Futaba & HikariFUN for ALL. ALL for FUN.
Hikari Kohinata is a cheerful 15 year-old girl who lives near the ocean and she spends much of her time diving as a result. On her first day of high school, she meets a teacher who also likes scuba diving. There's also a 16 year-old classmate, Futaba Ooki, who gets dragged along in Hikari's maelstrom as soon as they meet at school. Most of the manga so far details the relationship between the two girls, which quickly seems to move into romantic two girl friendship-territory
Begun in the November 2008 issue of Comic Blade
is perhaps most notable as the newest creation of ARIA
's Kozue Amano. Rather than being located on Neo-Venezia however it takes place in the modern-day Japanese town of Ito in the Shizuoka prefecture, although Amano also put in some well-known landmarks from other places in that region. It seems to focus on scuba diving and high school life. The comic itself, Hikari in particular, uses a lot of diving jargon even when not diving.
This manga provides examples of:
- Ahoge: Hikari has three.
- Author Appeal: Can you guess what Kozue Amano's hobby is?
- Cherry Blossoms
- Cloudcuckoolander: Hikari. Ai too, to some degree.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Ai, to some extent.
- Expy: Hikari is ARIA's Akari, but with the weirdness-factor turned up to eleven. The likeness is emphasized by her school uniform, which looks very much like the outfits worn by the undines in ARIA.
- Akari appears directly as well, on a tourism poster (for Palau of all places) on the clubroom wall.
- Not to mention the one-shot character Akane, one of Futaba's/Dotty's old friends, who looks exactly like Akari.
- Chizuru, another one of Dotty's friends from Tokyo, resembles Aika, especially with her Super-Deformed face.
- Face Fault: All the main characters have one.
- Fanservice: Fairly mild—but then there are the covers of the manga volumes.
- First Name Basis: Hikari skips all that and decides to call Futaba by a nickname straight away.
- Genki Girl: Hikari. Ai has some of this as well.
- High School Rocks: At least Hikari seems to think so.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: The school uniforms are very striking, but perhaps not so practical for people who have to sit in them all day.
- Limited Social Circle: None of the characters seem to have much of a life outside of high school and club activities.
- Later on, the group is enhanced with two of Futaba's Tokyo friends.
- Loners Are Freaks: Averted. Hikari may be a bit eccentric and is not seen with friends outside the diving club, but she has a warm and sociable personality.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Hikari has elements of this, especially toward Futaba.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Hikari's grandmother.
- The One Guy: Makoto. Poor chap.
- One of the Kids: Katori-sensei, to some degree. At least she's not above some mild competition with her students.
- Parental Abandonment: Hikari is raised by her grandmother and her parents never get any mention. Futaba's parents are also conspicuously absent.
- Pose of Supplication: Done by Hikari and Futaba toward Ai, to prevent her from beating them up.
- Real Place Background: Amano extensively uses locales on the Japanese Izu peninsula, the town of Ito first and foremost.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Hikari and Futaba hit it off as soon as they meet (and this is a work by Amano after all).
- Regrettably, Hikari restrains her playful flirting with Futaba a lot by the end of the first volume.
- Chizuru appears to be quite heart-broken when she discovers that Futaba has found "someone else".
- Rubber Face: Ai loves doing this to Hikari.
- Scenery Porn: Of course — it wouldn't be Amano's work without it.
- Series Hiatus: The release schedule has been reduced from monthly to three-monthly due to Amano's pregnancy and childbirth.
- Shout-Out: Several characters from ARIA have appeared on posters the background, including Akari and the president cats.
- Bonus points for Tea-sensei actually being NAMED Aria, like the president of Aria Company. As of Chapter 16, Aria gets a companion/betrothed kitten named Hime.
- Katori-sensei's car is the Pokoteng III, which has President Aria's last name.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Ai and her twin brother, Makoto.
- Slice of Life: So far.
- Subtext: Between Hikari and Futaba, although it gets toned down to an extent later on in the series, although it flares up occasionally (see Chapters 16 and 17).
- Super-Deformed: Hikari's SD face is a bit jarring.
- Techno Babble: There is a lot of talk about the technical issues surrounding diving.
- Two-Teacher School: Actually, Katori-sensei is the only teacher shown teaching throughout the series.
- The World Is Just Awesome: The art and feel of the manga express' this many times.