Manga Planet’s Weekly Picks: Love and Leading Ladies
Here on Manga Planet’s Weekly Picks, you can find manga that delighted so much we wanted to share it with everyone!
This week’s picks, Kisugae’s Kotonoha and Ibuki Kosaka’s The Princess’s Circumstances, both focus on women discovering what they love and pursuing it with all their might. While these two manga approach different kinds of love, they both showcase the importance of honestly embracing your passion despite what society might think. These works charmed the Manga Planet editorial staff, and we hope you like them too.
Kotonoha by Kisugae
In high school, Aoi Fujita shared a kiss with Emi Tachibana, her friend and classmate. Thinking that a girl kissing another girl was wrong, Aoi decided to maintain that they are friends and ignored her feelings for Emi. Aoi was close friends with Emi throughout high school but separate ways after they graduated. Unable to confess her true feelings, Aoi thinks back to Emi even years later. But one day, Aoi runs into Emi through work. With her heart still filled with Emi, will Aoi finally tell Emi how she feels?
What Makes it Good
Although the manga alludes to social pressures for heterosexuality, it succeeds in normalizing love between woman. The core conflict of the narrative lies not in the “taboo” of love between women, but rather the aftermath of overcoming the “taboo.” Kisugae tenderly depicts the complications of love hindered by time and circumstance rather than only homophobia. A rather chaste manga that illustrates nothing more than a kiss, Kotonoha delves into the emotional landscapes of Aoi, Emi, and the Aoi’s interloping co-worker. For those who are still new to the yuri genre, this manga is a great start.
The Princess’s Circumstances by Ibuki Kosaka
Princess Youko isn’t an average daughter of a Japanese aristocrat. She is also Karen Kurenai, a popular romance writer for Flower Maiden magazine. Youko keeps her identity a secret to maintain her family’s noble standing. One day she encounters Miki, a distraught young man trying to find the woman he loves. Determined to help him, Youko embarks on an investigation under the guise of Karen even though it might expose her true identity.
What Makes it Good
Romantic love is a subplot in The Princess’s Circumstances. However, Youko’s passion for her writing and her fans drives the narrative and create a compelling story that shows love and marriage are not core to a female protagonist’s motives. Kosaka’s detailed period art style complements this innovate story. Each panel visually expresses the tension between Youko’s progressive interests (for the time) and her family’s conservative stance. Although The Princess’s Circumstances is only a one-shot, it is a stylistically satisfying manga that deserves a reread.
Where to Read
You can find Kotonoha and The Princess’s Circumstances on Manga.Club. If you’re a manga fan that hasn’t heard of Manga.Club, you’re missing out. Manga.Club, the latest project from Torico, allows readers to read manga for free and also support the mangaka.
You can also read manga for free on Manga Planet! Be sure to check out our original series, The Golden Age of Decadence and After School! and let us know what you think in the comments.