“The stars are majestic laboratories, gigantic crucibles, such as no chemist could dream.” – Henri Poincaré
Based on a series of computer games created by honeybee, this manga adaptation of Starry Sky drawn by Hal Minagawa is set at Seigetsu Academy, a boarding school specialising in astronomy and space sciences. It used to be an all boys school, but has recently opened its door to girls. Sadly however, because of the rural location and specialist studies, there is only one girl studying there, Tsukiko Yahisa.
The manga sees Tsukiko encounter several boys, each with their own charms, who try to please her in their own way. The boys include: Yoh Tomoe, who is half-French and was childhood friends with Tsukiko; Kanata Nanami, the typical rough schoolboy who appears in most school-based manga; and Suzuya Tohzuki who has an odd habit of experimental cooking, such as making rice balls with chocolate inside (p. 25).
These boys however are just the first bunch to feature. The series is split into different seasons, and each season features three different boys in it. This results in 12 boys, each representing one of the zodiac constellations. The three already mentioned appear in the Spring. Later on in the book we see the Summer boys, who are members of the school’s archery club: Homare Kanakubo (captain), Ryunosuke Miyaji (vice captain) and Azusa Kinose (newcomer).
The problem however is because there are so many characters it does get rather confusing after a while. Also, the male characters look similar to one another which does not help. In terms of content, there is nothing which is too offensive. Any romantic inklings are more cheeky than “in your face”. In fact they are more “on your face”, is evidenced in one scene in which Tsukiko wipes some cream off Miyaji’s face and eats it (p. 100).
There are also one or two more humorous moments as well. For example there is the scheme to raise money for a school sports day by fitting door locks which trap students hands, and the only way to release the hand is to put 5 yen in a slot.
It is an interesting start, but with more characters to come I can only think that it will become more confusing. However there is the odd sparkle.