Kirara no Hoshi
Kirara no Hoshi is Morinaga Ai’s newest series. I have a long love affair with Morinaga Ai, going strong at 10 years. Simply, I find her funny. I typically don’t seek out comedy manga, but she has this over-the-top, sorta raunchy style that is so atypical for shoujo manga. The humor, hot guys, and high energy of Kirara no Hoshi is nothing less than what you’d expect from her.
Kirara Ayumi is the daughter of a legendary actress, but she doesn’t share her late mother’s looks, talent, or drive to be famous. Ayumi just wants to live a normal, peaceful high school life, but she has to help keep her father’s small talent agency afloat. The company’s only profitable talent suddenly runs off with her newly discovered (and very hairy) love of her life, leaving the agency in a lurch–and also completely financially responsible for all of her cancelled projects. Desperate, Ayumi’s father chases the runaway actress across the globe, leaving the agency in Ayumi’s care. Faced with a huge debt, Ayumi needs fresh, marketable talent and quick. She literally stumbles across a hidden treasure at her school.
Beneath the large glasses and frumpy hair of a practically invisible student, Ayumi finds salvation. She literally latches onto Hoshi Hikaru, forcibly recruiting him into her agency by threatening to expose his “secret.” Exactly why Hikaru hides his beautiful face isn’t even given a second thought.
Ayumi secures her grip by offering him a place to stay after he was kicked out of his own because he picked up a stray puppy. Hikaru is smitten by her (terrifying!) cat and reluctantly stays. Hikaru loves animals, because they don’t judge people by their appearances. Ayumi’s cat shows him the same level of violence and hate any stranger gets, haha. Hikaru’s complex stems from the level of crazy stalking he’s endured over the years because of his cute face. He’s been kidnapped and groped as a child, had weird things snuck into his food (love potions?!), his recorder sucked on, peeping toms, his friends leave him because their girlfriends fall for Hikaru instead, and was even threatened with a lovers’ murder-suicide by a 30 year old woman he’d never met. You start to understand a bit why Hikaru wanted to hide! But apparently it’s time to show his face once again. Thus Hikaru is begrudgingly dragged into the entertainment industry.
Hikaru is subjected to numerous horrors, all imagined by Morinaga’s special brand of crazy. His first speaking film role is in a BL movie where he plays a friend that pines for one of the main characters. His part was expanded after the author took one look at him and was “inspired,” terrifying him and setting off all his crazy stalker alarms!
Hikaru eventually takes the role of a villain in a tokusatsu/sentai show, solely to avoid the new BL role offers (since his first was a huge hit!).
“Switch” manga where a character is plain and then suddenly fabulous aren’t terribly uncommon, but it’s all in the execution. Kirara no Hoshi never takes itself too seriously and is just a lot of fun with pretty boy eye-candy. There’s even a romantic sub-plot brewing, but it’s not an oppressive focus. After all, these two have to get out of the extortion stage first, right?! Well, maybe not–this is Morinaga Ai, after all. So will Hikaru be a big success, save Ayumi’s company, and learn to accept himself? Is Ayumi immune to Hikaru’s charm? Kirara no Hoshi is still publishing, so either way, there’s more amusing antics to come.