In the Jive edition of Aoi Shiro, the focus is squarely on the game characters, as opposed to Ichinjisha’s Yuri Hime edition of the story, in which the focus was on two almost irrelevant characters and was so tepidly Yuri that it failed to capture my interest.
In Volume 2 of the Jive version of Aoi Shiro, Yuri takes a back seat to Action and Mystery and other capitalized selling points.
Shouko, captain of the kendo club, is drawn into an ever-deepening mystery regarding Nami, the child she found on the beach. Her own childhood memories, Nami’s unusual dress, and a giant Bull-Demon all collide in what probably makes a pretty good game and makes a reasonably good manga. This is all made even more interesting by a suit-wearing Onee-san type from Shouko’s past and a guardian with one good eye-type from I have no idea whose past. And Nami transforms into someone older and less whiny.
It’s all full of shiny action and stuff. I’d go so far as to say it wouldn’t make a bad anime, probably. Better than most games that go to manga or anime, for sure.
I have never played the game, of course. Have you ever wondered about my disinterest in games? It’s not just RPGs or computer games I feel that way about – I don’t play card games or board games or games of chance. They simply bore me and always have. After I learn the rules, I have no interest in doing the same things over and over and over. It’s really nothing personal…except that I note that I have lost some very talented writers and artists to gaming, so in that sense it is personal. But for myself, I’d just rather spend my time translating a book, or publishing, or reading, or just about anything. The only game I ever enjoyed playing with another person was Knock-hockey, because none of the kids my age understood the concept of angles and I usually won. ;-)
Anyway, if you liked the Aoi Shiro game for itself, there is a very good chance that you’ll like the manga. If you liked it for the Yuri, the manga will disappoint, as there is so little that even Yuri Goggles fail to make it obvious.
Shouko and Nami have some kind of bond…it could be anything at this point.
There’s a bonus Akai Ito story in this volume, which positively reeks of the smell of Yuri, without actually having any. But it’s not bad in and of itself. It’s creepyish and horror-y, without being a horror story.
The biggest selling point is definitely featureless moe girls with weapons.
Art – Other than the character designs 8, the characters are so simplistic 6 is being generous
Story – 7
Characters – 6 but I feel like we’re not being given a chance to really know or like them
Yuri – .5
Service – 1 on principle, but really hardly anything
Overall – 6
And once again, I give my sincere thanks to Okazu Hero and good friend Komatsu-san. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and review this. ^_^