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review 2016-09-14 00:00
His Favorite, Vol. 1
His Favorite, Vol. 1 - Suzuki Tanaka This was a super cute yoai high school manga read. A little immature, but I kind of like that about YA mangas. Will definitely be reading more of this series in the future.
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review 2016-06-06 03:53
His Favorite (manga, vol. 8) by Suzuki Tanaka, translated by Katherine Schilling
His Favorite, Vol. 8 - Suzuki Tanaka

I've written this review assuming that anyone reading it has either read the previous volume in this series or doesn't care about spoilers for past volumes. You've been warned.

Okay, so this volume basically has four separate stories. First, Sato is bummed because he's going to be forced to go on a family trip from Christmas to the start of the new year. Yoshida accidentally upsets him and then meets an old man who may or may not be Santa Claus. In the next part of the volume, Machiko, the student council president, comes up with a plan that she thinks will guarantee her a spot next to Sato at a warm kotatsu. After that, readers get to see where things stand between Azuma and Nishida. Sato proves to be more helpful than I expected. The volume wraps up with a class field trip, which is particularly special because it's Sato's very first field trip ever.

This is the first full volume since Sato told everyone that he and Yoshida are a couple. The first story, with the strange possible-Santa (okay, not really Santa, although Yoshida and Sato did manage to get a Christmas miracle) was a bit odd, but I loved how bummed Sato looked that he and Yoshida weren't going to get to spend that time together. I found Tanaka's artwork, which exaggerated his feelings by making him look particularly haggard and shadowed, to be surprisingly funny (and cute?), I think because the Sato of several volumes ago would never have shown so much of his true feelings in public.

Technically the next part of the volume, with all the girls fighting for the right to sit with Sato at the kotatsu, wasn't much different from any of the past “girls fighting for the right to be with Sato” stories. This difference, this time around, was that neither Sato nor Yoshida had to hide their feelings for each other. Sato gesturing for Yoshida to come sit with him while everyone was distracted was a lovely moment.

As for the bit with Azuma and Nishida, I'm not sure what to think of those two. If they became a couple, it would keep Nishida out of Sato and Yoshida's way, but they're so awkward together. Azuma can't seem to find a happy medium in his behavior towards Nishida – either he throws himself at him too forcefully, or he pulls back too much. Sato's advice to Azuma worked surprisingly well, but I'm not sure he'll be able to identify the right time to switch gears.

The field trip was the best part of the volume. I found myself smiling through almost the whole thing. Sato's open enthusiasm for the trip was a little weird after so many volumes of him trying to look as cool and calm as possible, but it was still fun to see. So much of this part was ridiculously adorable: Sato's anticipation of the trip, Yoshida enjoying Sato's anticipation of the trip, and the way all their classmates reacted. The girls managed to rein in their jealousy for once, just so that Sato could have a “nice and typical field trip.” Well, as typical as possible considering that girls from other schools all wanted Sato too.

As far as Sato and Yoshida being a couple went, most of the characters seemed to have either accepted it or decided not to think about it too much (it was tough to say, although at least no one went around saying “__ sure is a great guy! Even if he is gay!” the way they did with Nishida in volume 4). The school's boys were disappointed that Sato dating Yoshida didn't mean the girls had given up on him. The school's girls were just as determined to get him to themselves as ever, and yet they forced themselves to hang back during the field trip so that Sato could enjoy it with Yoshida. The most awkward moment came when everyone was about to go to sleep for the night (everyone in sleeping bags in the same room, girls in one room and boys in another) and Makimura ordered Sato and Yoshida not to “get it on” while he was sleeping nearby. Judging by the looks on everyone's faces, not even Sato had thought about doing anything until Makimura brought it up.

I really liked this volume. Sadly, I have now read all the volumes in this series that I had on hand. I definitely plan on buying more in the future.


  • A 2-page Torachin and Yamanaka update. I really could have done without this update, because I've gone from rooting for this pair to hoping that they break up (Yoshida agrees with me). Yamanaka should be in jail. He drugged Torachin and dragged him to a love hotel. Thankfully Torachin managed to get free and beat the crap out of him.
  • A 6-page field trip extra. This shows a little of what was going on while Sato and Yoshida were off having fun. Yamanaka tried to cheat on Torachin (OMG, those two are the worst couple), and Azuma spent the whole time searching for Nishida.
  • One color illustration of Nishida and Azuma.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-05-27 21:47
His Favorite (manga, vol. 7) by Suzuki Tanaka, translated by Ivana Bloom
His Favorite, Vol. 7 - Suzuki Tanaka

Yoshida is secretly still stressing about being a virgin. When he once again meets that cute high school girl who inexplicably has a crush on him (and who he still doesn't realize is Murakami, a guy in drag), he wonders if he might soon have an opportunity to lose his virginity.

After that, the volume focuses on a new transfer student, Takeru Azuma. Azuma hates Yoshida on sight even though, as far as Yoshida knows, they've never met. Nishida may know what's going on, but first Yoshida has to track him down – the guy is constantly busy saving people.

At the start of this series, Sato essentially forced himself on Yoshida, and Yoshida was too nervous/confused/attracted to turn him down. However, their relationship soon developed into something more mutually affectionate and loving. For that reason, Yoshida really annoyed me in this volume.

It really bothered him that Sato wasn't a virgin while he was, but instead of thinking about how their relationship had been progressing to the point where they'd soon be having sex, he seemed to be stuck on the idea that he wanted to have sex with a girl. A guy like Sato wouldn't count. At one point, he thought, “Sure I want to lose my virginity...but!...I've got the overwhelming feeling that I might give up something even more important. What's the matter with me lately?” (12-13) Gee, I don't know, maybe it's your conscience reminding you that you're in a committed relationship with Sato, who would almost certainly be hurt if you had sex with someone else?

