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Hanazakari no Kimitachi E
Synopsis | Review

Aaah, I thought I'd never get around to writing this up! Well, first, because it took a while for this series to end. Second, because I'm too lazy to actually get around to writing it :P But finally, here we are :D

I usually avoid series that are not yet finished, because I like to sit down and finish them in one sitting. I can't stand suspenses at all, and most of the time, I lose interest in the series. I make a few exceptions, and Hana Kimi was one of them. When I first heard about this girl who posed as a guy to get into an all-guys school, I figured it was worth it. And it was, for the most part. Hana Kimi has a very large fanbase (well, the last time I checked) and is licensed. It translates to "For You in Full Blossom" and was created by Nakajo Hisaya, who has a distinct style. I could now look at a series and tell if she made it XD Interestingly, she's also a big fan of Inu Yasha and made an Inu Yasha doujin. It's one of the very few doujins I've read XD

Ashiya Mizuki is a fan of high jump. One day, while watching a high jump tournament, she came across Sano Izumi. He's a guy her age and is a high jump champion. Since then, Mizuki idolized Sano. She finally decided to go to the same high school he goes to. The problem is, she lives in San Francisco (but yes, she's Japanese) and he lives in Japan. But an even bigger problem is that Sano goes to Osaka Gakuen, an all-boys boarding school.

So Mizuki convinces her parents to let her go study in Japan and enroll at the school. They had no idea it was an all-boys school, which was a good thing. Then she proceded to disguise herself as a boy, which mostly involved cutting her hair short and wearing a tight vest to hide her boobs.

It so happened that Sano's her roommate. Well. Isn't that nice. In the beginning, however, Sano couldn't understand why Mizuki kept following him around. Then one day, Mizuki passed out and Sano carried her to the clinic. That's when he found out that she's a girl :P

Hana Kimi is like a mating dance between Mizuki and Sano. Mizuki kept trying to hide her identity from Sano and from the entire school, and Sano kept trying to hide the fact that he's onto her. And naturally, he ended up falling in love with her. Awww.

Other characters include Umeda-sensei, the school doctor who is incredibly hot and incredibly gay. Damn. He found out immediately that Mizuki's a girl and would (reluctantly) help her out whenever she gets into a bind. His nephew is Nanba-senpai, who is the head of Mizuki and Sano's dorm and is a total playboy. There's also Nakatsu, who started out being Mizuki's friend and later realized he's attracted to her. Of course, Nakatsu thought that Mizuki's a guy, and he started having an identity crisis because he thought he's becoming gay.

Hana Kimi shows Mizuki's life in the dorms, which primarily involved concealing the fact that she's a girl. There's also other stuff, such as straightening out Sano's family issues, straightening out Nakatsu's issues, getting to know Umeda-sensei's weird family, and helping out a classmate who had feelings for Nanba-senpai (who, unlike his uncle, is not gay). Unfortunately, at some point, Hisaya-sensei probably got tired of the series. Towards the end, she took a leave of absence. And then she just ended the series. Damn. This is why I don't go into unfinished series. Oh well. It was worth the ride, anyway. I think. Sadly, Mizuki wasn't able to keep up her masquerade long enough to finish high school. Ultimately, she got found out, by the end of their second year. To spare everybody the trouble, she decided to resign from Osaka Gakuen. The ending was a little touching, actually, because the entire school came out to pay tribute to her. Awww.

This is one of those series that went on for too long and ended with a "pft" *coughRumikoTakahashicough.* The storyline just dragged after a while. Or maybe that's just me, since I'm not really into following installments. But I do think that with a little more TLC, Hana Kimi could've remained interesting and could've continued a little longer. Oh well.

And after a while, Mizuki's masquerade just because too good to be true (even for fiction). She had a lot of close calls. The guys at their school must be incredibly dense, save Sano and Umeda-sensei. Oh yes, Mizuki's incredibly dense too. She had absolutely no idea that Sano likes her. Even though he straight out told her he likes her, she still had no idea that he likes her

Given those limitations, this is a good read. I keep reminding myself that Hana Kimi has a large fanbase and that I, too, tore through all available chapters at first. This is a pretty long series, and it has its moments, which you will definitely enjoy.

The artwork is pretty nice, especially for Umeda-sensei XD He's just too hot. In the beginning, he would strip with abandon, just to shock Mizuki. Ah, those were the days. Later on, however, the artwork just fell apart, and the characters' profiles look like frogs. No, seriously. That's probably the reason why I think Nakajo-sensei just got tired of this series.

If you're into gender-bender, a shoujo genre that is gaining popularity and includes Genbu Kaiden, I really recommend Hana Kimi. You will also like this if you're into high school romance series. Very cute. Who knows, you might get as addicted to it as I used to be.

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