Husky and Medley – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Hasukii x Medoree

 

Genre: Yuri Romance

Length: 1 volume

 

Positives:

  • Accurate uses of 2channel speak.
  • Based on a true story (according to 2channel).

Negatives:

  • Art is cheap.
  • Text bubble ordering is inconsistent.
  • Amateurish dialogue.
  • Fan-made quality is noticeable.

(contains nudity and sex)

Husky and Medley is the alleged true story of a Japanese high school girl, who uses the message board 2channel for advice on how to seduce her crush and the subsequent relationship. Much of narrative uses communications from the forum thread, so if you don’t understand the 2channel jargon, many points may go over your head, especially the humour. If you don’t know the jargon, I recommend looking it up first.

The two girls are sweet and reading their text messages is funny; however, the dialogue is rather poor. While the text messages and forum posts sound accurate, the dialogue was probably approximated for the manga, and it shows. The dialogue is so awkward and unnatural. Think of what happens when you first meet someone. You introduce yourself, maybe you don’t quite catch his name and call him ‘man’ for the rest of the conversation, too afraid to ask, until he says his name again at the end. Maybe his accent makes a few words difficult to understand, so you laugh at what you think is a joke, hoping you guessed right. You sigh inwardly with relief when he laughs with you. Despite this, you like the guy and have a good conversation. Now, when recounting the event to a friend later, you say, “Oh, I met this guy, Steve, and he told me this funny story about baguettes in the Large Hadron Collider.” You don’t mention, likely don’t even think about, the awkwardness and confusion, which is fine when talking to a friend. For literature however, those moments of confusion, those little details, are what make good dialogue. Husky and Medley has none of those details, that nuance. It becomes especially noticeable in the latter half where dialogue overtakes forum posts to tell the narrative.

All that said, Husky and Medley is still worth checking out. The basis on a true story makes it more exciting and intriguing to read.

(If you enjoyed Husky and Medley, check out Densha Otoko for a similar 2channel romance between an otaku and a beautiful woman out of his league.)

Art – Very Low

The art is cheap. Even manga storyboards have a higher quality than this.

Story – Medium

A sweet romance between two girls with the help of the internet. The dialogue is poor, unfortunately.

Recommendation: Try it. If you have an interest in a romance with plenty of ‘chan’ speak, then give Husky and Medley a look.

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

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Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep

 

Genre: Yuri Drama

Length: 1 volume

 

Positives:

  • Doesn’t shy away from the darkness of its serious themes.
  • Sympathetic characters.

Negatives:

  • Needed more time to reach maximum depth.

When Imari goes to hospital to fix her broken finger, she meets Imari, who not only shares her name, but also age, birthday off by one day, and the same injury. They bond over this crazy coincidence. Their temperaments also match; both have difficulties when making friends and both are afraid of getting close to the other for fear of rejection.

At first, Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep seems like your typical yuri romance – a premise to setup up the relationship and minor conundrums to fill the narrative. However, it soon deviates from the norm when it delves into the dark aspects of the couple. It focuses on loneliness and the desperation to escape crippling loneliness, latching onto the smallest event for comfort amid the mentality of self-loathing.

Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep was a pleasant surprise. The dark themes and unconventional characters make this manga a good one.

Art – High

Good art that gets suitably dark to match the drama.

Story – High

A dark and interesting narrative born from a wild coincidence. Shame it isn’t longer.

Recommendation: Read it. Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep is unlike other offerings from the genre and certainly worth your time.

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

Love DNA XX – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Renai Idenshi XX

 

Genre: Yuri Science Fiction

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • The interesting premise intrigues from the beginning.
  • Nice costume design.
  • Good humour – funny jokes about girls always going to the bathroom together.

Negatives:

  • Should have been several volumes long, at least, to explore the premise in full and ease the narrative curve.
  • Jumps from drama angle to comedy too quickly.

(contains nudity and sex)

In the year 2122, the last male died from a virus that destroys the Y chromosome. To save humanity, the government instated Project Eden wherein all females were divided into two groups, ADAMs to fight and do hard labour, and EVEs to birth children through artificial insemination and care for everyone. Jump to year 2160, Aoi, a lowborn ADAM, enters the Kingdom Academy to kill the children of the elite families that ruined her mother (ADAMs are referred to as ‘he’ in the manga) for falling in love with a fellow EVE. Relationships between women of the same group are forbidden, since the government believes it would slow down population growth.

The elite families run the government and positions are hereditary, meaning no ‘peasant’ families may enter the ‘noble’ class. The public accepts this for the greater good of saving the human race. As Aoi works her way to the upper echelons of the academy, the student Etoiles, to get close to her targets, she learns there may be more than just evil to them, for one student in particular.

Love DNA XX feels rushed, sadly, for I like its premise. The story starts with an angle towards revenge and drama before it switches to more comedy and romance. While neither of these aspects are bad, the transition is far too quick. It quite literally jumps from one to the other in the space of a page. The premise could easily carry a narrative for several more volumes, and I would have liked to see the revenge to romance story go through a more gradual curve before its conclusion. Even so, I enjoyed my time with Love DNA XX.

Anecdote: The highest ranked student is called ‘three-star Etoile, ‘which translates from French to ‘three-star Star.’ Amusing.

Art – High

Good art reminiscent of Code Geass with nice environments and beautiful costumes.

Story – Medium

A unique story with several interesting aspects that unfortunately feels rushed due to the short length.

Recommendation: Try it. The premise alone is worth a look and the story may make you stay until the end.

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

Love Flag Girls – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Love Flag Girls

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy

Length: 1 volume

 

Positives:

  • The silly characters are quite funny.
  • Good environment artwork.

Negatives:

  • Not much of substance.
  • The silliness will probably alienate most.

(contains nudity and sex.)

Princess Lucia infiltrates a pirate ship to recover her mother’s valuable cross from the captain, who is rumoured to have a mouth that stretches from ear to ear and drinks human blood. It turns out the pirates aren’t evil. Captain Maria doesn’t drink blood, just other…juices. She lusts after Lucia, often getting a bit ‘gropey’ with her, as Lucia struggles to be a pirate since she has never done any work in her life.

Love Flag Girls’ all-female cast is rather silly and amusing, though not much more beyond that. This is a quick manga for those interested in laugh. The art is nice.

Art – High

Great detailing on the environments like the pirate ships and castles. Nice character art as well.

Story – Medium

Though the characters are funny, there isn’t much to be found here.

Recommendation: Try it. If the silly premise sounds good to you, then give Love Flag Girls a shot, just don’t expect much.

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

Two and Two – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Futari to Futari

 

Genre: Yuri Romance

Length: 1 volume

 

Positives:

  • Nothing

Negatives:

  • It’s smut misplaced in the romance section.
  • Bland art of little effort.
  • Stiff, unnatural dialogue.
  • No actual conflict despite the dual-affair setup.

Ayumi’s girlfriend introduces her to a friend and her girlfriend, who turns out to be Sayoko, Ayumi’s roommate. Upon discovering that Ayumi is a lesbian, Sayoko confess her love for her, shortly after which they start an affair behind the backs of their girlfriends.

Despite what the setup promises, there is no conflict present in Two and Two. The roommates keep telling each other how much they love their respective girlfriends, with no evidence of this, as they grind against each other. Furthermore, they face no trouble from the others, who accept it without question. The stiff dialogue doesn’t help.

Two and Two really is just smut trying to pass for a romance manga.

Art – Low

Bland. Low on detail.

Story – Very Low

This is really just swinger smut with no intention of conflict.

Recommendation: Avoid it. Not worth your time unless you are looking for smut.

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

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