Mizuki Ashiya - Hana-Kimi - Favorite Manga Character

For You In Full Bloom
Happy Lunar New Year! It's the Year of the Snake, of which I am one, which makes it a most awesome year indeed!

Dr. M posed the question, who is your favorite manga character? And, I thought about it for a  long time, weeks actually. I think, possibly, maybe, my favorite character is Mizuki Ashiya of the beloved manga Hana-Kimi aka For You in Full Bloom.

Hana-Kimi was one of my early favorite mangas for its sweet storyline and gender bending themes. Mizuki Ashiya is a Japanese girl who lives in the US. She is infatuated with a high school high jumping champion Izumo Sanyo who she saw on television. She decides she wants to get near to him and admire his high jump up close. Only a few things stand in her way.

1) Izumo lives in Japan.
2) Izumo goes to an all boys school.
3) Izumo was injured and doesn't high jump anymore.

For Mizuki Ashiya, these are but small obstacles. She convinces her parents to let her move to Japan to go to school. She cuts off her hair and pretends to be a boy. Then she enrolls in Osaka High School, where good fortune would make her Izumo Sanyo's dorm mate. Antics ensue.

Adorable Mizuki Ashiya

Mizuki Ashiya is very adorable, a total ditz, and has a never-give-up attitude that I just love. When I was first sentenced to a cubicle as a full-time adult, I kept a picture of her with her hand held up in the victory pose saying, "Do your best!" Why? Because she's inspiring! She's the kind of character that changes everyone she meets for the better. She's deep enough to have rough moments, and she's resilient enough to come out on the other side with a smile.

I'd love to tell the entire story, but I won't! I want you to read it...or see it! There is an equally adorable live action Taiwanese version of this, which I highly recommend. And apparently other live versions from Japan and Korea. But, this is the one I like:

Hanazakarino Kimitachihe

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