Honey Blood collects the original short story, two side stories, and then two non-related one shots. From the author’s comments, these stories were the basis of the 2-Volume Honey Blood story and were not intended to further explain or expound upon the abruptly ended series. They are more like throwaway chapters that could have gone into volumes 1 or 2. The two extra non-related stand alone stories are, unfortunately, just as forgettable.
The first one shot is an overview of the Honey Blood story – it is like a summary episode in the middle of a tv series where they show clips from the previous episodes. I believe this is the original Honey Blood story, written many years previous and early in Mitsuki’s career.
The second one shot is about Hinata going on a date with Junya and showing him off to her friends.
The third One Shot has Junya become possessive and jealous when an actor playing the part in one of the movies made from his book hits on Hinata. He hopes to seduce her with his movie star good looks and get her to influence Junya to look more favorably on him. Junya is not amused.
The fourth one shot is a stand alone with the improbably story of a handsome school boy who likes makeup and says he is in love with a plain tomboy and wants to fix her up.
The last story is a tragedy about a boy and girl who miscommunication their feelings and don’t resolve it until it is too late.
For me, nearly all the stories lack strong storytelling skills. The depth and breadth of emotions never seem to be conveyed and so the stories come off as pat or cliche. Even the tragedy was abrupt and hardly moving.
If you absolutely loved Honey Blood, I could see getting this book. But otherwise, this felt weakest in the series.
Reviewed from an ARC