That is the bulk of my reaction to Kodama Naoko’s Fujiyuu Sekai (不自由セカイ).
Reo befriended Meiko back in high school when Meiko was not treated well by her classmates. Popular and attractive, Reo drew Meiko into society. Meiko joined the tennis club in order to be closer to Reo and, as a result, hurt her ankle during practice. One day not long after, Reo offered to walk Meiko home, but she refused because she was getting better. Reo went off and unknown to her, Meiko was attacked and raped.
Now, years later, Meiko is still making Reo pay for it.
Meiko refers to Reo as her slave, emotionally manipulates Reo and forces the other woman to run when she calls, keeping her from completing her coursework or having a life.
Into this tightly wound relationship comes one of Reo’s classmates, Hayase, who Meiko sees as a rival. Reo and Hayase get enough time together for Reo to draw some courage and tell Meiko that she will no longer be at her beck and call. When Reo tries to get in touch with Meiko, she finds that she no longer can.
Up to this point I was okay with the story, then it just went horribly wrong. Instead of Reo moving on, realizing that Hayase was awesome and the two of them getting together, Reo goes running back to Meiko…who tells her she was not answering the phone, because she was trying to be independent. The two of them kiss and live …what? Happily ever after? I doubt it.
Ladies – particularly if you’re younger and have not yet found someone you think might be “the one” – under no circumstances should you follow the lesson of this manga. Do not choose a broken, controlling lover over the empowering one. This is the wrong lesson. You deserve better than that. Don’t be Reo.
Art – 8 (I had high hopes)
Story – Could have been an 8, instead 5
Characters – Hayase – 8, everyone else 5
Yuri – 7
Service – 4
Overall – 5
It really could have been good, but it wasn’t.