Sunday, November 4, 2012

Manga Review: Sky-colored Girlfriend (Sora-iro Girlfriend)

Rikachi's Sky-colored Girlfried, originally titled Sora-iro Girlfriend, is...hmm, well...

Hiromi has always been tomboyish. When she was younger, she loved the Princess Knight anime, because she wanted to be a prince like Sapphire. She didn't just want to be princely- she wanted to get together with the witch Heckett instead of Prince Charming. Cute, but that's where the cuteness in this story ends. ^_^;

A girl named Juli transfers into Hiromi's class. Her brusque manner causes the other girls to ignore her, but Hiromi tries to befriend her anyway because she hates bullying. Her friends follow suit. Juli immediately decides that Hiromi must be the prince to her princess, the Romeo to her she only calls her "Romeo." Hiromi is visibly uncomfortable with this, but has feelings for Juli despite that, while Juli is dazzled by her fantasy about Hiromi- and never moves beyond that fantasy.

As Hiromi and Juli spend more and more time together, Hiromi's best friend Maki, who is in love with Hiromi, starts to worry that Juli's delusion of her and Hiromi being a couple won't be a delusion for long.

Hiromi and Juli play Romeo and Juliet, respectively, in their school play. Hiromi shoves Juli away when Juli kisses her in the final act, and stays home from school for several days after that.

When Hiromi returns to school, she learns that Juli has been bullied by homophobic classmates since the school play. I felt bad for Juli, while feeling that this story's bullying plot point is an emotionally manipulative move by the author to drum up instant sympathy for a previously not very sympathetic character. Hiromi feels bad for Juli and admires her for holding up under the bullying, and then and there decides to be her girlfriend.

The only character I liked in this series is Maki. After Hiromi and Juli become a couple, she confesses her feelings to Hiromi- not because she expects anything, but because she wants closure as quickly as possible. ("I realized it when I saw you hugging her- after the cultural festival, as she cried in our classroom- that there was no room for me in there at all... I even kind of hoped that if I went out with a boy, you'd get jealous... and come after me... But I knew it was futile... That's why I wanted to come out and say it and get dumped. I love you, Hiromi...") Hiromi still loves Maki as a friend, but as we later see, they don't stay in touch as the years go on. Rikachi felt there was much more she could do with Maki's character, so after writing this series, she gave Maki her own series, Tears of Thorn (Ibara no Namida), following her love life in college. Thankfully, Tears of Thorn stands perfectly well on its own.

Back to Juli and Hiromi. Juli finds out that her dad's company is transferring him again, so she has to move soon. Fast forward a few years, when Hiromi is attending an all-girls' school, having lost touch with Juli a while ago. She has been cast as the school Prince and everyone's calling her Romeo- it's never explained why. A new transfer student arrives, and what do you know, it's Juli. Juli and Hiromi run away from everyone else's view to kiss. Juli tells Hiromi that "I came here because I wanted to see you" and "I never forgot about you for one second." Happy-ever-after...

I'm probably beating a dead horse at this point, but yeah- I didn't like Juli, and I didn't like her with Hiromi. At least the art was nice.

I'm reviewing JManga and ALC's release of this series- hence my referring to it by an English-translated title. While the story is not my cup of tea, I have no complaints about the translation. It's up to par with ALC's usual.

Story: ... : \
Art: B
Overall: D+


Anonymous said...

I found the sequel, tears of thorn, so much better. I never made it through sky colored girlfriend because Juli was too irritating.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- Tears of Thorn really is a lot better. I can't blame you for dropping Sky-colored Girlfriend because of Juli. XD