Banzai, two post in one day! ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ (This is kinda my apology for not posting so much these two weeks.) But I also started and finished this manga today, and I really wanted to write about it!
English name: Stepping on Roses
Volumes & chapters: 9 vol. 57 chap.
Hadashi de bara wo fume is about the girl Sumi Kitamura, who is the second eldest of a parent-less family of six. They are poor and live in a run down hut. The eldest son manages to earn some money, but often gambles it away. One day after her older brother tries to make a move on the debt collector’s woman (and flees by himself), her younger brothers and sisters are taken away. The only way for Sumi to get them back is to make two thousand yen in one day . On her quest to find money, Souichirou Ashida offers to give her the money with the condition that she has to marry him.
At first glance this manga does not seem very special, and sounds like your typical “girl in money trouble, gets saved by a (rich) man who buys her and they fall in love”. Without spoiling the end, I will only say that the first part is true. Yet the story contains some (utterly not expected) plot twist that I think most of the readers got shocked when they read it!
While Souichirou at the beginning acts like a mean, predictable and overly used character, he slowly matures and honestly, you will fall in love with him. (At least I did, haha) Not to mention his blushing face is really cute! ♥‿♥ Furthermore, our heroine is not a weak girl that bends down to the not so nice buyer. She is headstrong and will not let Souichirou treat her like a tool. In addition, some characters turns out to be more dangerous than we would have imagine! (́◉◞౪◟◉‵)
The art is very nice, especially the different hairstyles to the heroine, as well as her outfits. Background is not often drawn, unless it is important to the story. But the author compensate with using effect backgrounds (sorry, I know this is not the right term, but I do not know what it is called), like sparkling background.
What I like about the manga is the pace. Right from the beginning you are getting an introduction to the situation of our protagonist and then the story starts to unfold. It is also nice that the introduction is not told by the main character herself. Like “My name is Sumi Kitamura I’m not your average 15 year old girl, because I live in utterly poverty”.
The problems are being build up nicely to the climax and the (dark) past to the (main) characters get unfolded in a fitting way. (They might be a little cliche, but they are done in such a good way that you will not mind it). Though, I think the end was a little rushed. It would have been better if the author had used one or two more chapters to fully (or at least give more details) about how the end unfolded as it did. But nevertheless, it is a quite satisfying ending. Moreover, I absolutely love that the setting in the manga is in the meiji era, because other manga with the same plot often happens in the 21st century.
To conclude: definitely check this manga out, though I would recommend readers to be 15 years old and above! It might sound like a cliche manga, but it is not. You will get surprised by the plot twist in the manga. The art is also nice. Moreover, the story and problems are unfolded in a nice pace and the manga has a very satisfying ending.
If you liked Hadashi de bara wo fume, you might like:
–Faster than a kiss: a headstrong heroine that is also in need of money. Parent-less and also takes care of her sibling.
–Hapi Mari: Happy Marriage?!: suited for older readers. But same plot, only with older characters. Heroine is also not a typical wimpy (shoujo) girl.
My spoiler questions/thoughts on the manga:
-How did Eisuke’s parents die? I know this is not important to the story, but I am still curious.
– Why did Keiko (the maid) stop trying to split up Sumi and Nozomu ?
– I think the author could have explained how Miu and Nozomu ended up together (in the last chapter). Because Nozomu was (literally) maaaaadly in love with Sumi and that feeling will not go away in an instant, even if the one he loves is his long lost blood related sister! But for all means, they are meant for each other, since they never got divorced and are both nuts! Hope their child turn out to be normal! Would have liked to know if it is a boy or a girl! >3<
-Speaking of Nozomu, what a twist! I knew he liked Sumi, but not to that extent!(O.O) But definitely a plot twist I did not expect! Good job author!
-Would have like that the author also further explained how Sumi’s life changed after knowing she is originally from the Ijuuin family. Did she inherit anything? Because in the last chapter she thanked everybody for supporting Souichirou, and that is why they manage to build the school. (If I remember correctly). At least her father should have given her some money…
-What I miss in the manga is that Sumi should have tried to do more for the poor, since she knows the hardships. And I was a little disappointed that she did not sneak out more and visited her brothers and sister!
-Somehow you could say that Sumi was a typical/cliche strong main character. She did not back down even though her fake husband treated her bad, and they did fall in love at the end. But at the same time, I really like that she did not like roses and was good in cooking and Shogi, she became different from other head strong female main characters .
-Kinda pity Eisuke that did not end up with someone.
-It is a pity that Komai did not play a bigger role in the whole conflict. I thought that when he started to work for Nozomu, he did it to spy on him. Thought it did mention in the manga that he would take care of Sumi when she was (forced) to engage Nozomu, I wish he had been more loyal to Souichirou.