Hatsukoi Limited: thoughts on reading, first loves, and life in general

Before I log on to my blog, I always try to put my thoughts in paper first. I’m sad to say that this week has been pretty hectic to the extent that I have only written some scribbles each day for four days. Since I vehemently refuse to do anything related to academic work today, I simply decided to integrate the scribbles. I’ll hopefully come up with a coherent post.

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My favorite character in the whole series

I love reading.

In fact, I couldn’t stop reading these past few weeks, and it’s a very good thing I have a physics subject this semester to divert my energies into something academically productive, at least. Normally, people would be glad if they couldn’t stop reading. This would allow them to complete academic requirements much faster, as they don’t have to anymore surpass the drudgery of reading the texts. But that is exactly my problem: I didn’t read academic texts. I read everything except the required texts for school. I even wrote one time that it has become a pathology, so I’m very glad there have been physics problems to busy me, as they have been my transition into completing academic requirements.

I’m not averse to studying. I would even argue that even these academically unrelated readings are a form of studying. While I can very much study academically, I have allowed myself (i.e. a decision that was not entirely unconscious) to be sidetracked with a lot of different things: I have attempted to sell literature online (yes, even in the sewers of the Internet) because my room is already full of books (I think Baka-Raptor posted a good pictorial approximation of my room in one of his posts).

I think I’ve read a significant amount to be able to say that literature (as a medium in general) is more cogitative than other media and that its primary purpose is to instruct before it entertains (at least it is for the books I read). I think this is the reason why not many people delight in books: compared to anime and other media, books are like dietary fiber to our mental alimentary system: they are comparatively harder to digest, and what we cannot digest or understand we simply excrete as feces, or at least consider as feces. I’d argue that this is proven by the fact that it is easier to stop reading The Sound and the Fury compared to an watching an anime classic like Cowboy Bebop. I think it’s also easier to stop reading that novel compared to watching a film classic like The Godfather. All are representative classics of their own medium.

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The girls of Hatsukoi Limited

As I wanted to stop reading extracurricular literature, and wanted to test this hypothesis, I decided to just read Hatsukoi Limited. I couldn’t stop. I started reading it 11 in the morning today, and I didn’t stop until I finished it at about four in the afternoon. In all honesty, I couldn’t read a novel or a book for five hours straight. The best I did (judging from the books I have read this year) was to read for two hours, stop for thirty minutes, and then continue reading for another one or two hours. Yes, that included The Sound and the Fury. I couldn’t read for five straight hours even with a compulsively readable novel like One Hundred Years of Solitude. I did that with Hatsukoi Limited, though.

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I’m really fond of her art

I’m sure people would call my taste in manga to be bad: I love all of Mizuki Kawashita‘s works (like Lilim Kiss and Ichigo 100% [AYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA T_T]) and this series has been no different. I even think it was ended much better than Ichigo 100% was simply because there was no time jump and the characters have been fleshed enough for me. In fact, I admire Kawashita more with her recent accomplishment: as her manga series was unpopular in Japan, she had to end the series quickly but even with that pressure she was still able to create an ending that was plausible. I actually loved how it ended in an open note: the subject matter, after all, is first loves. First loves are fickle, that is true, but some first loves also blossom to full-fledged romances. Some are unrequited; some are, as yet, unfulfilled; some start off on the wrong foot, but at least all of them get somewhere.

I especially admired the romance between Yamamoto and Arihara. I admire Yamamoto for being true to herself, and for recognizing that you don’t really need any reason to like someone (quite a jump from her, considering that she is normally aloof, distant, and analytical). To stick to what she believed in, even if it meant turning down two wonderful potential suitors, is something that she should be congratulated for. On the flip side, I admire Arihara for having matured beyond his great sister complex. In addition, his respectful treatment towards Yamamoto and especially his actions in the thirty-first chapter made me like him all the more. Those actions of his took a lot of guts, and while he was perhaps blessed by the gods he also did not let his chance get away.

I also admired the development of Kei and Kusuda. Kusuda’s stifling of his natural perversity simply to cherish his ill-fated love (at least, before their confessions) for Kei and Kei’s admission that there is more to a guy than his looks was very heart-warming.

