Seiten no Hekigan Manga, Volume 1 (晴天の碧眼)

April 29th, 2014

Natsuki is anti-social. Despite her very best efforts, she has one friend in school and still, after all these months after transferring in, has to turn down requests from her classmates to hang out with them. It makes her grumpy. Also making her grumpy is when the other girls talk about her, or when they leave her alone, and when her mother does nice things for her, and everything about being alive. As Seiten no Hekigan, Volume 1 (晴天の碧眼) opens Natsuki is happiest left to grump by herself on the school roof.

One day, sitting on the roof grumping by herself, Natsuki feels a gross gloopy thing hit her in the face. She’s utterly grossed out, think it’s bird poop or something, when it hits her again, and again. A blue Jell-O-like rain is falling from the sky and Natsuki is freaking, until the blue goop starts to pool and becomes a big blue jelly creature that jumps her. When Natsuki regains consciousness, she’s on the school roof, with a naked girl on top of her, kissing her. Natsuki guesses correctly that the naked girl and the blue creature are the same, that the “kissing” thing was so the creature could read her mind and that the creature is an alien. Points  for Natsuki not being a dingbat.

The blue creature, now an attractive Japanese girl with blue eyes, goes home with Natsuki, where she brainwashes everyone into remembering that Natsuki has a half younger sister, who has been overseas. “Aoi” joins Natsuki’s family all too seamlessly, and Natsuki occasionally wonders if she wasn’t brainwashed as well. Eventually Aoi admits that she was a criminal at home and was sent here as punishment. But, no, Aoi insists, she hasn’t brainwashed Natsuki at all.

The rest of the  volume is taken up with Natsuki and Aoi having a big fight, learning why Natsuki is so angry and them making up. Their affection and  caring about one another develop into genuinely sisterly feelings.  In the final pages, we see another blue goop alien arrive and take on the form of a cat, as the mental background music suddenly turns very ominous.

While the story starts with a kiss, by the end of the first volume, I’d say that it isn’t really “Yuri” at all, but is instead sisterly affection with a frisson of Yuri for readers who are uncomfortable with the idea that women have more layers of relationships than “sex with” or “no sex with” each other.

But the surprising thing is…it’s a pretty good story. Nothing is unique really;  intruder in class draws the attention of the class grump and forces her into society is pretty much the same story as  Zenryaku, Yuri no Sono Yori, among others, (and now that I think about it, the character types are extremely similar, as well) but something about it works for me.

Ratings:

Art – 8 Solid, unexceptional, pleasant.
Story – 8 Same as above
Characters – Surprisingly realistic for all that Aoi is an alien.
Yuri – 1 After that one kiss, it’s all in your head or not
Service – 1 Same as Yuri, after the first scene, there’s basically no service

Overall – 8

I guess Volume 2 will be the inevitable “Aoi has to go back home to her planet” crisis and we’ll see if it holds up under pressure. ^_^

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