Three Manga Reviews: After the Rain, RWBY, Sweet Blue Flowers

In recent months, I’ve bought a lot of manga.

Generally when I buy manga, I only go for series I’ve already started, but I’ve found myself buying a lot more first volumes now I’m approaching the end of Fullmetal Alchemist [only two more volumes!] and am caught up with the volumes of My Hero Academia currently available.

These are some reviews of three of those!


1

After the Rain Volume 1 by Jun Mayuzuki

17-year-old high school student Akira Tachibana is a girl who barely expresses herself. Recovering from an injury that stopped her running career, she harbors a secret crush on Masami Kondō, a 45-year-old manager of the restaurant she works at part-time.

If, like me, you saw that age gap and wanted to yeet the book out the window, I can’t blame you. The Kill Bill sirens are still sounding in the back of my head after finishing this one. I don’t feel like the writer does enough to push that Masami isn’t interested in Akira, not to the point other reviewers of this volume will lead you to believe in their reviews. It’s unhealthy as, regardless of his awkwardness, he’s still an adult in a position of power who is wholly capable of rejecting a 17 year old girl. While I feel like the author will move away from romantic territory with these two, I still don’t feel it’s addressed enough for me to feel comfortable in upcoming volumes, but I will still continue it as far as I can, i.e. drop it if there is a romance between them.

What I did like about this volume: the characters, for one. There actually is a really nice little cast here with interesting dynamics, and I really do like Akira as a main character. There’s a really great storyline following her friendships with members of what I believe is her old track team, and I like that it focuses on recovery and injury, and taking care of yourself. You can see the mental strain she’s under now she can’t run like she used to, and I appreciate the way it’s handled.

There are a few other characters I like. Masami is sweet and bumbly, and in a way I can see why she’s so attracted to someone so messy [I still do not condone a romance between them: I can be attracted to Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes and not want to pursue a relationship with a 40 year old!]. I love that he’s a single parent, and we get small glimpses of him as a younger man pursuing who I assume was his son’s mum. It’s probably going to get really bittersweet as the series progresses.

This is a very well written series, in terms of both plot and character, and the art is stunning. It’s some of the prettiest art I’ve seen in a manga!

I would recommend this series, but if you’re waiting to see if any icky romance does actually happen, I don’t blame you for that.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5


1.jpg

RWBY Anthology Volume 1 by Various

Volume 1: Red Like Roses, part of a series of RWBY anthologies, has stories centred around Ruby Rose during her time at Beacon Academy. 

If you haven’t watched RWBY, it basically follows a group of students at an academy training to fight the Grimm, beasts and monsters that threaten to destroy their land. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only threat: other villainous types threaten the students every day.

Do not be fooled, my friends. When it says ‘Official Manga Anthology’, sure, it means official, but it doesn’t mean canon. Something I only found out after they suggested Scarlet is gay, and there were many, many close moments between Ruby and Weiss. I honestly kind of feel hurt that they would include so many tender and bordering-on-girlfriend moments between the two, and then have the audacity to turn around and claim it as non-canon when it’s in an OFFICIAL anthology. It just really hurts, ya know? This isn’t the first time I’ve felt led on by a Rooster Teeth show.

While the art also isn’t great in this anthology, the stories do make up for it. I found myself really adoring these little snippets, and it made me want to watch the series again. I have about three seasons to catch up again. I’m attached to these characters, and it hurt my heart seeing characters who are… ahem, no longer with us. One thing I always credit RWBY for is that it’s brutal and realistic, as far as it can be, and it does put heroes through the ringer in a way a lot of other ‘chosen one’ and magical school stories don’t do until way later in the series.

ALSO: I would not recommend this for anyone who hasn’t watched RWBY up until… season 3, I’d say. Actually, wait until after season 3, so you have something to cheer you up after that emotionally draining ending.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐


1

Sweet Blue Flowers Volume 1 by Takako Shimura

Akira Okudaira is starting high school and is ready for exciting new experiences. And on the first day of school, she runs into her best friend from kindergarten at the train station! Now Akira and Fumi have the chance to rekindle their friendship, but life has gotten a lot more complicated since they were kids…

Finally! Some good *canon* lesbians! Takako Shimura heard me praying for at least ONE canon lesbian and answered me with a whole series of gay girls.

This series is the boarding school drama I’ve been hoping for. It’s so unbearably cute and fluffy, I felt happy throughout and the teen dramas are so universal and engaging. I just wanted to keep reading to see what would happen to these characters. The art is so pretty, and I adjusted quickly to characters and names. So many of them wear similar clothes, and it got confusing tracking who went to what school, but I got used to it by the end!

I also really love the characters! Fumi is shy and a bit of a cry baby- same, girl- and Akira is adorable and willing to fight to help Fumi. Their relationship building is so good. I love reading about childhood friends reconnecting, and getting all the flashbacks made me love them even more. There’s a whole cast of characters of all different sexualities; examinations of family; and it doesn’t hesitate to put our characters through unrequited love and breakups, all very real and something so rare to see in not just the manga I read, but in sapphic manga, too! There are references to other literature, including that done by famous lesbian Japanese writers, and I loved that.

I’d probably recommend this series the most of all of them. I’m glad I picked this up!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 


 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Three Manga Reviews: After the Rain, RWBY, Sweet Blue Flowers

  1. crypticcriticchan

    I can see why many people aren’t very happy about the possible romantic relationship between the two in After The Rain, I really do want to see how the execution will be done. I have watched a few clips from the anime and I love the way it looks! Thanks for your review

    Like

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