Hanai is a junior higher and the best at table tennis. She's never lost, and she's won many tournaments, but after some freshman she's never heard of beats her like it was nothing, she starts losing every game after that and she can't get rid of that feeling of defeat. Now it's her first day of high school and she's decided to quit table tennis and live an ordinary high school life, but on the first day, she runs into the very girl that first defeated her. It turns out that she's also quit table tennis, but this girl always has a cold expression on her face and Hanai can't help but feel that this girl is always looking down on her and trying to mess up her perfect high school life. One day the girl falls asleep in class, and Hanai reaches over to wake her up. As she does so, the girl, still half asleep, looks up at her with a smile and almost kisses her. The girl later tells Hanai that she was having a dream about her, but Hanai coldly brushes it off thinking she's just messing with her and walks away—as the girl behind her looks down while blushing...
This is a really cute, funny, simple Yuri story.
As it says in the description, there is a theme of table tennis, but it doesn't play as large of a role in the actual story as I thought it would. There was actually only 2 games shown, both being glossed over. But table tennis was still important to the characters.
The story is nice enough, nothing groundbreaking but not stale. Same as most Yuri, schoolgirls fall in love but are two scared to say anything. Yet where this story shines is it's humor. It is one of the funniest Yuri manga's I have read.
The characters are
nice, and they play off each other well.
The art is as expected. I specifically liked one of the characters eyes, they looked ditsy, matching the character herself.
Not much to say about it, it is easy to enjoy, nice art, funny plot and characters, even though you can see a "plot twist" from a mile away.
Overall, I would say you should check it out if your a fan of Yuri.
It´s really hard to judge this manga. In numbers I´d say somewhere between 7 and 8, but let me first give you a short overview, before we go more into detail and afterwards I´ll give my rating.
This manga could be interesting for you, if you like:
- Yuri/Shoujo Ai/Slice of Life (obviously)
- a romance that initiates slowly
- a third wheel (in terms of a love triangle)
- to read Mangas in one session (11.5 Chapters)
- while enjoying chapters with 20-35 pages
- romance (there´s no sex scenes in this one)
- being happy to read a manga that´s already finished
This manga might be NOT interesting for you, if you:
are demanding in terms of drawings
- generally like longer mangas more
- like explicit Yuri, because there are no sex scenes at all
- have no interest in a protagonist, who´s having an inferiority complex, whilst also beeing an emotional cripple
Alright, let´s get into detail:
I start with the drawings.
Actually I like the style of the author. I like the proportions, the faces, the hair, but when the author trys to bring feelings on a face , he´s doing it in such a weird and exaggerating way, that the faces sometimes remind me of the fishes in Spongebob Squarepants...
That´s a harsh critique, probably too much, but thats exactly what I felt while reading.
Another critique is the slovenliness of the drawings.
As I said I like the style, but from a technical point of view it looks like everything was drawn fast and amateurish.
The result is not a sight for the eyes.
Now I will talk a bit about the story, before I share some thoughts on the characters.
Basically it´s a story about 3 characters and their relationships. The 2 main characters are the sweet girls Hoshino and Hanai, who ran into each other on the first highschool day and who also happen to sit next to each other in the class room.
Every now and then there will also be flashbacks into the past of our characters.
I have to admit, the first chapters didn´t fascinate me much. The story plays in the beginning from Hanai´s perspective, and she was not likeable to me.
However I was pleasantly surprised, that I got hooked by the story.
At some point my #Romantic-Mode# turned on and I wanted to know how things will turn out.
I would say as the story evolved, it got better. Especially towards the end.
On top of that, the story got so good, that I was able to blend out the bad drawings.
In the end the humor and jokes where placed right, and you really start to think the characters are gosh darn cute.
Here are some thoughts about the characters, without spoilers of course:
She was very unlikeable to me from the very beginning. She´s got an inferiority complex, low self confidence, she´s an emotion cripple, and she makes other people responsible for her failures.
With her behaviour she makes Hoshino feel bad too.
As the story evolves there is a character progression happening, but since the manga is so short dont expect too much.
I liked her from the start. I also liked her "drawing" quite alot.
She seems to be cool and filled with self confidence. In the inside however, she doesn´t have alot of self confidence and she´s shy. Also when she´s trying to express her feelings.
One time, when she tried to express her feelings, she did it in an cute and shy way, that it really make my heart warm and I even had to grin alot :-)
In terms of character progression, it´s more the way that she evolved alot from the time when she was a child, to her self as a student.
If someone asked me about Yuri, than this would not be the first manga that comes to my mind for a recommendation.
But if we consider the fact that Yuri/Shoujo Ai is a niche, then a fan of the genre will not make a mistake, if he decides to give this one a try.
Especially because this series is so short (I would have been glad, if it was longer though)
If you go for it, then i´d recommend not to drop the manga after the first two two chapters. Be sure to read the full manga.
It could be worth it.
I´m rating it carefully with 7/10. More towards an 8.
But I see no reason to rate it with an 8 with that artwork, because there are alot of other mangas, who deserve an 8 more.