Review: Ai Hime ~ Ai to Himegoto

Genre: Romance, Drama, Shoujo
Author: Mitsuki Kako
Manga: 3 volumes
Original Run: 2006

(Original from OneManga and AnimeNewsNetwork | This is an edited version)
On a day of blossoming sakura, Mao, a 16-year-old high school student, by chance encounters a handsome sleeping man. Once awakened, he unexpectedly gives Mao a kiss. Yet, as fate would have it, it turns out that the mysterious stranger is actually her uncle - though not by blood.

He is the chosen caretaker that Mao will be living with during the school year. But how will Mao handle her blossoming feelings for her "uncle" while living with him? Will either one of them be able to cast aside social conventions to be together?


Story: I give the story of Ai Hime two thumbs up and five shining stars! The story is actually very simple. Many stories with simple plots are often complicated by authors in order to make it thrilling. However, Mitsuki didn't follow the crowd and made her own way of making her story very interesting. The story is not only full of twists and surprises, you'd be shocked if you realize that it is so enjoyable yet the plot is still kept simple. The story is brief and complete. It's not too fast nor too dragging. The end was acceptable. I can't think of a better end myself. The story is definitely one of the pluses of the manga. It is a good and very relaxing fun read.

Art: The artwork is pretty average. The characters can be individually identified and the background is clearly shown. Action and movement is also clearly depicted. But, what is probably the good thing about the art is that it has a perfect usage of designs. There are many detailed designs in the art. But it is mildly used and it isn't too much to the point where the page is cramped. Space is very well-divided. Though there isn't much shadowing and lighting, the depiction of movement in each character makes them seem alive.

Characters: The characters are very well introduced and defined. They have very lovable personalities. But, the author did not fail to put in flaws for every character, such as in real life. It would be too impossible and very unlikely if the characters are too good to be true. However, she presented their flaws in a comical fashion that you wouldn't mind laughing it off as you read. The characters certainly show improvement throughout the series and being more open to others and true to themselves. Mao is the normal high school girl who looks for love, having problems, going to school, and having a loving family who is not always together. Meanwhile, Jin is the representation of a selfless person who puts others' best interest before himself.

Romance/ Romantic Relationships: Of course, the central part of the story is the romance between Mao and Jin. The story shows how their love blooms and how it is strengthened by the jealousy and trust they build in times of tests and obstacles. The third parties in the story help in the realization of these changes. As they grow not only physically but also stronger emotionally, the story focuses on how they face their love for each other. As uncle and niece and as a man and lady, they are caught between these relationships. It shows how to they fight on against the views of society on their supposedly scandalous relationship.

I don't remember this being an option during the poll. I thought you were reviewing the top three winners. Where is the third one?
Well, the third place of the poll was 'other romance anime/manga'. I looked through comments and my profile to see if any comment was left behind but there was none. I had no choice but to choose for myself what to review. I had weighed my options already. I had thought about reviewing Marmalade Boy and Kaichou wa Maid-sama!. The former having been a well-known title with an anime counterpart and the latter having an upcoming anime. But, I decided on manga-only titles to let others read some not-so-well-known but very good mangas. I have considered reviewing 7th Period is a secret, Cherry Juice, Orange Planet, Peppermint, Cutie Boy, and Miyuki. However, compared to the ones aforementioned, Ai Hime ~ Ai to Himegoto struck my mind. As I did my comparison, I found Ai Hime to be a better candidate as it was one of the well-made mangas I have read. And, as it is short, it is a good choice for light reading. Furthermore, it is personally one of my favorites. I really felt Ai Hime deserved this chance. For suggestions of what I can review next, please comment on any post!

Hope you enjoyed!