Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 66

Horimiya

by HERO and Daisuke Hagiwara
Genre notes: progressive romance, romcom, high school
6+ vols
ISBN: 0316342033 (Amazon)

Omigosh, this is book is the cutest thing ever. Basic idea: The story is about 1) Hori (the girl), a gorgeous high-achiever who outside of school wears sweats, no makeup, etc (basically she is a real person and is not 100% made up 24/7 but that is weird either in Japanese cultural or maybe just in Japanese pop cultural confections like this comic) and about 2) Miyamura (the boy), who in school appears a gloomy four-eyed otaku but outside of school is a good-looking, pierced-and-tatted dude who catches girls' eyes. They accidentally discover each other's real selves and it goes from there. They become friends and help keep each other's other selves' secret from the swirling populace of the highschool dramamill. And then the boy/girl thing starts to happen.

Horimiya, the book's title, is a portmanteau of Hori and Miyamura. Kind of, I guess, like Brangelina.

Among the neat things is that Horimiya is a progressive romance (i.e. one that moves beyond the will they/won't they question and explores their life as an established couple and beyond). It doesn't happen right away and the book follows their awkward courtship before courtship, the sort of mutual friendzoning in which they're each terrified to find out exactly what they mean to each other—but it moves beyond that and into the struggles, joys, and rhythms of life as a couple.

It's good. It's real good. And I laughed a lot. The artist's ability to capture expressions is great.

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