Girl Friends, omnibus volume 1
I recently finished the first volume of Girl Friends by Milk Moringa and decided to make a few comments.
The first thing that I want to say is that, by my standards Girl Friends is not yuri, at least not yet. I would call it shoujo ai. The difference is that yuri needs to have some sex. It does not have to be explicit sex, but there should be at least an implication that the girls are having some sort of sexual relationship. That is not happening in Girl Friends, at least not in the first volume.
But one of the things that I like about the story is that it takes time to develop the relationship between the two girls, Mari and Akko.
It does start a bit abruptly. It is almost like Akko grabs Mari, who she has never previously spoken to, and says "I have decided, for no apparent reason, that you are my new best friend." But after that the relationship grew at a slow but steady pace that worked well for me. The girls got acquainted. Then they became friends. Then better friends. Then best friends. Then, for at least one of them, it became more than that.
Girl Friends is a romance about a girl who falls in love with another girl. Another thing that I like is that there is nothing in the story that makes it inevitable that this will happen. The setting is a girl's school, but there is never any indication that any of the girls are more than friends, or that they think that the other girls are. Most of them have boyfriends and go on dates, and more.
Another thing that I like is the way that the secondary characters are used. They never detract from the main characters but they do play important parts, but I never thought that they were being used just to advance the story.
Girl Friends starts out rather light and humorous but it does become much more serious and dramatic. The first omnibus volume ends with something that I consider to be rather tragic. It is also quite a frustrating cliff-hanger.
I cannot say anything specific about what happens, but people in love can do stupid things. Sometimes very stupid things.
Even before the ending I was looking forward to reading the next volume. Now I am anxiously awaiting it.
I hope that more books like this will be licensed. I find it very encouraging that Girl Friends was number eight on the New York times manga best seller list for the week when it was released.
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