The ending was beautiful. Koyoi has still to resolve his brother complex; Meguru still has to move her swimming idol; Ayumi still has to resolve between choosing who she loves and who loves her: life goes on, and it’s far from perfect. But they live.

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not a happy smiley

We also live, despite our heartaches, and our shortcomings. But we push on. The truly happy man, after all, according to Aristotle, does not let misfortune cloud his happiness. 🙂

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18 Responses to “Hatsukoi Limited: thoughts on reading, first loves, and life in general”

  1. FF Says:

    The Chikura story was my favourite story of the lot. It was beautifully presented, and had that mix of appealing characters and a plot tinged with both sadness and hope that strikes at the heartstrings of readers. I especially loved the twist that Renjou was actually having doubts about the correctness of his ideals, and that ironically it was Chikura’s support which steeled his mind and took him away from her.

    Another irony is that the early end may actually benefit the overall rating of the series’ quality. I felt that Ichigo suffered from being far too long with a fair few characters that were introduced for the sake of stretching the story out. Hatsukoi Limited was better placed for a longish run because all the characters seem planned from the start, but there was also potential for disaster, and the way it’s turned out, short and sweet, is definitely a good way to do it.

  2. Michael Says:

    Correct. The length of Ichigo 100% was overlong (despite it being a more enjoyable roller-coaster).

    I’m simply a fan of Yamamoto, is all. I freely admit that Chikura’s story has more pathos and was created much better, but that scene in the thirty-first chapter was simply wonderful.

  3. Baka-Raptor Says:

    It’s right here

  4. RyanA Says:

    Another “Mike’s Stamp of Approval” 🙂 I think I’ll take this in, when I finally catch up in School Rumble (currently ~ch215), since Hatsukoi Ltd is not so lengthy.

  5. Hook, Line and Sinker « The Animanachronism Says:

    […] I’ll take the bait: […]

  6. Lelangir Says:

    I’ve never held a piece of manga in my hands.

  7. Michael Says:

    lelangir:

    You don’t need to. You can read manga online, you know. >.>

    RyanA:

    Yeah, and School Rumble is ending in a chapter or so.

    Baka-Raptor:

    My room isn’t that filled with books, but it is filled with books.

  8. “lelangiric” » Anti-Gershwinism on Yoko Kanno Says:

    […] aural component, the end result that is the purpose of the notation. Perhaps this is the same with plain old literature, yet, what with our linguistic determinism and whatnot, if not for the mentally ingrained sounds of […]

  9. Baka-Raptor Says:

    literature (as a medium in general) is more cogitative than other media and that its primary purpose is to instruct before it entertains

    Then explain Opal Metha.

  10. RyanA Says:

    DAMN IT!

  11. Michael Says:

    Baka-Raptor:

    I can learn not to plagiarize by reading it! I can learn how, if I’d have a $500K book deal, not to brick it!

    RyanA:

    Surprising, right? I’m quite surprised, too. But it’s finally great to have Yakumo say she loves Harima after ALL THIS TIME! 😀

  12. anime|otaku » Blog Archive » Debating with Daniel: Cowboy Bebop is not a cheap airport thriller! Says:

    […] anime|otaku hopefully incisive and intellectual disquisitions on anime « Hatsukoi Limited: thoughts on reading, first loves, and life in general […]

  13. [43] Anti-Gershwinism on Yoko Kanno « “lelangiric” Says:

    […] aural component, the end result that is the purpose of the notation. Perhaps this is the same with plain old literature, yet, what with our linguistic determinism and whatnot, if not for the mentally ingrained sounds of […]

  14. Bookmarks about Otaku Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by gregjan on 2008-10-18 Hatsukoi Limited: thoughts on reading, first loves, and life in … […]

  15. Jaden Says:

    I think the best story is the one envolving kei and kusuda. For me this pair is the best one in all the series, since they are always fighting, but at least the really love each other.

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    Such a usefule blog…wow !!!!

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    Hey, nice art i add your blog to my rss!

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