Strawberry Fields Once Again, by Kazura Kinosaki, is a yuri romance manga with a bit of a sci-fi twist. Get ready for some time-travel shenanigans in this sweet and magical story of a love that spans two timelines.
High-schooler, Akira Kouno, lives an isolated existence; her mother is dead, she’s estranged from her father and her brother has locked himself in his room and won’t speak with her. She also has no friends at school and has vowed to never fall in love with anyone, devoting her time to playing dating-sim video games instead. That is, until she’s approached by Pure Sakurasaka, a beautiful stranger who claims to be her lover from the future. Akira thinks Pure is just some crazy idiot, and probably a stalker, but the other girl is determined to stay by her side and she constantly follows Akira around, even going so far as to enroll at her school. It isn’t long before the two of them are hanging-out all of the time and, since Pure is so warm and helpful, Akira is beginning to think that it wouldn’t be so bad to have her as a friend, but is Pure actually serious about being from the future and being Akira’s fiancée? And, if she is, will Akira continue to hold fast to her vow to forever remain single, or will Pure’s romantic feelings eventually be returned?
For me, the greatest appeal of Strawberry Fields Once Again is the mystery element. Don’t get me wrong, the romance is great and I’ll get into that later in this review, but the story raises so many intriguing questions that I’m dying to know the answers too! Chiefly, why exactly has Pure traveled back in time in the first place? The explanation she gives Akira is that future-Akira mentioned that she wished that she had known Pure when they were teens so that her adolescence would have been less lonely. Pure claims that, after hearing this, she immediately sent her consciousness back in time using some means that has yet to be explained, but that’s a pretty flimsy reason to re-write history and risk never getting romantically involved with your fiancée in the first place if things don’t end up going well. I’m guessing that something must have happened in the future to push Pure to taking such drastic steps, and I’m dying to learn just what that is.
Now, as promised, on to the romance.
Despite Akira’s protestations that she’ll never enter into a 3-D romance – a conviction she acquired from seeing how real-life love can fade and lead to pain – Pure proves to be a hard person not to fall for. Pure is up-beat, devoted and open with her affections. She stands up for Akira at school when people bad-mouth her and shows a surprising dark side when she feels that Akira is being mistreated, demonstrating that, regardless of how cheerful she is, Pure is no bimbo.
Pure is also a huge clutz, but, of course, that just makes her even more adorable. It’s no surprise that the walls Akira has built around her heart soon start to crumble in the presence of this bubbly force of nature. Akira is usually reserved, and is pretty blunt when she does speak, but she’s actually a caring girl who’s currently dealing with a lot of heartache. She misses her mother, is angry with her father and is worried about her brother. Prior to Pure pushing her way into her life, Akira had no one to turn to for support, but once Pure gets her to open up, things start to go better for her. Akira starts making other friends – much to Pure’s chagrin – and is also starting to make some progress with her brother, all thanks to Pure’s encouragement and meddling. And she’s doing all of this fully knowing that her feelings for Akira may never be reciprocated. Given how, well, pure Pure’s motivations are, Akira’s beliefs about the pointlessness of love and romance are slowly being dismantled and I look forward to seeing their love-story continue to progress in the future volumes of this series.
Strawberry Fields Once Again is a sweet, humorous and captivating manga. Pure and Akira make a really cute couple, even if Pure is a bit of an obsessive weirdo, and I can’t wait to find out more about what exactly transpired in the future timeline that caused Pure to travel back in time. I definitely recommend this series to all of the yuri manga lovers out there.
Final Score 8 out of 10
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.
For more information on this series, visit Yen Press’ website.
Be sure to check out some of my other recent yuri reviews:
- Days of Love at Seagull Villa Vol 1 Review
- A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Vol 1 Review
- Whisper Me a Love Song Vol 1 Review
- I Love You So Much, I Hate You Review
- Failed Princesses Vol 1 Review
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