Reviews: Hen

Reads like the prototype for a better story

I'm a yuri fan, so despite what I heard about this story, I decided to approach it with an open mind.

That turned out to be a wise call, because this reads less like an excellent story, and more like a slight above average prototype of one.

The plot is simple on it's face: a girl who thought she was straight has If Its You Its Okay feelings for another girl, and the rest of the manga deals with her angst and eventual acceptance.

Unfortunately, the pacing needed serious work.

At least two scenes that end in heterosexual sex were pointless to the plot, with one needing a heavy editing, and the Shotacon laden one could have been excised entirely without hurting the story. Certain plot threads could have condensed, and while the story of Suzuki is interesting, it tends to take the spotlight away from the main plot a little too long, feeling much like another plotline was grafted onto the existing one as padding.

The art is not too bad, aside from some Off Model (Chizuru looks like a Code Geass character parody in some panels) and some truly hideous Gonk, and while the Fanservice is gratuitous, most of the plot relevant related material is used rather well.

Characterization was a bit clunky and many characters could have used some polish, but Chizuru needed the most. Specifically, she apparently has no idea that the concept of bisexuality exists (which, admittedly, would have kneecapped a lot of the angst, so perhaps this was intentional), and while her transition from Alpha Bitch to a really mellow Lovable Alpha Bitch was plausible enough, she and Azumi felt like the only characters who didn't turn into stereotypes on occasion.

However, the obstacles to her and Azumi being a happily ever after couple did feel noticeably contrived towards the end.

In summation, the ending was nice, but it took a meandering route to get there, so those fed up with the Romantic Plot Tumor that Suzuki's subplot bordered on or those who just hated the somewhat slipshod pacing will be annoyed.

That said, if you can look past the flaws, the core of the story has a nice plot and a good ending, but even the most patient, open minded soul will get the feeling this story really could have been better.

As it is, it's a very good prototype of a good story, but still, not without it's merits.