Ok, so first impression wasn’t all that striking. It’s why I ended getting sidetracked (yet again) with other titles and put this one on hold. I decided to read again from the very beginning just to refresh my memory. And the second time is a charm because now I absolutely love it. And gosh, there was a bonus chapter, a crossover sort of thing with Hiruka no Ryuusei. And by now you should know that I immensely love the latter series (GO! GO! GO! Mamura-kun!)
So Hibi Chouchou was nice, light romantic series. It’s very mellow yet prominent. I love the two leads: Shibazeki is this very cute (as in super cuuuute) girl, everyone seems to admire her—no cross that everyone is fawning over her. She’s like this delicate flower, untouchable. Then we have this guy, Kawasumi, who seems to be unaffected by her charms which I think leads to Shibazeki noticing her. He saved her from guys that are harassing her. This incident and some others that follow made her more aware of him and thus developed a sort infatuation for him.
It was different from I what presumed, it turns out the girl fell for the guy first. According to her friend since everyone is smitten by her she became shy and talks less. I couldn’t even gauge her reactions unless I read her monologues. She wasn’t airy cute girl (which I thought) but a completely shy one (and if were to compare it Kiyoko from Haikyuu! shares the same personality). And the guy, bless him for he’s different from the rest. Well, he wasn’t completely unaffected by her but he was obviously didn’t treat her like the others and this also contributed as to why she taken notice of him. Sometimes it’s kinda irritating (in a very, very minor way though) because they’re both sort of closed off and extremely timid that they sometimes get confused and couldn’t read between the lines.
I think the major factor as to why it was working for me despite the slow progress and very mellow atmosphere was because the characters are very likeable. Despite me agonizing on some of their actions (like come on speak up more Shibazeki!) I guess it’s more genuine that a shy girl like her (and even him) is struggling to maintain their relationship. She was obviously brought up differently and in all fairness is very apparent that they’re working hard to reach each other—slow it might be.
Then again I’m major advocate of slow romantic development and Hibi Chouchou excels at that. I like that even though they barely know how relationship goes and even though at times it was rocky, the mere fact that both are trying so hard (and makes me swoon in the process) makes this title a good one.