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Title: Girl x Girl x Boy -Otome no Inori-
Author: Kujira
My Rating: 3.5/5

Riri and Fuuka have been best friends since they were kids, and lovers since they were in jr. high. Then one day Riri tells Fuuka that she's fallen for a boy and they should just go back to being "normal best friends". Unfortunately the boy doesn't like Riri back...he likes Fuuka.

Spoilery )

Like most yuri, there's a "only gay for you" vibe to it (though Fuuka clearly states that she doesn't like guys at all), but still it was cute.

Title: Hoshi no Koe (The Voices of a Distant Star)
Author: Shinkai Makoto & Sahara Mizu
My Rating: 4/5

When Noboru and Mikako are in 9th grade, Mikako is drafted to join a squad that will explore the alien Tarsian civilization found on Mars, and follow the traces of the Tarsians further into space. She and Noboru communicate by email, but as she moves further and further from Earth, her messages take longer and longer to reach him. In addition, thanks to some lightspeed jumps, she's aging at a different rate than everyone back on Earth. As she fights the Tarsians, Noboru goes on with his life but is unable to forget her.

I liked this quite a bit, though I wish it hadn't been so derivative. The kids in giant robots trope has never been a favorite of mine (and here they don't even bother to explain why they're sending kids into space, I don't think (unless I'm forgetting something)), but this especially feels so much like it's copying Eva. The character designs, the organic-looking ships and robots, the aliens. Even the style of the manga in terms of layout and the sort of dreamy quality of the narration.

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