I was leery of this one early on from the art style on the cover. Not sure how to qualify it other than probably just me being a style snob. The shading is good, maybe it’s the faces or the wrinkles in the clothing. Something feels off.
Well, let’s see what the inside holds, shall we? More often than not, the style progresses, or is different from the cover art.
First impression: The Female MC has some serious trauma issues that need to be addressed by a therapist so she can develop some healthy relationships and confidence. I can relate to her feeling of friendlessness. That aspect of calling on someone and no one being there. I guess I do have that kind of mentality when it comes to what a friend is. If I’m in trouble and call to get a ride or something, anyone I know who would actually show up to help is who I’d call a close friend. I don’t have to talk to them every day, but when we do talk, its for hours. I probably have four people like that, and the rest are family for people that I can rely on, and for people who I would think could rely on me. That pessimism she has, yeah, that one feels pretty real.
The Male MC, hmm, still not sure about. But the first kiss trope was pretty spot on and well done. That one gets a good jobs thumbs up gif if one ever did.
Also, the cover art style does percolate into the manga design itself. It’s much easier on the eyes in the story. It’s at least consistent. The line weight and panel architecture is not crowded or lacking. And every panel doesn’t go all florally – you know the ones I’m talking about.
There might be a bit of problematic relationship building. Bullying is being addressed. It’s a typical slice of life rather than a magic girl or fantasy genre. So, there’ll be uncomfortable situations that come with real life scenarios. For the moment though…
The feel of the story itself comes off as the author decided “if I could do it all again, if I could back to high school and tell my younger self, if I could have just stood up for myself back then.” The representation of Tachibana’s perspective comes across much older than a 16 year old. At least, the bravery to actually say what she says. I think, looking back on when I was 16, I harbored those same feelings. Sometimes I would tell people point blank in the same way Tachibana does, but more often than not, I was to scared to say anything. High school is viscous. In a way, this story talks to the people who are not exactly in the age category of the characters, but to a slightly older audience looking for the nostalgia of school life, for when they wish they would have said something, done something different.
After that first pair of chapters, I’m gonna just *swipes all the manga books* take these back with me and enjoy them on my own.
You can go find your own copies.
P.S. – it has a great ending.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.