Sore ga Kimi ni Naru (それが君になる), by Hakamada Mera, works.
The story opens with two school girls. Amane, reading under a tree and the other, Yuki, taking her glasses off and kissing her. We learn in a short flashback and that Amane and Yuki were lovers during school, until….
Years have passed and we see Amane standing on a train platform, now an adult. When the train empties, a bunch of schoolgirls get off. The wind pulls Amane’s ticket from her hand and it settles to the ground in front of a girl that looks *exactly* like Yuki. Amane, struck dumb, begins to cry. The girl reaches out to touch Amane’s face asking her, “All you all right?”
Thus begins the story of Amane and Yoh (spelling taken from the cover of the book,) and the ghost of a past lost love in an awkward, sweet threesome. Yoh is a pretty sharp girl and not at all weird about her attraction to Amane – or this total stranger’s reaction to her. She’s confiding in her friends at school, even to the point of them discussing why Amane is pushing her away.
And Amane is pushing Yoh away. Overcome by their reaction to one another and so maybe not sensibly, Amane and Yoh are hanging out, until a sudden rainstorm means that Yoh is staying over Amane’s place for the night. Amane tells Yoh about Yuki, and about how Yuki ran off with a tutor by whom she had become pregnant, breaking Amane’s heart, Yoh offers herself in place of the lost Yuki. Before she can stop herself, Amane finds herself kissing the girl, but then realizes what she’s doing and tells Yoh to stay the night, then never come near her again.
The next few chapters are the stereotypical “each moping about the other” and they miss each other by seconds. When they are finally tearfully reunited, they both admit at last what was obvious to us from the beginning.
In a slightly annoying epilogue, Amane and Yoh run into Yuki and set that ghost to rest. A second omake tells a completely separate story about Satomi-sempai being seduced by another girl’s big, (beautiful,) dark eyes.
I think the thing that really worked for me about this story was Yoh’s lack of coyness. I found it refreshing and a relief to know that she was talking about her relationship with Amane with her school friends and they were giving it serious consideration, not just teasing her. When her friends mention to her that when Amane looks at her, it must hurt, the revelation makes Yoh think about the relationship more seriously. If she’s going to pursue this woman, then she’d better mean it, because otherwise, she’s screwing around with Amane and hurting her for no good reason.
It’s hard not to sympathize with Amane. She’s got this great big needy old hole in her heart and when Yoh sort of plops herself in it, it’s difficult to condemn her.
I wasn’t thrilled that Yuki kind of appears at the end, because I always feel that that sort of convenient story-telling weakens the characters dealing with the issues on their own, but that’s more an editorial quibble than anything else.
Ultimately, the title of the book becomes the effective punchline to the story. On the whole, I liked this book. I liked Yoh, I liked Amane, and I like them together.
Art – 7
Characters – 8
Story – 7
Yuri – 8
Service – 2
Overall – 8
And there you have it. Mera wins by TKO. Enough rounds fighting it just wore me out. This “simple love story of Yoh & Amane” took all the fight out of me. ^_^