Tuesday, December 31, 2019



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Makoto Hagino
LETTERS: Eva Grandt
EDITOR: Pancha Diaz
ISBN: 978-1-9747-1043-0; paperback (November 2019); Rated “T” for “Teen”
172pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Nettaigyo wa Yuki ni Kogareru is a manga from Makoto Hagino.  It is currently being serialized in the Japanese magazine, Dengeki Maoh, where it began in June 2017.  VIZ Media is publishing an English language edition of the manga as a graphic novel series, entitled A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow.

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 4) introduces high school student, Konatsu Amano.  When her father gets a job overseas, Konatsu has to leave Tokyo and the life she’s always known.  She relocates to a small seaside town to stay with her aunt.

The move also means starting at a new school surrounded by complete strangers, and that is a lot to handle for a girl who has trouble with change.  On her first trip to Nanahama High School, Konatsu arrives at the open house for the school's “Aquarium Club,”  There, she meets Koyuki Honami, an older girl who is the sole member of the Aquarium Club.  Konatsu has introverted tendencies that are hard for her to overcome, but she finds herself drawn to Koyuki.  Maybe, she has found something and someone worth coming out of her shell for?

[This volume includes an “Afterword.”]

The A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow manga seems to be the latest LGBTQ-themed manga from VIZ Media.  That it arrives shortly after the conclusion of VIZ's release of That Blue Sky Feeling, a manga about a teen boy who has a very close relationship with a gay teen boy, does not feel like a coincidence.

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Graphic Novel Volume 1 introduces two high school girls who are obviously drawn to one another.  They may even be smitten with one another.  Creator Makoto Hagino has an anime-inspired drawing style that features girls with big, emotive eyes, which conveys the narrative's highly emotional tone.

John Werry's translation and English adaptation is gentle and sweet, and the best thing about it is that it captures both the awkwardness of the girls and their desire to be connected with one another.  Eva Grandt's lettering presents sound effects as melodic tones that indicate important moments in the development of Konatsu and Koyuki's relationship.

There is something about A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow that firmly holds my attention.  It is as if I have to follow whatever romance may or may not be happening.

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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