(I haven’t done a one shot manga article in a while, and this post should have been published a long time ago, but I never gotten around to do it.)
I read two collections of shoujo one shots by Yoshinaga Yuu, Tsumi Koi and Hatsukoi Hakusho. These one shots were pretty adorable to the extent that I reacted with an, “Awww…,” and it made my heart flutter just a tiny bit. All these stories have a simple plot, where a boy and girl fall in love. Yoshinaga Yuu’s one shots consists of various situations and settings that convey love. In this post, I will discuss some of the one shots that caught my attention in each collection.
Tsumi Koi (2009)
The first collection I read was Tsumi Koi. Now the main story of this collection, “Tsumi Koi,” wasn’t as interesting as the supporting stories.
One of the supporting stories that caught my eye was “Let’s Meet in a Dream.” Fuzuki dreams about a young math teacher in her high school. She tries to find this teacher, but learns that such a teacher doesn’t actually exist at the school until she sees him on the street. In this story, I like how dreams are like predictions or premonitions for what is to come in the future.
The second story in this collection that I liked was “Koi no Jyumon.” In the fifth grade, Iyo received her first kiss from Tsujiai during a festival. Some of her classmates saw it and teased her, but she denied it in front of everyone including Tsujiai. Now in high school, Iyo and Tsujiai stopped talking after that incident. Iyo wants to clear up this misunderstanding with Tsujiai, which she gets a chance to do at another festival. In this story, the couple has a pure love because the two continued to have feelings for each other despite a misunderstanding that ruin their relationship.
Hatsukoi Hakusho (2009)
“A Summer-Colored Memorial” is set at a middle school reunion among classmates. Before graduating junior high, Utsumi confesses to Matsuri by writing, “I used to like you,” in her yearbook. Although they go to separate high schools, Matsuri has some lingering feelings for Utsumi. One of the reasons why I liked this one shot was Utsumi’s transformation from a junior high delinquent into a mature young man as indicated by the change of his hair color from orange to black. By changing his hair color, Utsumi honors Matsuri’s words in his yearbook about being more mature. Yet, it was later revealed that he had orange hair because it allowed him to get Matsuri’s attention.
The other one shot I enjoyed reading was, “Our One-sided Love.” This story focuses on the concept of unrequited love. Yuma has a crush on Taichi, but she keeps her feelings a secret because she assumes that Taichi likes her best friend, Rina, who is currently dating a guy at a different high school. What I like about this story is how Yuma supports Taichi’s feelings for his crush regardless of her own feelings and desires.
Although these one shots have simple story lines, I liked how Yoshinaga Yuu conveys different perspectives on love within various settings; thus, Yoshinaga Yuu attracts many types of shoujo readers. Most of the themes involve first love, crushes, and unrequited love. Despite having unique story lines, the art isn’t as unique because the same facial expressions and physical appearances seem to be recycled for the main characters.