Monday, February 18, 2013

Manga Review: Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep

Continuing with me "well it's not licensed in the US and it's rather niche so it probably won't but it's finished and I want to share it with other people" manga reviews, this was a title that was recommended by someone, I forget exactly who, on my twitter feed and I follow people on twitter because they have tastes that generally match up with mine so when someone recommends something I take a look at it. Plus, I've noticed lately that I'm not reading nearly as much yuri /GL as I would like as I would like so why not take a chance on a one volume story and hope for the best?

Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep by Mizutani Fuka

Summary: There are two Kakimoto Imaris, the tall, more tomboyish "Big" Imari and the cuter looking, artsy "Little" Imari and not only do they share the same name and almost identical birthdays but they also end up at the same hospital with the same injury. What's different about them are the secrets they keep and the ways they deal with them.

The Good: There are two things I don't like which keep me from enjoying a lot of BL and Gl, too much angst and explicit sex and happily for me this story has neither of those things. The Imaris have a relationship that's more like friendship than a romance for most of the story and while they do have some issues to move past they do move past them so the story isn't drowning in tears and sadness. Both of them are reasonably well-fleshed out by the end of the story, which a few (I feel almost obligatory by this point) twists on stereotypes and the story is paced well also making for a short yet sweet read.

The Bad: A small complaint that is rather unsurprising for a one volume story, things just worked out a little too simply for them especially when it came to resolving their problems. I call this a small problem because hey, life isn't always angst filled and while both Imari's had problems they both also were unhappy about them and did deep down have the desire to fix them, plus who knows exactly how much time passed between several of the events. I didn't like how Rika ended up being rather two dimensional by the end, she's much more of a plot device than a character, but in a weird way the story didn't even need a character for her, what it needed was an event and she did fulfill that role perfectly fine. 

The Art: Normally I don't post a spread of a cover like the one above but it was just too adorable to pass up and seeing the characters in color makes me wish the entire book had been in color too. The art is a bit simple, there's a lot of white with little screentoning and nothing has a lot of detail in it but I think the feel of the art fits in well with the feel of the story, short and sweet with no additional fuss.

So I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and would certainly buy it if it became available in North America (either in print or digitally). Actually, considering it's only one volume I wouldn't mind buying it in Japanese but, since I live at least a few hundred miles away from a store that sells books in Japanese in the US and have no time to figure out how to buy books on Japanese websites I'll just cross my fingers and hope this one gets released in the US so I don't need to worry about that. 

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