Thursday, November 8, 2018

Kiss & White Lily for My Dearest Girl Vol. 3 rewards readers with some good chapters devoted to the main couple (Manga Review)

Kiss & White Lily Volume 3
I recently joined twitter (like 2 months ago - @yuristargirl) and a reader helped me better understand the structure of Kiss & White Lily. Volume 3 (published by Yen Press) confirms that the series will be based around Yurine and Ayaka but that each volume will also feature a secondary couple. I was relieved to hear we'll always get our main couple.

While I wasn't really feeling the secondary couple in Volume 3, the first two chapters dealt almost exclusively with Yurine and Ayaka who also feature prominently throughout the remaining chapters and their story continues to be highly entertaining and heartwarming.

For those just joining us, Yurine is the lazy genius with photographic memory who struggles to relate to others but secretly does long for a close relationship. She's in love with Ayaka, a work-a-holic perfectionistic natural leader who wants nothing more than to be better than Yurine. Ayaka is developing feelings for Yurine but won't completely abandon herself to them, giving in in fits and starts - and cute ones at that.

The first chapter gives us some tender, funny, cute, and a bit sexy moments where they continue to outline the boundaries of their unique relationship. Yurine is crystal clear with her feelings, but Ayaka rarely reciprocates. However, in addition to a few kisses, we also get a sweet moment in this volume where she admits that she would have liked to see Yurine over spring break. It's one of several times where Ayaka lets down her guard.

I love how imperfect both these leads are, I love how they tease each other and are teased by each other, I love how they are both visually and personally unique from other manga couples. I really wish the whole series was just them, and in more depth, rather than every stinking person at the school being in a couple. But, I'll deal.

Which brings us to the secondary couple in Volume 3. Here we have two 3rd years, the president and vice president of the gardening club. They recruit Yurine to join (which leads to some cuteness with Ayaka) in order to keep the club going. Immediately some things start going south with the new member recruitment effort and other challenges which leads to the main plot of the volume.

What I didn't buy was the vice-president's characterization which seemed extreme. Additionally, her actions didn't make logical sense, not even in an irrational teen logic sort of way. That lead to a plot that just didn't really interest me. However, it did give us what is possibly the best manga slap I've ever seen, so way to go Canno-sensei. But as a whole, this volumes side couple didn't feel real or distinct or interesting, especially when compared to the nuance of the main couple.

I think that is ultimately how the series is likely to progress. Some volumes the side couple will be interesting and some it might not be, but I anticipate always loving the parts with Yurine and Ayaka. With that in mind, I'm giving this a 7/10 because the Yurine and Ayaka parts are awesome in this volume.


1 comment:

  1. Nice! This was a fun review to read - I especially liked your reaction to that hit (it *is* really something! I wasn't expecting a page-and-a-half action shot full of speed lines in this series, but it's done very well).

    The vice-president really reminds me of a character from Yurikuma Arashi, in that they were doing some bad stuff for similar 'eternal' reasons that made no sense to me.

    Towako and Yukina make for very good supporting characters later on - I feel like the gardening club is the one place where nobody's treating Yurine like some special genius, so she's allowed to just be herself there, and not feel so alienated. Towako and Yukina are more fun to be around when things are less...TENSE! (Their appearances later are brief, but welcome)

    Some of my favourite bits from this volume:

    - The expression on Yurine's face whenever Yukina chews her out (see pages 121 and 156)

    - the stinkeye Ayaka gives to Yurine at the very start of the book, in the colour section (it still cracks me up)

    - the progress in Ayaka and Yurine's relationship - it starts off with Ayaka feeling stung so bad that she gets a fever, but her feelings are reciprocated* a lot more by the end of the book (*'reciprocated' feels really weird to say for these two, but hopefully you know what I mean). The first time I read it I didn't really *get* that, but it sunk in better on re-reads for me.

    - looking for Moe after reading in the Afterword that she was in just *one* panel!


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