Sei and Nan meet in school when Sei transfers in, but when Nan learns that Sei commutes on a motorcycle, she finds herself interested in the idea of bikes, as much as she is in her new friend.
Sei encourages Nan to get a small bike of her own and the two of them are off on adventures together.
Girls’ Ride (ガールズライド) by Isomoto Tsuyoshi is an incredibly sweet story of a friendship and freedom.
Right off the bat, the story eschews the normal tropes of transfer-student awkwardness Tall, attractive, smart and athletic Nan is also completely approachable. In fact, when she first sees Sei on her bike, she’s the one who casually (like people might actually) asks Sei to call her Nan. Sei, for her part, is also pretty casual and they quickly become close. No rivalry, no inexplicable tension, just two people becoming friends and bonding over shared experiences.
Nan finds herself a teeny bit jealous over Sei’s relationship with Kitagawa, who also has a much bigger, faster bike, but they all play nice eventually. In a quiet moment Kitagawa admits to Nan that she has feelings for Sei, something that puts a name to feelings that, maybe, Nan is feeling too.
Crisis comes as it must, when Sei is forced to transfer once again. Will Nan and Sei see each other again? You’ll have to read the book to find out. ^_^
There were many things to like about this book – the bikes Nan and Sei have are relatively small and are the kinds of machines that high school girls could manage without handwaves. Sei and Nan are totally likable – I’d have them over for lunch anytime. The individual chapters are sweet, and they add up to a completely enjoyable whole.
Art – 7
Characters – 9
Story – 9 This is my kind of slice-of-life
Yuri – 6
Service – 4 Guys, women do not arch our backs and thrust our butts out to bend over except in porn. Please, drop it. It’s so awful and tiresome.
Overall – 8
I wanted to start 2013 with something that made me feel happy. Girls’ Ride totally filled all my requirements. ^_^