Nako’s Kai to Alternarock (貝とオルタナロック) has the English subtitle “The key to her room will be opend by her music” which nicely, if inaccurately sums up the story. Alternarock is short for “alternative rock.” Kai is a shell, a symbol that is relevant to the story. An Alternative rock guitarist does get the protagonist to come out of her shell, but it still wins this year for the most awkward title to explain in English. ^_^
Makino is an asshole boss. Intolerant, rude and impatient, she treats the people in her department poorly as a course of matter. She’s a mope and a grouch.
And yet, Seo just can’t hate her. Seo isn’t trying to play Makino, she’s not trying to seduce her, she just wants her miserable wretch of a boss to enjoy something. Seo invites Makino to see her play with her band live and somehow or other, something starts to crack in Makiko’s thick and bitter exterior. And almost without either of them realizing it, they are kind of an item. The big boss, an old friend of Makino’s, is pleased to see her friend less unhappy. It takes some time before Makino finally comes clean about the personal history that has made her so unhappy, but of all people in the world, Seo is the last to judge Makino poorly.
Sadly we don’t get to see Makino at work after she open up, but I’d like to think she isn’t any different. ^_^
This manga is pretty well-used plot for an office romance in manga, but I don’t know, I still kind of like it, as unrealistic as it seems to me. (Maybe not to you, but you haven’t had my bosses!)
Nako’s art is not complicated, but not precise, either, with very light use of tone. It’s easy to follow, but then this is a mostly “talking head” manga and didn’t need complicated backgrounds. I quite liked that the manga was preachy about the evils of smoking and drinking. ^_^
Art – 8
Character – 8 Seo’s sincerity won Makino’s heart and mine
Story – 8 Nothing new, but that can be okay, too
Service – 0
Overall – 8
Yay for Yuri about adults adulting! More please!
I would like to dedicate today’s review to our first-ever Kami-level Patron here on Okazu, Ivan L! With his and your help we’re just about in range to pay our Guest Reviewers. Thanks to all the Okazu patrons! We can’t do it without you.