Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Manga Review: Strawberry Shake Sweet by Shizuru Hayashiya

Shizuru Hayashiya, whose ongoing series Hayate X Blade contains plenty of subtext, is also the creator of the shorter and completed Strawberry Shake Sweet. The cast of characters is small, the focus on two teenage talents, Julia Tachibana (dark hair in the image to the right) and Ran Asakawa (light hair), and their developing relationship. There are obstacles along the way, but the manga remains generally lighthearted from start to finish.

Overall

Strawberry Shake Sweet is a simple story filled with numerous moments of comedy, over the top fantasizing (from Julia) and some drama, topped off with a happy end. The main characters are described as an idiot and an airhead and everything stays sweet and tame throughout, no matter how many times the characters believe themselves to be thinking perverted thoughts or hope to go through with doing "dirty things" to each other.

Yuri?

For all the fantasies and nosebleeds that happen, there isn't anything beyond some hinting, talking about sex, sharing a bed, jokes, misunderstandings, hand-holding and kissing to be found. However, almost the entire cast is made up of women and women who are paired up in various ways, and there are definite heartfelt love confessions.

Art Style

If you can handle manga art of the cutesy big-eyed sort, Hayashiya's style is nice. The lines are clean and characters can be distinguished from each other easily without wearing only one default outfit or never changing hairstyle throughout the whole story.

Where to find the manga?

Unfortunately Strawberry Shake Sweet hasn't been translated officially into English. But it is possible to find it as a fan-translated scanlation online, both for download and to read on-site.

The Japanese language original can be purchased in two volumes for ¥900 each through Amazon.co.jp.

Further Reading

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