Manga Mondays: Daytime Shooting Star

Title: Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei / ひるなかの流星)
Author: Mika Yamamori  (Story & Art)
Genres: Romance, School Life, Slice of Life, Shoujo
Rating: Teen
Published: 2011 – 2015 (tankōbon)
Volumes: 13 including side stories  [Completed]
Japanese Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: Viz Media
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (Indigo / Amazon / Barnes & Noble)

 

Synopsis: Suzume Yosano has spent the entire 15 years of her life in the countryside, so when her parents decide to move overseas for work and leave her with her uncle in Tokyo, she finds herself in a whole new environment. On the way to her uncle’s house, however, she gets lost and faints.

Waking up safely at her uncle’s house, she learns that a strange man had carried her there and that he happens to be an acquaintance of her uncle. Moreover, when Suzume goes to her new school for the first time, she discovers that the weird man in question, named Satsuki Shishio, is actually her homeroom teacher! Now, Suzume must adapt to her new school and make friends, since her blossoming high school life in the city has just begun! (MAL)

 

This post contains light spoilers for Daytime Shooting Star.

I debated whether or not cover this title because one of Daytime Shooting Star‘s main premises is that the main character, high school student Suzume Yosano (15 years old), has a crush on her young male teacher Satsuki Shishio (26 years old). As a fellow career professional, there is a code of ethics that one must follow when in a position of power over those who are younger, or who are in a vulnerable position. A teacher having a romantic relationship with a younger student is of course a huge no-no, and if a regulatory body (or parents even) were to find out, that teacher would be in a lot of trouble and could even lose their job. It’s just gross, ick. (11 year age gap and she’s a teenager???)

Which is a shame because I definitely ship Suzume x Satsuki, and if their ages were closer together I would be all over that pairing. Unfortunately my discomfort surrounding their flirty teacher-student relationship kept me from fully enjoying Daytime Shooting Star.

With that being said, Daytime Shooting Star is still a good read. Suzume is an interesting character, often coming off as bland or boring but who is sometimes revealed to have hidden skills (such as being a volleyball ace resulting from playing sports at a culture club, plus being a good fisher). She moves from the countryside to Tokyo and due to the nature of her new circumstances, must begin to emerge from her shell. Back home she used to skip classes and slack off at school; now she must actually study because people who fail tests must face consequences. Suzume also had no friends so once she starts school in Tokyo, she resolves to meet her peers and become friends with at least a handful of them. Slowly, her world starts to expand.

There’s a scene at the beginning of Daytime Shooting Star where Suzume is lied to and isolated by someone she thought was her new friend, a classmate named Yuyuka Nekota. However whereas another girl might freak out or get upset, Suzume brushes off Yuyuka’s cruelty and still searches for the silver lining in the situation. She moves bluntly forward, determined to keep her goal of being Yuyuka’s friend. When others at the bowling alley confront the two girls about their physical fight, Suzume doesn’t hesitate to cover for Yuyuka so they both can escape getting in trouble. I thought this was really cool of Suzume to do, and it was a nice way to build the beginning of a bridge between the two girls. Yuyuka eventually becomes Suzume’s actual friend and they bond together over things like their crushes and school life.

Later on, this determination to “keep moving forward” sometimes leads Suzume to ignore her feelings and emotions in order to continue onwards towards a goal. She has a tendency to analyze her feelings and then disregard her conclusions when they don’t align with her goal. This tendency eventually forces Suzume to step back and re-analyze her feelings, then change her behaviour accordingly.

A note on a character who eventually becomes one of Suzume’s friends, Daiki Mamura. Daiki is a peer of Suzume and Yuyuka’s, and I feel that his being a gynophobe (an abnormal fear of women) was a unique trait I hadn’t seen many times before, if at all, in a manga or anime character. It definitely makes him stand out as a character in my mind.

As the series progresses, other characters are introduced resulting in new friendships and relationships. So and so likes someone, someone else likes the sidekick… nothing new or fantastic. The usual characteristics of a school life/slice of life title. The main cast all experience good character progression (except for maybe Satsuki, I could debate his character arc), and I love the mangaka’s art style. <3   So pretty ~

There are three short stories included throughout Daytime Shooting Star’s run: “The Second Kiss” in volume 3, “Cookie Girl, Cream Boy” in volume 5, and “A Love Story in Moist Rainy Days” in volume 6.

Honestly I feel like Daytime Shooting Star‘s biggest draw is the relationship between Suzume and her teacher and how it impacts her and her friends, so to speak. Daytime Shooting Star is about first love and figuring out how one really feels, all while wading through hormones and crushes. What draws you to someone? Where do you draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s not?  What makes you choose someone over someone else, and more importantly, why? What would you give up for another person? Ahhh to be young and in love again ~

 

Do I Recommend This Title to Others?: Sure! Although I’m not up for the main ship, there is definitely another pairing that develops which I am a cheerleader for.  ;D   This title has a strong cast, and that combined with interspersed comedy and romance makes Daytime Shooting Star a great manga.

Final Score: 8.5/10

 

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