Saturday, June 11, 2022

Adachi and Shimamura volume 3 (Manga review)

Manga cover. Two Japanese teens sit on a train, one holds the others hand, the girl whose hand is being held is shyly freaking out. They have scarves on due to the cold.
    
I think I am going to stop reading the "Adachi and Shimamura" manga. So this review of volume 3 will probably be my last stop with this series (however, that does mean that I can pick up a new series to start - gotta respect the 'ole budget after all).
    In Volume 3, Adachi and Shimamura exchange chocolates for valentines day. I mean seriously, that's about the only thing that happens all volume, and although it introduces a new character (an old friend of Shimamura's who is likely to cause trouble/confusion somewhere down the line) there's basically nothing go on.
    And it's not the good kind of nothing either. I'm fine with those slice-of-life, no real plot sort of stories if they are well done. However, this series is becoming the worst form of yuri (well, 2nd worst after the male-oriented, hentai-light type). It's the type of yuri that is neither a deep and meaningful exploration of the complexities and depths of female friendship, nor an actual romantic coupling (or even better, an actual lesbian couple - the distinction I'm making is better left for a later date). 
    No, this is the super bland, queer baiting, non-committal, meaningless dreck kind of yuri. The kind of yuri where the actions, feelings, inner-monologues, and everything else feels fake, contrived, and confusingly vacant all at the same time. Nothing they say in their inner monologues makes sense. Nothing they do in their interactions makes sense. The actual writing has horrid pacing, abrupt jumps and transitions, and is just generally really poor. 
    I think the closest current series that I can think of to compare it with is something like "A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow" and yet I think (9 volumes in to that series so far) that that series might actually turn romantic (god I hope so). But that series too suffers from some of these same non-committal, confusingly non-realistic depictions of teenage girls' minds and hearts. However, at least "A Tropical Fish" is slightly more interesting, with characters that have some actual depth to them. "Adachi and Shimamura" just doesn't know how to create that. It's so poorly written. And it's queer-baiting with no real sense that there will be a legit romantic and/or LGBTQ+ payoff that makes it's frustratingly vapid storytelling worth it.
    I thankfully am at the point in life now, and with the increasing availability of LGBTQ+ media to consume (I doubted you "Heartstopper" - but 5 episodes in you are very very adorable), that I don't need to waste my time or my money on such a less-than-mediocre "yuri" (maybe it's not even queer-baiting, maybe it's just yuri-baiting) manga like Adachi and Shimamura. Volume 3 is likely to be my last for this series. 

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Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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