Two women with the same name happens to meet each other when they're at the same hospital for the same injury. They want to become closer, but both must overcome their insecurities and self-loathing first.
well, this series certainly packed more of a punch than I thought it would!
for some reason (probably the cute art style), I thought that this would be a light and fluffy story, but I was only half right. I ended up enjoying it thoroughly regardless of that, but be warned that this manga does cover themes of homophobia and I guess mental illness as well? not exactly the lightest read!
vague spoilers throughout
it's a pretty standard setup: two fated lovers end up meeting due to something shared between them. in this case its a name, injury and starsign, pretty unrealistic, but I suppose it's novel!
reading this, I feel like Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep (LWLS from this point onwards) could really have done with a longer run. the pacing definitely isn't bad by any means, but there was a lot that was left aside after only being explored a little. one of the most noticeable examples for me is the shared starsign and their emailing back and forth which disappeared a little later on. their phones could've been a really lovely tool for exploring their feelings throughout the series, I was hoping for late night phonecalls between the two..
the struggles faced by the two women weren't particularly explored for that long, either, little Imari's problems were largely solved when her friendship with big Imari started, and we never really saw how big Imari's workplace issues panned out. on the one hand I'm grateful for that as there are tons of tragic lesbians out there, and the lack of attention given to the characters' pasts helped keep the tone of the series light overall, but on the other hand, I'm really attached to these characters and find myself wanting to know so much more about them! it really is a double-edged problem.
the cover art for LWLS is gorgeous, I love that the theme of stars (starsigns!) carried over, and the images of the two heroines floating in space connected only by a red string is beautiful and fitting for the series. the actual manga uses a much more simplistic style, which I also adore, it's expressive and the screentones used for characters are usually very light, with only a couple of exceptions. the main downfall is the extremely clumsy use of background/atmospheric screentones.. the artist really loves their dark black blobs, and this clashes horribly with the light and delicate style of the linework and even overpowers the characters at times. apart from that, all very pretty and easy to follow!
as mentioned earlier, I completely fell in love with these characters and my only real complaint is that I wanted to see more of them! the heroines were both very charming in their own way, I especially found myself falling for big Imari a bit (she's so dashing!), and really empathising with little Imari. I was really curious as to how big Imari came to be in a position to be manipulated as she comes across as so confident, but maybe I'm missing a little cultural context in that I don't know what it's like to be lgbt in Japan.. little Imari to me was someone I could really sympathise with, she's really the classic picture of an artist who has reached the end of the road in a career they thought they loved, and is now having a little bit of an identity crisis. her struggle really moved me, and it made me feel totally warm and fuzzy to see her start to find peace with herself. side characters were basically nonexistant, and though I hated her, I really wanted to know more about Fujimi's circumstances and personality, which I suppose is a good sign in terms of character writing, but bad in terms of story writing.
I pretty much adored this manga, it was short enough for me to read in a little over an hour, and follows my golden rule of enjoyment being at least proportional to time investment! I'm very very tempted to write a fanfic or comic short of this series as my only major criticism is that I'd love more of the same.
I highly recommend it to anyone who loves yuri, romance, or is looking for a mostly-lighthearted story about grown-up overcoming real personal hardships. it really resonated with me, and likely will do for young adult yuri fans who are also in this difficult and chaotic stage of life where we feel expected to know what we're doing with our lives!