Welcome back to the melodramatic world of Nobara no Mori no Otome-tachi! （野ばらの森の乙女たち）In Volume 1, we met heroine Hatsumi, her best friend Sakura, who enter a prestigous girl’s school together where they meet the Top Star couple of the school, boyish Izumi and her partner, perhaps lover, Mayuko.
Hatsumi has developed strong feelings for Izumi and, after Mayuko leaves Izumi at the party, is spending a lot more time with the charming, otokoyaku-ish Izumi as Volume 2 dawns.
But something is not right here at Otoha Girls Academy. Students who were previously pleasant to Hatsumi, or ignored her as another first-year, are starting to pick on her. And the bullying is getting bad, rather quickly. Izumi rescues her from some of it, but that makes it all the worse. Sakura rescues Hatsumi as well but, when Hatsumi tells Sakura that she’s in love with Izumi, Sakura yells at her, saying that she’s grossed out by it all and runs off. Not only does she stop talking to Hatsumi, she moves out of their room, leaving Hatsumi open to even more bullying.
The bullying stops when the girls all report back to Mayuko, how they’ve taken revenge on Hatsumi for stealing Izumi away from her and Mayuko tells them off. But this is only because Mayuko has other plans…. Mayuko convinces Sakura to help her.
That night, in a somewhat convoluted scene, Mayuko tries to seduce Izumi into making a formal promise in the chapel, but is rejected because, Izumi says, Mayuko rejected her when she asked previously. Izumi can see that this is some kind of set-up and sure enough, Sakura and Hatsumi were there to see it. Izumi tells Mayuko that if she’s going to make a vow with anyone, it’ll be Hatsumi, and Mayuko, in what was a stellar moment of bad judgement, throws herself out the window…which is only one story up, so instead of killing herself, she breaks an ankle.
Hatsumi is still seeing Izumi and trying to get a clue about Sakura so, she decides to have it out with Mayuko…which she does. Big time. Mayuko throws stuff at her and she hauls off and slaps the upperclassman across the chops, instantly rising in my esteem.
Back at school, Hatsumi appears to have clued in finally and decides that the one she wants is Sakura, while Mayuko and Izumi reunite and make up, along with protestations of love all around. The End… Only, it’s not!
There’s an omake chapter about Mayuko and Izumi’s childhood together which was both annoying and funny and a second chapter, which leads into the story that will be collected in the third volume.
The series has been moved to Nakayoshi Lovely, the seasonal special, but a third collected volume has been given the go sign. This time we will be following “cool” (distant, unfriendly(?)) Fujitani-san and a mysterious beauty. Whoo~~
When you read this series, read it slowly, no more than a chapter every few days. Weekly would be better. Savor the melodrama, the tears, the slaps, the sensuality of the scenes, the thrill of Izumi in glasses, etc. etc. It’s a silly story, still very much the child of Yuri that has gone before. To all the little girls who are reading this series and thinking that Izumi is pretty hot – welcome to the club, kid, have a seat I’ll pour you an orange juice. ^_^
Art – 8
Characters – 8
Story – 9
Yuri – 10
Service – 4
Overall – 9
I have to admit to a teeny bit of squeeing over this series, because the idea of a whole new (really new!) generation of Yuri fans makes me very happy.