Kazuma Kowo’s Namae ha Mada nai (名前はまだない）is the latest collection of her work from Comic Yuri Hime. And all I can say about that is…ahhhh. There’s something, I don’t know, relaxing I guess, about her work even when the strength of it lies with her prickliest characters.
The first half of the volume are short stories that follow fairly typical school love tropes, but I love how her characters are never in elite schools, or have unrealistic uniforms. They wear sweaters with sleeves that are too long, or sweatpants under their skirts. They watch each other artlessly, and forget they’ve used their outside voice. We never for a moment doubt that we’re watching a real life.
With the title story, we delve slightly deeper into her typical teaser/teased strategy. Amemori is annoyed (i.e., wowed) by the new transfer student who, for some reason, appears obsessed with Amemori. There’s a distinct feeling of “poking the wild animal with a stick” about the new student’s behavior, but it’s pretty clear to both of them at some point that they like each other. Amemori is very very aware that she has not yet called the other girl by name. The title, is translated by the author as “The Name is Not Yet”, and I have been puzzling over how I might translate it myself. Maybe “No Name Yet”? I don’t know. The point is, Amemori knows her name, but isn’t using it. Until the end, of course, when she jumps to calling Hinata by her given name.
The final chapter is a short prologue for the relationship from Junsui Adolscence, Kazuma-sensei’s last Comic Yuri Hime volume.
I really enjoy Kazuma-sensei’s tsundere protagonist formula. I couldn’t tell you why, but it works for me. I’m glad to see her back in Comic Yuri Hime and look forward to more from her. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 1, on principle. There was nothing really “service” about it.
Overall – 8