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Monday, 26 May 2014

Hanjuku Joshi by Akiko Morishima

It's about time I picked up a new manga! I haven't read comics for a long while, except Black Butler of course, and I thought it was time I tried something new... As I like some shounen-ai/soft yaoi (the words "soft" and "some" are key) I thought I'd try some shoujo-ai for a change. And actually, I really, really enjoyed it!

Rambling aside, one of the things that interested me was that I had quite a lot in common with one of the characters! Usually I find it hard to connect with people in real life, so I look for similarities between myself and fictional characters, and when I find a character I can connect with, I'm always really happy. I feel I have some similarities with Yae Sakura.

Yae Sakura always wished she could have been born a boy, and is really frustrated because of how feminine she is; she has cute, fluffy hair, a short-stature, rounded-face, large breasts, and an interest in sewing. She meets Chitose Hayami at her first year of an all girl school, and it seems they are made for each other, and fall in love at once, no questions asked. Chitose is actually really boyish and energetic, and doesn't really see herself as a girl.

Because Yae really detests how girly she is, all that changes when she meets Chitose, who makes her love herself for who she is.

This couple is really sweet together and it's obvious that they really love each other. We see their first year of school together, bits of their past and previous loves, and several dates together. There is also another sub-story with a student-teacher relationship between Mari Hanashima (who seems very gyaru-styled to me) and Ran Edogawa, but I was mainly interested in Yae and Chitose.

I absolutely love the ending as it was so sweet! I loved that Yae learned to accept herself at the end, as it was a really cute moment! Another thing I loved was Yae's design - her hair is just so cute and fluffy, and the uniform they both wear is just so adorable! It's been a while since I read a book set in Japan, so it was also very nice to see the cultural things like uniforms, for example. The art was really beautiful, the characters were lovely, and the ending was very satisfying! Basically, I'm happy that this was the first shoujo-ai manga I read, just like I was happy that Challengers was the first shounen-ai manga I read.

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