And here we are, at the final volume of Aoi Hana (青い花). Wow, have we come a long way.
High school graduation approaches, but before it arrives, the girls of Fujigaya head to London for a class trip. Unbeknownst to Fumi, Akira and Kyouko catch up with Sugimoto-sempai who now lives there with Kawasaki-sempai.
Then graduation comes, and Fumi and Akira are forced to have the conversation that has been building between them for some time. Is there, in fact, a “them” to discuss?
In the meantime, Yamashina-sensei finds that a confidence shared off the record has become general knowledge. The students learn that her lover is female after all. And in the end, nothing changes. But, it seems likely that she’ll feel less inclined to be honest with the next student who asks. And you just know the rumors will continue.
Graduation passes, and so does time. Everyone is drawn together once again, this time by a happy occasion – Kyoko’s and Kou’s wedding. Time moves on, as Ya-san notes, for all of us.
Yamashina and her lover, Haruka’s sister, consider holding a wedding ceremony themselves, a scene that made me inexpressibly happy. ^_^
Without spoilers, I will assure you that you the ending does not bring closure. It has the one thing I had hoped for – ambiguity.
Story – 10
Characters – 10
Art – 10
Lesbian Life – 10
Service – 3
Overall – 10
The story began on a day that led to many other days, full of joy, sadness, loneliness, friendship and love. Aoi Hana ends on a day that will lead to more of the same.
Happily Ever After is, as we well know, a process, not a destination. And for Fumi and Akira life is, as well.
This is the third manga series I like that has come to an end in 2013 and for the third time, I find myself left feeling happy, rather than sad. ^_^