“Hana no Mizo Shiru” is Takarai Rihito’s third tankoubon release from CRAFT. It was first serialized in CRAFT last 2009 and the tankoubon version was finally released last December 25, 2010. Technically, it’s her first “independent” BL tankoubon release because both of her “Seven Days” titles were by a different author. Even her first shoujo manga titled “Torikagoshou no Kyou mo Nemutai Juunintachi” was by a different author.
I haven’t read Seven Days yet, though. I was supposed to buy the licensed English version (June) before, I decided that I should just buy the original from CRAFT. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to order it yet because whenever I check it on Amazon.jp, it’s always out of stock or I still have to wait for 2-5 weeks for it to finally be ready for shipment. OTL but I will definitely order my copy as soon as possible.
So onto the plot…
Arikawa Youichi is a 3rd year Law student who, by fate, met 3rd year Agriculture major Misaki Shouta in a rather ambiguous situation.
Arikawa is your typical hardworking student who usually puts his studies first before anything else. Yes, he has a girlfriend but doesn’t really spend that much time together. He is also quite popular with the ladies that’s why his friend Ikejima envies him so much. He has one problem, though: he has a pretty bad eyesight. So the first time Arikawa met Misaki was when Misaki accidentally dropped the plants from the laboratory so Arikawa went to help him. While eh Arikawa was helping Misaki clean up the dropped flowers, he noticed Misaki’s flower necklace and asked him if it’s a girl’s necklace . Offended by this, Misaki hid the necklace inside his shirt and didn’t say anything. Arikawa then told him that it suits him and explained to him that even if it’s a girl’s or boy’s necklace, if it suits the person, it’s fine. Misaki then recalls the guy who gave him this necklace. Now this part really bothered me. Since I haven’t read any chapter of “Hana no Mizo Shiru” in CRAFT yet, I don’t know who this mystery guy named “Kawabata Satoshi” really is. I’m having a feeling he’s Misaki’s sex partner or his in loco parentis – with sex involved, lol. Hrmm. Misaki seems to be dependent on this guy so much.
The same night, Misaki got a call from Kawabata telling him to come home immediately. So at the train station, Arikawa and Misaki bumped into each other again. Because of Arikawa’s poor eyesight, he couldn’t see Misaki clearly that’s why he didn’t recognize him. Misaki helped him with his stuff and immediately left. At home, Arikawa dreamt of Misaki’s glass flower necklace and his dream, the owner of the necklace seems so very dear to him. No, he’s not aware that it’s Misaki. Also, he doesn’t remember seeing that flower necklace before eventhough he only saw it earlier at school, lol. OTL
When he woke up, he was surprised to see his girlfriend Kanami at his house. Kanami then asked him who this “Misaki” person Arikawa’s been calling in his sleep and also asked him about the flower necklace. Of course, Arikawa knows nothing. He told Kanami that he never met anyone with the name of “Misaki” before and that he doesn’t know why he has that glass flower necklace. He even thought “Misaki” is some kind of heroine from a drama, lol.
One week has passed and Arikawa always had the same dream about “Misaki” and the glass flower necklace. At school, he was asked by someone to go to Ikejima’s department (Agriculture) to return some borrowed articles. When he finally returned it to Ikejima, he heard Ikejima say the name “Misaki”. Arikawa then grabbed the article of Misaki and read his full name: Misaki Shouta. He was surprised to know that it was a guy but he suddenly confessed to Misaki out of the blue that he’s extremely in love with him and that he’s been dreaming about him everytime, lol. Arikawa obviously didn’t recognize Misaki (because of his bad eyesight, remember?) but Misaki recognize him as the guy he bumped into at the train station. With Misaki’s feminine looks, this is no joke for him. Misaki’s rumored to be a guy who can seduce men – and he’s aware of it. Arikawa doesn’t know anything about the rumors, obviously. Pissed, Misaki left the room.
The same day, Misaki was thinking about it in the laboratory that he didn’t notice his teacher, Professor Tsujimura, calling him. Honestly, I really like this supporting character since Prof. Tsujimura’s so cute, lol. I really like his relationship with Misaki because he’s like a father to him already. Anyway, Professor Tsujimura was talking to Misaki about his lab partner, Takada. Takada left because Misaki always leaves early leaving him all the workload. Well, we all know why Misaki leaves early. (ーー;) So Prof. Tsujimura told him that he was able to find someone who can help him with all the work. Misaki was grateful by this at first but when he knew that it was Arikawa, he told Professor Tsujimura that he doesn’t mind working alone, lol. But still, his professor insisted and Arikawa seems to be happy to be able to work with him, obviously.
