Hinado Girl (aka: Hinadori Girl) Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 198
  • ISBN: 1-597896-006-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Hinado Girl (aka: Hinadori Girl) Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     October 01, 2005
Release Date: September 01, 2005

Hinado Girl (aka: Hinadori Girl) Vol.#01
© DrMaster

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Matsuzawa Mari
Translated by:Michiko Nakayama
Adapted by:

What They Say
Experience the robot maid occupation like you've never seen it before in Hanidori Girl. Support Robot: Sally 001 has been completed by boy technophile Yoshiki. Yet her "hanadori" or /fledgling/ personality makes her ill-suited in her role as a maid and leaves Yoshiki very smitten with her. Evil teachers and jealous sisters round this quirky cast of slapstickliterature.

The Review
DrMaster continues to use some solid production values for their titles. With Hinadori Girl they use the original cover art featuring Sally in her standard settings. The image is really fun. Sally is in a blue outfit holding her modified broom on a yellow background. The contrast of color jumps off the cover and makes the piece stand out despite a lack of frills. The opposite cover simply has a character image of Akira next to the volume description on a white cover.

Inside the printing is clean. I know most people will not agree, but I love the paper. The color is easy on the eyes and the weight is perfect as it does not bleed or smudge. You can really see Matsuzawa's strong inking well and the tone looks good.

At the end of the book, there is an ato-gaki from the mangaka describing her intial plans for this title. She also lists her assistants in the last panel of the last page.

Right off the bat, I love Matsuzawa’s art. It really works perfectly for this title. It is very cute and very clean. A wonderful use of thick lines that help character designs jump off the page. Characters are drawn with a good sense of proportion, so the cast looks fun and reasonable in an cartoonish sort of way. In addition, the Matsuzawa’s line work does a great job helping create length and texturing. Costume designs can be fun when Matsuzawa tries. She can go from sci-fi cosplay to modern casual easily and make both look good. To be honest, I feel the look of the characters look like they would really look good animated or in a cell-shaded video game. Simple but very cute work.

Backgrounds are okay but are nothing to talk about. The layout is also rather simple, but it does help with the passing quite a bit. If it were not for the layout this title would be a tough read for it moves very slowly.

DrMaster is usually a crap-shot when it comes to translations. When they do one error free, its usually pretty good. When they don't its apparent from the start. This volume has errors on the back cover. They cannot even get the title correct there. Amazingly, the rest of the book was solid. I just do not get this publisher.

SFX are all translated. With this series DrMaster has used a mix of subs and overlays. This concept works but it is not very consistent. I will say they do a good job with the retouch and when they do use subs they make sure not to compromise Matsuzawa’s art.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Yoshiki has finally done it. He has succeeded in building his own support robot. Well actually all Yoshiki has done was complete the finishing touches on a robot his father had started building ages ago. Either way, Sally no. 1 is now fully operational and she is running perfectly... As perfect as one would expect a robot can be if a teenager built it. This basically means Sally does not self-destruct and laser-eye beam damage is kept to a minimum. The success has given Yoshiki confidence in his abilities and has provided his family with support it needs while the head of the family is away on business... much to the disappointment of Yoshiki's sister.

Akira could really careless what the robot does. It would be a great help if it cooked, cleaned and helped with the groceries. All of that can be pretty tough on a 14-year-old girl who has lost her mother and has a father living in orbit. She has to be the person in charge at home, even though she is the younger sibling. It would also be nice to see Yoshiki motivated for once. She knows too well he is a lazy slob who would happily live off candy and virtual girl porn. Unfortunately, Sally has quickly made things worse.

In Akira’s heart, Sally has begun replacing her as the primary person in Yoshiki’s life. As Sally begins to learn and develop its own robo-personality it could not only take Akira’s place as a home-keeper, but she could be the center of Yoshiki’s heart. Yoshiki already does very little socializing. With Sally, he now spends hours each day maintaining her and tweaking her features. He does very little else in the house and does not seem to give Akira the respect she deserves. It is almost as if she were not his younger sister. Here she is the only responsible one and she does not get attention, affection or respect, yet she has to accept all of Yoshiki’s whimsical projects unconditionally. From this perspective, she has already lost.

In this story, Akira loves her brother so much. Possibly because of the lack of parental figures, she has to take on roles of sibling, parent, friend and maid and she has a hard time separating all of those aspects of her personality when dealing with Yoshiki. It is always something else with him. Taking care of him in different ways and having to accept him and his crazy ideas unconditionally. But she does not get the love back (at least not on the same level). So why should she care about his plans if he does not react to her in the first place?

Yoshiki's affection is toward a robot. You cannot get more one-sided than that. Sally initially takes on some imprinting qualities, so she clings to him initially, but as she grew that began to fade away. Sally's reaction to Yoshiki is not love or respect its programming and artificial intelligence but Yoshiki devotes himself to the robot "for scientific" purposes (for kicks really). He best check his priorities because people are interested in taking Sally away from Yoshiki - for good or bad.

What is stronger the bond between siblings or the connection between a creator and his inventions? Matsuzawa says they are both very strong relationships; however, both relationships can be weakened by one-sided affections.

While the title might sound like this would be a strange romance, it really is a cute little drama. Hinadori Girl so far has been as more about Akira and her problems at home, than it has focused on Yoshiki or his cute little Sally 001. Akira is a real girl. She has so much forced on her and gets so little back. She does not have time to raise a baby robot. She does not have the patience to clean up all of the messes Yoshiki is responsible for. She needs some time to herself and to grow up. But she tries so hard to accept. She forgives and she learns the hard way.

In Hinadori Girl there are two characters that are developing their hearts and minds. Sally is the obvious one but Akira is also growing up. As she begins to open up and share her feelings, she seems to realize Yoshiki is not for her. Sally's growth is cute but not really presented well. It is really hard to tell what is going on with her, so I tended to wait until Yoshiki explained things to find out. Generally, I do not like having to be told how to interpret my feelings towards a character, but I really am not getting Sally and her appeal very much. Yeah she is cute and naive and I do enjoy that Matsuzawa has not made her some precious doll or some sexual object. I still would like to see her make more of an impact outside of causing trouble, because Yoshiki and his rivals do enough of that already.

I find myself not as impressed with this title after the second reading. What felt cute and silly, was really shallow and derivative. I have seen this before. Poor Akira will never be able to beat the robot girl. The robot is really there for comedic relief, to distract from how Yoshiki is not strong enough to be the main character (possibly, why the mangaka admits Akira is really the main character). The silly yuri aspect from her best friend does nothing for the plot. The rival characters are just there like Team Rocket. They do not know what they can do with Sally or what she is for. They do not have real plans for capturing her. They do not do anything except liven up a slow but nicely drawn title.

In the end, this title is mainly fluff. I think the concept is interesting. And I like how they have set Sally up as a member of the family. However, there is very little holding any of this up. Akira's situation depresses me. Why should I be interested when Indian Summer is racier or Chobits is from CLAMP? Kurumi might be on hold but there is action. This does not have anything going for it. Maybe as the "Hanidori" personality develops something better will come from this title. For now, I would suggest passing.


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