Category Archives: Yuri Manga

Strawberry Shake Sweet – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Strawberry Shake Sweet

 

Similar: Notes from the Garden of Lilies

Flower and Stars

Cirque Arachne

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy Romance

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Quick pacing.
  • Good humour especially from the manager trying to prevent the relationship scandal.
  • Julia’s fawning and thinking no one notices.

Negatives:

  • Could have done with more conflict, even for a comedic series.
  • The art is a little poor.

In Strawberry Shake Sweet, Julia is a sixteen-year-old actress who is charged with mentoring the new girl, Ran. Julia isn’t pleased with this development, for she feels threatened by Ran, worrying she will become the new number one in the agency, especially since she is taller. Yet when Ran turns out to be cute, Julia can’t resist and falls for her.

In a comedy such as this, humour needs to be its strongest point, and thankfully, Strawberry Shake Sweet’s humour is well done. It is hilarious to watch Julia trying to seduce Ran, who is oblivious to her advances, and their manager intervening at every step, lest a scandal come to light. The comedy is snappy, on occasion using four-panel strips for a quick joke.

While the humour delivers, the conflict is lacking. Most conflict comes from Julia’s jealousy at odds with her fawning over Ran. Her overreactions are hilarious. By conflict, I don’t mean that assassins need to enter the narrative, but there could be more back and forth between the girls; Ran is too passive – her obliviousness can only extend so far.

Strawberry Shake Sweet is the ideal manga if you’re after a good laugh with a couple of silly characters and their overprotective manager.

Art – Medium

The art does a good job of conveying the humour through expressions and the like; however, the quality could certainly be higher. Looks a little rushed, though this likely won’t bother most readers with a romantic comedy.

Story – High

A hilarious romance between two idols along with the manager trying to stop them. Wish it had more conflict.

Recommendation: Read it. Strawberry Shake Sweet is a fun read with many gags that are worth reading.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

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Candy – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Candy

 

Similar: Prism

Girl Friends

 

Genre: Yuri Romance Drama

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • A nice amount of drama to compliment the pleasant story.
  • Addresses protagonist’s immaturity rather than leaving it as an endearing quality.

Negatives:

  • The noise filter for shading looks awful.
  • Poor first chapter.

Kanan, tomboy and star of the archery club, receives a confession from Bessho, who runs off in embarrassment. Because Kanan is so dense, she doesn’t understand why she was confessed to or even notice that Bessho was serious. In fact, she is idolised by many of the girls in this all-girls school, but is so clueless that she has no idea. Kanan’s best friend uses her density as a target of much teasing.

After an incident where Bessho kisses Kanan’s neck under the pretence of removing a spider, they start getting closer; however, in this strict school, they are wary of looking too familiar with each other in public lest they become the source of gossip. Further drama arises when they go on a date and realise they don’t have the same taste in anything. Will Kanan’s favourite candy be the bridge? Furthermore, another girl who has a crush on Kanan looks to interfere.

Candy is a pleasant manga with a surprising amount of drama, particularly regarding Kanan’s immaturity. I liked it.

Art – Medium

I like the art style and charming character design, but the use of noise filters for shading was a mistake.

Story – High

Good characters in a nice romance of awkwardness, drama and humour.

Recommendation: Read it. Worth your time for the characters and their quirky relationship.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Prism – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Prism

 

Similar: Hanjuku Joshi

Girl Friends

Candy

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy Romance

Length: 1 volume (discontinued)

 

Positives:

  • Good art that knows when it needs to be sexy.
  • Sweet romance with good humour.

Negatives:

  • Hikaru’s exaggerated talents and traits.

(contains nudity and sex)

Megumi has led a boring life so far and is looking for more excitement now that she’s in high school. The most excitement she’s had was a one-day romance with Hikaru, a boy she met at the beach in middle school and still fantasises about. At the high school entrance ceremony, she meets a beautiful girl called Hikaru, the same Hikaru from before, now a girl. It turns out she was never a boy, rather a tomboy. Megumi is miffed about this change because she can’t “do anything” with a girl.

