In honor of Valentine’s Day I can think of no better candidate for review than Nishi UKO’s Collectors, from the pages of Rakuen Le Paradis magazine.
Nito Shinobu collects books. Kanzaki Takako is interested in fashion and collects clothes. The two of them love each other very much but, as they both consider their future together, their competing use of space could make living together awkward. ^_^;
With their friend Naomi and “the other one,” the unnamed friend who makes up the fourth in their group, Shinobu and Takako’s life together is detailed in amusingly realistic 4-koma strips or chapter-long stories.
From how they met, to Shinobu hiding from her students at a book store, to going away with friends, to bickering and moments of intimacy, their lives look remarkably like a real life that a real couple might have, rather than the melodramatic extremes of so much manga. For me, Collectors is a refreshing, realistic, fun look at a relationship between women who love each other. Weird huh? I mean really weird. Because there is hardly any manga like this.
Here’s my favorite scene – Shinobu, standing with Naomi and the other one (Okay, let’s just pick a name for her. Put your suggestions in the comments section and I’ll pick one, and send it to Nishi UKO-sensei as a suggestion. ^_^) waiting for Takako to arrive, when Shinobu says Takako is heading towards them. Naomi asks where, as a woman walks up to them. Takako’s changed her hair color, but Shinobu knows it’s her from meters away. ^_^
They snipe at one another about each other’s collection habits, they have tender moments with hands entwined in each other’s hair, they live and they love. Just like me and my wife, just like you and your girlfriend, just like lesbians whose relationship does not end with a kiss or graduation. This is what after the happily-ever-after really looks like.
Whether you collect glasses, boyfriends, books or clothes, Happy Valentine’s Day from myself and everyone at Yuricon & ALC Publishing!
Art – 10
Story – 10 Life. What could be funnier, more poignant or more interesting?
Characters – 10
Yuri – 10
Service – 1
Overall – 10
As I read this book before bed, I look fondly over the multiple piles of books-to-read next to my bed and smile. I’m on Team Shinobu. ^_^
Go ahead and put your suggestions for Takako’s friend’s name in the comments. ^_^