When it comes to grades, bookish high school student Mariko Kumakura is at the top of her class. Socially, however, she is shy and lonely, typically eating lunch by herself. Enter the charismatic and beautiful Akko Oohashi, whose goal is to befriend Mariko and burst her out of her introverted shell. In the process of transforming Plain Jane Mariko into one of the cutest, most popular girls in school, deep feelings begin to emerge that suggest something deeper than friendship. Will these feelings destroy the budding relationship between Mariko and Akko, or will it turn into something else?
Source: Seven Seas
This was the first yuri I've ever read, and it opened up a lot of doors for me (very gay doors). I thought it was a good story to start with for not reading any other yuri before. It deals with actual problems and thoughts that a girl coming to terms with loving another girl would have. It's not all about NSFW with minor story like a lot of yuri is. The fact that it continues past them becoming a couple is really great and something I really love about this story! The story is nice to follow and there's really never a dull moment; something is always happening, but nothing too much. Having the story switch from Mari to Akko's POV is one of my favorite parts. I always like seeing the same story from different eyes. Overall I would reccomend this to anyone being introduced to yuri/interested in the genre! I just finished reading it again at the time of this review (and will probably visit again later down the line)
Time for another review... Storyline: Originally a meekish, friendless, and introverted person, this all changes for Mariko is fatefully asked by one of her classmates if they could travel home with her. After that, the manga follows Mariko and her newfound friends (Sugi, Tamarin, and Akko) as they go about their [somewhat] daily lives in high school. Along the way, Mariko comes to shed her once introveredness through the help of these new friends. As this happens, though, Mari soon comes to have feelings for Akko - which leads to conflict in her mind. Akko eventually develops the same feelings; also leading to coflict. Much more happens, but anything else would spoil the touching, realistic portayal of not only most everyday life (I think) but also of people in love. Art: While it does change from the first volume to the last (apparently there were quite a few breaks inbetween the volumes/chapters), it is not too noticeable. If anything, it adds to the sense of "change" that is experianced by time. Characters: The most for this that will be put is: there is excellent development for each of the characters as they go throughout the year that is seen in the manga. Anything else would be spoliers; or would take too long to write.
As a Yuri fan I can say this is in my top 10 Yuri Manga but as a critic I can't say it doesn't have flaws. Its Art is good compared to the average manga but it ist not amazing. I'm not wowed by the art style. The Story is Amazing not the best by any stretch of the imagination but its still a must read for any Yuri fan. Now where this manga exceeds expectations is the incredibly realistic characters. I mean you can tell exactly how they feel and understand there thought process. Its hard to find manga with realistic characters but this manga has nothing but realistic characters.
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