It’s not often that I get to have both “science fiction” and “yakuza” in my tag set for a manga, but Hinamtsuri fits the bill.
The friend who recommended this one to me, described it thusly: “A super-powered child falls out of the sky and lands on the head of a yakuza foot solider, who decides to pretend to be her father so he can use her to destroy his enemies.”
That’s fairly accurate, but it’s also surprisingly sweetly goofy.
Our heroine, Hina, really is from some other world.
I’m only 44 chapters in, so more about her past may be revealed before I get to the end of the 86 chapters currently on-line, but the only thing we know is that she was some kind of telekinetic killing-machine in her home world, and, because of her life as a constant warrior, she was barely socialized. (That last bit is implied heavily when one of several people sent to retrieve her is shocked by how normally Hina can behave… which, is not very normal at all, really.)
Typical, in fact, of Hina, are interactions like this one:
In fact, the relationship between Hina and the yakuza tough, Yoshifumi Nitta, is based on a very simple arrangement. He feeds her and she… eats his food?
I mean, my friend’s description would have you believe she’s out solving his yakuza problems with her Magical Girl magic at every turn, but, no. That happens every once in a blue moon. Mostly Hina plays video games, goes to school, avoids getting returned to her home–planet? alternate universe?–and eats a lot of salmon roe.
Nitta, meanwhile, is such a low level mafia guy that when he gets the attention of a documentary film maker, they have to make things up in order to make him seem tough. He has a lot of money to spend on porcelain vases, but who knows what the heck he’s doing to get it. That’s not part of the story at all. And, given the way he’s portrayed, I would guess it’s fairly mundane.
A big part of the humor operates on the same visual humor of Gokushufodou: The Way of he House Husband, which is just to say it’s just sort of silly to see a scarred, dead-eyed, tattooed, bad ass at “Parents’ Day” or whatever.
In Hinamtsuri, there is additional silliness in Hina’s odd, alienness, and all the various people in her life.
There’s Anzu, another killer-assassin/’whatever Hina is,’ who ends up stuck in our world and spends some time in a homeless camp before she’s taken in by a kindly family who owns a Chinese restaurant. I like Anzu a lot, actually, her stories are often around themes of being grateful and practical. If I didn’t enjoy Anzu’s storylines, I’d totally categorize them as “very special episodes,” but I find them sweet and uplifting and full of ‘heart.’
Probably I gravitate to her stories because I am, as you know, gentle reader, a tough sell on broad humor, which Hinamatsuri is quite full of.
On the flip-side, in the absolutely cracker jack absurd category of characters, is Hitomi Mishima, a “regular” high school girl who can’t say ‘no’ to anything and ends up working about seventeen jobs and somehow learning to become a world-class sniper (don’t ask, just roll with it.)
We follow a lot of side-characters in the manga. There’s the woman who ends up coming from the other world to check off boxes to see whether or not Hina is stable/socialized, another assassin-type whose space ship/dimensional portal device totally misses Japan and ends up on a desert island, Nitta’s mother and sister who are ultimately quite a bit more bad ass than he is, and a NEET who makes up a story in order to impress Hitomi that results in some stranger’s arrest.
The whole manga is very abstract like this, yet I’m still reading it?
Would I recommend it? I think so. I mean, with 80-some chapters, it’s a bit of a time-commitment.
There is a one-season anime, if you’d rather.