SukiStory: Nanase Ohkawa (CLAMP)
Mick Nekoi (CLAMP)
Genre: Drama / Mystery
Volume Count: 3
Vintage: 1999

Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 31 May 2007

Grade: B

The full title of this manga is Suki, Dakara Suki, which means ‘I like you, that’s why I like you’.

Almost more of a thematic work than a story, but the plot picks up in the last two volumes.

Plot Summary
Hinata Asahi is a straight-A high school student, but she has the common sense and naïve innocence of a five-year-old. She also lives alone, with only her teddy bears to keep her company. For this reason, her friends worry about her. Their worry only increases when a mysterious man moves in next door to Hinata, who also happens to be her new homeroom teacher. Making matters worse is that Hinata seems to develop a crush on him. Is it OK for her to be so attached to someone so much older than her, when nobody seems to know anything about this man?

The Review
This is a very simple story, but leave it to CLAMP to have twists and turns in an otherwise straightforward story. In some ways, it’s almost a shoujo thriller.

One reason that I enjoy Suki is that I like the drawing style of CLAMP’s Mick Nekoi. (At least that was her name at the time Suki was written. Since then she’s changed her pen-name.) Also to be found in this series is the appearance of a plot device that would be used again in Chobits… the ‘picture book the protagonist reads that parallels their own story’. Piffle Princess, another regular CLAMP institution, is also found in the story. Any CLAMP fan will feel right at home in Suki, despite its minimalist nature.

As for the main character, Hinata, she is an odd one. She is definitely a bright girl – when it comes to academics. When it comes to matters of common sense and interacting with people, she’s about as dense as they come. Hinata is blissfully unaware when it comes to social skills. So much so that she is often depicted as a puppy in some panels of the story.

When the somewhat token Large CLAMP Bishounen (his trenchcoat could shelter a small village) moves in next door, this is when the story picks up. He seems to be everywhere that Hinata is, and she lives alone. This makes for an almost uncomfortable storyline, though of course Hinata is completely oblivious to the fact that it’s not a normal situation at all. The story starts as an exploration of the theme, but in the second volume, things take an unexpected turn and get interesting.

If you’re looking for something from CLAMP that is relatively low-key and short, but also with a few twists and turns, Suki will do well.

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