Five years ago, I had the pleasure of reading GIRL FRIENDS by Morinaga Milk for the first time. This cutely drawn story of an introvert girl and her extrovert best friend struck home for me (as it did, I have no doubt, for many readers.)
My reviews for Volume 1 and Volume 2 cover the evolution of the story from a “shoujo manga for men” to a realistic exploration of two young women who are totally different becoming friends…and ultimately finding themselves with much more complex feelings for each other.
Volume 1 of Seven Seas’ GIRL FRIENDS, The Complete Collection, primarily deal with the relationship from Mari’s perspective. A natural introvert, Mari has never had a best friend before. This adds an extra level of complexity – and stress – to her changing feelings and increases her desire to prove to herself that she is “normal.” (Which is *exactly why I and other people are out – to show young people that we are perfectly normal. The more people who are out, the less young people will have to go through that.)
Volume 1 ends at a difficult point and many new readers have expressed concern about the ending. Be patient readers of Yuri, this is a 5-volume manga presented in 2 omnibuses. Volume 1 of this edition ends in the middle of the story. Give the plot time to play out and enjoy the whole thing, crises and all instead of wanting to rush to the end. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 7
Service – 5
Overall – 7
Seven Seas did a very nice job of localization, as usual. Extra thanks to translator Ana M. (who is also an Okazu superhero!) for the donation of a set of both volumes of GIRL FRIENDS, the Complete Collection as a prize.
To enter to win this complete set of this delightful Yuri romance by Morinaga Milk, in the comments write a message of encouragement and hope to a young LGBT person who isn’t sure about their self or feelings right now – or even a message to your younger self. Please include your name, - if you plan on being Anon, please give yourself a nickname so I can let the winner know they’ve won.
If you’ve won a contest recently, please feel free to enter, but you’ll understand if I pick someone else. ^_^
I’ll announce winners when I review Volume 2!
My message – There is nothing wrong with you. Society might have some catching up to do, but you are perfectly fine. Find people you can talk to, a local LBGT-friendly church or group at a university. You are perfectly fine – and you are not alone. We’re all here with you. ^_^