THE LAST UNIFORM (Saigo no Seifuku, “The Last (School) Uniform”) ??????? • Mera Hakamada • Seven Seas Entertainment (2007-suspended) • Houbunsha (Manga Time Kirara Carat/Manga Time Kirara Max, 2004-2006) • 2 volumes (3 volumes in Japan, suspended) • Yuri Romance • 16+(brief mild language, brief mild violence, sexual situations)
Willowy, wispy big-headed girls fall in secret love with each other at a girls’ dorm in this distinctively drawn romance anthology. As the five main characters–some of them roommates–spend time together, talking smack and complaining about guys (who, of course, are either offscreen or creeps), their separate relationships brew into a stew of repressed loves, secret friend-crushes and heart-pounding close encounters. Although the characters are drawn like little children, their slice-of-life dialogue is sharp and quirky and elevates the series above purely juvenile gaze-into-the-girls-world stuff like Strawberry Marshmallow. (“But I want Tsumugi’s body!” “Just for that, you have to write a sex story about me, Kisaragi Asagi and that girl! A really juicy one, too!” “Hey, write a story where Beniko jumps me!”) In short: tasteful lesbian-themed thrills set on a background of red, melancholy sunsets. The third volume is on hold as of November 2009.
Today’s winner is Carolyn T. of Delaware. Congratulations, Carolyn! I’ll be sending you some manga ASAP!