Monday, November 19, 2012

Hajimari No Niina By Minamore Koyomi

Niina when she was 11 years old
I recently just read Hajimari No Niina by Minamori Koyomi and I completely fell in love with it! This adorable and tragic manga touched my heart and made me cry as I watched the leads struggle with their past and their feelings. The art is lovely, one of the reasons I was so drawn to it in the first place. Minamori Koyomi is truly able to show the emotions of the characters, I especially love her crying and blushing faces, much more gently drawn than other mangas I’ve seen. Anyway the only thing I think some people may have an issue with is the age difference, which I didn’t mind too much, considering the supernatural and unrealistic circumstances:
Niina is a 11-year old girl who has just moved into a new neighborhood. When she arrives she runs into 25-year old Atsurou, triggering her memories of her past life. In her past life, she was girl named Chitose, Atsurou’s childhood friend and girlfriend during middle school. Sadly, she died at 15 after she saving a pregnant woman from falling down the stairs, managing to save the woman and the baby, but leaving behind Atsurou and her unfulfilled promises to him. Niina, who falls in love with him almost immediately, decides to try and fulfill those promises and heal the wounds caused by her past self. This is why I think some people might feel uncomfortable, which is only natural, but once you see Niina’s seriousness and her love for him, I think you can get past the age difference. She is child-like, yet very mature in certain aspects because she has these memories of her past life and is seriously in love with him. Atsurou cherishes her, rejecting her first confession at 11 with seriousness and respect. His feelings don’t really become romantic until she’s 16 , and by then it’s hinted that he may know about her being the reincarnation of Chitose.
Niina when she's 16 years old
Originally, it was supposed to be only 1 volume, but it has become on ongoing series that is up to volume 3 in Japan and scanlated to volume 2, chapter 8 right now. The chapters in volume 2 center more around Niina meeting Chitose younger brother, who is now an adult and her teacher. Niina sees her old family and is guilt-ridden when she realizes the effect Chitose’s death has had on them. Though she accepts her old memories, she wants to live as herself, not her past self. But the more she sees her family the more she wants to tell them that she was Chitose.
That’s where the manga is up to so far and I recommend catching up (which shouldn’t take too long) and waiting with me for the next chapter in this heart-warming shoujo romance.

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