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Hoshi wa Utau (星は歌う?, lit. Stars Sing), also known as Twinkle Stars, is an ongoing Japanese shōjo manga series by Natsuki Takaya, the author of Fruits Basket. It is published by Hakusensha and started serialization 5 June 2007 in the manga magazine Hana to Yume. As of January 2010, chapters have been collected into seven tankōbon volumes under the Hana to Yume Comics imprint. A drama CD based on the series will be released in February 2010.[1]

Plot

Sakuya Shiina is the president of a star-gazing club at her high school. On her eighteenth birthday, she receives a pink dress from Chihiro, a handsome and mysterious boy around her age who suddenly appears at her birthday party. She initially believes that Chihiro is a friend of Kanade, her guardian, but she later learns that Kanade had invited him to the party thinking that he was her boyfriend. Kanade then becomes offended for being deceived, but Sakuya becomes even more intrigued by Chihiro. She finally gets her chance to meet Chihiro again, and during a discussion about the stars (in which Sakuya says that the star Alphard, the brightest star in the constellation Hydra, is her favorite), Chihiro suddenly exclaims that he hates Sakuya and disappears once again. Sakuya becomes even more troubled when, a few days later, Chihiro suddenly enrolls at her school and becomes a classmate. As the story goes on, Sakuya's feelings towards Chihiro grows, and while Chihiro starts warming up to her, it is hinted that her love for him will be unrequited.

Characters

Sakuya Shiina (椎名 サクヤ Shiina Sakuya?)
The heroine of the story. She lives with Kanade in a house close to the sea and works part-time at a shop run by the family of her friend Yūri. She left her own home because she was receiving no support from her father, and her step-mother was psychologically abusing her. She has always had a fascination with stars, and studies them with the encouragement of her teacher. The first chapter begins the day of her eighteenth birthday, when she first meets Chihiro. She has two friends: Hijiri Honjō and Yūri Murakami. After her sudden meeting with Chihiro, she begins to develop romantic feelings towards him.
Chihiro Aoi (葵 千広 Aoi Chihiro?)
A mysterious boy who shows up at Sakuya's eighteenth birthday party, even though he was a total stranger both to Sakuya and Kanade, her guardian. As the story progresses, Sakuya falls for him and he warms up to her, despite his own troubling past. It is hinted that Sakuya reminds him of his first love Sakura during his middle school days. However, he does not seem to return Sakuya's feelings.
Kanade Miyako (宮古 奏 Miyako Kanade?)
Kanade sheltered Sakuya after she was given up by her father; he and Sakuya are cousins (Sakuya's father is the younger brother of Kanade's mother). He is an artist (potter) and university student, but has made few friends and is apparently "taking a break", according to Sakuya. He is presented as a lazy and difficult person, making people younger than him (like Sakuya) work. Sakuya defends this behavior, as she doesn't mind working and because Kanade saved her. Despite this, Sakuya is very important to Kanade. After struggling with himself, Kanade decides to get a regular job as a construction worker to show some responsibility towards her.
Yūri Murakami (村上 優里 Murakami Yūri?)
One of Sakuya's best friends. He calls Kanade a "lowlife" because he thinks Kanade takes advantage of Sakuya. Yūri lives with his older brother Yūto and their grandmother (his parents are deceased). His family owns a shop in town, where Sakuya works part time. Yūri first met Sakuya at the high school opening ceremony and, unintentionally, verbally bullied her about her sad attitude at school. But after quarreling with his older brother he then understood Sakuya's feelings of being abandoned and later apologized to Sakuya, who forgave him and smiled. Yūri is protective of Sakuya and defends her whenever he catches someone at school tormenting her. He is in love with Sakuya and becomes upset whenever people around him hint that he might have romantic feelings for her. Although he is popular among his classmates, Yūri is short for his age and is sensitive about that, but he excels at sports and often becomes conceited when complimented on his athletic abilities.
Hijiri Honjō (本条 聖 Honjō Hijiri?)
Another one of Sakuya's best friends. Hijiri comes from a wealthy family, who seems to own a lot of land in town, including the land where Yūri's family's shop is built. Hijiri is also very protective of Sakuya. She is very beautiful, but has a dark and menacing side. An intimidating person, Hijiri has been referred to as a "wolf in sheep's clothing", and even overwhelms the majority of her teachers. She has confessed to Kutani and was rejected. Hijiri still has feelings for him, but keeps them a secret. Though her name is "Hijiri", she is referred to as "Sei" by Sakuya because the kanji in her name can be alternatively pronounced as such. She is also the president of her class.
Saki (沙己?)
A long-time servant for the Honjō family who serves as Hijiri's butler. He is completely devoted to Hijiri, though she thinks he is annoying and treats him like a dog. A cheerful and kindhearted young man, Saki is very attuned to Hijiri's moods and behaviors, more so than Hijiri realizes. His devotion to Hijiri and his cheerful nature stems from meeting her when he had been at the lowest point in his life - despite being only a young child, she dragged him all the way to her house and he came to believe that she had given him a second chance at life. His regular declarations of love and gestures of affection to Hijiri are largely met with a violent reaction from her, but are entirely sincere, which Hijiri has difficulty accepting.
Shizuka Kutani (久谷 静 Kutani Shizuka?)
Sakuya, Chihiro, Hijiri and Yūri's homeroom teacher and also a math teacher at the high school. He is the sponsor for the Star-gazing Club and encourages and supports Sakuya. Yūri calls him "Shizuka-chan" and accuses him of making fun of his height. Kutani also seems to have the habit of losing his contacts and glasses. Apparently, he has a girlfriend.
Yūto Murakami (村上 優人 Murakami Yūto?)
Yūri's older brother. He is in charge of the family shop where Sakuya works. Yūto acts more like a parent to Yūri and still treats him like a child. On Children's Day, he hung up Yūri's koinobori although Yūri is already past that age (he's 18). Although he is generally a gentle person, it is hinted that Yūto used to get into a lot of fights when he was younger. It is also implied that he and Kanade were acquaintances when they were younger, but did not get along well.
Sakura Amamiya (天宮 桜 Amamiya Sakura?)
Chihiro's first love, a girl he met in middle school who was frequently bullied in school because she came from a wealthy household, so was treated as an outcast. She and Chihiro became close because of their mutual feelings of loneliness, but her fragile emotional state resulted in an attempted suicide by hanging herself. She remains comatose and hospitalized in Tokyo.
Yuichi Aoi (葵 悠一 Aoi Yuichi?)
Chihiro's uncle, the brother of Chihiro's mother who took Chihiro in when Chihiro's mother abandoned him. He is a good-hearted man who hopes that by moving away from Tokyo, Chihiro can begin high school with fewer emotional burdens. As result, Yuichi and his wife worry about Chihiro, but are delighted when they learn that Chihiro has friends.

