My first introduction to Adachi and Shimamura came last fall when the anime was simulcasting. I haven’t seen a lot of yuri titles but I enjoyed the art style and laid back atmosphere. I was interested in seeing how the anime compared to its source material so I was pretty excited to see that the light novels and manga were being released.
Adachi and Shimamura is about two girls: Adachi and, you guessed it, Shimamura. They’re in the same class, but spend more time playing ping pong in the gym than actually studying. A friendship slowly forms between these delinquents, and maybe something more. The series focuses on their budding friendship, the complex and painfully awkward feelings of first love, discovering your sexuality, and how our two leads fit in with the characters around them. There’s also an alien, but we’ll get to her later.
The barebones premise of this series feels a little generic, and it could have come across that way if put in different hands, but the way the leads are written sets them apart to me. Shimamura feels like she should be the pretty popular girl we see in every other high school romance, but there’s this sense of loneliness and distance that surfaces occasionally. She knows how to interact with classmates, but doesn’t know how to get close to them. Adachi is more of what I expected from the stereotypical shy girl, but she’s trying to break the barrier she’s put around herself to let Shimamura in. Her bold outbursts are unexpected and tend to be extremely awkward, but at least she’s trying to move their relationship forward. These two feel different on the surface but play off of each other so well it’s easy to get invested in their relationship.
One thing that I appreciated from volume 1 was how much focus was put on our leads instead of the side characters. Shimamura’s friends, Hino and Nakafuji, aren’t bad characters by any means. They contrast our main characters well, and give Adachi more depth. (Who would have thought this girl had a bit of a jealous side?) I’m not sure if this is included later in the series, but the anime had some early 2000s-esque fanservice scenes between the two of them that I am so glad hasn’t appeared in the manga. Yashiro, the alien, was also notably absent for the first half of the manga. She always felt like a character who was added randomly, so I’m glad she was less prominent here. I’m not sure why a story that is so grounded in reality decided to include a little alien girl who glows and wears a spacesuit, but it took me out of the story the first time she appeared in the anime. She's okay, and hopefully she has a greater purpose later, but the alien quirkiness feels unnecessary and I really wish she was just a regular kid.
If anyone remembers my review of Given, I am a fan of series that know how to take their time. The Adachi and Shimamura anime did a nice job of creating a quiet atmosphere where the story had room to breathe. The manga has similar scenes I was used to in the anime, but they felt faster and almost rushed. Slower stories aren’t for everyone, so I’m sure there are people who are glad that the manga doesn’t drag. If you want to pick up where the anime left off but want to keep the slower pace, you might want to try the light novel. I’m not sure if this is a common addition, but this volume included a brief segment from the light novel at the end. Light novels have never been something that I was very interested in before, but Adachi and Shimamura might be an exception for me. I consider myself a bit of a slow reader, so the light novel might be the perfect way to get the story and pace that I want. Hitoma Iruma’s writing is clear and putting the chapter in Shimamura’s perspective gives her more depth that I didn’t get from either adaptation. Plus it looks like there are nine volumes of the light novel already in Japan, so there is plenty of content to look forward to.
Adachi and Shimamura is a slow burn romance about two girls learning how to get out of their shells and let people into their lives. Their relationship is depicted in a way that is sweet, realistic, and sometimes so awkward I got flashbacks to my high school days. It’s a story that works in any form, so whether you watch the anime, read the manga or light novels, you are in for a treat.
Adachi and Shimamura Manga Volume 1
The second floor of the gym. That's our spot. Class is in session right now, but they don't hold class in a place like this. This is where Shimamura and I became friends. What is this feeling? Yesterday, I dreamed of kissing her. I'm not like that, and I'm sure Shimamura isn't either. But...when Shimamura thinks of the word "friend", I want to be the first thing that comes to her mind. That's all.Add to CartLearn More