Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I've been slow to try this collection. Tried some of Rokuroichi's other work, didn't like it, and her(?) art's kind of ugly. But I gave this collection a shot, and... didn't like it either.
This series' protagonist, Chizuru, is a girl who used to be part of a trio of unpopular girls. Kae, a stylish girl from Tokyo, transferred into her class and gave her two friends makeovers, making them popular. Chizuru effectively became the odd man out, quietly tagging along with Kae and her two "friends" as they proceeded to pal around, mostly ignoring her. Without ever speaking to Kae, Chizuru built up a godly image of her in her head and proceeded to get a crush on it.
One day Kae- gasp- talks to Chizuru (and to her credit, is more pleasant than Chizuru's friends are when they do address her), so Chizuru celebrates by buying the same orange lipstick she sees Kae buy at a make-up store. (Hence this collection's strange title, originally Kuchibiru ni Saketa Orange.) This isn't the first time Chizuru has bought something just because Kae did. Chizuru also buys a wig that looks like Kae's hair and secretly wears it and the orange lipstick in her room while imagining Kae having sex with her.
One day Kae's two friends need to stay at school extra-late, so Kae and Chizuru hang out. They don't have any chemistry, but we are meant to believe that Kae thinks Chizuru's something special. The next day, Kae visits Chizuru's house and sees the wig and they have sex and are supposed to be in love.
Then there are two bonus one-shots. "Close to Your Heart, Okay?" is about two cousins who are being raised together, in case you wanted some eau de incest on top of the boring and awful that already is this book. They have sex, one is afraid the other is going to dump her, and that doesn't happen. "Don't Know If This Is Love" is about two best friends who get together and have sex.
The only thing I can't complain about is the translation of this book's JManga release. ALC has done another quality translation, however lousy the story it's telling in this case is. It is possible to make a premise that has been done many a time (like popular girl x unpopular girl, or best friends who get together) good, or even excellent, through strong writing and characterization. This book doesn't do that. Every character is flat, every coupling contrived and devoid of chemistry, and I found my mind wandering off more than once. We have gotten a bunch of worthwhile yuri manga titles licensed in English lately- A Transparent Orange in the Lip isn't one of them.