Here's the thing; I don't usually do book blogs on manga. But I have a lot to say about this one, so I'm making an exception.
Here's a little background:
A Sunflower in the Shade
Invisible to her classmates, Hikage Sumino is and eighth grader with no selt-esteem. Her only friends are the visitors to her Internet blog. One day, the most popular boy in the grade suddenly talks to her. Encouraged by this twist of fate, Hikqge determines to transform her life.
...I don't think I've read a manga that takes place in middle school. Until now. Not sure how I felt about that, but I read it anyway.
This manga is a stunning piece of work. The drawings (I'm not sure if I'm using the correct terminology here, but you get my meaning) are cute/pretty and BIG! It was easy to determine what was going on, unlike those manga with the epic fight scenes where there's so much ink on the page that I have NO idea what's going on. Visually, this manga is fantastic.
The story line...I'll give it a B. Middle school drama isn't really my thing. It sends a great message, but it almost seems like a fantasy. Not many of the bully situations shown actually turn out the way they did. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wish it was more realistic. Not that there's anything THAT realistic about manga in the first place, but still. I would have liked a more complex story line.
There's one more thing I'd like to point out about this manga. The blog. The main character blogs!!! Even though after...three years(?) of blogging with only two followers, she hasn't given up. That's really inspirational. It kinda reminds me of myself. I'm a blogger, but I don't think anyone actually reads what I'm saying. But I'm determined to keep blogging now, especially since Hikage had to blog for a year until she got her first comment. If that's what it takes (or more) then I'll keep writing. (Oh, and I saw the link to the blog several times in the manga and its actually a real blog! I can't read it. Of course, and the last post was made several years ago, but here's the link: http://emaema.sakura.ne.jp/blog/)
Overall, I'd give it an A, especially considering that this was Ema Toyama's first manga. I wish More mangaka could draw like her!