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.)

Lemonade – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Lemonade

 

Genre: Yuri Slice of Life

Length: 1 volume

 

Positives:

  • Nothing

Negatives:

  • So, so dull.
  • Art is cheap and lazy.
  • No charm, not funny.

I’ll keep this brief. Lemonade is rubbish. It’s about a schoolgirl who gets teased for her cuteness by a senior, who was a friend of her older sister. That’s it. Lemonade isn’t funny, has no charm, the art is cheap, and the manga is dull overall.

Reading Lemonade is like listening to someone at the bus stop ramble on about how her baby grew a tooth and said a word, pictures shoved in your face. Nobody cares! Take a taxi and don’t read Lemonade.

Art – Very Low

The art could only be cheaper if it were stick figures.

Story – Very Low

How do you write that which is nothing?

Recommendation: Avoid it. A whole lot of nothing.

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

Kase-San – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Asagao to Kase-san

 

Genre: Yuri Comedy Romance

Length: 2 volumes (ongoing)

 

Positives:

  • Yamada the adorable and Kase the athletic make for a great couple.
  • The art fits the characters and their personalities well.
  • Establishes the characters and motivations before the relationship starts, making it believable.

Negatives:

  • Want. More.

(contains mild nudity)

Finally, a yuri manga with a comedy focus that knows how to have substance. Asagao to Kase-san is the story of Yamada, self-appointed school gardener, and Kase the star of track and field as they bond over their interests. Yamada suffers from a lack of self-confidence, especially when compared to the tall Kase, and doesn’t think she has a chance with Kase since they are both girls. Kase helps Yamada express herself, be more confident through athletics.

Yamada is disgustingly adorable as a character, and not in the forced manner of mediocre anime. She doesn’t insert random adorable actions dissonant with her character, rather, her attitude and core personality is adorable, thus making her actions intrinsically adorable.

Kase-san’s greatest achievement, for me, is the believability of the relationship. They are established as friends first, couple second, lending a credibility often missing from high school romances (*cough* Bella & Edward *cough*).

I have no difficulty in recommending Kase-san to anyone looking for a laugh and fun story. It’s a joy to see the awkwardness of first love between Kase and Yamada.

Art – High

Energetic art with good shading and gradients. Nice backgrounds. Yamada looks adorable while the ‘cool’ characters actually look it, not infants.

Story – High

A fun story for likeable characters. The relationship is fun to watch develop.

Recommendation: Read it. Incredibly enjoyable manga to read and I look forward to its continuation.

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

Fragments of Love – Manga Review

Japanese Title: Omoi no Kakera

 

Genre: Yuri Romance Drama

Length: 2 volumes

 

Positives:

  • A strong protagonist, mature beyond her years.
  • Expressive art.
  • Deals with many issues of same-sex attraction often ignored by other manga.
  • A surprising amount of humour considering the serious issues.

Negatives:

  • The resolution for one of the subplots feels rushed in conclusion.

I was immediately enamoured with Fragments of Love because of the protagonist, Mika, with confidence in her sexuality and blunt nature. I like characters that show strength rather than bowing to others. It’s rare to see the lead character in a yuri romance be the strong one; that trait is usually reserved for the love interest.

Early in high school, Mika realised she was a lesbian and developed a thing for older women. Though she doesn’t make her sexuality public, she isn’t afraid to explore it. She is a regular at a bar where she admires the beautiful owner without shame. One day, she overhears a group of older women berating their married ‘friend’ for not having any children yet, until Mika steps in to shut them up. The woman is in a sexless marriage that had escalated from a pity date into marriage, her mind plagued with doubts about her sexuality all the while. Mika helps the woman discover herself; however, though Mika knew it couldn’t be more than a one-time thing, she still feels a pang of sorrow, reminding her of her first relationship that broke her heart.

Fragments of Love deals with interesting aspects of same-sex sexuality, such as the guilt gay people feel from sex after being told that same gender attraction is wrong throughout their childhood. Mika makes a male gay friend in school, which not only brings great humour to balance the drama, but also allows her to reflect on her own situation by seeing another go through a similar experience.

Fragments of Love was a refreshing read with refreshing characters after so many bad and mediocre series. I would like to see more of Mika’s story.

Art – High

Great character art reminiscent of Bleach, though less ‘shounen’ in style, with plenty of emotion.

Story – High

A great story of sexual exploration and confidence with interesting and varied characters.

Recommendation: Read it. Fragments of Love is worth reading for protagonist Mika alone.

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

Anime and Manga Reviews