Kiri and Touya


Never Give Up! (the original title, Nebagiba! is the retran -scription in Japanese phonetics) is a manga by Mutou Hiromu. It runs in the Hana to Yume magazine, and has 13 volumes.

Basically, it's the story of a girl, Kiri, who looks like a guy. She loves a guy, Touya, who quite looks like a girl. Sounds like W Juliet ne? ^^;

When they were young, Touya was used to be called O-Hime-sama ("princess"), and everybody admired him. Kiri grew jealous, went to see Touya and asked him to marry her. Touya's big sister interrupted the proposal saying Touya would never marry such a boyish girl. Kiri swore she would become a cuter princess than Touya in order to marry him.

Kiri and Touya

(Kiri is the blue haired "guy", Touya is the blond and wide-eyed one.)

Years passed and Kiri still looks like a boy... But what are Touya's feelings towards her? Will she manage to look like a woman?

Never Give Up is really a funny manga! The art is nice, sometimes even awesome.

Actually, the first chapter is quite disappointing. But when you reach its last page, you understand it was just a kind of introduction to the real and interesting story.


*Spoilers* (only for the end of the first chapter though)

Kiri's mother is an ex-model, and is now the boss of a modelling firm. She asked Touya to model after one of her clients saw pictures of him. He accepts, but has the bad idea to ask Kiri where her mother's agency is. Kiri immediately understands the threat the world of modelism can be for her innocent Touya *lol* and tries to convince her mother to let her be a model too. Kiri is also already excited about the opportunity to learn how to look more womanly, when her mother says she'll hire her as a "male" model...

From here the story develops...



Aged 14, Kiri is Nebagiba's heroine.

She's very jealous when someone approaches Touya (she kind of considers him as "hers"), and is thus very protective toward him. Her behavior passes from an extreme to another, so she quites reminds me of Shuichi in Gravitation: both these characters' reactions and faces are really comic, like jaw-droppings, floods of tears or stunned faces.

As you can see on the pictures, Kiri can also look serious, but unfortunately for her, it's this way that she most looks like a man. This phenomenon has a strong effect on her female school mates, who look at her in the pure shojo manga style: with sparkling and wet eyes!



Touya is Kiri's friend since their early childhood, and is the object of Kiri's love.

Touya is a very ambiguous character. At first I thought he was of the cold type, like Aya in Weiss Kreuz or Eiri in Gravitation. Yet sometimes he actually shows his feelings (he doesn't express them much though), and can even be an amusing character too (i like his chibi form with his cat hears, quite à la Tsuzuki from Yami no Matsuei). He blushes a lot! (kawaiiii! ^.^)

About his name (you can see it written on the scan on the left): I'll have to check, but I think it uses the same kanji than in Ayashi no Ceres's Touya. It means "10 nights/evenings" (their other famous general pronunciations: ju and yoru, but they're not used in names).



Akira is a model. I guess he's about Kiri and Touya's age, maybe a little older.

He appears for the first time in chapter two, and soon annoys Kiri and Touya. He's very self-confident and doesn't seem to have hesitations. He immediatly behaves very "friendly" with Kiri, and tends to be too close to her to her own tastes, which results in her punching him (he doesn't like it but he's stubborn). He can be very funny and I like his behaviour. You may not care, but Akira is my fave character. =P

Never Give Up! vol 1
by Mutou Hiromu
published by Hakusensha (Hana to Yume)
ISBN: 4-592-17601-4
cost: 390 Yen
Never Give Up! vol 2
by Mutou Hiromu
published by Hakusensha (Hana to Yume)
ISBN: 4-592-17602-2
cost: 390 Yen



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