Strawberry Shake Sweet (ストロベリーシェイクSWEET) Volume 2, continues the love comedy of hyperactive upcoming young idol, Tachibana Julia and ditzy upcoming young model, Asakawa Ran. It’s Baka x Boke, Idol x Model, Strawberries and Lilies all around!
Ran has made her debut as a model and her career takes off so fast that she and Julia don’t ever get a moment together. But their separation brings epiphany, as Ran is forced to confront her feelings for Julia, after her photographer points out the obvious.
Now the situation becomes even more complex than in Volume 1. Julia has managed to find a way to work around her feelings for Ran, but now Ran has to figure out how to work around her own feelings. It’s all nosebleeds and self-flagellation, until Julia brings it all to a head with an invitation to go on a trip together. Alone. Together.
Zlay provides some impetus for the the two of them with an urgent request for them to be the replacement opening act of the show. Ran and Julia put on a powerful, dramatic performance that climaxes in a kiss. (!) While the concert rages below them, they manage to blunder their way through miscommunication and idiocy to realize that they both like each other. *That* way.
And, in the way of all romances, just as soon as they two of them manage to figure it all out and be together – they are ripped apart.
Ran’s mother had sent her to school her in Japan, only to find that her ditzy daughter had gone and become a model. It’s a life she does not want for her child and she refuses to allow it to continue. She whisks Ran away, leaving Julia to spend her days trying to find her. With her 18th birthday coming, Julia refuses to give up the search for Ran.
Of course, they are reunited with much happiness and hugs. ^_^
There are two extra chapters for this volume – one, the New Year’s episode in which Kaoru visits Saeki’s apartment and Saeki gets to express fairly straight forwardly, just how homophobic she actually is, if you think about it.
The second extra is what you have all been waiting for. Ran asks Julia to move in together. And I absolutely refuse to spoil the rest of the chapter, except to say that you will probably be outraged and/or disappointed by the end. ^_^
But that doesn’t matter, because the scenes at the concert are so entirely worth the price, that I would recommend this book even if they didn’t get together. Which they do.
If you bought the last issue of Yuri Hime you also received the second “Blueberry Shake Bitter” Cover as an extra, which is very fun. ^_^
Art – 9
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 2
Overall – 9
As funny as this manga is, I’m forced to conclude that this story is not *quite* as perfect for Hayashiya as Hayate x Blade. The action component just catapults that series to perfection.
But hey – this is a groundbreaking series. A Yuri series for Yuri magazine by a woman who has been drawing Yuri comedy for a long, long time. A must-have for any fan of “Yuri.”