Morinaga Milk’s GIRL FRIENDS, The Complete Collection, Volume 2, begins with an ending which segues into a new beginning for both Mari and Akiko.
As I noted in my review of the original volumes, after we’ve fully tasted the situation from Mari’s side – which is to say, plumbed the confusion, mortification, attraction and tension from the perspective of an introvert – we turn to Akiko the extrovert, who is no less confused, ecstatic, hurt, and out of her mind.
After plot complications that are realistic and some that are not so, the two find a moment to air out their mutual issues and, for a moment, are as one.
In re-reading this book I am once again reminded that, for all the manga tropes and plot complications, this is a fairly realistic story. Happily-ever-after does not begin with the moment of mutual confession. Life can never be that simple – and indeed it is not, even at the end of the series. But we can know, with every fiber of our being that Akiko and Mari have an excellent shot at building a life together because, as Mari says, “Regardless of what may lie ahead, I will never give up on you.”
Seven Seas’ volume was once again very decent. (There was one repeated typographical error -the music notes in reverse color – that should be fixed for any second printings, as it is actively distracting.) I notice that Macmillian is distributing the books, so I guess they managed to shift their contract from Tor into the larger group – for which I’m glad, that was never a great fit, and it allows them the distribution that direct sales and Amazon cannot provide. It also explains why GIRL FRIENDS is able to make the NY Times best-seller list. I’m pleased for Seven Seas and Morinaga-sensei all around.
Art – 9 (The art definitely improved over the course of this series)
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 10
Service – 6
Overall – 9
For those readers who worried that the first volume ended in a bad place – have patience and read the whole story. ^_^
I would like to thank everyone who entered in the Complete Collection Give-a-Way. We have a winner!
Kathryn (who writes the Contemporary Japanese Literature blog, which is absolutely worth your time) your message inspired me and, I hope, many others! You are the winner of this contest. Please email me at yuricon at gmail dot com with your address and a complete set of Morinaga Milk’s GIRL FRIENDS will be on its way to you!
I want to thank all of you who entered with your messages of love and acceptance. And I especially want to thank Ana Moreno, translator of GIRL FRIENDS, the Complete Collection, for her generous provision of books for this contest! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
AND I want to thank Okazu Superhero Amanda M. for her sponsorship of today’s review! I could not do it without you!
We’ve got a pile of new contests coming up here, so keep your antenna tuned to Okazu in days ahead. (So many things to give away…) ^_^