Hikaru is good at sports and school and her beauty makes her popular with the boys, even turning heads of those already in relationships. Other girls hate her and use jealousy to fuel their bullying. Megumi soon falls for her all over again, but has doubts, worrying what people will think and if Hikaru is serious about her flirtations. Self-consciousness and public opinion are major themes in Prism. In public, Hikaru is rather daring with her flirting; behind closed doors however, Megumi comes out of her shell and takes control.

Megumi and Hikaru interactions are sweet and funny (sometimes naughty), particularly when meeting Hikaru’s family, who tease her endlessly. I thoroughly enjoyed Prism and wished it hadn’t been cut short. Even with Prism’s early demise, it doesn’t feel as incomplete as one would image.

Art – High

The character design is plain at first; however, it improves by the third chapter. Sexy when it needs to be and the environments are fully realised.

Story – High

Prism is a simple and fun story of two girls discovering love. Shame about the cancellation.

Recommendation: Read it. Despite the sudden cancellation, Prism has enough worth reading.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Shinigami Alice – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Shinigami Alice

 

Similar: Murciélago

 

Genre: Yuri Horror

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • Gory in the action scenes.
  • An interesting dynamic between the two characters.
  • Explores heavy themes.

Negatives:

  • Never explains why Misaki doesn’t freak out at seeing people stabbed to death by a girl with scissors.
  • Doesn’t delve into the concept of humanity enough.
  • Motion in the action scenes can be confusing.

Note: Shinigami Alice has a chapter zero, a one-shot version of the premise that doesn’t fit with the full two-volume edition. Also, there is no ‘Alice,’ despite the title.

After school one day, Misaki follows a doll-like girl to a back alley and watches her stab a man to death with a pair of scissors. Rather than running in terror, Misaki is intrigued by the death dealer. Killer Hinageshi cannot leave any witnesses; however, she lets Misaki live for some reason. Misaki starts stalking her to the murders in the hope of spending time with Hinageshi. Still the death dealer doesn’t kill her. Misaki’s kindness sways her.

Trouble arises when Hinageshi’s puppetmaster learns of the living witness and Hinageshi’s new independence. Other death dealers come after her, putting Misaki’s life in danger.

While I don’t mind the premise, the author needed to establish why Misaki doesn’t react to the killings, even if they are of bad people. Seriously, not a flinch. If she is immune to death, then why is she the one bringing the humanity to their relationship? Speaking of humanity, the narrative should have delved deeper into the subject. Shinigami Alice does discuss it between the gory action, but that aspect feels unfinished.

Will all that said, Shinigami Alice is a good manga for those interested in something different.

Art – High

Quite good with a nice level of detailing. Suitably grim during the violent scenes, contrasting with the cuter character design. Could be clearer in its action movements.

Story – Medium

The story of a death dealer and the girl who gives her humanity.

Recommendation: Try it. Good, but not as deep as it should be for such a heavy theme of murder and humanity.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Shitsuji Shoujo to Ojousama – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Shitsuji Shoujo to Ojousama

 

Similar: Gokujou Drops

Yurika’s Campus Life

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • None.

Negatives:

  • No comedic skill.
  • Clichéd premise that doesn’t try to bring anything new.
  • Ugly bobble head character design.

(contains nudity)

Ctrl+O -> Gokujou Drops -> Ctrl+A -> Ctrl+C -> Alt+Tab -> Ctrl+V -> Ctrl+S. Publish.

Hinata’s family can no longer pay for her tuition at a prestigious all-girls school because of debt and fled the country, so she agrees to become butler to the most popular girl in school, Saki, loved for her warm personality, beauty and top grades. However, in the high-class dorm, Hinata learns of Saki’s true personality behind the perfect girl façade.

Shitsuji Shoujo to Ojousama really is like Gokujou Drops, only with innuendo replacing the sex. It does focus on comedy, but isn’t particularly funny, sadly. Every joke feels ripped out of other manga and anime.

I don’t have anything against the premise; I genuinely believe it could make for one of the funniest manga put to paper. Shitsuji Shoujo to Ojousama simply isn’t it.

Art – Low

Bobble head character design is hideous with their pencil necks and boulder heads. Nothing interesting to see either.

Story – Low

An overused servant master premise that is the same as all the others.

Recommendation: Don’t bother. You won’t remember Shitsuji Shoujo to Ojousama.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)