Manga

Hoshi wa Utau is written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It has been serialized by Hakusensha in the shōjo (aimed at teenage girls) manga magazine Hana to Yume since the 5 June 2007 issue. The untitled chapters have been collected in seven tankōbon volumes as of January 2010.

The series is licensed in France by Delcourt,[2] in Italy by Panini Comics,[3] in Spain by Norma Editorial,[4] and in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing.[5] In a press conference held on 2 September 2009, Tokyopop expressed an interest in licensing Hoshi wa Utau.[6]

<tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF"><th style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th style="width: 48%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 48%;"> ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol1">1</td></td><td> 18 January 2008[7]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18601-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 1–5

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol2">2</td></td><td> 19 May 2008[8]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18602-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 6–11

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol3">3</td></td><td> 19 September 2008[9]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18603-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 12–17

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol4">4</td></td><td> 19 January 2009[10]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18604-5</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 18–23

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol5">5</td></td><td> 19 May 2009[11]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18605-2</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 24–29

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol6">6</td></td><td> 18 September 2009[12]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-592-18606-9</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 30-34

</td></tr>

<tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol7">7</td></td><td> 19 January 2010[13]</td><td>ISBN 9784592186076</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
  • Chapters 35-??

</td></tr> </table>

References

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  6. Aoki, Deb (3 September 2009). "TokyoPop Adds New .hack//, Warcraft Manga, Revives Suppli". About.com. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
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External links

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