Mari’s conflict largely arises from the fact that she is fairly introverted, and has therefore not had the experience of close friendship with girls her age. She spends a lot of time sure that she’s not normal, and Akiko is. She’s doing her best to put her feelings aside, if not behind her, and at least recapture the friendship that she and Akiko shared.
In Volume 3, we turn our gaze towards Akiko. She’s been Mari’s object of desire, but we’ve never really gotten into her head – until now.
Akiko finds herself thinking way more about Mari than about anything. So much so, that she starts to see a pattern in her obsessing. After Mari’s confession and their kiss, it seems almost obvious for Akiko to realize that she has fallen for Mari. But it’s a long way from point A to Point B.
But…and this is a big “but”….Akiko still isn’t really considering how Mari must be feeling. Now that she’s come to realize that she wants to be with Mari, she’s not seeing the distance Mari is carefully putting between them. By pressing the issue, Akiko is now causing Mari as much, if not more, stress than before.
I’m not usually a big fan of the “obsessive internal monologue” style of romance writing, but the writing in Girl Friends has consistently rung true. Where introverted Mari is rolling in quiet misery, extroverted Akiko is doing her best to not explode in public, but can’t stop herself from leaking around the edges.
There are still about a gazillion hurdles for Mari and Akiko to leap before they can be together. The 100-yard dash to the finish line isn’t really even out of the starting blocks, yet. There’s no telling how this race will end! Here’s hoping that Mari and Akiko are the winning team. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 5
Overall – 8
This is the territory that Morinaga-sensei does best. Just after the confession, before the consummation. I’m very interested to see if we get more than just “happily ever after” – or not.