Cocoon Entwined Volume 1 Review

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Cocoon Entwined Volume One cover

Youko Yokozawa goes to a strange school; at a small, private school nestled in the countryside, hours and hours away from the hustle and bustle of major cities, the students at Hoshimiya Girls’ Academy all wear their hair long because in their final year each girls’ hair is cut and used to create the uniforms for the incoming class of high school first years. They say the uniforms breathe and feel like nothing else you’ve ever worn, like they’re alive. It’s a strange school and that strangeness seems to permeate the students who attend it as well.

The story seems to be more focused on atmosphere than on the students or any central storyline, so in that sense it gives me some Class S vibes where it seems to be more interested in emotional connections than ones that are necessarily romantic between the characters, although that may change. The uniforms themselves directly contribute to that feeling: the idea of being indirectly embraced, or even a part of, another girl but while not actually crossing that line into physical intimacy; it’s certainly easier to think of the uniforms as more of a metaphor than to consider how they would work as actual clothes (as someone who sews, I have so many questions about how these would work, not in the least that I doubt that there’s actually enough hair to make these uniforms). And yes, this was published several years after Kill la Kill came out, although any comparisons between these two series with strange ideas about clothing are very surface-level.

In some ways I think I would have preferred it if this story was condensed into a short story where all of the emotions and strange clothing ideas could have been right on top of each other and producing a more memorable work. I can tell that characters like the “princely” Saeki and the otherworldly Hoshimiya will be major reoccurring characters, and it seems like Youko is the most central member of the cast so far, but after this first volume I just wasn’t invested in them at all. With so much yuri available in English now, if it’s a mediocre series like this one it’s hard even to say “if you’re a hardcore yuri fan, read this.”

But I suppose if you are in the mood for the tone this series projects, an insubstantial, almost mysterious feeling, then Cocoon Entwined might be worth checking out.

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