Amagakure Gido’s Shuden Niwa Kaeshimasu (終電にはかえします) is a collection of shorts from Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari magazine.
The first story is a lovely two-part ‘Story A.’ Asaki rides the train every day and everyday she sees a tough-looking first-year student. Boyish, with dyed hair and wearing a mask (allergies, she says, when asked) the first-year turns out to be a sincere, awkward girl with the old-fashioned name Tsune.
Tsune and Asaki become close and each comes to the unnerving conclusion that she likes the other. In the second chapter they go out on a date and find that they like each other a lot. The story takes on a bittersweet feel when they realize that Asaki will graduate soon, but they kiss anyway, trusting that the future will be bright enough for them.
“Shoujo Planetarium” is a slightly unsettling story of two girls who meet in a fantasy setting. The story kept edging towards the creepy, then veering away, leaving me with the idea that it originally was meant to be something else entirely.
A like triangle is impossibly resolved by all three people agreeing to keep their relationships as is in “Isshun no Asterism”. A ghost waits a lifetime to get the girl in “Eien no Shoujo”.
The final story is also a strong entry. A younger sister has to completely rethink her opinion of her older sister, when she falls for what turns out to be her older sister’s lover. In the end, she decides that she had it all wrong all along.
The collection has no unifying theme (with the exception of the two astronomically themed titles), but it made the book perfect for short reads before bed. Not every story is happy, but the collection as a whole left me feeling good…which is a nice feeling.
Shinsokan has moved to a smaller format than they were using previously, away from the A4 size to a more common A5 size, which makes the book smaller, lighter and more portable. I like the tighter new look…and I note that the volumes cost a little less than they did previously (although not on the same scale as larger publishers.) Hopefully Hirari won’t be forced out of print by costs. (Readers who insist on print really have no idea how much money print costs and what pressure it puts the publisher under.)
Ratings are variable, but averages are:
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – 3
Overall – 8
An enjoyable little collection of Yuri manga shorts.