Dreamin’ Sun, Vol. 1

By Ichigo Takano | Published by Seven Seas

Even without knowing much about Dreamin’ Sun, I was sold by the fact that it’s an earlier series from Ichigo Takano, creator of orange, which I loved dearly. Dreamin’ Sun is more of a straightforward and comedic shoujo story in which characters do not contend with letters from their future selves or how to save a suicidal friend, but it still has a few poignant moments.

Shimana Kameko’s mother died in a car accident three years ago. Now, her father has remarried and with her new step-mom and baby brother, Shimana only feels visible when she’s being criticized. “I feel like this isn’t even my home anymore,” she thinks, as she decides to run away. Promptly, she encounters a weird kimono-wearing guy in the park named Taiga Fujiwara who offers her a cheap place to stay. Luckily for her, he isn’t a creep, and after assigning her the task of finding a spare key for his place (since he’s locked out), he also gets her to admit the real reason she left home: accepting the new arrangement felt like betraying her mother.

Thus, Shimana moves in with Taiga and two of her male classmates, Zen Nakajou and Asahi Tatsugae. Zen is the hyper, panda-loving one and Asahi the considerate, studious, princely one. Soon Shimana is developing feelings for Asahi, but he’s in love with his childhood friend who is, herself, in love with someone. In fact, there’s a lot of unrequited love going around. Zen seems to have unacknowledged feelings for Shimana, one of Taiga’s coworkers fancies him, but knows she’s not the one he really wants, etc.

These wistful feelings elevate Dreamin’ Sun beyond the “plain girl lives with several hot guys” trope. In addition, I really loved how much Taiga cares for the kids in his charge. He’s the one who’s able to convince Shimana’s parents to let her remain at his house and concocts a few situations to help her maybe get something going with Asahi. He also encourages each of them to have a dream, and claims his dream is “for all of you to grow up.” Could he be atoning for something? Too, at the end of the volume, we learn that he’s actually a prosecutor and that his father helped out Shimana’s family three years ago. Will some accident-related secret be forthcoming?

Even if no mystery arises, Dreamin’ Sun is still an appealing series, and I definitely plan to continue it.

Dreamin’ Sun is complete in ten volumes. Seven Seas will release volume two in July.

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  1. Fantastic review! Thanks! I’ll definitely be looking for this one, and for orange, which I didn’t know about.

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