In Volume 1, we met Chika who, after a bitter break up with her girlfriend, tries to commit suicide by car. To her surprise, the driver will not aid and abet her. Mistaking Chika for a boy, Antonio sees her reflexes and thinks she’d be a good candidate to become a matador. When he realizes that she is a girl, she refuses to back down from the challenge,
In Volume 2, Chika decides that she does want to embrace bullfighting – in order to die a fittingly dramatic death. She will die, she tells Antonio, in the ring, in front of Maria her ex. We get her backstory as she communes with the first bull she faces in practice.
In Volume 3 of est em’s Golondrina, having practiced for some time, and having killed 10 bulls now, Chika is deemed fit to debut. She meets Antonio’s team of picadors and, finally steps into the stadium as a matador. Chika is surprised to find that she is not the only female on the card.
Chika’s debut is a complete failure. She is unable to kill the bull gracefully and is not booed, but knows she has embarrassed herself. Worse, the other woman was magnificent and politely suggests that if Chika is not up to the task, she get the hell out of the way.
At which point, I was reminded, and I must remind you – Chika is 15 years old. Oh, right. Well, that changes everything, really. We are inclined to be more generous now. She is taken by one of the picadors to see real Flamenco dancing, and asked to really watch the footwork. Chika returns to her practice with renewed vigor and is given a second change to debut.
During her second “debut” it begins to rain, hard. People start leaving the stands in droves, but when they see that she is still in the arena, doing magnificent footwork, they return to their seats and shout their encouragement. As the final blow comes, she is rewarded with cheers from the audience, and the bull’s ears. She’s carried out on the shoulders of her team to raucous applause.
Elsewhere, young Matador Vincente watching this triumph, is even more intrigued by Chika than before (we met him in Volume 2.) He asks her out, they talk. He kisses her, but her only response is, “Ah, so yeah, I guess I really am only attracted to women.” Vincente is about to give up on himself, when Chika embraces him kindly, as mother might.
I have no idea what Volume 4 will bring us. I can dream that Chika and the other female matador will get together, but it’s just a dream. ^_^
Art – 9
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 1
Service – 3 Some light nudity
Overall – 8
In the meantime, Golondina continues to be a very decent sports manga, with the requisite blood, guts and tears of all sports manga ever. ^_^