Daytime Shooting Star Volume 1 by Mika Yamamori
We haven’t had a ton of student-teacher shoujo romances being translated here recently, but perhaps series like Dengeki Daisy and Takane and Hana have paved the way. Suzume has a comfortable, slow-paced life in the country. Her classmates are all as familiar to her as siblings, and she feels free to randomly ditch class and go up on the roof of her school building to stare at the sky. Unfortunately her routines are about to be disrupted, as her parents announce that they have to go abroad for her father’s work, and they are sending her to Tokyo to live with her uncle. Suzume ends up getting lost on her way to her uncle’s house and an eccentric young man wearing a goofy hat helps her out. It turns out that Shishio is a friend of her uncle’s and her teacher! This amazing coincidence isn’t terribly surprising. The contrast between Shishio’s mannerisms when he’s off-duty and when he’s at school is amusing.
Suzume initially has a hard time fitting in with her new school, but she makes a quasi-friend in Mamura, the boy she ends up sitting next to in class. He has a almost pathological reaction of terror in response to any contact from girls. She also makes a frenemy in the form of Nekota, a girl at school who sets up a fairly weak way of deliberately excluding Suzume from a weekend outing with her classmates. When Suzume realizes what is going on, she decides to charge in and confront the issue. Shishio keeps showing up at odd moments when Suzume is feeling down, and while she’s clearly developing a hidden crush, she has plenty of other things on her mind as she attempts to deal with adjusting to life in Tokyo.
Yamamori’s art is attractive and stylish, and I enjoy the varied way Suzume is portrayed, as she swings from being timid in a new environment, to cool and confident on the volleyball court, to desperately trying to cover up evidence of a girlfight. Suzume is an engaging heroine, and I’m looking forward to see what happens next as the relationships between the characters develop more.