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Manga / Haru and Midori

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"Once again, spring has come, bringing with it a slightly cool breeze and a girl with the same smile as the person I loved."
Midori Yukihira.

Haru and Midori is a Yuri manga by Fukaumi Kon. The story involves Midori, a cripplingly shy 31-year-old woman who hears about the death of her old friend Tsugumi. Tsugumi has left behind a daughter named Haruko ("Haru" for short) who greatly resembles her mother. Since none of Haru's relatives are able and willing to take Haru in, Midori steps up.

The series ended in June 2020, after 15 chapters.

This series contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: It's vaguely implied that Midori feels guilty over not being there for Tsugumi when she needed her, which is why she's taking care of Tsugumi's daughter.
  • Distant Finale: The ending to the fic takes place after Haru graduates from high school.
  • Downer Beginning: At the start of the story, Tsugumi's best friend dies, leaving her daughter an orphan.
  • Dying Alone: Apparently, at the time of Tsugumi's death in a motorcycle accident, her daughter was the only one close to her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Midori is shown getting up and leaving her job while her coworkers talk in the background. She then goes to the convenience store to buy some instant noodles for dinner but is unable to express herself clearly enough to ask for chopsticks. When she gets home, her mother gets on her case about taking care of herself. All this shows that Midori has severe social issues, and her life is a bit of a mess.
  • In-Series Nickname: Haruko is generally called "Haru" for short.
  • It's All Junk: Haru expresses this sentiment when she suggests throwing out her mother's belongings. Subverted in the next chapter when, after reflecting on some memories and seeing Midori put the curtains up, Haru changes her mind.
    Haru: What am I supposed to do with memories? I know that I can't stay like this. That's why I thought I had to change. And yet...what are memories? Every time that I remember Mom... "Ah, I'll never see her again," is what I end up thinking. That's why I think it'd be easier if I just threw such things away.
  • Last Disrespects: Some of Tsugumi's relatives badmouth her at her funeral, gossiping about her marital status.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the start of the last chapter, one of Tsugumi's schoolmates complains about how the drama she was watching ended as she was just getting into it.
  • Meaningful Name: In-Universe, Haruko's name was chosen because she was born at the start of April, and thus the start of spring.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Midori's mother barely looks older than her daughter, a youthful-looking 31-year-old.
  • Nephewism: Averted. Tsugumi's aunt, Yayoi, cares for Haru but says that since she has two kids of her own, she can't take in her niece's daughter. She later changes her mind after her children move out and offer to let Haru stay with her.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in a sense. One mother who comes to Haru's school for Parents' Day calls out for "Haru," but it's Haruka, not Haruko.
  • Only Friend: Tsugumi was the shy and introverted Midori's only friend. It turns out to be mutual, as Tsugumi, despite being popular, went through the motions when interacting with most of her schoolmates, and saw the similarly lonely Midori as her only real friend.
  • Parental Abandonment: Haru's mother's death kicks off the plot, while her father apparently left Tsugumi some time ago.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Tsugumi's death in the story results in Midori meeting and taking in Haru.
  • Posthumous Character: Tsugumi. She was important to Midori, and many flashbacks shed light on their relationship.
  • Shrinking Violet: Midori is so introverted that she struggles to hold conversations with others.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Haru looks almost exactly like her mother, Tsugumi, especially when wearing her mother's old uniform.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Since Haru is 14 at the start of the story and her mother died at the age of 31, Midori does the math and realizes that Tsugumi had Haru at age 17.
  • Womanchild: Downplayed with Midori. While Midori seems to be capable of holding down a job, she's apparently still dependent on her mother in many regards, despite being 31.
  • Yuri Genre: Officially stated to be this, presumably due to Tsugumi and Midori having feelings for each other but not acting on them.