Sunflower vol. 2
Author/Artist: Hyouta Fujiyama
Rating: M – for ages 18 and up
Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, School Life
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***
Kinsei High School is an all boys school where it is rumored that 90% of the student body is either gay or bi. Not all the students who enter are gay, it's just that sometimes they get swept up with their sexual urges and relent. In the first volume of Sunflower we meet Ryuhei Ohno, super popular student who came to Kinsei High through the escalator system. We also meet Kunihisa Imaizumi, a transfer student who didn't know the rumors about Kinsei when he transferred in. If you are interested knowing more about the first volume, feel free to check out my review of Sunflower vol. 1.
Ryuhei is somewhat confused on what he is feeling. He can't stand the vice president of the student council, Noze-sempai, because of the amount of time that Imaizumi spends with him. How come? The next day both Ryuhei and Imaizumi are a little confused by Ryuhei's little outburst. They both want to apologize but never really get the chance. After school Ryuhei runs into the tutor that he had fallen in love with. After speaking with Aikawa he realizes that it seems he's fallen for Imaizumi.
Once Ryuhei confesses his feelings to Imaizumi he begins to pursue him unrelentingly. Imaizumi, on the other hand, cares for Ryuhei as a friend but sees it ending there. Not only that, Ryuhei's style of wooing is a little different. Imaizumi doesn't believe that Ryuhei is serious. He wants to continue their friendship but he can't return Ryuhei's feelings.
In Sunflower vol. 2 not only do we get the conclusion of Ryuhei and Imaizumi's story, but we also get a one shot starring the student council president and his assistant. It is very sweet and totally crazy. But you'll love it!
I can't believe it has taken me so long to review any of Hyouta Fujiyama-sama's work. If I had to rank my favorite mangaka, she would be in the top three (along with Makoto Tateno-sama and Shiuko Kano-sama). Her art is so beautiful. She is really able to capture the emotion of the story in the eyes of her characters. Not only are they handsome, they also have a normal guy quality to them. They aren't so gorgeous that you know that guys that good looking don't exist, but yet they are so stunning to behold. OK, so I'm rambling. But I love Fujiyama-sama to no end!
Not only do I love her to no end, but I love this series. When I first read Sunflower vol. 1 I couldn't wait for the sequel to come out. I ordered the original Japanese version. Even though I knew what happened (for the most part) it is nice to know what they are saying, seeing how I don't know Japanese (yet!). Not only is the Sunflower series great, but these manga are best enjoyed when you read the whole Kinsei High School series. The series includes Ordinary Crush vol. 1 and 2 and Freefall Romance. It's best to read them in this order: Ordinary Crush vol. 1, Ordinary Crush vol. 2 (kind of obvious on that one), Freefall Romance, Sunflower vol. 1, and then Sunflower vol. 2. But if you stray from this order, you can still enjoy them regardless of the order.
One thing that I've noticed about Juné, they must really like Fujiyama-sama. They are the only publisher that produces her work. With Juné's larger trim size and full color dust jacket, it really showcases Fujiyama-sama's work. I really look forward to the titles of hers that will be coming out next year, and I hope they continue to license more of her work (there are a few out there that they haven't picked up yet, but I hope they will [hint! hint!]).
This title/series is one that you don't want to miss. It is a beautiful slice of life in a boys school with the perfect amount of humor and drama. It is an engaging series with amazing art! If you choose to avoid this series, you are so missing out!