Manga Review: Her World by Hakamada Mera

Spoiler warning.

Author: Hakamada Mera
Length: 4 chapters
Scanlation Group: Fly by Yuri!

Genre: Yuri, Angst, School Setting, Blackmailing
Story:
By accidentally bumping into each other, Natsuki and Hidari, two high school classmates, unnoticedly end up swapping their notebooks with each other. The two of them have never been friends, nor have they talked very often with each other, if at all. And while Hidari is a very quiet girl who is known for looking very cute but also for never talking and not being very sociable, Natsuki on the other hand has a lot of friends and is pretty popular in class. So the two of them never really had the chance to talk or even found it necessary to do so, but by swapping their notebooks, Natsuki finds out about the story, Hidari secretly writes in her free time. And as she reads what’s written in the notebook, she finds herself strangely interested in it, leading her to some quite sly actions just to ensure being able to continue reading this story…

I don’t think it’s because of the manga’s short length, but somehow I just couldn’t get used to the two main characters. I would even go so far as to say, I dislike them both.          
Natsuki is absolutely taking advantage of the situation, blackmailing her later love interest as if it’s the most natural thing in the world and Hidari just lets it happen without even protesting. She didn’t talk in the beginning and that just slightly changes throughout the whole manga. 
You could say that she talks through her stories, but these are also kind of messed up and hard to understand considering her situation, so in the end it’s like I don’t understand what’s going on in her head at all.
I don’t really get what Hidari’s writings have to do with her having a crush on the teacher anyway, which was all just randomly thrown into the story without much explanation. It rather seems like the author wanted to add something interesting and unique but failed since things don’t make much sense in the end. So did Hidari really have a crush on the teacher? It sure seems like it in the beginning but considering what happened in the last chapter, it’s either that she never had feelings for her teacher and it was all a misunderstanding or Hidari actually likes being blackmailed and falls for her blackmailer or (and this is most likely to be true) this story just doesn’t make much sense. 
So maybe it’s just me and I didn’t fully understand what was going on, but I believe that this manga either had a bigger meaning that I simply wasn’t able to comprehend or it all just ended poorly. I also don’t know whether there will be a second volume of this manga, but at least for me this kind of open end wasn’t very satisfying. Then again, this whole manga wasn’t really satisfying for me in the first place, so maybe a second volume could clear some things up, but it could also make things even worse.
If I haven’t made it clear enough already, then let me just repeat myself once more; I really didn’t like this one, and it could have actually been so much better. The story is simple, yet it has a quite promising premise that could have made things very interesting, if used the right way that is. But it wasn’t. The story took an unnecessarily complicated and messed up turn, letting things end in a way that I just can’t fully comprehend. And just like the simple story, the art looks pretty simple too, but look for yourself:
 

Page example, click to enlarge

Story: 4/10

Characters: 4/10
Art: 5/10
Yuri: 6/10
Total Enjoyment: 4/10
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6 thoughts on “Manga Review: Her World by Hakamada Mera

  1. The way I understood it is that Hidari did have a crush on her teacher, but she knew it was never going to happen. She still likes the teacher at the end and that's why didn't answer to natsuki at the end.
    This doesn't mean she doesn't “like” natsuki, it's not that strange that she started liking her, she's the only one who read her writings and was in love with her, maybe she sympathised with the fact that Natsuki loved someone that didn't return her love, just like her with the teacher. Yeah it sounds a little weird, but it's plausible.

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  2. Hidari doesn't answer because throughout the whole thing she barely said anything and expressed herself through her story instead. But since that one is cluttered with symbolism and allusions, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what her deal is. I like stories that need a bit more thinking and interpretation but I think Hakamada overdid it with her fondness of vague endings and trying to be poetic.

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  3. It really does sound plausible but a manga that leaves such a significant question unanswered…
    I really don't like coming up with my own answer since in this case, it feels like the author herself didn't even know how to answer it.

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  4. Exactly, the author overdid it and now we're left with some questions that we just can't be completely sure how to answer.

    I also like symbolic stories and those that have some hidden meanings but it happens very often that the author, just like you said, overdoes it and it the end it feels like the author him/herself doesn't even know what it was all about anymore.
    And this is exactly how “Her World” feels to me.

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  5. There are other stories from the same author that are more likable. Not as greats as ones from Takemiya Jin or Otsu Hiyori (for example), but certainly a lot better than this one.
    Titles I can remember are “All you”, “If this wish comes true”, “Kaichou to fukukaichou” and lastly “Watashi no taisetsu na tomodachi” that if it isn't really yuri, it is a light and entertaining story.
    And if you didn't really liked it in the first place, why even bothering doing the review? It's a silly question with good intentions, don't misunderstand me xD I didn't like it either, lol. It was, in my opinion, so very boring and nonsensical. I like Mera's art but this one, is a no go.

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  6. Hm that's actually a good question.
    I usually don't bother finishing a manga if I didn't even like the first few chapters of it. But this one is really short, so I just read it in one go.

    What I try to do when writing a review, is giving out my honest opinion about the things that I read/watch/play, so writing about stuff I didn't like is just as important to me than writing about the ones that I liked.
    Also I think this manga was a waste of time, so maybe I got some people to think twice before picking this one 😛

    If I remember correctly, I've also read some other manga by Hakamada but none of them really left some kind of bigger impression on me.
    But I also think it's worth to mention that none of them were really as bad as this one.

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