In Lemonade, by Shioya Teruko, Youko and Maki are starting middle school. It’s a rough start for them both. Maki wants the two of them to join a club together, but Youko knows Maki wants to join a sports team, and she’s no good at sports. Maki’s pretty upset, but Youko sticks to her plan and joins the handicrafts club, while Maki joins Tennis Club – the one team Youko absolutely, positively will not join.
Youko’s day was no better – one of the upperclass boys finds out she’s the younger sister of the former Tennis team captain and gives her the unfortunate nickname “imouko” to which Youko, yearning to be free of comparisons to her perfect older sister, reacts very negatively. Things only become more tense when it turns out that Keta-sempai, the obnoxious upperclassman, is Maki’s mentor on the team AND had a crush on her sister. Youko finds it harder and harder to listen to Maki talking endlessly about this guy. It’s not much easier in Handicrafts club, as the one second-year student has a crush on Naomi-sempai, the club president, and speaks of nothing but love and crushes. All around Youko it’s “Who do you like?” “Who is going out with whom?’
Maki and Youko come to a crisis over Keta-sempai, which almost destroys their friendship, as Maki admits she like Keta, and wishes Youko could be friendly with him, But he’s *still* teasing Youko and it really upsets her…and she’s feeling what can only be labeled jealousy. When she realizes she’s jealous over Maki, it makes Youko uncomfortable, but for her friend’s sake, she sucks it up. Before he graduates Keta-sempai finally apologizes so she can move on.
As Youko and Maki come to the end of their third year, and face graduation, one of the underclassmen in the handicrafts club confesses to Youko. She replies that there’s already someone she likes – the rumor flies fast. Youko likes someone? Who? Maki comes over to find out, and in the final pages, Youko tearfully admits that it has been Maki all along. Maki says she likes Youko too. As the book draws to a close we see the two of them walking off hand in hand.
This is a school life story that reads awfully like what I remember school actually being like. Everyone around me obsessed endlessly about who was going out with whom and who liked whom. ^_^; We can see Youko, Maki and the others are in a school, but we never see them do any school work. In Lemonade, it’s all relationships all the time. Gosh, I’m glad I’m not in school anymore.
Art – Very simple and plain – 6
Characters – True to their age, so kinda boring for this adult – 6
Story – Same – 6
Yuri – 6
Service – 1 on principle
Overall – 6
The final confession isn’t out of left field, but it was vaguely vexing that Keta-sempai was made the McGuffin. He was really annoying.