Title: Adachi and Shimamura Vol. 1
Author: Hitoma Iruma, Moke Yuzuhara
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
Adachi and Shimamura Vol. 1 revolves around the relationship between the two girls with the same name. Adapted from the light novel and anime, Adachi and Shimamura, it’s a great example of a quality girl’s love story.
Everything begins when the two girls meet as they’re cutting classes in the gym. Both are oddballs, though for different reasons, and this makes them into friends quickly. However, that may not be the end of it.
As the volume goes on, we see how their feelings may develop into something else. Thanks to how it covers both of their perspectives, it’s easy to understand this gradual progress.
Shimamura describes the two of them as cats, preferring to be on their own. But that seems to only cut the surface, and maybe this may also be a point in which they differ. On the one hand, Shimamura acts like a common girl, having friends her age and a caring younger sister. On the other, she is also the kind of person that has no trouble doing things shunned by Japanese society, such as dying her hair. And she just hates how messy dealing with other people can be.
Adachi is more of the opposite side of the coin. With her shy nature, she isolated herself over time. She can’t handle crowds but still seems longs for connections. In particular, she wants to be the one friend Shimamura thinks of first.
Despite their differences, they are both a little dense and insecure, trying to better understand their feelings and themselves. Living in a society where being lesbians would be taboo, Adachi and Shimamura have to gauge how far their relationship should go and at first discard the notion.
The development of their feelings and the girls thinking about each other makes for an engaging narrative, creating a drama that made me quickly devour the whole volume. It’s also impressive how well developed they are, feeling like real human beings with different mindsets.
What makes it even better is Moke Yuzuhara’s art. The panels show a lot of emotion with clear panels that sometimes focus on their faces and sometimes work with more subtle body language elements. Characters are very expressive, and the story is mostly light-hearted despite its drama. It also expertly changes perspectives and uses silent panels to completely focus on the characters’ actions instead.
Thanks to that, even the slow build-up to romance and every small detail feels significant. This makes for a volume that knew perfectly how to tug my heartstrings with bittersweet moments and very small nods that made me love the characters and wish for them to be happy.
As someone who had no contact with the series before, I’m frankly fascinated with Adachi and Shimamura Vol. 1. The two protagonists are lovable characters, and I’m already completely attached to their story. With great artistic choices, believable and lovable characters, and a relatable romantic drama, I’m here eagerly anticipating the next volume, and I know any fans of the romance genre would enjoy this masterpiece as well.
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