To be very honest, I almost stopped reading with the first story, an excruciating tale of a girl who finds it hard to say three words strung together and the girl who gives her a voice, but I’m actually rather glad I kept going. Ria is a transfer student, she and Natsumi bond over the book The Little Prince. Although Natsumi’s reticence is not presented as a condition, I chose to approach her speaking difficulties as if it were a stutter or other speech pathology. But quickly, my handwave became meaningless, as Natsumi finds her voice, her confdence and her strength – not in Ria, but because of her.
The second story also had roots in a literary reference, as free-spirited Mimori and Sena bond over Miyazawa Kenji’s Night on the Galactic Railroad.
Despite Satsuki’s personality, Airi and she have been friends since childhood. But recently Satsuki’s been even more prickly than usual. Satsuki faces rejection and confesses her feelings, only to find them returned after all.
A popular fashionable girl shakes Chihana’s world, when they end up missing their physicals and having to change together, but it turn out that Hosaka thinks Chihana is cute, too.
Riho is happy for her dear friend Nako, now that she has a boyfriend and is trying really hard to be willing to include him in their together time. Nako finds it all uncomfortable and finally admits that she wants their together time to be for them alone.
The final story returns us to Ria and Natsumi as they spend a lovely day together celebrating Natsumi’s birthday.
The art in this collection is moe, and yet, completely tolerable, once I got used to it. The Yuri is firmly Story A territory, a few embraces, a few kisses, one shirtless scene, but no more, which was a good thing. In fact, in the one shirtless scene, the art style is radically different, so Hosoka looks her age, a touch that worked both for the story and for my mental well-being.
Art – YMMV, but I’ll go so far as to give it a 7
Characters – 7 Better than I imagined
Story -Variable, oh let’s say 7 for these as well
Yuri – 5
Service – 7 for the one scene, 1 for the rest
Overall – 7
While this book won’t make a Top Ten List for me, as a series of shorts, it was pretty enjoyable.