Himawari-san Manga, Volume 2 (ひまわりさん)

January 10th, 2012

In Himawari-san, Volume 1, Matsuri discovers that a nearby bookstore is run by a quiet, pleasant woman. Matsuri falls for the woman, and starts hanging around the book store. Matsuri begins to help out around the store, even though she doesn’t really seem to enjoy reading, at all.

Himawari-san, Volume 2 (ひまわりさん) begins with a reaffirmation by Matsuri that her affection is rather for the bookstore’s owner than the store itself.  Among other things, we learn that Matsuri is not the only person who has had her life altered by Himawari-san. Her somewhat stand-offish classmate, has as well. We also learn that Himawari-san is so well regarded by the town that she can’t really just go out for a chore or two without being loaded up with a few kind extras.

But the real star of this volume of Himawari-san is Himawari-san’s origin story. Who knew that a quiet, bookish store owner would need an origin story?!? But indeed, Himawari-san does. It turns out that she was a taciturn young woman whose brother used to go to the store. She was not a reader at the time, and didn’t care, but was creeped out, then fascinated, then kind of taken with the owner…a woman called Himawari-san.We learn that Himawari-san is not the current owner’s true name, but one she has been given as the owner of the store. And so, we learn how the original Himawari-san befriended our current Himawari-san. In the meantime, our Himawari-san was a student in high school, with a sempai that actually cared for her deeply, and asked her to leave school to travel the world with her, as she took photographs. When the original(?) Himawari-san becomes too ill to continue, our Himawari-san suddenly decides what she wants to do with her life. She passes on her sempai’s offer and becomes the owner of Himwari Bookstore.

Matsuri, it turns out is definitely not alone in having her life changed by a Himawari-san.

A short extra makes it plain (sort of annoying, because you know, really it was obvious) that Himawari’s brother also liked the original Himawari.

And so a second volume of Himawari-san draws to a close. It feels like the ending of a British period drama. Who knows whether we’ll ever hear of Flambards again, but for that moment in time, those characters were important to us.

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 2
Service – 1
Lesbian Favoring Bibliophile  – 10

Overall – 9

I was being snarky when I mentioned Flambards. It’s all Downton Abbey now, as if there’d never before been such an amazing series about people living in a manor house. But, there has been. Many. Grazillions. Flambards came first. So did Upstairs Downstairs and many others.

Many thanks to today’s sponsor, Okazu Superhero George R. for more pleasant time spent at the Himawari Bookstore!

Send to Kindle

4 Responses

  1. Dop says:

    Ooh, many points for the Flambards reference but I have to point out that it was an ITV programme – commercial television, nothing to do with the BBC (Ditto the original Upstairs, Downstairs).

  2. @Dop – True. We Americans lump them all in together. I’ll change the wording.

  3. George R. says:

    I’m glad you also enjoyed Himawari-san. It’s been one of my favorite manga of 2011, so thank you for pointing it out to us. This volume provided the “more” I was looking for at the end of volume 1. As the characters were important to us, I’d like to see Sugano-sensei tell us yet more. But even if she doesn’t I can put these volumes on the shelf with profound satisfaction, knowing they will be there for me next time I take them down to join Himawari-san and her friends in the pages. The way Sugano-sensei draws smiling faces, especially of the two Himawari-sans, always brings one to my face as well, plus I just can’t stay away from a good bookstore.

    I especially enjoyed the origin story, and the previous Himawari-san herself. And while I may be weaving too many interconnections through the story, I think that Himawari-san’s high-school sempai is also the owner of the photo-book shop in volume 1 where Matsuri found books perfect for her. It’s nice to see she’s still friends with Himawari-san.

  4. @George R – I agree. It seems likely that there’s a connection.

Leave a Reply