Synonyms: Tropical Girls, The Beginning of Summer, Suika, Evening Rain Feeling, Sketch, Summer Ants, Return to the Womb, Secret Stream, Summer Is All About, Natsu no Hajimari, Yuudachi Kibun, Natsu no Ari, Tainai Kaiki, Himitsu no Seseragi, Natsu to Ieba
Risa and Tomoko are best friends, but recently, Risa’s feelings have grown into something more than just friendship. Ever since she had a dream that Tomoko kissed her, she’s felt a strange sensation every time Tomoko came around. She can’t deny that she’s in love, but she can’t help being ashamed of herself. Then one day, Tomoko invites Risa to a secret stream that only she knows about, and the relationship between the two girls changes forever.
The story was very vague and general, as well as clichéd. The girls talk about “washing their dirt away” in the stream, a phrase which I feel I’ve heard in several other stories like this one. Also, the very last line, “all that remained was our love,” was very sappy and cheesy, and the first and last lines are crucial in a good manga.
On the bright side, it did deliver a good message: that we are all filthy, and therefore, we are all clean. The way the author twisted the story at the end, although unrealistic, was very clever.
I base a lot of my art judgment on the way tears are drawn. In The Secret Stream, the tears had almost no detail and looked like white lines running down Tomoko’s face. Not much detail was put into the eyes, the hair, or the faces of the two girls. In fact, other than the general emotion on the two girl’s faces, Risa looked almost like a short-haired Tomoko.
I think the mangaka focused on the scenery rather than the two characters, because it was very detailed and beautiful. Water is very hard to draw, but this mangaka did an excellent job of drawing the stream, and during the climax, Tomoko almost seemed to be melting into it, which was very fitting at that time.
The characters were the weakest part of this story. They were very vague, and seemed almost like dolls created just to fit the storyline. It is clear that Risa is more shy and Tomoko is more blunt, but that’s pretty much all we know about these two characters other than the fact that they’re best friends.
However, Risa and Tomoko’s relationship was very clear and strong, and the two played off each other emotionally in a way that captures the hearts of readers. Also, the fact that they are vague and not described in much detail makes it easier for readers to relate to the story itself.
This story seemed very rushed. It is a one shot, so it is supposed to be short, but the mangaka seemed to only take one, vague idea and try to create a story out of it. It was very repetitive and predictable.
But it was indeed sweet and cute and captures the hearts of its readers. The symbolism, metaphors, and the beautiful relationship between the two girls made this story a must read for any shojou-ai or yuri fan.
I would reccomend this to any girl who feels ashamed of their love for another, like the characters in this story. Even if it's a guy instead of another girl, this story is very easy to relate to and will definately win your heart.
*this is my first review, so if you have any feedback, please PM me. Thank you! ^_^* read more