Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Review: SWEET BLUE FLOWERS Volume 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia
MANGAKA: Takako Shimura
TRANSLATION/ENGLISH ADAPTATION: John Werry
LETTERS: Monalisa De Asis
EDITOR: Pancha Diaz
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9298-5; paperback (September 2017); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
384pp, B&W, $24.99 U.S., $33.99 CAN, £16.99 UK
Sweet Blue Flowers is a yuri manga from creator Takako Shimura, whose manga, Wandering Son, was published in English by Fantagraphic Books. “Yuri” is “girls' love” manga, a genre which depicts romantic situations between female characters. Sweet Blue Flowers is a coming-of-age manga that depicts love and friendship between girls from two high school.
Sweet Blue Flowers, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 7) introduces two girls. Akira Okudaira attends Fujigaya Women's Academy High School. Fumi Manjome attends Matsuoka Girls' High School. Akira and Fumi were friends when they were in kindergarten; Akira comforted Fumi who was a crybaby.
Now, the girls are starting high school, and although they are attending different schools, they leave for school at the same train station, where they reunite on the first day of school. Now, Fumi is glad to have Akira back in her life, but Fumi is coming off a failed romance. Fumi will need Akira more than ever.
[This volume includes the two afterwords, “The Kamakura Quest” and “The Mansion Visit,” and the bonus story, “Little Women –Orie and Hanako–.”]
The Sweet Blue Flowers manga is the second yuri manga that I've read, following After Hours (from creator Yuhta Nishio). VIZ Media provided me with review copies of the first volumes of both titles.
Sweet Blue Flowers Volume 1 can be confusing because there are so many girls and so many conflicting feelings, which is actually appropriate. Takako Shimura can use all these characters and conflicting motivations and desires to create the sense of confusion these teen girls have about themselves and their feelings and emotions. I find myself rooting for all of them, and this soapy teen melodrama is irresistibly readable.
8 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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