When I stepped into the new flagship Animate store in Ikebukuro in Tokyo last month, I did not expect to find much Yuri. Positioned near “Otome Road,” this particular store tends to cater more to the fujoshi than the otaku. However, the very first thing I passed on the shelves was a special display for the second volume of Nakatani Nio’s Yuri series. When I bought it, it came with a sweet little postcard and a special book cover. If only the romance inside was a clear and simple as the cover made it seem. ^_^;
I summed Volume 1 of Yagate Kimi ni Naru as a “sweet little Yuri romance that I both enjoyed a lot and also have several real problems with.”
And now that I’ve read Yagate Kimi ni Naru, Volume 2, I feel exactly the same way…with perhaps even more reservations than previously.
In Volume 1, Yuu found herself in the precarious and uncomfortable position of being the object of a crush by a person she admires, but just does not have romantic feelings for. In order to support Touko, she agrees to become a member of the student council.
But now Touko has begun to press harder. Having decided that she loves Yuu, she crosses the line into coercing kisses from Yuu, who is naturally distressed by this. She still admires Touko and really wants to be with her, but just does not feel that way.
Compounding the issue are the other members of the Council. Touko’s childhood friend and Vice President, Sayaka, is both protective and possessive of Touko. The other first-year appear to think of their personal drama as a form of entertainment.
When Touko and Yuu study at Yuu’s home, Touko gets very embarrassed from overstimulation and Yuu is forced, again, to wonder if there is something wrong with her.
But when it turns out that Touko has been competing with a deceased older sister, it is Yuu that steps up and demands she be herself, rather than someone else. Yuu and Touko (again) agree that the way it is between them right now is good enough and they’ll keep it this way.
Loving someone very hard is not enough in the real world. But in this awkward presumed-romance, we’re supposed to be rooting for Touko, assured that Yuu will see her lack of feelings as just doubting herself. That is all the same as it as in Volume 1, but in Volume 2, we’re supposed to be happy that Touko coerces a kiss from Yuu. I’m not happy about it all. It makes me view Touko with suspicion.
On the other hand, Yuu is really digging into her lack of response to Touko in an interesting way. At this point she wishes she did feel something. Yuu still has not put a name to her lack of feelings – and her situation is positioned awkwardly. She does have some emotion around Touko – admiration and just a hint of something else, but Yuu doesn’t think it’s romantic love or desire and we have to take her word for that.
I’m still not sure if Yuu is supposed to be confused because she just hasn’t had an “a-ha!” moment or because she’s genuinely asexual. I don’t think the mangaka knows, either and I’m positive Yuu herself has no idea.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 6
Service – 1
Overall – 8, still with reservations
I’m going to keep hanging on to this series because I want both Yuu and Touko to grow past this thing they have laying between them, but I’m not sure I want them to be together at the end of this series, despite the cover art. It might be better for them both if they aren’t.