Yanagi is a decent guy who, after dropping out of more prestigious school, decided to go for a more laid-back trade school. And so he finds himself at Shirabuji. The students at Shirabuji wander in after lunch, head to the lounge and generally take a very relaxed view of classwork. Yanagi likes it here.
In Soirée Gakkyuu, Volume 1 (ソワレ学級) Yanagi befriends two classmates, tall Ruri and cute Kureha, known as Beni (bothKureha and beni being a shade of red). Beni and Ruri are very close, having been friends since middle school. Beni often hangs on Ruri, although they don’t appear to be a couple.
In working on a video project, Yanagi films Ruri, dressed boyishly and wearing a fedora and Beni dressed girlishly in a skirt, dancing. It becomes a viral hit, and other classmates end up involved as the video project starts to build momentum for the school festival. During the festival a guy (who clearly thinks we should know who he is) hits on Ruri and is first pushed away by Beni and ultimately by the rest of the group, but things get very tense.
Beni is unhappy. She hates that this guy hit on Ruri, it bugs her. She’s begun to realize that Yanagi likes Ruri and it bugs her more. It bugs her so much that on a night of a summer festival, she asks Ruri to kiss her…then can’t go through with it. What will happen to them I don’t yet know, but I’m interested in finding out!
One of the primary strengths of this story is the complete and utter normality of all the characters. In early days, we meet another male classmate, Gin, who works at a yakisoba place and is therefore a pretty good cook. He and Yanagi seems nice and normal. They aren’t creepy in any way. You can’t really blame them at all if they fall for Ruri or Beni, because they, too, see kind of nice and normal.
Nothing “happens” in this series, but as the subtitle says: “Soirée Gakkyuu, Ruri and Beni. It’s a Wonderful high school life!”
Art – 6 Plain, but competent
Story – 6 Small, but pleasant
Characters – 6 Normal and likeable
Yuri – 3, with potential
Service – 2 if you consider the dance scene service. And you could. ^_^
Overall – a strong 6, with room for more.
This another one of the volumes I picked up at the Ikebukuro Animate Yurimate section. It was one of several series I had no idea existed, so I’m pretty pleased with taking a gamble on it.