Another anthology about schoolgirls, [es]~ Eternal Sisters, is yet another entry in the field of pleasant, harmless and variable Yuri manga that are cropping up all over the place.
Like Yuri Shimai and Yuri Tengoku, [es]~Eternal Sisters focuses on cute, sweet relationships between girls in junior high and high school. Expect lots of blushing, some embraces and few kisses in these 200 pages.
The art ranges from quite professional to “Aggh! What’s that?!” but the stories are vaguely similar – in feel, if not in execution. Almost all of them focus on the moment of revelation, either one character realizing for herself, or both characters realizing the extent of their feelings, but little beyond that is touched upon.
What *does* make [es] stand out are the personalities of the characters involved. The couples themselves bear no relationship to one another. The first story, “Love Lunch” which starts out with two roommates who act like a married couple, gives the anthology a strong beginning. “Croquis,” later in the book, has another stand-out couple – cool, competent and pretty Sada, who is at a loss to understand why she is friends with incompetent, clumsy and plain Hayase. In the end, Sada is forced to confront her feelings – but it is Hayase who forces the confrontation. This was probably my favorite story in the collection.
Of course [es] has one of every usual sterotype necessary to round out such things – hyper-genki best friends, cuddly child-like best friends, wolf-like best friends, reticent, blushing best friends, longing, sighing best friends, etc, etc.
While [es] isn’t going to make any new trends, it’s enjoyable enough for what it is. It has the same layout problems and high quality of publication as Yuri Tengoku, but on the whole the art is a little less loli and a little better. Of the two, I think this one is marginally better. Like YT, if sweet stories of schoolgirls in love that go nowhere is your thing, this is a winner.
Art – 5-9 depending on the story
Story – 5 nothing groundbreaking here.
Characters – 7
Overall – 7