Through 2007 and 2008 an interesting little manga was running in the pages of then-quarterly Yuri Hime magazine. I hadn’t realized it was an actual serial for quite a few chapters, but in 2009, when Kowo Kazuma’s Junsui Adolescence was first collected I finally was able to follow the whole story. The manga quickly fell out of print, as Ichijinsha was doing very short runs of manga just then. And so, like most here-and-gone stories it was quickly forgotten.
But not by me. It was because of this story I became a fan of Kowo’s work and have read her current not-Yuri series in Rakuen Le Paradise with great enjoyment.
It’s so fascinating going back to something that’s almost 10 years old and seeing if it holds up. In Junsui Adolescence Perfect Edition (純水アドレッセンス 完全版) we find that the answer is “not too badly.”
Nanao is a passive-aggressive student who has developed an apparent crush on the school doctor Matsumoto. Only, it’s not a crush and Matsumoto returns the feeling. They become lovers. Nanao seems to be holding up the lion’s share of the angst about their age difference. She feels it keenly, and is often close to blowing their secret. Matsumoto is not without concern, but she does come off a little glib sometimes. It’s very much a work of it’s time in Yuri Hime, which was focusing on Yuri=illicit love at the time.
Despite Nanao’s graduation crisis, the end is slick, rushed and happy.
If you’re made very uncomfortable with teacher/student stories, you will probably be made uncomfortable by this story. Matsumoto, especially, didn’t stress nearly enough to make her likable, until she finally has a genuine breakdown about the whole thing. The dynamic between Nanao, who is actually pretty confident and strong, and Matsumoto who becomes stronger for her, is the best part of the story.
Because this is a Perfect Edition, this single volume includes both the final chapter of the original collected volume and a new chapter. Happily-ever-after is not without conflict, but it still is happy.
Art – 8 Kowo’s art is much tighter now, and this has been cleaned up a bit, but the beginning is still a little messy.
Story – 7
Character – 7 Flashes of the kind of brilliance in characterization that made me a fan
Service – 5 and random
Yuri – 8
Overall – 8
A not-unpleasant look back to a story that’s weathered the many changes in what we expect from “Yuri.”