Daytime Shooting Star, Vol 7

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 7 by Mika Yamamori

This manga brings both the drama and major uneasiness as Suzume and Shishio progress a bit on their student-teacher romance and then things get curtailed, causing plenty of angst.

One of the reasons why I enjoy reading this manga so much is that it makes me feel uneasy, which is not all that typical for shoujo manga. I’m not sure if Yamamori is going to be able to pull of a happy ending out of this series, and for all the swoony feelings of first love happening, it is difficult to escape the issues with the age gap in the main relationship in the manga. Suzume asks Shishio to go to a shrine for New Year’s and shows up wearing a disguise so no would be able to identify them in public. When a snowstorm causes them to miss the last train back, they have to check into a bread and breakfast and hide where they are. Shishio straight out lies to Suzume’s uncle, which is a bit beyond the pale, even if nothing much has happened on the romance front other than some significant gazes and a couple kisses.

I really enjoyed the chapter in this volume that was presented from Nekota’s point of view. She’s rightfully cynical about her own popularity and reflects on how she’s changed since developing a genuine friendship with Suzume. This chapter gave much more insight about her character, and the shifting point of view felt refreshing.
There’s also a bonus story in this volume that didn’t make a ton of sense, since Yamamori was collaborating with another author. I’m curious to see how Suzume deals with the emotional fallout from this volume, and if she’s able to move on a little bit with her life. Mamura continues to be awesome, so I’m hoping that Suzume at least attempts to give boys her own age a chance.

Daytime Shooting Star, Vol 6

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 6 by Mika Yamamori

As this series continues, I grow more and more conflicted because heroine Suzume is such a sweet girl, I want her to get everything she wants. Unfortunately the main thing she wants is her teacher Shishio, and as he progresses in dropping some boundaries he was not even all that great at maintaining before, I find him more and more unappealing as a romantic prospect for Suzume. As I tend to do in k-dramas, I’m now firmly rooting for the second lead guy, Suzume’s classmate Mamura. I’m still drawn in by Daytime Shooting Star’s combination of stylish art and teen soap opera plot. As a bonus, Mamura is on the cover of this volume.

In this volume, Suzume and Shishio continue to capture some stolen moments here and there, but she’s often frustrated that she can’t deepen her relationship with him, and she’s continually reminded of the need for distance. She gives him a birthday present that she earned the money for with her part-time job. She attempts to make him a lunch, but sees him turning down food from another student. Throughout all of these interactions Mamura hovers in the background either quietly observing or forcing himself to eat some of Suzume’s first attempts at rice balls. Mamura continues to be a good friend, even when Suzume finds herself stood up by Shishio when he’s tied up with work on Christmas. A little bit of awareness seems to be settling in with Suzume as she realizes that she can be herself around Mamura after spending more time with him. Shishio seems to be losing his grip on his professional ethics, so I’m growing concerned about that, and the fact that Suzume’s uncle is extremely clueless about this developing situation between one of his best friends and his niece.

I have to admit I’m impatient to see how all the slowly building romance in Daytime Shooting Star will pan out. There’s a bit of a train wreck quality to this manga, seeing a young girl invest in the possibility of a romantic relationship that doesn’t seem like it will work, but I’m hoping that Mamura’s flashes of insight and his evolution from a boy who could barely talk to a girl to a young man who will gallantly bestow a scarf on a girl when she’s cold will pan out somehow. Go Mamura!

Daytime Shooting Star, Vol 5

Daytime Shooting Star, Volume 5 by Mika Yamamori

As the student/teacher romance in Daytime Shooting Star progresses I find myself thinking, “Oh, that’s cute” and “Stop being so inappropriate Shishio!” very often and simultaneously. Most of this volume is taken up with the old shoujo staple of a school festival. It is the perfect opportunity to shake things up as teens run cafes, put on plays, and engage in high stakes emotions. Mamura in particular is popular as a mostly silent butler at the cafe. Suzume does her best to serve coffee but she’s flustered when Mr. Shishio shows up and sits in her section, accompanied by her uncle. Mamura is in full protective mode, making a comment to Shishio that “A teacher has no business seducing his students” before being distracted by his own family showing up at school. Mr. Shishio confronts Mamura later on, and when Mamura acts cold to Suzume afterwards, she gets annoyed. While all the drama is happening in the cafe, Nekota has to pull herself together to be Juliet after being rejected by Mamura. Her Romeo is the popular and seemingly superficial Togyu, but he’s actually surprisingly insightful.

