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Mutou Hiromu "Never Give Up!" - 2/5
I think the best thing I can say about this series is that it wasn't as horrible as I thought it was going to be after reading volume one. Obviously, that's not a huge compliment, which is why it's got a low rating.

The plot is that Kiri is a very masculine-looking girl, tall and skinny and angular, and Touya is a very pretty, short boy. Kiri has had a crush on Touya since she was four, when she vowed that she would grow up to be a princess suitable for Touya. Now they're in high school and she's still not very feminine-looking (though is not really tomboyish personality/interests-wise) and Touya is still short and pretty. They both think they're unsuitable for each other, so they can't admit they like each other. Things only get worse when Touya starts modelling, and Kiri ends up modelling with a male model called Tatsuki.

I always read stuff like this that plays with gender in hopes that it will be interesting and different. This wasn't. It spends the whole series reinforcing gender stereotypes, with a liberal dose of homophobia along the way. Plus, it was one of those series where you're told they like each other, but never really shown a reason why (especially why Kiri likes Touya). Overall it was just cliched and annoying. And the ending, oh God... Not only do they get married at eighteen, but they get married at eighteen after him spending two years overseas. So they haven't seen each other in two years, and as soon as his plane lands, it's off the plane and to the church to get married. D: That was kind of ridiculous.

I have also started reading Girl Friends by Morinaga Milk. My determination to only read finished series is apparently not very strong, because this only has two volumes so far (though I read all the chapters that have been released, which is most of what will be volume three as well). I really, really love it.

I've never read any yuri manga before, because, well, like yaoi, it's more about the fanservice and fantasy than anything realistic, and that's just not my bag, baby. But for some reason when I saw this, I couldn't not download it. The art is very sweet (and really good, too), and that ended up being my impression of the whole thing. It's just a really sweet, fumbling romance between two high school girls. And despite the cutesy art style, the fanservice is low and it's actually quite realistic. It's also slow. Like, the whole first volume or so is building up their friendship, and while there are hints that something more (as of yet unrecognised by either girl) is going on, it's really just about them and their friends hanging out and having fun.

Anyway, I love it like burning and want to check out other stuff by the author. Also I want the rest of the series to be magically done now so I can read it.


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