Chasing After Aoi Koshiba doesn’t begin like a typical love story. For starters, we already know Sahoko, our main protagonist, does not end up with the love of her life following high school. We first meet Sahoko at her high school reunion where she’s hoping to reconnect with Aoi, whom she’s still pining after. Anna, one of Sahoko’s old friends, wants to be supportive, but tells her, ”It was just different for her, you know? That’s probably all it was.”
I actually really like well-written stories that “give away their ending” right off the bat. This frees up readers to theorize how past events lead to how things came to be in the present. While there are plenty of small moments scattered throughout this volume at the reunion, a lot of the story takes place during Sahoko’s time as a high schooler. She’s reinvented herself to be one of the “cool main character” types; she’s got an Instagram account with followers who adore her, she’s the center of attention, and she’s got a couple of cool friends. What more could a girl want? The answer: Aoi Koshiba. Although, Sahoko doesn’t recognize that herself…just yet.
This brings me to the other aspect of why this yuri love story feels a bit fresh and new. I appreciate the fact that Sahoko appears to be on her own path of self-discovery. She’s completely ignorant at this stage of her life that she’s attracted to Aoi as more than just a friend. Sahoko doesn’t really question why she wants to befriend Aoi, she just does. For someone who hasn’t got a boyfriend, or has an interest in dating, Sahoko isn’t even aware that her own behavior has all the telltale signs of someone in love. But this story isn’t just about Sahoko’s pursuit of Aoi. It’s also about the underlying reasons for Aoi’s sudden disappearances at the end of school each day. Aoi gets along well with just about everyone, was a star player on the girls’ basketball team, and seems to vanish right as Sahoko tracks her down! So there’s a bit of a mystery to just who Aoi Koshiba is at the start. There’s a sense that something isn’t right in Aoi’s world outside of school and Sahoko wants to know what that something is. Thankfully, she discovers what’s keeping Aoi from joining the basketball team before the end of this first volume, and I do hope that the revelation brings about new heartfelt moments because…what the heck happened between these two!? How did they not end up together!? I need to know!
There’s not much to go on right now, but that means there will be more pieces in this relationship-puzzle to put together in upcoming volumes. Needless to say I’m snatching up volume 2 the minute it comes out because I need to know!
Chasing After Aoi Koshiba manga volume 1 features story by Takeoka Hazuki and art by Fly.
Sahoko had lots of friends in high school, so there’s no shortage of people to catch up with at her reunion. But the person she wants to see most is missing: Aoi Koshiba, her old classmate and first crush.
Years ago, Aoi was the basketball team’s rising star, and caught Sahoko’s eye as an easy way to score social points. Sahoko later learned, however, that Aoi had long quit the game due to a difficult home situation. When an unexpected kiss pulled the girls closer together one day, it became clear that Aoi was in need of more than just a cynical social climber—and perhaps, Sahoko was the one.Add to CartLearn More