Thankfully, Volume 2 of 2DK, G Pen, Mezamashidokei (2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。) is a far cry from that first volume. A far cry from the cutely neglectful relationship between Nanami the career woman and Kaede the manga artist, but only slightly closer to Yuri. And not between the principals, as one might expect. Not yet, at any rate.
In Volume 2, we spend the bulk of the book with cool, competent Nanami, whose life is nothing like she expected it to be. By now, she had thought she would be married, with a career she enjoyed. Well, she has the career. but no husband and it doesn’t bother her all that much, to her surprise. When she becomes the mentor to a junior team member’s new project, she finds that not only does she really like what’s she’s doing, she’s genuinely enthusiastic about the changes their making. And she becomes fond of the new kid on the block, Yuuko. Yuuko’s youth and enthusiasm is infectious and Nanami responds by becomes more determined, more energetic and more competent as the situation demands. A far cry from the rung-out woman of Volume 1. It is in fact a delight to see her be more of a character than just a straight man. There is a very real spark between her and Yuuko, although whether that goes anywhere, we don’t yet know. Nanami herself seems to not have noticed, as she tells Yuuko that there’s someone at home waiting for her. But is Kaede actually waiting for her? I’m not so sure.
In the meantime, Kaede, working in tandem with fellow manga artist, Koyuki, has been pulling long hours and is accomplishing more than we could have presumed, given her slackabout ways in Volume 1.
The end of the book takes a look at the circumstances around which Nanami and Kaede met and decided to room together.
The final pages arrive with a small crisis as Koyuki, of all people, suddenly finds herself attracted to Kaede.
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 2 Barely there at the moment, which means we’re getting a build into a relationship, rather than the normal “they must be together” thing we get.
Service – No fanservice, but the women have different outfits and care about their skin and what they eat and other actual human things. I consider that a kind of service to the adult female audience. ^_^
Overall – 8
All the characters are way less trope-y and way more interesting than in the first volume. With the current setup, there’s no guarantee that Kaede and Nanami will end up together and frankly, I think this is a far better series for that. At the very least it’s going into a third volume and I’m looking forward to future chapters much more than I was. ^_^
And getting more than two volumes for one of the few josei series running in Comic Yuri Hime is high priority for me. It’s refreshing and positive to see an artist I like being able to create a longer series about and for adult women in the middle of all those schoolgirls.