Thankfully, he did get past this without doing something stupid and irrevocable, but I wasn't 100% convinced that he knew why it would have been a bad idea to hook up with the one girl who seemed interested in him. It made me feel bad for Sato, which was a little weird, since I used to hate the guy.

The second part of the volume was lots of drama, more about the transfer student and Nishida than anything. I loved the flashback to their childhood, which included an amusing moment of fourth wall breaking, and I'm interested to see how things turn out for Azuma. I'm not sure it's a good idea for him to enlist Sato as his teacher, though.

There was another development in this volume that I really enjoyed but can't say too much about without spoiling things. At any rate, I was pleased at how smoothly it went. It would have been easy for Tanaka to use that moment for extra drama and even cruelty, so for once I was glad that the girls continued to be just as cartoonishly jealous and scheming as they had always been.


One full-color illustration and a brief non-spoilery author's note ("Then something big but sorta not so big happened" is a perfect description of the moment near the end of the volume).


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-04-25 03:10
His Favorite (manga, vol. 6) by Suzuki Tanaka, translated by Ivana Bloom
His Favorite, Vol. 6 - Suzuki Tanaka

In the first chapter, Sato tells Yoshida he wants Valentine's Day chocolate from him. He also enacts a plan to keep all the girls at school from giving him chocolate. Then Sato, Yoshida, and Yoshida's friends investigate the creepy rumors that have been going around the school, much to poor, easily frightened, ghost-fearing Yoshida's dismay. Finally, Sato, Yoshida, and friends “vacation” at Tsuyako's tropical island, leaving Yoshida with some intense memories.

I enjoyed this volume, although it didn't have as many memorable events as some of the previous ones – it's been long enough since I read it that I had to flip through it in order to remind myself what happened.

Murakami was back, and hamming it up. He really should join the Drama Club. I appreciated that

the girls weren't so obsessed with Sato as to try to force themselves between him and his “girlfriend,”

(spoiler show)

although then the Drama Club went and proved once again that the girls at this school are generally just the worst. Ugh. On the plus side, Sato smiling as he carried Yoshida away was adorable. And it'd be wonderful if the T-shirt he was wearing on the title page for the next chapter actually existed in the story itself. I can just see it now: Sato proudly wearing a shirt with a giant image of Yoshida's face on it, while Yoshida cringes in horror and embarrassment.

The “ghostly” rumor investigations were okay. The best part was when Sato very nearly told Yoshida's friends that he likes Yoshida. I'm actually a little surprised that there has been no evidence, so far, that Sato is hurt by Yoshida's continued fear that word of their true relationship will get out. Even if he understands why Yoshida doesn't want anyone else to know, I'd think he'd still be at least a little upset about it, especially when you consider how obvious it is that he'd like to tell people and is past caring how people might react.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-03-27 06:00
His Favorite (manga, vol. 5) by Suzuki Tanaka, translated by Ivana Bloom
His Favorite, Vol. 5 - Suzuki Tanaka

Clueless Makimura has a brand new crush: the beautiful student council president. What he doesn't realize is that he's being used by her to gather information about Sato – he's close to Yoshida, who is known to spend a lot of time with Sato. The student council president has pretended to be uninterested in Sato in order to wait for what she thinks is her best chance to win him for herself: a marathon in which the grand prize is a one-day pass with Sato (who wasn't consulted about this and never gave his permission to be used as a prize).

After the marathon, the students deal with an unusually high volume of litter on the school grounds - specifically, banana peels. Several students slip, lose their memories, and then slip again, regaining their memories. After the banana peel incident, several of the girls give Sato some home-made Madeleine cookies. One girl begs Yoshida to steal her cookies back after she realizes, to her horror, that they're awful. The volume wraps up with a chapter in which it seems like everyone's catching a cold except Sato, who says he never gets sick.

Whereas volume 4 was heavy on character backstory, volume 5 was a return to the series' usual episodic nature, with one difference. This time around, Sato was noticeably more relaxed. He was no longer manipulating the school's girls quite so well, but he seemed happier. Also, except for one moment during the banana incident, he no longer seemed to be as interested in messing with Yoshida's head.

My favorite parts of the volume were the last two chapters, the one with the cookies and the one in which everyone caught a cold. The cookie chapter was great because it was the first time Sato ever visited Yoshida's house (and met Yoshida's mother, although I think both boys would have preferred it if she'd showed up an hour or so later). It was also hilarious watching Yoshida try to trick Sato into leaving his cookies unattended – he was a horrible liar.

The “everyone caught a cold” chapter was silly, but not quite as over-the-top as the banana chapter. It was impressive how many students found an opportunity to accidentally douse Sato with water. I continue to be amazed that so few students have caught on to the fact that Sato and Yoshida are dating. Sato's feelings for Yoshida were incredibly (and publicly!) obvious in this chapter.

All in all, I probably liked this volume more than it deserved, considering that it was filled with fluff. It was such a relief to see Sato beginning to relax and display genuine positive emotions. If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the way Akimoto was handled. Back in volume 3, Sato said something incredibly hurtful to Akimoto and never apologized. This volume was the first time Sato and Akimoto spoke to each other on-page after that incident, and it was like it had never happened – no awkwardness or indication of any kind that Akimoto still felt hurt or that Sato felt guilty.

Actually, while I'm at it, I'll add another complaint: I'm getting tired of the way the girls act around Sato. The student council president was downright cruel, the way she used Makimura to gain info about Sato, and none of the girls see Sato as a person, just as a prize that they might be able to win.

Despite those complaints, this was pretty good. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next volume.


This volume includes one full-color image and a few brief comments from the author.


(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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