Kimochi no Katachi, Volume 2 (きもちのかたち), continues to follow the stories of Satsuki’s relationship with Kano, and Mako’s relationship with Rina. In both cases, the relationship become closer and matures past that “Story A” space.
Satsuki’s story really takes off in what is probably my favorite of all the chapters, which centers around a most common object – a cell phone.
Satsuki’s father is rather strict and old-fashioned and he doesn’t see a business case for his children getting cell phones. So Satsuki has to rely on the family phone, which makes talking to Kano awkward. Kano lends Satsuki her cell phone, but Satsuki’s father hears her talking in her room and throws a hissy fit, assuming she’s talking to a boy who’s up to no good. Scared half out of her mind, Satsuki decides to approach her father directly and ask for a phone. Unfortunately, he’s a shouter, and starts to overwhelm his daughter before she can get started. Like some kind of miracle, Kano shows up, apologizes to Dad for the fuss and woos him into being quiet long enough for Satsuki to make her request. He agrees that she can have one, which becomes their next Sunday date. But that isn’t the point. The point of the scene, as both Satsuki and Kano later comment on, is that Kano sits in seiza, with one hand lightly on Satsuki’s back as she petitions Dad to allow his daughter to have a phone. It’s a beautiful moment. That small gesture claims Satsuki as *hers* in a way that’s unmistakable, without saying a word. Later on, Kano admits that she was terrifyingly close to asking Dad for Satsuki’s hand in marriage. ^_^
Meanwhile, Mako is making herself ill because she really, really, really wants to kiss, touch and do other things with Rina. Unfortunately she’s still horribly gun shy and, even though no one is stopping her, Mako is just not ready to accept her own desire. (As I once wrote in a story, desire is a terrible thing, because you can never go back after giving in.)
Mako’s previous crush doesn’t make it easier by telling Mako that *she’s* ready to accept Mako’s feelings. Mako’s making herself and Rina miserable, but the only one who can release her from her prison is her. Eventually Rina helps Mako see the light, and Mako and she finally are able to move their relationship forward.
For a series titled, “Shape of Feelings,” both arcs really fit the bill. There’s a genuine and heartfelt exploration of feelings and situations that a young woman who finds herself in love (and lust) with another woman might be dealing with. More importantly, the stories deal with the fallout of these feelings into other, completely normal everyday experiences. Mako’s inability to cope with her fantasies about Rina, or even her enjoyment of looking at Rina’s body; Satsuki’s fear that Kano will be stolen from her, or that her feelings for Kano will be discovered by her family are not unusual to anyone who has ever fallen in love with the “wrong” person.
I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s got strong characters and completely real, completely accurate feelings. Something that I’m glad to say there’s more and more of these days. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 2
Overall – 9
Congratulations to Sakuraike and many thanks for their fantastic work over the years!