In my review of Volume 1, I said that some things don’t wear well over time and that this series is among them. For Volume 2 of Hoshikawa Ginza 4-chome, Complete Edition, (星川銀座四丁目) I’ll say that not only does this relationship not wear well, Kurogane Kenn needed to be told to shut the hell up about it.
Look, this story is creepy. It’s about an underage girl and an adult woman who was, for a short time, her homeroom teacher. It’s presented wit all the bells and whistles that creepy pedo readers like. Otome is the aggressor, her age is mentioned or implied once a chapter, so we can never forget that this is a creepy story for creeps. If the story got out of it’s own way it might be tolerable, but when they keep shoving how creepy it is front and center, it’s impossible to do anything but loathe the story and everyone who likes it.
Even if we ignore the underage elephant in the room, the story actually gets even weirder and creepier without it.
Otome passes her school entrance exam and returns to Minato, having “proved” herself sincere. They move into a new space above a bookshop and the young woman who works at the bookshop becomes unhealthily obsessed with Otome. This chapters signal the nadir of this story. Even should you have been managing to read it up to this point pretending you’re not a giant creep, this moment in the story plainly indicates that, no, in fact, we are giant creeps for reading this. Kenn clearly decided to give up on telling a sweet, heart-warming story and just went straight for “Eh, fuck it. ”
Upon re-reading my review of the orignal final volume, I had said this:
“As I read this volume I was overcome by some emotion, but I was until the very end unable to identify it. This story makes me sad. I couldn’t tell you why, but it makes me inexpressibly sad. Perhaps because of all the nasty service-y bits with which Kurogane Kenn laces the narrative, I feel it is almost impossible to be plain old happy for the two of them. And I should be able to be. They are in love, they are together, the end. So why do I want to cry?”
“Ultimately the big fail here was that Otome deserved to be treated better than Kenn was willing to treat her. His gaze throughout this series disgusted me, right to the final volume and the repulsive chapters with Hina. How I wish someone who wasn’t a creepy lolicon had drawn this story. Oh well.”
I guess I had hoped that time and distance would have improved this story for me. Instead it actually made it more depressing.
The end of the story couldn’t come fast enough. And the only thing that redeemed the entire thing was the final, extra few pages in which we see an adult Otome, working in a home office, called to dinner by Minato. But it isn’t enough.
Art – 6
Story – 4
Characters – 6
Yuri – 10
Service – 10
Overall – 5
I’m no longer willing to tolerate creepiness in my Yuri. These are my stories as much as they are anyone’s, and I’m done with manipulative, creepy porno, pedo Yuri.