In my review of Volume 11, I said that Tsubomi (つぼみ) Volume 12 was poised for something. And so it is.
The covers have recently told short stories on their own and this issue actually includes the story of the cover story as the first story in the volume. Interestingly, the insider color art page is by Kazuaki, the same artist illustrating the “Justice for Girls” novel in Comic Yuri Hime. It’s a small, small Yuri network. ^_^
Otome is starting to realize that her actions have caused Minato some considerable pain in “Hoshikawa Ginza 4-choume.” She has yet to see that she’s hurt another girl, as well.
Wakatsuki spends a lot of time inside her fantasies of the cooking club’s summer camp, but the reality is not what she had hoped in “Himitsu no Recipe.”
In “Prism” Hikaru is having a hard time with her feelings, and her relationship with Hirose-san. A not-at-all chance discussion with a classmate who comes out as bi, sets Hikaru back on the right path.
“Shimaism” adds a couple of new characters to allow Yoshotomi Akihito to draw the girls in random cosplay and a much less skeevy couple to the mix.
The big surprise comes in “Lonely Sheep, Lonely Wolf.” Big Imari and little Imari are spending the night together to celebrate their shared birthday, but a visit by a former lover of Big Imari’s, Rika, throws them both into very uncomfortable territory. But little Imari isn’t having any and stands up to this person who wants to drag big Imari back nto the past. Rika’s reaction to this was such a genuine shock that I gasped out loud. I’m freaking out here, not knowing what happens! This series has been my favorite for some time, and it has just stepped into completely different not-Story A territory. I long for the next chapter.
“Ai o Komete” is exactly the opposite – it’s a slightly annoying “Story A,” featuring an American transfer student whose Japanese is quirky, but fluent.
“Kuraimori, Shiromichi” continues as the depressed Shou finds her thoughts filled with impressions of the blind girl she met in the park and desire to spend more time with her.
Nawoko’s “Private Lesson” wraps up as both Tamago and Tori-‘nee learn all the lessons they can from their relationship to music and to one another.
As always these aren’t all the stories in the volume, just the ones I found notable.
Congratulations to Tsubomi and all the folks who make it happen, for making it through 3 years! Here’s to many more. ^_^
Overall – 8
This volume was probably a 7 overall, but the shock of “Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep” bumps the volume as a whole to an 8 and that series in and of itself to a 9.