to heart volume 1

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I picked up the first edition to To Heart manga (out of three total). The anime was pleasant enough so I figured to give this a shot. Was I surprised… they’re vastly different beasts.

Both the anime and manga have the similar premise where Akari and Hiroyuki are in their second year of high school together, and they meet a multitude of interesting classmates. Akari also has a slight crush on Hiroyuki. The two diverge on how the actual story unfolds. This post isn’t about the anime, but it’s really slow paced and doesn’t touch on Akari and Hiroyuki’s relationship until the very end. Think Figure 17 or OMG after volume 10 or so. The manga is completely different pacing. Right off the bat, it’s Hiroyuki and his harem with all the girls competing for him in an all out war. Think Nagasarete without the mutant veggies or the bath scenes.

Hiroyuki is the nice, helpful guy, and every girl has some stereotypical trait like how Akari is the childhood friend, Serika is the lonesome rich girl, and Lemmy is the floosy gaijin. Basically, all the classic dating game characters… oh… wait… To Heart was originally a dating game. :P There’s even the robot meido for the fanboys and the insane, eye-beam wielding (I’m not kidding) butler for the fangirls. The story then revolves around Akari as she tries to express her feelings for Hiroyuki, but she’s hampered by the opposition.


The art is also vastly different than the anime. Whereas the anime tried to be more realistic, the manga features superdeformed characters brimming with cuteness. Except the eye-beam butler… he’s just creepy. One thing that bugged me was how sparse the backgrounds were. Most scenes didn’t have a background, and if there were one, it’ll be a couple of solid lines. Definitely one of the weak points of the manga. There’s also no fanservice or nakkidness, so it’s suitable for most ages.

ADV does an ok job with translations. I’m curious as to why some Japanese text were left in. They weren’t very consistant on the SFX either, but outside of Dark Horse’s OMG, I haven’t seen anyone be consistant on SFX.

All in all, To Heart wasn’t a bad impulse purchase. It’s cute, light, and has robotic meido. If you’re a fan of the To Heart series, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. If you’re looking for a shounen romantic comedy that doesn’t feature the high levels of fanservice of Mahoromatic or Love Hina, this is for you. And if you want ninjas powering up for whole volumes, this ain’t the blog to be reading.

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