Manga Review – Voiceful

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I’ve been waiting with eager anticipation for the publication of Seven Seas Entertainment’s Strawberry line, Myself being a huge fan of Yuri I couldn’t pass up this line as there is a definite lack of Yuri manga translations in comparison to Yaoi. I am hoping this will be the start of a new trend towards this smaller yuri market the publications included are First Love Sisters, Voiceful, Hayate X Blade, The Last Uniform and of course the famous Strawberry Panic! with both the manga and Light novels being translated into English.

The first title I’m reviewing is the one shot Voiceful by Nawoko, This manga follows the story of Kanae a shy, introverted school girl who appears to suffer from agoraphobia. Her only solace is found in the music of the illusive Hina, an artist who releases her music exclusively over the internet and never performs live. Kanae’s life changes when one day she passes her ‘goddess’ in the street, upon recognising her and after a strange introduction their lives become ever increasingly entwined emotionally. There are also two ‘shorts’ featured in this publication entitled “Someone Special”.

This volume was an interesting read, not so much a full on yuri publication as an exploration of alienation and acceptance. The girls friendship never seems to develop much beyond being just friends but they do appear to have an intense connection to each other, which by the end of the volume may possibly blossom into something else. This Volume appears to be an introduction to the girls feelings and by the end the reader is left wondering what happens next. Sadly as this is a one shot we will probably never know but this is a nice read, possibly for some this would serve as a good introduction to the yuri manga genre as it lacks the intensity of other titles such as Kannazuki No Miko or Strawberry Panic!

The art itself is pretty with the girls depicted as attractive but in a non fanboy way. These characters seem real rather than the usual stylised ‘Moe’ girls who only serve the purpose of being eye candy. This is a very nice manga, possibly not as memorable as others but a good story that any yuri fan would enjoy reading.

Story – 6/10 – As a one shot it works well but possibly it has too much angst and pending what if’s than actual action. At times it seems more of a start to a series than a one shot but a gentle introduction to yuri with powerful emotion displayed by both the lead girls, also an interesting insight into alienation.
Characters Р6/10 РBoth girls are extremely likable and their plights though different are both moving. Neither possesses any overly clich̩ or annoying characteristics but they do at times seem very watered down and possibly lacking the passion I would have liked to have seen.
Art: – 6/10 – At times understated but definitely fluid and ‘real’, there is charm but it isn’t as eye catching as I would have liked it to be.