Suzume is somewhat oblivious to all the drama surrounding her, but she’s feeling awkward about going to see Nekota’s play solo. Shishio shows up in a mascot costume so he can take her to watch the play which is somewhat endearing but also a little creepy. After putting on the brakes for so long, Shishio admits that he has feelings for Suzume, and she’s absolutely stunned. The rest of the volume deals with the aftermath of the emotional revelations from the school festival, as Nekota tries to move on and Suzume decides to work part time in her uncle’s cafe in order to save up to buy Shishio a birthday present. Showing characters navigating through daily life while dealing with plenty of emotions is one of the things that Daytime Shooting Star is good at, along with the consistently stylish art. We aren’t quite halfway through the series yet, but I’m firmly on team Mamura now. Go Mamura! I’m still enjoying this series, mainly because Suzume and Nekota are so oddly sympathetic, but reading it is also balanced out with the tension that comes with reading a romance manga that is going all in on an inappropriate relationship, making me wonder when all the quasi-romance is going to cause some severe negative consequences for all the characters.

Daytime Shooting Star, Vol. 4

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 4 by Mika Yamamori

This volume of Daytime Shooting Star is focused on summer vacation. I really like the way the matte cover sets off the powdery pink blossoms used in the cover illustration for this volume. I’m so curious as to how this student-teacher romance manga will conclude, I’m guessing a giant time skip picking up with the high school characters post-college graduation. The volume opens as Suzume uses her intense knowledge of fish and extra cash to help out a strange but somewhat familiar man in the grocery store who has difficulty both shopping for seafood and remembering his wallet. When she drops by his house to get repaid for his groceries, she realizes that he’s Mamura’s father! Suzume gets a glimpse of Mamura’s very loud little brother, and she and Mamura are able to talk to each other again like friends.

Tsubomi ends up blowing out of town leaving a tornado of emotional devastation in her wake, as she seems to think it is appropriate to leave a note for her ex-boyfriend Shishio with the teenage girl who has a crush on him. Susume can’t resist the impulse to deliver it, and when she meets Shishio again, they decide to go on a group outing with her classmates to the aquarium, since Tsubomi enclosed an aquarium gift certificate. Of course, the day of the outing no-one else shows up, so the student and teacher are on a full-on solo date where Suzume gets to indulge in all the fish trivia questions she has ever dreamed of. Shishio continues to be fairly inappropriate but not doing anything physical beyond resting his head on Suzume’s shoulder. Even though he rejected Suzume’s love confession, it is clear that he’s still looking out for Suzume at school and in general acting protective and awkward at various moments. Suzume sees all this happening and becomes confused yet again. Fortunately there’s the school festival coming up that will provide a welcome distraction from all these romantic foibles, or amp everything up even more?

I continue to enjoy Yamamori’s stylish character designs. Suzume’s moments of introspection and insight as she’s attempting to get a handle on the world around her keeps Daytime Shooting Star interesting. It is easy to see how she’ll eventually grow up to be a formidable adult.

Daytime Shooting Star, Vol 3

Daytime Shooting Star by Mika Yamomori

I’m still enjoying this manga that focuses on the subgenre of teacher-student romance, even though I think the teacher in question has terrible boundaries and the only way for this story to end happily is for Suzume to actually date someone her own age. Perhaps an elaborate time jump where Suzume and Mr. Shishio get together after she has completed college and done a stint in the Peace Corps would also work.

Daytime Shooting Star 3

I was trying to pinpoint why I like this series so much when other Shojo Beat series are more seriously tackling the nature of grief (Ao Haru Ride) or delving into teenage introspection while juggling a love triangle (Shortcake Cake), and I came to the conclusion that for some reason I’m more affected by the art in Daytime Shooting Star. There’s something whimsical about the way that Yamamori designs her characters that just causes me to find practically everyone in the manga adorable and sympathetic.

Suzume deals with an onslaught of emotions as she confesses her feelings to Mr. Shishio when he is asleep, only to realize that he was actually awake. She endures a torrent of teenage embarrassment, and her emotional state isn’t helped all that much when Shishio’s super cool ex-girlfriend starts hanging around again. While Suzume starts researching hypnosis to discover if she will be able to erase someone’s memories, she is able to process her feelings more by talking to Nekota. Suzume decides to get things out into the open with Mr. Shishio, but then ends up running into Mamura who clearly still likes her. Will Suzume’s role as the one girl who Mamura doesn’t seem to be allergic to lead to a new, more age appropriate romance? Both the teenagers and youngish adults in Daytime Shooting Star all seem to be dealing with their own emotional issues due to a variety of reasons, and it is interesting to see Suzume evolve and take charge of her life, even though she’s aware that some of her actions are going to lead to disappointment.