When Prof. Tsujimura finally left them, of course there was a bit of awkward moments but knowing Arikawa’s bubbly personality, he was still able to talk with Misaki and got to ask him about the glass flower necklace again. I really find this part very funny because Arikawa is so persistent. FYI, Misaki’s your usual tsundere uke. So Arikawa remembered Misaki saying “at the station” when he confessed to him earlier. Misaki then denied it and told him “I meant to say was I thought you’re the pervert from the train station,” Arikawa then told him “I think you’re someone I’d go for.” /so cuuuute （*´▽｀*）
After that very cute conversation (there’s more to that but I insist you read the manga for it, lol) they now went to the lab. Misaki already told Arikawa that he’s the owner of that necklace, btw. So in the laboratory, Misaki noticed Arikawa was looking at a certain flower. When Arikawa asked him what it was, Misaki explained to him that it’s a clone made by Prof. Tsujimura. Now while I was reading this, since my Japanese is not that good, I had a hard time translating what Misaki said about the plant. （￣□￣；） But from what I understood, it’s a sample in which they could compare the clone and the real plant to figure out its mechanisms. Ah, Biology. Or is it Microbiology. I think it’s Microbiology. /sucks in Science
The following day, Arikawa met Ikejima on the way to the laboratory. Ikejima was telling him about the drinking party this evening but Arikawa couldn’t come because he’ll be busy working at the laboratory. Ikejima then told him that it’s a bad idea to hang around Misaki because of the rumors. It was rumored that when Misaki was still in his freshman year, he was nearly raped by a senior. A teacher saw this and just warned them. So according to Ikejima, if Arikawa continues hanging around with Misaki, they’ll think that Arikawa’s into Misaki. But Arikawa told him that it’ll just be a misunderstanding and if Misaki tells him that it’s bothering him, then that’s the only time he’ll stop hanging around with him.
Professor Tsujimura noticed that Arikawa and Misaki are getting along very well. He told Misaki that Arikawa seems to have fun helping out. Misaki thought, “Yes, having fun with counting microorganisms?” but then Prof. Tsujimura told him that Arikawa is having fun not just because he’s enjoying his work but because he’s enjoying being with Misaki. ❤
So little by little, you’ll get to notice their distance coming close to each other. By this point, they actually have mutual feelings already but Misaki is still doubting his feelings and at the same time, Arikawa doesn’t know if he’s really into Misaki or not. So after a half-day’s work, Arikawa dragged Misaki to the riverside for a short break. So at the riverside, Arikawa showed Misaki some flowers and asked what are the names of each. Misaki answered all correctly except for one but he just decided to look for its name next time. Then Arikawa said they’ll play a game, whoever gets to find as many flowers as possible wins. So after a few minutes, Misaki didn’t notice the time. He then looked for Arikawa but Arikawa was nowhere to find. He thought he left already but eventually, Arikawa had just fallen asleep on the grass. Since Misaki knew Arikawa has a girlfriend, he wondered how Arikawa’s girlfriend calls him. When Misaki called out Arikawa by his first name “Youichi”, Arikawa suddenly reached out and kissed Misaki. Actually, this is like a wake up call for Arikawa because he’s still unaware of his true feelings for Misaki but at the same time he’s longing for that “Misaki” in his dreams.
The same night, Arikawa was still thinking about the incident with Misaki a while ago. He recalled the time when he suddenly kissed Misaki, he really thought he was dreaming because no one calls him by his first name except for his girlfriend, Kanami. So when he realized that he really wasn’t dreaming, it finally occurred to him that Misaki is really the one he dreams about – and the one he truly has feelings with. Although, it’s still vague.
Arikawa suddenly got a call from Kanami asking to meet up with her. At the park, Kanami told him that she’s finally breaking up with him. Arikawa apologized for not always being there for her and that he’s a useless boyfriend. But Kanami told him that she already got used to him but this time, she got tired of it. Also, she told him that whoever Arikawa likes, she’ll accept. Now for this part, I’m still not sure if Kanami knows about Arikawa and Misaki. But I guess she does because I kind of read “unpleasant” to what she said about Arikawa’s feelings (to Misaki). Honestly, at the start of the story I thought Kanami will be such an eyesore. I thought she’ll come in between Misaki and Arikawa’s relationship but thankfully, she’s okay than what I expected her to be. Although I rather find her pitiful or stupid if that’s the right term. (.__. ) But nonetheless, I like her for being so understanding about Arikawa’s feelings. The part that made me feel like crying is when Arikawa told Kanami “Thank you for everything.” At least their ending went pretty well.
So the following day, Arikawa finally got to talk with Misaki and apologized for what happened yesterday. Then when Arikawa was about to tell Misaki his feelings, he was having a hard time saying it. Then came Prof. Tsujimura interrupting such critical moment in every BL story. （￣□￣；）So the first part ends with Misaki recalling the flower from before – the flower Arikawa showed him and the only flower whose name he doesn’t know.
Now in the last extra chapters, it shows there how Misaki and Arikawa found out about the unknown flower’s name and meaning. Arikawa sent the unknown flower’s photo to Misaki and Misaki immediately researched about it. So the flower’s name is “Agapanthus“, also called “the flower of love.” Yes, I know you’re already giggling or having goosebumps by now. （￣ー￣） He was about to reply to Arikawa’s e-mail but was too embarrassed because of the flower’s meaning, lol. So he just sent another photo of a different flower.
At that time, Arikawa was at a flower shop so he just decided to buy Misaki a bunch of that unknown flowers since they still don’t have any of that in the laboratory. When the shop keeper asked if it’s for a girlfriend, Arikawa told her that’s it’s not like that. Then the owner told him about the flower’s meaning. In the end, Arikawa was so bothered by this that he just gave the bunch of Agapanthus to Ikejima, lol. OTL
Overall, it was okay. Arikawa and Misaki are definitely an adorable couple. I love stories with hidden meanings so I give it a 4.5 out of 5. I can’t wait for volume 2! (Ｔ▽Ｔ) I really do hope Takarai Rihito publishes more independent tankoubons in the near future.
That ends today’s review post. I’m sorry if my reviews are too long. （￣□￣；）I’m just not used to summarizing stories. (Ｔ▽Ｔ)