Happy day, a new Uso Kurata collection! Soredemo Yappari Koi wo Suru has a theme and a subtheme that combine to make a very pleasant point.
“Wired,” tells of the meeting of a energetic young woman and a cynical older girl in the RPG world from Kurata’s “Apocalypse” arc. Young, energetic, puppy-dog cuteness wins over grumpy world-weariness.
In “BBS,” a school bulletin board provides the impetus for a girl to bridge the space between herself and her sempai on the swim team.
Sadly, “Picsee” was so preachy (hey kids, people you meet online might be dangerous) that the subplot of like-love between the two protagonists kind of got lost.
The book really takes off in “Blog,” in which two girls are outed at school by a badly timed picture on their school trip. The night before, one of them had started an anonymous blog to record their relationship – she fears that it was the source of their outing, until she learns about the picture. But, neither girl backs out of the relationship…and eventually they both start working on the blog. Little by little, they start getting comments from women who are in relationships with women, and other girls in love with other girls. Jun and Kazumi realize that they are not alone in the world and take strength from this.
In the omake “Intermission,” Jun and Kazumi decide to invite the commenters on their blog to get together. Of course they are the other characters in the collection. ^_^
There is tremendous power in knowing you are not alone. Whether it’s having trouble accessing a system at the office or knowing that someone else understands your feelings or your worldview, the tribal/herd instinct is strong in us humans. We prefer to know we are not alone. Where Soredemo Yappari Koi wo Suru works is in reminding us that it doesn’t have to be the two of us against the world – there are people like us out there.
There is an obvious underlying theme in this collection of online communications platforms. The negative aspects (online rumors and bullying, fake identities, people with agendas) is laid out plainly, but the moral of the story is just as obviously, “Sure, you have to be sensible about your online life, but waiting out there is *your* community, go, find it.” A lesson well worth teaching.
Art – 8
Stories – 5-8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 7
Service – 1
Overall – 7
Other than “Picsee,” which I felt was heavy-handed, this is a pleasant enough collection of girls in love finding their place in the world.