Akira is pretty much a loner. With her gaming system and her headphones, she prefers the company of otome games to other people. So when an attractive new transfer student, Pyua (pronounced the way “pure” is in Japanese, pyoo-ah) tries to befriend her, she’s not that interested.
Pyua keeps at it, and, when she finally manages to get Akira alone, tells her that in 7 years, they will be lovers. She’s traveled back in time so they could see each other as high school students. Causing this reader to wonder if Pyua knows what the Boostrap Paradox is. Probably not.
Strawberry Fields wo Mou Ichido ( ストロベリー・フィールズをもう一度) Volume 1 is that ever-so-popular fantasy of one member of an established couple trying to get the other one to fall in love with her again, only without the established couple part and with added time paradox, because if Pyua had done this seven years in the past, then does Akira ever really fall for her in the first place? This paradoxical question is not at all addressed by anyone in the story. But that’s not the only thing left unattended in this narrative.
When Pyua learns that Akira lives with her shut-in brother after their parents died, she’s shocked and appalled. Why? How is it that she doesn’t know this already? 24 year old Akira just, you know, never mentioned once that she effectively lived alone, while taking care of an emotionally crippled brother to her lover? That seems likely.
Nor is it ever really a concern whether meanie Akira will ever really fall for Pyua. Akira, on the other hand has some valid concerns about this stranger telling her her future as an adult. So while she’s supposed to be equally emotionally crippled, and we’re supposed to root for Pyua to break through her icy exterior, I kind of respect Akira’s choices, her caution and think Pyua damned lucky that Akira does indeed fall for her.
Art – 7
Story – 7
Character – 7
Service – 3
Yuri – 6
Overall – 7
The story continues is supposed to continue in a future Volume 2, although what could possibly happen, really? ^_^;
I first encountered news of this series on Twitter, where a Japanese Yuri fan had posted the news with a confused musing as to what the connection between Yuri and strawberries were. It surprised me, because with the endless succession of Yuri series that utilizes Victorian flower language and the obvious connotations of springtime, sweet juicy fruit and purity to young women seemed rather, well obvious, to me. Is there a nickname for the paradox of every generation of new fans never having heard of old, established tropes before and being completely confuzzled by things well-established for 100 years? There ought to be. Let’s call it the “Strawberry Paradox.”
Strawberries, by the way, mean “perfect goodness” in the language of flowers. Just FYI.