Yuri Manga: Kila Kila (キラキラ)

July 10th, 2011

Kila Kila (キラキラ) by Takemiya Jin, is a collection of one short serial, “Akogare no Itoshii Hito,” and a one-shot with the title name from Comic Yuri Hime.

The titular story is unrealistic and utterly adorable. Sayaka is obsessed with magazine idol Ria. She can just “sense” Ria’s aura she’s sure so, when one day a girl walks by and she senses Ria, she pursues the girl.

Sayaka’s 6th sense isn’t far off – the girl turns out to be Ria’s twin sister, Mari. Mari is not a model, but is an introverted, cynical girl with some understandable issues in regards to her famous sister.

Cynical as she is, Mari understands that Sayaka is befriending her to get closer to her sister and, as a result, when Ria learns of Sayaka’s existence, she expects to lose her new friend. What neither Mari, nor Sayaka expected was for Sayaka to find Mari’s own sparkle so alluring that she decides Mari is more important than Ria ever was.

The bulk of the book is taken up with a tale of a love triangle between sophisticated older sister Tsukiko, Nana who has a crush on her and her childhood friend Youko, Tsukiko’s blunt younger sister.

Youko and Nana argue over Tsukiko’s intentions and, even when Youko is proven correct about her playgirl older sister, she and Nana can’t repair the damage to their friendship, when Youko admits that she’s had feelings for Nana all along.

Years pass and Nana, with a new friend, Satomi, are out one day when she sees Youko….with what instantly appears to be a girlfriend. Nana is shocked, then appalled at her reaction of jealousy and suddenly, she realizes her feelings for Youko. She confronts Youko to learn if that is indeed her girfriend, and if Youko is happy. It is, Youko confirms, and she is. They part and Nana is left to realize that she might very well have thrown away something wonderful, but Satomi, in the most charmingly goofy way, picks up the pieces. The end comes with Nana realizing that she should not ignore Satomi’s feelings the way she ignored Youko’s  and they head off to live what we can hope will be happily ever after.

The final chapter revisits “Kila Kila” and allows Sayaka to reject Ria in front of Mari and to soundly kiss Mari so she knows these feelings are not one-sided.

As always, I enjoy Takemiya Jin’s work. I’m never going to try and convince you it’s beautiful and, if anything, I like it better when the characters are evil and scheming, rather than wide eyed and adorable. But still, it’s feel-good reading for me.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Loser FanGirl –  6

Overall – 8

Takemiya-sensei’s work has a ring of verisimilitude when it comes to relationships between girls that series like A Channel or Yuru Yuri completely fail to capture. As a result, I can read something as utterly unrealistic as “Kila Kila” and still see the real-ness of the characters’ feelings where I watch a school girl life series like Yuri Yuri and see nothing at all I can relate to. ^_^

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