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In a small town in the countryside, close to the sea, a young high-school girl lived alone with her cousin. When life seemed to her too painful and too sad, she contemplated the sky and refreshed herself by looking at the stars. But one spring night, she met a boy who sealed her destiny...
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Offical English Publication?
Will this series ever be picked up by an English Publisher? I'd love to buy this! It's great and heartbreaking. I feel for all the characters. Before suffering depression I hated the MC's "love rival" but now I sympathize with her. I cried for everyone and this story is so sweet that I really want to buy the volumes if they ever are released in English.
Not rushed not axed but I was still stuck up with the tragic part but I guess that's shoujo for you, I did expect it'll be long before they've realized things for themselves.
Agree with Other Comments
Definitely better appreciated by older readers. This manga deals with some surprisingly dark themes in a more realistic fashion than I've ever seen in Shoujo manga. Depression, suicide, co-dependency, and what it really means to grow up and forge a path for yourself in an imperfect world.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I didn't actually like Saku ending up together with Chihiro. What Kanade said to Saku after their "break-up" (Ch. 62) was one of the best speeches I've ever read regarding love and life in a manga. After Saku made the realization that her "star" wasn't just Chihiro, but everyone who has been there for her and supported her, I personally thought the manga should have ended with Saku finding a new love and maybe meeting Chihiro years later, feeling a sense of bitter-sweet nostalgia but being at peace with the world and herself.
But at the end of the day, I guess it is only shoujo, so while I am disappointed, I am not surprised the mangaka chose to end things on a more HEA note.
As the first work Natsuki Takaya would work on after Fruits Basket, she decided to explore the style she developed over the course of that work. Given the more down-to-earth vibes and more organic art, naturally, the first thing to be done is her first series not to include anything fantastical. No special powers or strange occurrences: just young people getting to know one another.
The slower pace of this story certainly fits in with what she tries to accomplish. As this story doesn't put on any airs, the simple things shine through: not much happens, and that's a happening in and of itself.
The art is clean as ever, and, as always, it ties in with the general tone and imagery used in the story. Similar to how Gen-ei Musoh emulated an ukiyo-e style and Tsubasa went for a desert-like look, this work emphasized screentones that show the time of day quite well. Heavenly bodies show up quite often, so it's no surprise to see the starry sky used as a texture on just about everything. Because of this, many different screentones were used in order to balance out the art, as, again, not much happens. It enhances the drive of each moment without having to add in unnecessary action.
This work is well worth your time, and shows a good direction for Takaya's work from here on. As a longer series in its own right, expect some more heavy attachment.
The Stars Sing
Like every other review here, I feel the need to state that this is not another Fruits Basket.
Deep, emotional slice of life is difficult to pull off because it comes down to speed. If you present things to the reader too quickly, it seems unrealistic and sappy. And if you present events to slowly, you lose the reader. Hoshi wa Utau did the latter for me; I loved the subjects this series touched on and the realistic emotions and struggles, but I felt like so little truly happened. At 11 volumes, this was just too long.
Again, this series has many great aspects. The characters are all unique and well-rounded, the plot is meaningful, and the art is Takaya-sensei's. Sadly, the drag between events and repetitive struggles lost me in the middle. But the ending brought me back, and made me very happy I read this; it was truly beautiful.
Overall, I say this is definitely worth reading. It plods along in the middle, but Hoshi wa Utau is a more mature shoujo with beautiful messages.
... Last updated on December 16th, 2014, 7:39pm
I don't really know what to say about this manga. It pulled me all over the place but in a good way. At first it started off pretty cliche but I started appreciating every little thing afterwards, especially the main character and her strength and persistence despite all that she's gone through. Definitely character growth in this manga so I loved that and I definitely get why "slice of life" in included in the genre section. Hm.. I don't really know what to say about this manga.. I'm really just letting it sink in for now. Give it a read though!
Deep, meaningful, and sad yet beautiful.
This manga is really beautiful. The story teaches us about love -- various kinds of love. Parents love, friends love, bitter love. You can get stronger and move on because of love, but it can also break you apart and shatter your heart into pieces. Nevertheless, no matter how harsh the reality is, the characters learn, accept, and then grow. It is very nice when you can get absorbed in the characters' feelings because afterall, people is just meant to love each other.
Fortunately the ending satisfies me. I've prepared to cry if the ending was going to be something else.. because it gets me really sad if you can't unite with the one you love >< Overall good read!! Another Natsuki Takaya's awesome work
A love bound for heartbreak
Since the male lead is the type to not abandon his responsibilities, their love is pretty much impossible. That makes me sad-I hate endings where the main characters don't see each other for a while but then reunite with a bittersweet hug, so I hope it doesn't end like that. Either way, I personally liked this the same, if not more than fruit basket. The heroine is likeable, mentally strong, and it has lots of heartwarming scenes. I like how the heroine teaches the male lead love again and that the world isn't as bad as he thinks it is. I feel that the sad moments and flashbacks are what make the story great. Because, you know, you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness. C; (p.s this would make a great anime)
... Last updated on June 10th, 2012, 2:16pm
I really like this manga a lot, and although it seems like there's no main plot, I think it's meant to be that way, kinda. Since this is also in the slice-of-life category, it's meant to go at a slower pace, and you can feel all the different emotions and troubles of each character. Personally, I think the author wanted to show character development more than anything else. Throughout the whole manga, you see how people change for the better, and realize their faults. All the characters feel realistic.
I don't think it's good to compare this with Furuba, because as somebody else said, it's not supernatural/fantasy. I don't get why people dislike the main character, Saku, when it seems like she's almost the same as Tohru from Fruits Basket...I think if you keep reading, it'll get better, because then you realize that unlike Tohru, she wasn't always a happy, smiling person. AND Chihiro is awesome...there's obviously always a back story about why people are mean or being a jerk to other people...just keep reading! I guarantee it gets better! (Unless you don't like an angsty type of manga)
I've finished reading the series earlier this year by reading the rest of the chapters in Chinese, and I've come back to read it again! I remember that although I couldn't fully read the simplied characters because I learned traditional Chinese, I still cried because it was a touching story. I don't know, maybe only I feel this way about this manga because I can connect with Saku to some extent.
... Last updated on January 29th, 2012, 2:10pm
Ehh, it's okay...very bittersweet
Well, I suppose I'm a bit biased since I started this series hoping for something I would love as much as furuba but....I really just find this somewhat disappointing. I really don't like most of the characters. They're just too weak, whiny and depressed in my opinion. Yes, I know there are reason given for this, but no one ever really seems happy and it gets depressing after a while. I really didn't think they were too similar to furuba characters either. (maybe appearance wise?) The only character that I really like is the "love rival" (I guess you could call him?) who's in the main group of friends, but it's pretty obvious he's not going to be anything more than a rival and is there as the childhood friend love cliche. As for the main couple, their love is annoying as well. The guy she falls in love with is nothing but a jerk to her for the longest time, yet she still loves him? There's nothing that explains this at all.
Of course, it's not all bad. I do like the plot in general (though it is a bit slow), and I like the characters backgrounds and flashbacks and stuff. I guess I just wish something good would happen...ever. It all just seems so bittersweet. Even when something good happens, it's quickly followed by some type of dark past or something.