you just get overwhelmed with the pages. However, the scenes that were the most moving were done excellently. Characters: Amazingly brillant and unique but felt realistic. They made real decisions and behaved in understandable ways. Except Morita who for the most part was an engima but strangely lovable. You really could see the development in the characters from the beginning. You say them all change slowly. It's quite the cast. I don't just hand out 10s. You really need to read to understand. Overall: If you like any of the following: slice-of-life, romance, comedy, drama, interesting cast, something out of the ordinary, coming to age, something that touches the heart then pick up Honey and Clover. The art does falter which is what is keeping it out of my top manga list. But it seriously comes close.
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