Title: Takane & Hana Vol. 1
Author: Yuki Shiwasu
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, Romance
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Takane & Hana is a new series from mangaka Yuki Shiwasu. When Takane, a wealthy businessman and heir to his grandfather’s conglomerate, shows up for an arranged marriage meeting, he meets Hana. Hana is standing in her for older sister who didn’t want to attend the marriage arrangement meeting because she was busy going on a date with her actual boyfriend. Right from the start, Takane was completely rude and condescending towards Hana; however, Hana decided that she was going to take any of that verbal abuse from Takane and turned it into a game where she decided to put him down any chance he got. This took Takane aback just a bit and he began to find Hana interesting. The result of their constant bickering is the spark which looks to ignite a flame of love between them!
The story is pretty simple to follow. The first volume doesn’t really do much in the way of world building, but instead, focuses on Takane and Hana’s characters. While they maintain their demeanor throughout the volume, they throw out little hints that they might just be falling for one another. The comedy comes in where either Takane or Hana is about to slip to confide their real feelings to each other and then they turn around and become extremely cynical. After a full volume filled with the same style of humor, I only hope that future volumes are not in the same vain.
The way the first volume ended, though, shows that the story is about to take a bit of a dramatic turn that will, predictably, test Takane and Hana’s relationship and, perhaps, even force one of them to state their true feelings for one another. I don’t see volume two going that that far, but I think this will be a bit of a slow burn in that department.
Hana seems like a typical high school girl, but she does have a mouth on her. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and she’s definitely not afraid to dish back what has been given to her. The fact that she puts Takane in his place almost immediately is a testament to this attitude of hers. The fact that her brashness stuns Takane and makes him actually take interest in her clearly backs up the kind of girl Hana is, but it’s not the full picture with her. She still has a sweet side about her, but she is pretty simple and direct. You can tell that she learns the difference between middle and upper class, but despite being introduced to a life of luxury, she wanted to show Takane what it’s like to live as a commoner. I guess you could say that she’s a down-to-Earth girl who likes to remain grounded… and that’s something that just rubs Takane the wrong way.
Takane, on the other hand, seems like a rich snob, but he’s actually not. While he does prefer expensive cars, fine dining and putting over how well the luxury lifestyle can be, he mainly acts the way he does because he knew their arranged marriage meeting was a ruse from the very beginning and that ticked him off. He doesn’t look down on Hana because he pities her or the level of her social status, he puts her down because he wants to tease her for trying to fool him during their arranged marriage meeting. There are sides to Takane that shows that he actually cares about Hana and is willing to do things to make her happy, even if they are masked behind a snobbish rich attitude.
This was a pretty decent start to the series. The first volume makes this series seem one dimensional, but with the ending where Takane’s grandfather is being given a report about him shows that it’s about to take on a different layer. While this tactic exists in order to create drama and add another dimension to the story, I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit on the generic side. I’ve seen this angle used so much that it doesn’t really do all that much for me. I still want to see what Shiwasu-san will do with an overused trope. I’m hoping that they can make it into something interesting, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just ended up being a typical “I don’t want you to see Hana” plot point which eventually gets overcome when Takane stands up for Hana and confesses his true feelings for her, thus denying his grandfather and putting everything on the line to do so.
Let’s hope I’m wrong because if not, I’ll be rather disappointed
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media