This manga perfectly portrays and evokes a sense of loneliness. Both through its inclusion of insecure and melancholic characters and through its usage of talking and illusory animals. Unfortunately, it may evoke loneliness a bit too well, since it's overflowing with feel-bad moments and I get a bit lonely and depressed myself just reading it. And I don't like feeling bad, so I then get frustrated at the pervasive drama, stemming from these stupid worrywarts being trapped in their own sense of isolation. However, that being said, I do think this type of codependency, jealousy, and subsequent self-hatred would be a believable consequence of two lonely people becoming emotionally attached to each other. And the feel-good moments of the story are all the more gooey because of it.
[Originally reviewed at chapter 25]
[Updated upon completion]
Addendum: I feel like it might be a bit too sentimental, significated, and seeped in its melancholy syrup. And I'm also not sure if the Salamander and Frog references were overdone or not. It largely worked, but I think the recurring references also added to making the manga feel corny and making the epiphanies at the end not land all that well for me (though, honestly, I feel that epiphanic wrap-up sessions are already pretty cringey). I can say that I still like the general story and the characters, but I've changed my mind about it deserving to be a 10/10.
Story--8 > 7; Characters--10 > 9; Overall--10 > 9
I love how this manga series shows how much a person can mean to you, even after meeting for the first time and not knowing anything about each other. Even after having only talked once, or perhaps not even that much, maybe your eyes only have met, and now you want to know everything about that person.
Not only that, it shows that this feeling often is mutual. Yet we don’t talk about it because society raised us to think that talking about our deep feelings is embarrassing and selfish and kinda creepy. Which is sad honestly.
Looking back, what do you think how many deep friendships would you have had, if you were more honest with people? If you just told them how you felt?
This manga really did a great job in showing the insecurities of each person, when it comes to relationships like these. I love how slow-paced each volume is, making it very realistic.
Perhaps not even that realistic, because nowadays it’s rare to actually get this close. Most of the time, people just accept that their feelings are one-sided, thinking they can read someone else so well, that there’s not even a point in asking how they feel.
More often than not, feelings are more mutual than we think.
While this manga series wasn't typically Yuri, as in sexual or explicitly romantic, it was a love story and therefore I don't find the GL tag clickbait at all. It's more of a deep platonic relationship, like a QPR, but that still is love.
Besides, I did read somewhere that sometimes "Yuri" is also referred to a very close friendship between girls and doesn't have to be romantic per-se, after all.
Also, I totally didn't mind. Their friendship was just as intense as a typical romance story would have been, so I don't see the problem. Sure, there wasn't a kiss, but I don't think it was needed. Them learning to communicate and coming in terms with their feelings and their true selves was much more important than any physical stuff.
So I'm very glad that books like these still exist and not every author falls into the pressure of doing fan-service, just so their manga will do better on the market. Thanks Makoto Hagino for such a wonderful series!
I really hope this will get an anime someday because this would be exactly what our society needs to watch, in times like these.
this story is amazing. it doesnt feel like a romance but it might be, i think its more a story about how theres always the special friend that you have a connection with like no one else; but who knows. the characters are all likeable and fun, the message is nice, its a pretty good length and the art is pretty nice. Also, the salamander and frog is an amazing way to convey this story. all around its very cute and wholesome.
I admit, it is a cute story about two school girls who are pretty the same in terms of feeling lonely at times due to them going on to adulthood . They both share the same love for exotic fish and join a aquarium club together. I was rather disappointed that I didn’t get the Yuri vibes as it needed to have because the story would have been far more interesting involving the girls feeling passionate for each other (yes I am a picky hooligan who reads too much romance shenanigans). I also didn’t like the fact that the art dipped towards the end like cmon man, leave the art alone as it is jeez!!
anyways worth a read if you wanna simple story!