In Yuri Manga: Kanojo to Camera to Kanojo no Kisetsu, Volume 1 (彼女とカメラと彼女の季節）Volume 1 we meet Akari, an unremarkable high school student who is mesmerized by an ethereal and odd classmate, Yuki. The only person Yuki seems to be on speaking terms with is Rintarou, who likes Akari. Akari is compelled by her interest in Yuki to take up photography, Yuki’s one passion.
This uncomfortable triangle continues to be uncomfortable through Volume 2 and Volume 3. Although Rin and Akari say they are “dating,” it’s Yuki who looks at Rin while Rin only has eyes for Akari, who obsesses over Yuki.
Here we are at Kanojo to Camera to Kanojo no Kisetsu, Volume 4 (彼女とカメラト彼女の季節), or, as I like to refer to it as I read it “that damned series.” ^_^ Sometimes I use a stronger word than “damned.”
Rintarou, who has been the best human in the series, is still incapable of stopping Yuki from manipulating him. Akari knows what she wants, knows she can’t have her, but won’t stop following her. And Yuki…she’s like a cat. Independent, but also dependent on the people who feed her, she won’t let them go, but doesn’t want them around.
Rin tries to move his relationship with Akari to the next stage. You can’t blame him, really. He’s been really patient and kind, but she’s lying about there being a “them”. When he pushes her to the point where she has to reject him, he’s not surprised, although he is hurt. On the other hand, Akari is shocked to finally realize that she has been lying all along and hurting Rin. She admits to him and herself that she doesn’t like him that way and runs off after Yuki.
Rin also goes to Yuki and allows her to do what she wants with him. She gets him to model in his underwear, something she clearly considers a coup. When he retuns to school, Rin has shorn his messy hairstyle and now sports a buzzcut, bozu-style.
When Akari catches up with Yuki in Tokyo, she sees an animated, lively person, talking about photography with a passion she had no idea Yuki had. Akari and Yuki go back to Akari’s hotel room, where they embrace on the bed, but Yuki, manipulative as always, shows Akari her semi-nude photos of Rintarou.
The books comes to a close, as has every other volume, with Akari wondering what she should do…or even think…about this.
The problem with this series is, as it stands, there can be no resolution. Of any kind.
Yuki can’t stop manipulating Rin and Akari, even though I think she actually cares for them both. They are so beguiled by her, they can’t stop letting her control them. Sexuality has sort of taken a second place to the psychological drama going on and I have no idea where it might go..if it’s going anywhere.
The art is, as always, nicely composed. The drawings of the photos are great, without being anything like photorealistic. The characters also have depth, without necessarily being realistic. I’m still calling this a “Yuri” manga because Akari’s obsession with Yuki is still the main driving force of the plot.
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 3
Service – 3
Overall – 8
I’m still not sure where this story will go, or whether I will like it, but I guess I’m along for the ride.