Welcome back to another manga review post! I know it’s been a while since I did reviewing, so I’m going to give you guys one today 🙂
I recently read Taiyou no Ie and I was really surprised at how much I liked it. Initially, I kept dragging it out to read this because (I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have ><) I judged the book by its cover. Yes, when I saw the art of the manga, I honestly thought that it wasn’t very pretty, the girl wasn’t attractive and on top of that, the story description was rather vague so I didn’t have any motivation to read it. The only thing that pushed me to finally give it a try was the information that it was the Winner of the 38th Kodansha Manga Awards for Best Shoujo. THAT got my attention.
Taiyou no Ie is by Taamo and its genres are comedy, drama, romance, school life, shoujo and slice of life.
Taiyou no Ie is a lot like Horimiya, it really reminded me so much of that story. And I love it. I love Horimiya and so a story similar to it like Taiyou no Ie got me hooked. The stories aren’t similar in its premise or anything, I found it similar because of a few things:
1. The stories are very slice of life style. Both are very much about the characters’ day-to-day lives and how they interact with one another. As both do not have extreme or exaggerated drama in them, the stories seem to go at a slow pace but the character development is there and it seems more natural.
2. The comedy. It is just awesome. I love the characters’ flustered outbursts, sarcastic remarks and innocent remarks – all to comedic effect. Comedy is a great genre to use because it will leave a lasting impression on the reader – but only if it can be pulled off well. The comedic scenes are brilliant and they are almost in every chapter. I love that the comedy isn’t exaggerated, but as a result of the characters’ own weirdness and interactions with each other. Love it, love it, love it.
3. The pacing of both Horimiya and Taiyou no Ie are the same. The romance in both stories are sweet and so enjoyable to read because the main characters originally did not actively seek out for romance. That wasn’t their original goals in life, which I actually like, because if we follow a girl protagonist who claims right from the start that she wants to find love and a boyfriend bythis period of time then the story seems like its going to be pretty cliched from there. Yes I know, there are many stories out there like that and I have read some of them but I prefer the kind of stories that are a little more realistic and purposefully-girly-catered (I’m referring to the excessive focus on romance).
So back to the story of Taiyou no Ie. The story centres around a 17-year-old girl, Motomiya Mao who has problems connecting with her father as well as her new mother and younger sister. Feeling unwanted and unbelonging in her home, she decides to pack up and leave home. Her father is unfeeling and lets her go without so much as a protest. Mao is taken in by her childhood neighbour, Nakamura Hiro, who finds her and offers her his home to stay in until she can work up the courage to return home.
Hiro lives alone,his parents no longer around due to an accident and his younger siblings Daiki and Hina being taken in by other relatives after their parents’ deaths. When Mao moves in, the house becomes much more lively and Hiro starts to look forward to spending time with Mao, whom he sees as a younger sister. As time goes by, Mao starts to fall in love with Hiro, the one who saved her and opened up her heart to heal her wounds. With Hiro’s encouragement and guidance, Mao works up the courage to try and get to know her family better, as well as her father, who always seems to be pushing her away.
In the midst of all this, we also follow Mao’s friend, Chihiro in her pursue for her crush’s attention, who is in fact in love with Mao and the lead up to Daiki’s return home. We are also introduced to a co-worker of Hiro’s who is in love with Hiro and is aware of the fact that he lives with a high school girl who is not his biological sister.
The interaction scenes between Mao and Hiro are all so cute and adorable because their love is there but both parties know that it is weird and unusual (since they are seven years apart in age). They have their cute, sweet moments, which I love because cute sweet moments can be actually just simple gestures. I love how Hiro is always looking out for her, thinking about her (like a mum) and then he keeps thinking about her even though there’s no reason to and he wonders to himself why he’s so worked up when she’s just out with his younger brother (like a lover) HAHA.
I love the characters in Taiyou no Ie, Mao is a damaged heroine who just wants to seek acceptance and belonging and she finds that in Hiro, who is warm and giving and initially plays the role of an older brother/mother. But as more time is spent together, both realise that they have both been saved by each other. Mao’s father, though an unlikeable character, I find is essential to the story. He is the one that cannot forgive himself and because of past wounds that were never healed, he turns bitter and distances himself from his innocent daughter. Daiki is the stoic, role-model student who delivers stiff comedy from time to time and returns because of the girl he likes. Hiro’s co-worker, Sugimoto is a pain in the ass, as you will find her while reading the story but she is essential because you can’t help but wonder – what if Hiro was to choose her? She could offer him a totally normal life and all the guys in the office love her but her loving Hiro is the catalyst that pushes Hiro to realise his true feelings.
I highly recommend reading Taiyou no Ie as it focuses a lot on family love, as well as romantic love. If you loved Horimiya, you would definitely like Taiyou no Ie.
Here’s one last comedic scene to motivate you guys to go read this manga:
Story line: 10/10 (Original story, with brilliant story pacing and character development)
Chapter length: 9/10 (Within a range of 39-45 pages)