With the announcement of the anime adaptation of the Seinen Yuri manga Sasameki Koto I being the yuri fan that I am decided to read the original manga version last night. The manga follows the story of Murasame Sumika, a popular girl renowned for her excellent grades and sports ability. However, she has a secret: she is in love with her classmate and best friend Kazama Ushio. Ushio also has a fondness for other girls but has yet to notice Sumika’s true feelings.
Sasameki Koto was originally a one-shot in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Alive by Ikeda Takashi as a guest manga-ka but thanks to fan reaction was able to start serialization and will have its fourth tankobon released on the 23rd. I’m glad that Sasameki Koto was able to move beyond its initial one-shot status because it takes a slightly different approach to love from other yuri series I follow. I am greatly enjoying the drama of Sumika’s unrequited love and the conflict between confessing her love to Ushio or maintaining their friendship.
Because Sasameki Koto began as a one-shot, the story starts off right away and introduces the conflict quite early on. Kazama likes a senpai that she works with in the library but when she tries to confess she is thoroughly rejected. Kazama is devastated and is on the floor in tears when Sumika finds her. Sumika wants to be the one to take away her sadness but knows that Kazama does not look at her that way.
Kazama eventually gets over her ordeal and starts looking at other girls some of whom become supporting characters in the manga. In the second chapter Akemiya Masaki, a short, “cute” boy is introduced contrasting the tall, self-proclaimed “un-cute” Sumika. Masaki loves Sumika and at the encouragement of his sister cross-dresses as a girl in order to get the attention of Sumika. Also early on Tamae Miyako and Hachisuka Tomoe make their appearance when Sumika and Ushio stumble upon them kissing in the classroom. Through a series of events they become partners in arms and new friends.
A little later on my favorite character is introduced in the second volume – Azusa Aoi. One day everyone is talking about how Sumika and Ushio have been hanging out with Tomoe and Miyako lately and the subject of them being lesbian comes up. The other girls think that it is weird and perverted and at this point I’m mad since I believe gender doesn’t matter in regards to love. Tomoe echoes my sentiments and an argument breaks out when suddenly Aoi comes out of nowhere and tells everyone to stop the gossip. Tomoe takes it negatively and responds by stealing a kiss from Aoi. Aoi slaps Tomoe and leaves the classroom.
Sumika runs out after her and has a conversation with Aoi on the stairwell. Aoi talks about Orino Masaka, her favorite Shoujo novelist, and the way Masaka depicts love between females. Aoi herself says that she thinks “love between girls is most beautiful, when it’s pure and fragile and hidden away.” I instantly can’t help but think of MariMite and I end up completely falling for Aoi. Aoi is glad that there is someone who can understand her feelings and becomes friends with Sumika. The chapter after this is also Aoi-centric and does a great job depicting her character and I really connected with her for various reasons. Instead of me telling you about it, you should just go read the manga (Download Option | Online Reading Option).
So far only nine chapters have been translated into English but it has been a fun read. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the next chapter and now the anime. If your a fan of yuri, then you should pick this up.
(Although the story will most likely stay on the SumikaXUshio path, I would be overjoyed if Sumika and Aoi became an item.)