In Ohsawa Yayoi’s 2DK, G Pen, Mezamshitokei, Volume 6 (2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。6), we get something we haven’t seen before – Kaede’s perspective.
Nanami, having come to a conclusion for herself, confessed her feelings to Kaede at the end of Volume 5. At the beginning of Volume 6, we see, in a single panel, Kaede’s true feelings. Overwhelmed, unsure and a little horrified at the idea that both the important women in her life have confessed to liking her, we see Kaede with an expression we’ve never seen before. It’s a great expression.
And then, Kaede gets back to work. Koyuki comes over to help and takes the opportunity to berate Nanami for being clueless about her feelings for Kaede, only to find out that Nanami’s also confessed. They have a tremendously satisfying scene where they argue about each other’s relative importance to Kaede and self-deprecatingly agree to keep taking care of Kaede.
When Koyuki isn’t available to help Kaede, Nanami finds herself intruding on the other woman’s bailiwick. Unsure of herself, Nanami asks Kaede about her history with Aoi. And, finally, we get a story from Kaede’s point of view. (I still don’t like Aoi, but it’s nice to spend a moment inside Kaede’s head for a second, even if it’s just to find out that she really is a golden retriever puppy of a human.)
The volume wraps up with a look at Nanami from her coworkers’ perspectives and an invitation in the mail. The extra chapter is a silly “what if Nanami was a hard drinking pachinko playing layabout and Kaede was the responsible one”?
This volume is everything I like about this series. It’s not rushing to pair the principals up. It’s taking it’s time with the main conflict of most Yuri manga – what the heck to do with all these feels.
The main “conflict” of Yuri manga is not the relationship itself, but where to put the feelings the characters feel. Most of us grow up surrounded by hetersexual expectations, role models, media, and discussions. From birth we’re handed a box labeled “Love” that’s filled to the brim with gender-associated behaviors and reactions and includes, at the bottom, an assumption of an opposite-sex partner.
Those of us who, actively or passively, reject that box, are required to build a new box, often with scraps of media and fantasies. For those people who never wanted to or cared about rejecting that box, building the new one is even weirder. For Nanami, who came into this story with a fiancé and a presumption that the initial box was sufficient, this entire series has been about her recognizing that she may need to make a new box ,after all. And now, here at the end of Volume 6, she may just start to be able to think about doing that.
As I say this story is not rushing. And with this major step ahead in the main plot, it’s time for a digression. It’s the 5th digression so far, and at this point, I’m all curled up on the sofa with a glass of wine, ready to digress. Ohsawa-sensei, take me away!
Art – 9 That one panel of Kaede was sublime.
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 4
Service – 3
Overall – 9
The first volume of this series started with the message that life was messy, and it hasn’t changed a bit. I love it. Last review of 2017 and first of 2018! Bring it on!