Tue, Nov. 6th, 2007, 11:52 am || Emura - W Juliet, vol. 01-02 (Eng. trans.)

add to memories

I read vol. 1 a pretty long time ago, so my memory may be a bit fuzzy.

Ito Miura is a tomboy in the drama club, where she frequently (?) plays male roles. I think several girls in the school have a crush on her, and the drama club prima donna definitely does. Enter Makoto Amano, who is feminine, gorgeous, refined and delicate.

Except Makoto's actually a boy.

He doesn't want to inherit the family dojo, as he loves acting, so he made a deal with his overbearing father. If he can successfully attend the rest of high school as a girl, he'll have proved his acting chops and can go into acting instead of martial arts (I am still amused that the choice isn't between acting and finance or acting and engineering, but instead acting and martial arts!).

Ito discovers Makoto's secret early on and vows to protect him and to help him fulfill his goal.

This isn't a great manga; a lot of the scenes are fairly typical high-school shoujo. There's the school play, there are dramatic moments in which they discover the drama club may be disbanded (the angst!), there's the school festival, and there's Valentine's Day and chocolate. But I am fond of the characteres, and I'm interested in the gender-bending.

So far, Emura's going the standard route, in which Ito is beginning to wish she were more girly and there are moments in which Makoto gets to be all manly. And there's the requisite dramatic tension in form of a love triangle and people trying to split them up.

But I like that they're coded somewhat as a lesbian relationship in the text, and that in front of the school, Ito's taking the traditionally masculine role and Makoto's the traditionally feminine one.

I probably won't buy this, but since my library is getting it, I'll keep reading.