I love discovering new manga and there is a variety of series for all types of readers. When seeking out manga I decided to check out Volume One of Sunbeams in The Sky by Monika Kaname. Here are my thoughts on this romance manga from Yen Press!
Himari Akeno can’t wait to start high school! Even though she’s parting ways with her twin sister, Mio, Himari’s enthusiasm to start this new chapter of her life is palpable—that is, until a traumatic incident sends her home to hide in her room…Watching Himari’s dreams shatter is more than Mio can bear, especially when her sister still longs for an ordinary student life. Determined to see her twin get back out into the world, Mio “catches a cold” and convinces her sister to fill in until she “recovers.” As long as the shy, introverted Himari can pull off impersonating the bubbly, energetic Mio, nothing could go wrong…right?
The title and cover for this manga immediately caught my eye at first sight with its bright colors and bubbly character design. It does match the lighthearted tone of the story, despite its initial introduction where the story gets its start.
The two twin sisters (and main characters of the story) Himari and Mio couldn’t be more different from each other. Himari is the serious and mature older sibling while Mio is the more outspoken and livelier of the two. Both sometimes clash with their differences but at the end of the day, they both care about each other deeply. This sibling love leads Mio to try to push her sister to overcome her fears from the incident and enjoy life once again. It’s easier said than done as we see in this first volume, but it’s Himari’s first step to healing and returning to a semi-normal life.
As we know in most manga and anime, twins pretending to be each other often backfires. We see hints of this in the first volume because the twins are so different from each other (in the best way). It still doesn’t stop me, the reader, from being intrigued to see how the secret will eventually unravel and this twin switch aspect gives the manga many comedic antics too. On top of keeping secrets, there are hints of a possible romance between Himari and Tsukiyono dubbed as “The Prince” of Mio’s school. Their interactions are very sweet and the small quiet moments where Himari shows her “true” personality (even though she is disguised as Mio) was heartwarming.
The artwork is stunning from the character design to attention to the smallest details of each landscape in the background. Kaname makes this first volume an immersive read and hooks you right into the story from the first few pages. I see a lot of future growth to occur in future volumes in this coming-of-age manga series. It’s exciting and gives off a slice-of-life vibe on top of the high school story tropes that it has.
Sunbeams in The Sky is definitely a manga to look out for and I can’t wait to read more. It seems wholesome and sweet, and I appreciated the sibling relationship as well. I’m looking forward to seeing how this romantic comedy will unravel in future volumes. Sunbeams in The Sky gets a 4 out of 5 rating for me!
*I received this manga from Yen Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.