Now here’s a thing we don’t see much any more – a review of a Volume 2 of a series for which Volume 1 was never discussed. Remember this kind of thing from back in the day, where we’d get a side plot in a long series? Like Loveless, or Usotsuki Lily? Only this is not like those at all.
Well last year, she began a short two-volume series titled Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi. Volume 1 followed Minato, a typical woman in a typical office who is slowly being strangled to death by boredom. Until she meets Asami, a moody coworker. I did not review it, because the story centered mostly on Minato realizing how she was dying a little each day and Asami was more or less the catalyst. I wasn’t sure if this series was going anywhere.
In Volume 2, Minato and Asami are starting to break down walls between them. They become lovers, but almost immediately it becomes apparent that there is a dark secret that involves them both. Asami used to study music with Minato’s father…until he claimed her music as his. When it becomes apparent that Asami knew Minato’s relationship with the man who stole her music, and was trying to “get revenge” of a sort, it splits them up. However, Asami realizes that she’s been a dolt and has actual feelings for Minato.
Having nothing left to care about, Minato leaves work and takes a job doing something menial that she can give a shit about. Three years pass and she never stops looking for Asami. I won’t give away the ending as it’s basically the the most interesting bit of the story.
Momono’s work has visibly matured. The art is assured and in places, even delicate. A professional’s work.
And the story too, has matured. Where Kimi Koi Limit took broad strokes at human nature, this series has finer lines and more subtlety. Where I loathed Sono, because of her unremitting selfishness, I could not dislike Asami. Although – in real life, I would not root for Asami and Minato to get together, I would want Minato to grow beyond the relationship and find herself someone without baggage, but of course in the manga we are supposed to want them together.
Another strong quality of this manga is the fact that everyone has society. As moody as Asami is, she has friends, nor is Minato isolated in her world. They exist outside the role they are given in their relationship. That is part of what, for me defines, this as an “adult life” manga, versus a “romance”, like Yagate Kimi ni Naru.
Art – 8
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 8, there is no discussion of their relationship as such at all.
Service – 1
Overall – 7
Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi is a good, if ephemeral, josei Yuri series from Kodansha.