⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Chasing After Aoi Koshiba by Hazuki Takeoka

cover219007-mediumTitle: Chasing After Aoi Koshiba
Author: Hazuki Takeoka
Published: April, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Genre: Romance
Rating: ★★★.5

I received a copy of Chasing After Aoi Koshiba from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A yuri romance about the intense feelings of youth, and the perspective and regrets that adulthood can bring, for fans of manga like Bloom Into You and Orange. From the creator of Masamune-kun’s Revenge Hazuki Takeoka and acclaimed yuri artist Fly.

Sahoko had lots of friends in high school, so there’s no shortage of people to catch up with at her reunion. But the person she wants to see most is missing: Aoi Koshiba, her old classmate and first crush. Years ago, Aoi was the basketball team’s rising star, and caught Sahoko’s eye as an easy way to score social points. Sahoko later learned, however, that Aoi had long quit the game due to a difficult home situation. When an unexpected kiss pulled the girls closer together one day, it became clear that Aoi was in need of more than just a cynical social climber—and perhaps, Sahoko was the one.

I’m relatively new to manga and I’m still finding the styles that I enjoy reading, but it’s an enjoyable process trying new things.

Chasing After Aoi Koshiba, starts as Sahoko is arriving at her high school reunion to catch up with her old friends, particularly her first love, Aoi. Only Aoi is not there, and Sahoko begins reminiscing about her high school experience. We find out that she was not always a popular student, until she became a breakout social media darling, and that her path crosses with Aoi and there’s an unexpected spark of attraction.

This was a fun little story – although it definitely felt like a beginning. There’s a lot of set-up for who Sahoko is and how she meets Aoi, and there’s definitely some teen angst and drama that goes along with that. Sahoko herself is very self-conscious, despite her fame, and she finds herself very attracted to the down-to-earth, mature Aoi, who has her own family issues that she’s dealing with.

While I feel like there was something lacking in this first volume, I suspect that future volumes will add the depth needed for this story and so it’s one I’ll keep an eye on to continue. Aoi’s story, in particular, is intriguing and I’d like to see where it goes.

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