Volume 2 of Stretch (ストレッチ) carries on almost exactly as did Volume 1. We first see Ran and Keiko in various setups for stretching, a little vague Yuri-ish vibe between them, a dollop of not-vague service, followed by seeing them at their worst, then ending with some insight into their past. The order all this plays out is exceptionally fascinating, as the book starts off light-hearted and forgettable, but ends with pathos and character depth so we feel sympathy…and enough interest that we’ll tune in next time.
But, the story, as it were, is mostly motivation for illustrations of various stretches, which just happen to allow the artist a chance to focus on various body parts of the women in a pretend-not-creepy way, while, in fact, being creepy. It’s just anatomy, you see. The actual art is decent, and the illustrations of the stretches are helpful. I try most of them out as I’m reading, just to make sure he’s not making anything up. ^_^ Also because I’m trying to do a little more running and stretching is pretty high on the list of things I want to spend time doing instead of seeing a doctor. ^_^
In the meantime, in between stretching, both Keiko and Ran are starting to fill out as people who are rather important in each other’s lives. There is a vibe between them, but I feel strongly that that is as much service as the crotch-eye-view during the stretching…it sure ain’t for the characters’ benefit.
Art – 9 Very good with moments of excellent
Story – 7 When it bothers to have one also good
Characters – 7 You have to like them, or why read this manga?
Yuri – Depends entirely on your motivation to see Yuri. I see about a 2
Service – 6 A constant presence
Overall – 7 It is a decent enough read, especially if you want to learn to stretch.