In Tadokoro-san, one of LILYKA’s debut shojo-ai manga, love is found through art. While the blushing girl on the cover may be suggestive of more, the book is never explicit, and it stays in the realm of blushing, emotional girls who are experiencing first love.
Tadokoro-san is a shy and artistic high school girl who loves to read and create her own manga. While scribbling in class one day, she draws a portrait of Nikaidou Sakurako, a smart, pretty and popular classmate. Tadokoro thinks that Nikaidou must have a charmed life and that the other girl must be stuck up. But Tadokoro is still drawn to her, no pun intended.
It turns out Nikaidou isn’t so stuck up, and she sticks up for Tadokoro when the other girl is bullied over her art. Later Nikaidou sees a sample of Tadokoro’s art (not the portrait) and becomes obsessed right back. Nikaidou asks for a real portrait from Tadokoro, which leads the girls to spending time alone in the art room so Tadokoro can draw. This brings them even closer together.
Tadokoro-san is a series, and the first volume is 27 pages. It’s a doujinshi (or self-published) manga, so it doesn’t have the typical format and length of manga. But the art and story work as well as professional manga, and that’s what matters. It does feel a little different from a lot of manga out there, but probably only because it gives the creator more freedom as opposed to writing the book in a certain way. This first volume feels like a little teaser, because it gives just enough to introduce us to engaging characters and their dilemma.
A reader might hear “shojo-ai” or “yuri” and expect it to be really graphic and gratuitous, but that’s just not the case here. It’s a sweet and simple story, and one that can be enjoyed by people who aren’t generally fans of yuri. For people who are fans of yuri, they have here a very tender-hearted love story with some quirky scenes and humor sprinkled in. The book is just available digitally through the LILYKA site or emanga.com.
Story & Art: Tatsubon
Publisher: Digital Manga Inc.
Danica Davidson, along with Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya, is the author of Manga Art for Intermediates. In addition to showing how to draw manga character types in detail, the book describes how professional Japanese manga creators work, including common techniques and what drawing utensils they use.