Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Daytime Shooting Star volume 6 - they're actually dating (Manga Review)

A teen boy with his shirt open stares upwards with a hand on his face
Daytime Shooting Star vol. 6 - 5/10 (*see below for full scoring rubric)

Daytime Shooting Star vol. 6 (Shojo Beat/Viz) sees our teen heroine Suzume actually start dating her teacher (and uncle's friend), Shishio. I don't like manga that has kids and adults in relationships, and I'm even more opposed when one is a teacher. But that's the premise of Daytime Shooting Star.

However, I've been assured that the series finds a meaningful way to resolve that situation that doesn't tie it up in a neat bow like nothing is wrong at all with that form of sexual abuse (and yes, I consider an adult with a child to be sexual abuse, I don't believe a child can consent to that, even if they're 16 or 17. And more so when the adult is a teacher which adds another layer to the power imbalance). On to the review of volume 6.

In volume 6, Suzume gives Shishio a birthday present and the whole class also celebrates his birthday. Shishio finds a way to stay after so he can walk home with Suzume, openly holding hands with his student as they walk. In another chapter, Suzume tries making lunch for Shishio, but doesn't give it to him believing he won't accept one from a student (even though they're officially dating now). Instead, she shares it Mamura (who we all know she should be with). In a later chapter, Shishio makes Christmas plans with Suzume. She kills time by going to a class party, waiting for him to get off of work. But he goes out drinking with his work colleagues because he can't find a good excuse not to. This gives Mamura time to spend with Suzume instead. There's another chapter where Suzume ends up at Shishio's house and they're awkward around each other and get interrupted by some of his friends.

All in all, it's a bunch of random chapters with random things, showing the progression of a few months time and the two actually dating, but not actually doing much yet. Even so, there's a glimmer that Suzume may know that this isn't right. At one point, she thinks about how she knows she can't tell anyone about the two of them dating. When you know you can't tell your secret to your friends because you know that what you're doing is wrong, then it really is a sign to change course. Hopefully she'll do it sooner than later.

Shishio also can't find an excuse not to go drinking after work, he knows he can't tell his colleagues he's dating a student and has plans with her. When the secrets have to be kept because you know it's wrong, then it's time to stop. There's even an almost kiss, but Suzume "braces" herself for it, indicating she's not ready, and Shishio pulls back (at least he picks up on that and doesn't force it). It's another sign that she knows this isn't right (and can't consent). Hopefully the series will meaningfully work through this to a safer end as it progresses.

The best parts of the volume are the parts without Shishio. Suzume and Mamura could have real chemistry if she could get out of her own way and actually notice him. But even better, I've been loving what they're doing with Yuyuka (Suzume's friend) and her budding relationship with the pretty-boy from school. There are some great moments with them in this volume. I won't spoil them because they're better than the main story, even though they're just minor moments between them.

Honestly, there isn't much to say about this volume. It was more or less spinning its wheels while slowly showing some developments (or not) in Suzume and Shishio's "relationship" which actually doesn't seem to be much of one yet. And that actually gives me hope. They can't have a true, reciprocal relationship with his age and his position over her. So the fact that they aren't "getting it on" and moving things along shows that maybe, somewhere, they both know it isn't right. And hopefully, given that Mamura has been a strong character in the series, maybe, just maybe, Suzume will let go of Shishio and see who's right in front of her.

The art continues to be very strong. I love the deep blacks, the lines, the expressions on the characters, the relatively realistic style, and of course the sparkly screen tones throughout. The art is definitely a reason to read this series if you love great shoujo-style art.

So what to make of this volume and this series? Who knows. I still really like Suzume and want to cheer her on, just not with Shishio. I like Mamura and really like Yuyuka too. So there's hope, glimmers here and there, that the relationship with Shishio and Suzume will come to an end before too long. Let's hope. Daytime Shooting Star volume 6 gets a mixed 5/10 mostly because of the advancing student/teacher relationship - and a bit of a boring set of chapters.

  • Story interesting (0-10): 5 - meh, this was four random stories over a few months. Christmas, birthday gift, making a lunch for your boyrfiend, nothing we haven't seen before and it didn't do too much extra with it. At least we got more of Yuyuka's burgeoning relationship. 
  • Characters interesting (0-10): 6.5 - I like Suzume, Mamura, and Yuyuka. I actually want to know more about those side characters, they're becoming more interesting than she is, but she's still super likable.
  • Quality prose/writing (0-10): 6 - it's fine, above average, but nothing special.
  • Emotionally plausible (0-10): 6.5 - we get some nice moments of growing doubt with Suzume. 
BASIC SCORE (avg.): 6/10

  • Emotional insight/depth (0-5): 0 - nothing that makes us rethinking or better understand our own lives. Just trudging along through the story.
  • True LGBTQ+ representation (0-5): 0
  • Female agency (0-5): 0 - nope, she's really beholden to how Shishio is running things. She even mentions that he's somewhat ambiguous and hard to figure out. That's not good. 
  • Character growth/change (0-5): 1 - Yuyuka and the boy are both showing more of themselves and she's definitely changed from when we first met her.
  • Quality art (0-5): 2 - definitely a cut above the majority of shoujo art out there.
BONUS POINTS (sum/8): +.5 

  • Homophobic/transphobic (0-5): 0
  • Misogynistic (0-5): 0
  • Fan service (0-5): 0
  • Child/adult relationship (0-5): 3 - they almost kiss - a student and teacher. At least he takes the cue that she wasn't ready. But this is an honest to goodness dating relationship between them. Not cool, but we have yet to firmly see any critique of this by the author. Hopefully it will get there. But this volume makes clear they are dating.
  • Exploitative (0-5): 0
PENALTY POINTS (-sum/2): -1.5



Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

All comments are moderated by a real person who only checks them once a day. Therefore, comments may take a while before they show up. Thanks for understanding. It's how we keep this a community of lovingkindness.


  1. Nice to see you have not given up on this series! And don't worry, your patience will be rewarded! It many times seems like it's going to go to the yikes terroritory but forunately the mangaka makes the right decision at the end. AT THE END. There's a reason why Daytime Shooting Star is known as one of the rare shoujo manga with a surprising twist at the end which is both interesting and refreshing.


Remember: please talk about the work, and offer counter points to others' analyses but DO NOT ATTACK THE PERSON whose analysis you are countering. (no ad hominem comments) Thanks! <3