Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manga Review: Candy volume 1

At two volumes, Suzuki Yufuko's Candy is a sweet, sincere look at a young couple in high school. High school romance has been covered loads of times in yuri- and in manga in general, although to a lesser proportion than in yuri manga specifically- but Candy's lead couple is charming enough to make this series one of the better examples of its premise.

Kanan is the tomboyish, popular ace of her school's kyuudo team. She attends an all-girls' school, so there's lots of "Kyaaa!"-ing over her among her schoolmates- you know how it goes with that set-up.

Kanan's popularity doesn't go to her head. Her poise when she's doing kyuudo aside, she's a bit of a space cadet, oblivious to the extent of how much her schoolmates like her.

Kanan is floored because Chiaki, the smartest student in her school, confessed to Kanan before the events of the first chapter.

Kanan and Chiaki get together by the end of chapter 1.

Having marked the beginning of their relationship with Chiaki publicly jumping for joy and wrapping her arms around Kanan's neck- not to mention Chiaki suddenly spending a lot of time with Kanan, when she'd never spent much time with anyone previously- they have to deal with some rumormongering, which they resolve more easily than expected.

Enter Tamaki, a classmate who has feelings for Kanan and tries to plant seeds of doubt about the validity of her feelings for Chiaki.

Later, Kanan's friend Sado is like "Herp derp, I don't care that you're dating a girl, but your relationship just exists 'cause you're in high school and going to an all-girls' school", but Kanan basically tells him he's full of it. Kanan and Chiaki have a good ally in Kanan's unsentimental childhood friend Ichijou.

Amusingly, the biggest threat to Chiaki and Kanan's relationship in this volume is their realizing how little they have in common when they go on their first date. But they (very sweetly and realistically) learn to adapt to each other's preferences and things end up going well. :-)

Finally, Tamaki tries to sabotage their relationship from Chiaki's end, but Chiaki responds by... Well, that's for volume 2.

A bonus chapter focuses on Ichijou's perspective of Kanan and Chiaki's relationship, complete with a cute flashback to her and Kanan as kids.

So...sweet story so far. ^^ Kanan and Chiaki are both warm, likeable people who deserve each other, and are easy to root for as they navigate the early steps and stumbles of their relationship. Despite the drama they deal with in this volume, they're still in their honeymoon period- the next volume's going to be a lot rockier (and weirder) for them, since someone from Chiaki's past shows up to screw over her current happiness.

Story: B+
Art: B
Overall: B+

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