Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kiss & White Lily For My Dearest Girl Vol. 5 pleasantly breaks the routine (Manga Review)

So I'd been seeing a pattern with Kiss & White Lily for my Dearest Girl (published by Yen Press). The odd volumes were better than the even volumes for the most part, and also paid more attention to the main couple: Ayaka and Yurine.

Volume 5 is a bit different though. While it still continues the trend of the odd numbered volumes being stronger, we get very little of Ayaka and Yurine (although what we do get is very sweet and with some classic back-handed lovey-dovey from Ayaka). Instead, we get a fairly in-depth story about two side characters, Sawa and her kouhai, Itsuki. And more shocking, I liked them! (not as much as side characters Moe and Mizuki, but that's okay).

Sawa is on the newspaper club (or something similar) and is assigned to write an article about a student and chooses to focus on Ayaka and why she apparently skipped school. Ayaka is so shocked at the rumors that she tells Sawa the fairly mundane story about why she skipped.

However, Ayaka doesn't give all the details, but thankfully the reader does get them all. That story is a sweet and revealing glimpse into Ayaka's psychology and home life (with her mom), and a further reaffirmation of her love(?) for Yurine. As always, she pushes Yurine away forcefully, while being sweetly open to spending time with her, only to even more secretly love on Yurine when Yurine isn't aware. If only Ayaka could admit to herself and Yurine how she really feels, although the back-and-forth is cute in its own way.

However, this story makes up only a small portion of the volume. The real story is that of Sawa and her kouhai, Itsuki, who is assigned to help her with the story. Sawa gets the sense that there are two sides to Itsuki. Finally, it is revealed that they used to be friends a decade ago and Sawa has all but forgotten and Itsuki is mad about that. From here, Itsuki's true (and somewhat scary/obsessive) personality is revealed and we end up with a worthy coupling (rather than the somewhat perfunctory coupling of side characters in other volumes).

Since their journey is the joy of the chapter, I won't give any more away. But watching Sawa process things is really sweet. What makes this coupling (and volume) even more winning is the bonus mini-stories at the end from Itsuki's perspective each night over the course of the chapters as she thinks about each day's events. Really well done comedy!

The art continues to be average to above-average, but not necessarily a style I really respond to, however, I felt this volume left me happier with the art than the previous ones. There was some nice shading in the evening scenes, and two really really cute moments (and lots of just really cute moments, but only two that were really really cute...) and here they are. Hope they don't spoil anything for you:

"...and it's kind of...not really a problem." SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!

I love the tiptoes kiss!

While Itsuki's personality is a bit scary and not realistic, not much of this series is, so you just have to go with it. But, so far, they are the third strongest couple and story behind our leads (and the too cute Mizuki and Moe).

So I really enjoyed this volume and am looking forward to catching up on the rest to get up to the newest releases. If you've liked the series so far, you won't be disappointed by volume 5. I'm giving it a strong 7/10 (it still isn't pushing into "classic" territory as a series, but that's okay, it's just a really good, overall heart-warming series, and that's plenty fine).


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