Prunus Girl Manga (プラナス・ガール) Guest Review by Tomo K.

January 7th, 2012

Today is an extra specially lucky day for all of us – we have a new Guest Reviewer! Tomo K. has graciously offered to write up a review of Matsumoto Tomoki’s Prunus Girl. You may remember that Tomo told us about this manga, which runs in Square Enix’s Monthly GanGan Joker last month.

I hope you’ll all extend a warm Okazu welcome to Tomo! Kind words in the comments fields will be appreciated.

Prunus Girl (プラナス・ガール) begins on the day when the result of Maki’s senior high entrance exam is posted. He meets a cute girl and it looks like a fated encounter, but the girl, Aikawa, later turns out to be his classmate and an 男の娘 (otoko-no-ko: a male who looks/dresses/acts completely female).

I found it amusing how quick the other students adapt to Aikawa, with the girls treating him like a female friend, and the guys accepting him because he’s cute. Even the teachers let him wear a girl’s uniform at school, because what he is wearing is a school uniform after all.

Aikawa seems to like Maki quite a bit, telling Maki he’d prefer to be “a girl” in front of him, barging into Maki’s dorm room and insisting they sleep in the same bed, barging into the dorm room another time and borrowing Maki’s (male) uniform and wearing it to school the next day. Maki realizes he does enjoy spending his time with Aikawa, but he’s not sure whether it’s because Aikawa’s his best friend, or whether it’s because he sees Aikawa as a girl.

Now for the Yuri part. In vol. 2, Hanazaka, Maki’s friend from junior high, transfers to his class and introduces herself to everyone by tell them that she likes girls.

Then in vol. 4, Wakakusa, Maki’s first love and Hanazaka’s ex-girlfriend, transfers to the senior high as well. Wakakusa has chased Hanazaka to the school, demanding to know why she’d
been rejected.

Now Hanazaka turns out to be the only daughter of a company CEO. He expects his daughter to get married and have the groom be his successor, so of course he protests when his daughter declares she’ll never get married and will spend the rest of her life with Hanazaka. So Hanazaka had left to prevent a breakdown of her girlfriend’s family relationships.

In the end, the two do get back together, and Wakakusa tells Hanazaka she will make her father congratulate the two, no matter how many years it takes.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Maki and Aikawa’s relationship evolves, as the Yuri episode seemed like a foreshadowing of problems the two’ll face if they decide to go out as a couple.

In the latest episode in the magazine, Maki and Aikawa are dressed as groom and bride at the school’s culture festival, running from the other students, as the student council suddenly declars that any student that captures either of them will be granted a one-day date with them. So Maki is carrying Aikawa like a princess, and is dashing around.

Art – 7
Story – 6
Character – 7
Yuri – 4
Fanservice – 6
Overall – 7

Vol. 5 is scheduled for a spring release.

Thank you so much for this review, Tomo. This is exactly why a Yuri Network is so important – we would never have known about this series without you!

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4 Responses

  1. Nice review! This series’ Yuri couple sounds more well-written than I would have expected. (One of them addresses lesbian identity and defies her homophobic dad? Yay!)

  2. Jenny says:

    I like the inclusion of transgender issues. I read the manga “No Bra” a few years ago, which was my first exposure to Japanese handling of those issues, and thought that, under the silly trappings, it handled the issues remarkably well. It sounds like this manga, does, too, which leads me to wonder if transfolk (at least, male to female transfolk) are more accepted in Japan generally than in America.

  3. Mary says:

    This is easily one of the best Yuri mangas I read, and it’s not even a Yuri manga!

    Seriously, her just telling her dad to screw off and deal with it was AWESOME. Especially in Japan.

    For an american/european reader, it comes across a lot less awesome a scene than it was in Japan

  4. @Jenny – Right now, men who dress and identify as women are popular in entertainment in Japan. I don’t know if that in any way translates to “acceptance.” I’m inclined to think that it doesn’t in the short term, but does change things in the long term.

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