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Girl Friends

April 3, 2010
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Frequently saw Yasashii Sekai enthusiastically talk about “Girl Friends” (ガールフレンズ ) so yesterday on a whim decided to check out this yuri manga created by Milk Morinaga.

Cannot deny that am more prone to enjoy stories of this genre and liked the yuri themed anime series that aired these past seasons, from the more serious “Aoi Hana” or “Sasameki Koto” to the comical “Maria†Holic”.

Got totally hooked on “Girl Friends” and in the span of mere hours devoured chapter after chapter until I caught up to the most recent one.

Centered around two high school students, the story shows how the bubbly, fashionable Akko befriends quiet, serious Mari, a friendship which eventually turns into love, but not without hurdles and challenges to overcome.

Possibly less noticeable when reading the full volumes than back when the first chapters were published monthly, is that yuri is virtually absent in those first chapters that focus mostly on Akko befriending Mari and how this changes Mari’s world.


Gradually Mari’s feelings for Akko seem to change, which causes her much confusion and grief before she finally realizes the truth of her emotions. Alas her tribulations do not end there for when she finally confesses to what is concealed in her heart, misunderstandings and hesitations cause the two girls to not get closer.

Only when Mari seems to drift away does Akko realize she too feels more than friendship. It is then even hinted those feelings may have been budding inside her since before she got to know Mari and was only watching her from afar.

What I liked and swept me up in the story was exactly that dynamic in Akko and Mari’s relationship.


With a fitting sense of drama without being overly melodramatic, it shows us the hesitations, fears, doubts and sheer overwhelming intoxication such a love can have. The story also doesn’t shy to show the cold, darker side of love, how all too easily people can hurt or misunderstand each other.

Still, the manga mostly focuses on that innocence, the bright, lively atmosphere of Akko and Mari’s friendship that blossoms into love.

While the secondary characters do play key supporting roles now and then, found myself paying little attention to hem, mostly because they were rather generic.


Overall the art by Milk Morinaga is quite decent, though while some panels seem a bit more simple in terms of illustrations, the main characters and key scenes can get strikingly excellent panels as well. Although the style leans close to a drawing genre that isn’t my favorite at all, here it perfectly fit in with the story.

Am curious to see where it will all head for Akko and Mari once the manga resumes, as I saw it is -hopefully only briefly- on hiatus.

Highly recommend this to fans of romantic stories or those who like shoujo-ai and yuri. Only realize now that I selected mostly images from the few scenes where Akko and Mari kiss, but most parts of the manga are rather benign in that aspect.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2010 3:25 am

    Even thought guys suppose to like this type of genre..
    Im not really into it =/ well exception of Candy Boy ^^

    bah, okay then ill check it out =)

  2. April 4, 2010 8:40 am

    Looks good.
    I don’t normally read yuri manga since one of the characters is usually really tom-boyish, which I don’t particularly like. From your description though, neither of the girls here sound like they fit that role.

  3. April 4, 2010 8:47 am

    Well don’t think all men are automatically supposed to like the yuri genre.
    “Candy Boy” is one of the stellar series though, most times the focus on the romance and emotions in it make you forget they’re sisters.
    In “Girl Friends” this isn’t the case at all, both Akko and Mari are quite normal, feminine and delicate girls, they don’t particularly lean towards being meek, tomboy,…

  4. April 5, 2010 5:07 am

    Oooh, looks good. I like a good romance story 😉 Will have to check it out.

  5. April 5, 2010 10:03 am

    Found it quite romantic and it can appeal to non yuri fans as well because it starts out as not especially yuri or shoujo-ai.

  6. April 9, 2010 10:23 am

    Girl Friends seems to be the face of yuri manga now, even more so than Marimite. I really enjoyed this manga as well! It got really angsty at times, but it’s just lovely.

  7. April 9, 2010 7:55 pm

    It’s a great manga, can’t wait for it to pick up again. The fact I read it pretty much in one go says plenty. ^^
    Yes it has angst but it feels natural, normal for confused youngsters looking for their true emotions and feelings to become clear as well as trying to understand what their beloved really feels, thinks,…

  8. April 9, 2010 11:14 pm

    I did find it interesting how you interspersed solid, substantive posts with pictures of Akko and Mari kissing, as if to say “these are both reasons why I like Girlfriends. 😛

    I find the work awesome as well, and I only wonder how far along we’ll get to see Akko and Mari deal with their continuing new progression in there relationship, and how others will probably respond to it.

  9. April 10, 2010 8:40 am

    That’s indeed the case and I also preferred to use images without any text balloons in them, so had to look for some full page spreads of which most are dedicated to such poignant scenes in the story.
    Am curious to see how it will evolve as well. The story being this good now the pressure is on Milk Morinaga to deliver in either having it evolve more or write a superb ending as expectations are high!


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