Back in 2014, Kodama Naoko, in pre-NTR days had two short series that had run in Comic Yuri Hime magazine, collected under the title Cocytus. (Cocytus is one of the five rivers that runs into Hades. Cocytus is the river of lamentation. Isn’t that a cheerful title? The other rivers are Styx, Lethe, Acheron and Phelegethon, because I know you know I care about such things. ^_^)
Now her work has been republished in a final format as Cocytus Perfect Edition (コキュートス 完全版). The two series follow couples so close to being identical that I had to keep reminding myself that it was two separate series.
In the first, a cheerful schoolgirl finds herself intrigued by, protective of, and eventually interested in a melancholic classmate.
The second and title series follows, again, two classmates, who are close and getting closer. Ultimately, they decide to remain together without a sexual relationship. We see them in the short original epilogue as adults who have established a life as a couple for themselves.
There’s nothing really bad about Cocytus, certainly nothing that lends itself to lamentation. The characters are pleasantly bland, with small moments of humanity that, should they have been developed, might really have led to a great story. But they weren’t.
I’m not particularly fond of Kodama’s tendency to draw her Nadesico-type character with deadish eyes, but that’s a fairly small quibble.
Art – YMMV, but for me it’s 6, tops
Story – Same
Characters – 5 They never really develop beyond quick flashes of “oh”
Yuri – 4 By default, rather than by intention
Service – The title story has some rather pointless nudity
Overall – 6
If you either like Kodama’s work generally, or would like to look back a bit at an earlier series, Cocytus is a nice enough read, if not particularly compelling.