Hatsumi and Sakura are best friends. Together they have entered Otowa Gakuin, an elite school for girls. Situated in a deep forest the students are known as the maidens of the forest of wild roses (hence, the title.)
The star of the school is Izumi and her partner Mayuko, who look and act like a Takarazuka Top Star couple.
But Hatsumi thinks it’s more than just an act – she saw Izumi and Mayuko in the forest kissing! And when Izumi saw her and Sakura, she said that the two of them were suitable for the elite squad known as the “Sousha Lights” group. Izumi asks Hatsumi and Sakura to be part of the group as representatives of their dorm.
Hatsumi is absolutely obsessed with Izumi, and obsessed with the idea that she saw Izumi and Mayuko kissing. More confusingly, Izumi responds to Hatsumi with seductive behavior (for which Mayuko scolds her for “playing” with the girl’s feeling and Izumi replies that she’s not playing at all.) Hatsumi’s confused about everything, but when she’s asked what she thinks of Izumi, she says that she’s not attracted to women.
This pronouncement has a bizarre effect on Sakura. She has cheerfully accompanied Hatsumi everywhere, but when Hatsumi says she isn’t attracted to women, Sakura acts like she’s been slapped. That night, she finds Izumi embracing Hatsumi (under the pretext of practicing for the school dance) and drags her friend out of Izumi’s arms, warning the school star off. As the chapter ends, back in their room, Sakura pushes Hatsumi down on the bed and demands to know what she really thinks about Izumi.
Nobara no Mori no Otome-tachi (野ばらの森の乙女たち,) by Shirasawa Marimo, is currently running in Nakayoshi magazine. It reads like Strawberry Panic light. :)
Again, my confidence that it will remain as blatantly Yuri as it is right now is low, but it certainly has the potential to surprise me. I would be totally okay with it if it remained Strawberry Panic light. ^_^
So for the first time in quite a while, there’s a small uptick in Yuri in shoujo magazines. And with the Marimite manga picking up again next month, I’ll be buying more shoujo that I have in ages for the next few months!
And, should anything develop in this garden of wild roses…I’ll be sure to let you know. ^_^