Yuzumori-san (柚子森さん) by Ejima Eri (江島絵理) is an odd manga. Really, it kind of stunned me to read something like it. Basically, it’s a yuri age-gap romance manga. Not the first I’ve seen; for example there’s Hoshikawa Ginza District 4 which has a more significant age difference, but…this one; this one could be more controversial. Probably the most intriguing aspect of the series is that the high school-aged protagonist reeeaaally likes the elementary school-aged love interest. Like, a lot. Not just as a person, but physically. So, it’s a portrayal of a certain fancy I don’t care to type the name of on my site. It’s a convincing portrayal, for better or worse, such that I’m not sure how many people could actually enjoy reading this. That said it seems to have a sizable fanbase, both East and West, so what do I know?
So I actually went and explained the premise, for the most part. The series is about a second year high school student named Noma Mimika who meets the fourth grade title character, Yuzumori Kaede, one day and immediately falls in love.
Amusingly, Mimika’s first reaction is to explain that she’s “not a suspicious person”, Yuzumori having a hilarious reaction in turn.
However, tensions relax pretty quickly. By the end of chapter 1, Mimika has requested that Yuzumori become her friend, after earning her trust. Mimika’s motivations, however unknown to her they are at first, aren’t entirely pure though.
And in regards to Mimika, hm, well, I guess I’d say I like her a lot but she’s a bold kind of character to have created. She’s regularly extremely flustered and more than just a little lustful should she be in close contact with Yuzumori. They don’t pussyfoot around this either.
Despite this, this series isn’t what I’d call an entirely serious examination of the subject. Despite that, it’s not as if Mimika doesn’t get worrying at times. I think that how you feel about this manga is basically going to entirely be on you. Personally, I find it fascinating and entertaining.
Honestly there isn’t too much I can add to that. Yuzumori is a mature young girl who is funny and also surprising, and there are hints that she has a sad-ish home life. There’s little bits of drama here and there (mercifully dealt with very swiftly), progress is quick but believable, and there may be a love triangle kind of deal on the horizon (really not sure). I think it’s a good romance series with an interesting premise, a lot of realism, and some daring direction. It has a unique style, as well. Ejima-sensei likes face-focused pages where an entire page or at least one large panel is just a character thinking or saying something, or just reacting. It’s not something I think I’ve seen before, and it happens a lot.
Anyway it’s an honest, weird, cute, and intriguing manga that I’d give my high recommendation, but man if Mimika was a guy this series would set everyone off I bet.
That’s the review. I’m a day late on one of my shortest reviews yet! Daaamn, well, shit happens. If you’d like to purchase Yuzumori-san, you may do say via CDJapan, Ejima Eri’s Bookwalker author page (guide) (assuming it ever gets sold there), honto (guide), or ebookjapan. Also here’s the author’s twitter: @nebukur0. Thanks for reading. Next time, we’re out of the /u/-zone.