Oh, where should I start?! This is one of the sweetest manga I've read in a while, and after reading Voiceful - which I'll review later - and feeling disappointed, this is just what I needed to perk myself up a bit! There are some good things and bad things about the storyline itself, but the bad is overweighed by the good.
The plot is a little bit weak to start off with, as the main character goes to a school introduction day and ends up using her guide's handkerchief to sort out a scrape. The guide then suggests giving it back once she gets into the school - something the main character was unsure about, but agrees to, working very hard to get in solely to give back the item. Whilst this is very sweet, it is obviously not very realistic to go through all that trouble for a handkerchief, but it is enough to get the girls to interact together and set them down the yuri path.
What really carries this manga are its characters. The main character, Chika, is very lively and energetic, and she thinks more with her heart than with her head. Of course, that is if she's thinking about her actions at all. Because she's very happy and outgoing, she gets depressed easily too; something her friend Akiho has to deal with quite often. The other main character, Haruna, is very kind and gentle at the start, but then she becomes cold and aloof to Chika. All because she has a secret. What is this secret? You'll have to read it to find out!
The art is very cute and in a pleasant, refreshing style. The art on the cover is not as good as the art on the inside; this art style - in my opinion - is one best expressed in black and white, though I appreciate the colour pages a lot. Mizuo Shinonome also has quite a talent for varied facial expressions; ranging from frantically happy and desperately sad, but all very sweet and amusing. I finished reading this volume feeling warm and happy.
To Seven Seas' credit, I just want to point out a few of the awesome things they have kept in this book, such as keeping all colour pages intact; even ones that are at the beginning of chapter five, the comedy 4koma the artist originally did, a short next volume preview which shows the entrance of a new character - a teacher who seems interested in Haruna! - and finally, a preview of Voiceful.
If you're looking for a story that has engaging characters and a sweet story, then this is the yuri manga for you! If you're looking for fan service in a girls' school, then try Strawberry Panic instead; you won't find that here. Highly recommended!
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