is a 3 volume manga series by Yuji Iwahara, and was released in the United States by CMX Manga.
The story follows young Makishima Misaki as she returns to her Grandfather's old house following his death. She is accompanied by her father, Kyoichi, an awkward widower. Once there she finds that since she is the only blood relation to her grandfather, she is the sole owner of her grandfather's house and artifacts. Barely remembering the house she visited as a toddler, Misaki is understandably reluctant to leave her school and friends behind. However, she soon makes new friends, including one that is beyond her imagination!
As she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her new friend Neo, Misaki must also protect him from people who would do him harm. In addition to this responsibility Miskai must defend her father from the amorous advances of one of his childhood friends, Aoi.
- Misaki is your typical schoolgirl around the age of 14. She is quick to make friends, and is protective of those close to her. She recently moved from Tokyo City to her recently deceased Grandfather's house on Hohoro Lake. Misaki was only there as a very small child, so she has little to no memory of the time she spent there. Recently she has begun having flashbacks where she plays in her Grandfather's lab while he conducted experiments. One day while walking home with her new friend, Sanae, she is pelted with small toys resembling the Loch Ness monster, which Sanae explains is the local legend - Hohopo. While she goes to find who threw them, she slips down the hill and discovers the real-life version staring at her from the lake. Neo
- Neo is the real-life incarnation of the Hohopo legend. He has been watching Misaki from the moment she arrived in the town, and is the one who threw the toys at her. Childlike and innocent, he kisses her in his Hohopo form and transforms into a young boy around 10 years old, but is unable of human speech. When he is splashed with water, he transforms back into a hohopo. Misaki realizes that if he remains in the lake he will be discovered and exploited, so with Sanae's encouragement she takes him home with her. Misaki names him Neo, since her father was watching The Matrix when she first brought him home. He is very comfortable around humans, but has no concept of everyday things, such as clothes or using the toilet. Soon after meeting him Misaki begins to regain memories of carrying a baby Neo out to the lake.Okouchi Sanae
- Sanae is Misaki's first real friend in Hohoro. They meet at the town school, and she is with Misaki when she first sees Neo. Exhuberant and a bit dreamy, Sanae is excited about Neo, and persuades Sanae to take him home. Her family runs the local dairy, and she has a younger brother, whose clothes she steals to give to Neo. She also very willingly kisses Neo to see if it is anyone's kiss that will make him transform, not just Misaki's.Asai Tokuko
- Shy, quiet, and secretive, Tokuko is very slow to trust people. She has often been left alone by her parents, who own a lucrative corporation. Hoping to gain their attention, she would wear herself out trying to impress them. Tokuko's parents assigned her a piano tutor, Reiko-a sassy young woman who slowly coaxes her out of her shell. However, soon after the two of them were kidnapped for a ransom of 240 million yen in gold. All was not what it seemed, as Reiko was actually a plant sent in by the kidnappers in order to gain easier access to her. Tokuko is understandably upset about this, but is more upset that Reiko knows her darkest secret-that she gets so lonely at night that she must sleep with a teddy bear. Tokuko travels to Hohopo in order to get rid of that weakness by throwing her teddy bear into the lake that the helicopter carrying Reiko and her accomplices crashed into. However Neo, who was in the lake, catches it and brings it back to a very surprised Tokuko.Okouchi Taiyo & Ken
- Sanae's younger brothers, and true troublemakers. While Taiyo and Ken are out playing, they spy Neo returning Tokuko's teddy bear and snap a picture of him. When they are chased by Tokuko's men they accidentally happen upon the cabin of Fuyukiko Bando and hide behind his house. When they are found by his dog, Taro, they accidentally drop the film, which is discovered by Bando and later developed.
- The awkward widowed father of Misaki, and would be love interest of Nishioka Aoi. He is surprised when Misaki reveals Neo's true form, but allows her to keep him in the house. Kyoichi is a very loving father, and even goes so far as to keep from going out with Aoi because he believes that Misaki wouldn't approve. Nishioka Aoi
- She was a childhood friend/rival of Misaki's mother, Kaoru. Playful and sexy, she is very direct about her feelings for Kyoichi, and has stated that she wants to become his wife. Aoi is also a lawyer, but she is willing to give that up in order to become a full-time housewife and mother. While she teases Misaki about her reluctance to allow Aoi to date her father, she respects her opinion, and even asks Misaki for her permission to date him. Aoi even states that Kaoru would have approved of their relationship. She is not easily ruffled, so when she discovers Neo's true form along with Kyoichi, she easily accepts the idea of a living hohopo. Aoi has many connections in town, and can usually get information not accessible to other people.Fujikawa Reiko
- Reiko was supposed to have been merely Tokuko's piano tutor. What her employers didn't know is that she was part of a plan to kidnap their daughter for a fortune in gold. She tricks Tokuko into trusting her, only to betray her later. Reiko is rescued from the lake by Bando, who takes her in on the catch that she helps him out in return. While Reiko was only supposed to befriend Tokuko for the purpose of the con, she truly began to care about her, and was a little sad to see her go. She is a good piano player, and plays sad songs when she's happy, saving the happy songs for when she's depressed. She gives Bando the false name of Ai in order to protect her identity. She later meets Neo when her and Bando go there to visit one of the surviving members of the crash, and remembers him from when she was drowning. She traumatizes Neo indirectly, by making him recall a memory of Misaki deserting him in the lake. As a result of this he is unable to transform back into a human after he gets splashed by water.Fuyukiko Bando
- Not much is initially known about him, only that he is the town hermit, and is very knowledgeable with weapons. Reiko discovers a picture of him and his sister, but he refuses to tell her anything. He does tell her, however, that if his dog had not barked for her, he never would have helped her. (His dog is very vicious and unfriendly, and was actually barking for Neo.)
- Misaki arrives in the town of Hohopo to inherit her Grandfather's house and land. She never expected to be caught up in the smally town's local legend of the mysterious hohopo that inhabits the lake. Adopting the adorable creature and teaching him about everyday life soon proves to be the easy part, as she soon finds that hiding Neo is not as easy as she thought it would be. Can she help hide Neo from monster hunting children and a beautiful kidnapper trying to retrieve sunken gold?Volume 2
- The action heats up in the second volume as Tokuko, the once kidnapped daughter comes to the town of Hohopo looking for her kidnappers in search of answers, but finding instead the legendary hohopo. Reiko, her kidnapper, in the meantime is biding her time trying to retrieve the ransom gold from the bottom of the lake, while trying to figure out her somewhat captor, Bando. However, a vicious hitman has come from the city looking for the ransom money and discovers the truth behind a suddenly unable to transform Neo. Will Misaki be able to keep Neo a secret? Can Neo ever be able to transform again?Volume 3
- The fast-paced story comes to an end in this third volume. The hitman is desperately searching the lake for Neo, hoping to capture him and sell him as a strange find. Misaki begins to remember more and more about her past, and begins to realize that she has a stronger connection to Neo than she first imagined. This final volume explains the mystery behind Neo, as well as the mystery of Bando's sister. Will Misaki save Neo? Can Tokuko ever forgive Reiko? Will Aoi and Kyoichi ever be able to date?