An honest portrayal shows something that is what it is, with acceptance if not understanding. That's the underlying theme of this manga that feels like a minicomic. Hoshino confesses his love to Negishi in a classroom full of students, although she doesn't even know his name. He's oblivious to many of the niceties of interpersonal relations, single-mindedly pursuing his goal without consideration of reality. Hoshino has no pretense, and he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. He says he loves Negishi because around her he can be himself, but he doesn't seem to have much trouble any other time. The simple, flat faces and two-dimensional drawings are reminiscent of the works of American indie creators like John Porcellino or Jeffrey Brown, but with more shading. Paradoxically, the simplified art style, combined with Hoshino's unthinking exposure of himself, creates a perception of depth. One of a small but welcome number of naturalistic manga coming to America, this book follows the clumsy procession through dating, first kiss, first fight, meeting the parents and so on, with a simple charm that anyone can relate to. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.