Material Candy (マテリアルキャンディ) by Kurokiri Misao, is a collection of stories from Comic Yuri Hime that is definitely a mixed bag of treats.
The first story, “In Mold Girl” is something I think many manga fans and other introverts can probably identify with. Growing up, Aiko never seemed to get with the zeitgeist. She always had the wrong answer for the other girls’ questions, or didn’t really understand what they were interested in. So, she created “the manual” a scrapbook of notes on relating to the girls around her. When Sena confesses to her, Aiko has nothing in “the manual” that can tell her how to handle the situation. She agrees, but when the relationship threatens to turn serious, she has to decide between the manual and Sena.
“Metamornoise” is a story about a girl who rejects growing up in order to keep her relationship intact, only, she needn’t have worried at all.
In “Sange no Kizuato” the loss of a half sister/lover is too much to bear. For many reasons, this was the weakest story in the collection.
Three girls are inseparable, but a death separates them, in “Higan no Kyoukai.” It’s up to Mao to save Ruka from a non-life that will fade into a lonely death. Of the stories in the collection, this one is arguably my favorite. Ruka’s clinging to death and Hazuki’s memory was off-putting, but Mao was not insensitive nor clueless. The way she drew Ruka back into life was touching and it turned what might have been a cloying story into a good read.
In “Chip-n-Candy”, the final story, we turn back towards Sena and Aiko, with a focus on Sena’s past and an assurance that they are moving forward, together.
About halfway through the book, if you had asked me if I was enjoying it, I might have prevaricated. But now that I’ve completed it, it was more satisfying than I expected.
Art – 7
Story – Variable, say 7
Characters – Let’s go 8 on this
Yuri – 8
Service – 2
Overall – 7
Live. Move forward. Think for yourself. Make your own decisions. Don’t be afraid of the future – all excellent morals of the story and all told, a collection of ideas I can get behind.