Sunday, January 30, 2011
Could a manga have nerdier roots? Husky and Medley began as a series of threads on 2ch. The protagonist is "Medley", a supposed high school student who falls in love with her seemingly perfect classmate "Husky." She starts out by creating a thread called, "I wanna expose my perfect classmate's weak point!" Another poster challenges her to find Husky's weakness by becoming her girlfriend, which leads to some text-flirting between the two, which leads to real life flirting, which finally leads to them becoming a couple, with Husky gushing and worrying about their relationship to 2ch. This description might make it sound like Medley's using Husky, but she isn't. (As far as she's depicted.) She's excited about getting together with the girl she likes (complete with an adorable coming out scene), and wants to share it with the internet. The replies from the other posters range from serious attempts to give Medley advice and encouragement to the expected inane commentary.
So...it's about two girls becoming girlfriends, with the twist that the story was chronicled on a forum and may or may not be true. The romantic in me really wants to think that this was posted by a teenage girl who found a nice girlfriend instead of the alternative. Even if it isn't true, maybe this story has moved someone who was homophobic or resonated with a questioning teenager who read it. Setting its validity aside, it's really sweet and the 2ch angle adds a uniquely contemporary twist to a story that has been told many times.
The HasuMedo threads (which were posted in July 2008; back-ups of the thread are around online) was adapted to manga format by the pixiv artist Kurosada, whose account includes the Husky and Medley manga as well as some other drawings of his(?) image of Husky and Medley. The art isn't going to blow anyone's mind, but it's uncluttered and easy to follow.
So yup. Very cute, realistic-enough-to-be-plausible high school love story that addresses queer identity. (And you get nerd-points for even understanding the entire origin story.) Recommended.
Story: My inner romantic wins, although my inner cynic put up a hard fight. B+
Husky and Medley have inspired fan art as well as a Vocaloid song. (Its tune is stuck in my head!)
Note added a little later: Husky and Medley was hard to review in the sense that it was really cute and realistic enough to remind me of a high school crush, but the very real possibility that it isn't real made me reluctant to invest myself too much in the "This really happened!" aspect. But goodness, it's cute.