Thursday, November 1, 2018

Kiss & White Lily for my Dearest Girl vol. 2 shifts focus and loses focus (but is still intriguing) (Manga Review)

Chiharu and Izumi
I felt mildly enthusiastic about Kiss & White Lily for my Dearest Girl vol. 1 when I reviewed it, finding that I liked how imperfect both lead characters (Ayaka Shiramine and Yurine Kurosawa) were. They each had deep, but endearing flaws, that played against type and trope. It had the makings of a cute, if silly, romance.

Volume 2 (published by Yen Press) takes a detour in that is spends the majority of time on several side characters from the first volume including Chiharu and Uehara, two classmates in the same year as Ayaka and Yurine. The volume centers on their relationship with a third-year, Maya, and her upcoming graduation. It also introduces us to Izumi, a third-year middle-school student.

What I'm beginning to understand about this series is that it will not be centered on a single couple, but instead explore many, many couples in the school. Ayaka and Yurine appear in the volume, and take slight steps forward in their romance, but it really is dedicated to Chiharu and Maya's interactions and ultimately the way Izumi works her way in. I don't want to spoil anything, but some of the characters in this volume actually begin dating, and I'm glad that it's going to actually let some couples become couples rather than staying in "almost" land forever.

I didn't feel the writing was always clear, and the sheer number of characters made it a bit hard for me to follow. I can only imagine this getting worse as I believe we're going to get even more characters/couples in the future. I'm concerned how all these relationships will be balanced over the course of the series and will I be able to keep track without a spreadsheet.

That being said, the Chiharu/Maya relationship didn't really do anything for me but the Chiharu/Izumi friendship was very cutely handled and (SPOILER) there might be some payoff to this...but I'm not telling!

In all, this is meant to be a mixture of fun and romance, nothing too heavy, mostly just cute and sweet, and it is what it is. If you are looking for a series about endless girl/girl couples at an all-girls school then you could do much worse than this innocuous volume/series. To be honest, I liked the leads from volume 1 a bit more than the leads in this volume, so the balance in future volumes will be interesting to see.

It's not great, it's not new, I have a hard time keeping track of everyone (even after rereading volumes 1 and 2) but it's also got its moments. I'm not as high on this volume as the first one, but I'm going to keep reading for now. 6/10 for lack of originality, changing which characters we're focused on, and not really feeling Maya as a character.

I just got volume 3, so I'll try to get that reviewed shortly.


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