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Hana-Kimi, Vol. 23 by Hisaya Nakajo

Hana-Kimi, Vol. 23 (2004)

by Hisaya Nakajo

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GAAAH probably the BEST volume in the entire series! So much nostalgia! So much happy!

I gotta admit, I was seriously worried about Mizuki's sanity for a while. Seems like she made some dumb choices. But later on, it worked out very nicely. Still, Sano's right about her needing to be more careful. She's kind of reckless. But anyway.

So good. I almost cried myself because it was all over. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Aug 1, 2014 |
Sano and Ashiya are a couple. Sano knows her secret, Ashiya knows Sano knows, and the RAs also know she's a girl. What's left to wrap up this series? The secret needs to come out to everyone, and this final volume proceeds along that path with a speed unusual for the series. After some light-hearted nonsense where Ashiya ventures inside the boy's bath to take candid pictures for a graduation documentary - this episode felt like a quintessential Hana kimi adventure, and made me a little sad knowing that the story was soon to end - Ashiya falls off a ladder and knocks herself out. Nakatsu runs to the rescue, and opens her vest ... to help her breathe? to check for scars? The way Ashiya is discovered to the rest of the school is anticlimactic. She has been attending the school for two years, and then she just falls off a ladder and suddenly her identity is revealed. After all her practice and luck at hiding her body, this felt so contrived. Surely the author could have thought of a better way to unveil Ashiya's gender. While that moment was disappointing, the reactions of Ashiya's friends and classmates were perfect and occupied much more narrative space. As is typical with this series, the relationships and characters are much stronger than the plot. With rumors flying, Ashiya feels worse and worse, and finally admits herself to her friends. They are all able to get over it, and their friendship remains strong. However, it is only a matter of time before the school board has to take action, and eventually Ashiya decides to be proactive and goes to the principal herself. She is dismissed. In the most touching scene of this manga volume, Ashiya gathers her stuff for a quiet departure, only to find a large number of students lined up in two rows outside the school, ready to provide an informal graduation ceremony and send-off for their friend. Before she leaves, Sano leans in and whispers in her ear. The manga then cuts to a year in the future. Ashiya is back in America, reading postcards, and looking much more feminine. She reads her note from Nakatsu, and sees a postscript mentioning that Sano plans to fulfill his promise to her. Sure enough, his shadow falls across her, and there Sano is, in person, reminding her that he promised to visit. The volume, and the series, ends with the main couple hugging. With such a long-running series, the readers deserved to have a longer epilogue. I wish we could have seen Ashiya interacting with all of her old friends, not just Sano, and definitely extend this ending for more than a few panels. Despite the two big drawbacks to this volume, the series ends on a sweet note in keeping with the rest of the series, and I am going to miss those characters. I really grew to love them over the course of twenty-three manga volumes. Hana-kimi is a fantastic example of the shojo variety of manga, and a truly enjoyable reading experience. ( )
  nmhale | Jul 5, 2014 |
Love this series and am sad to see that it's come to an end (though my wallet doesn't mind that much). My only problem with this volume is that it doesn't include the extra chapter that came out shortly (?) after the manga finished it's run in Japan.

Overall, though, this series will ALWAYS be a favorite of mine. ( )
  Kewpie83 | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was such a great ending to a series (even if I never wanted it to end). I'm going to miss reading this series... ( )
  knielsen83 | Mar 5, 2009 |
Cute series. I enjoyed every minute of it. The drama seriously sucked, though. ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Nov 29, 2008 |
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Mizuki's secret is exposed...and her days at Osaka High School are numbered. Can she keep the friends she made as a boy...and does she have a future with Sano after graduation? The flowers of youth are scattered to the winds in the bittersweet final volume of Hana-Kimi.--Amazon.com… (more)

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