Himari doesn’t know much about music, but she’s fallen in love her senpai Yori after watching her perform in a band during the first day of school. “Fallen in love at first sight” as a fan that is, although Himari only explains this to Yori after Yori says that she’s also fallen for her. Is Himari just having a fangirl moment or is this the start of something deeper between her and Yori?
I feel that I might be a bit burned out on contemporary, non-fantastical yuri series. Between Whisper Me a Love Song and the anime adaptation of Adachi and Shimamura I keep finding myself just plain bored by the stories. Of course, this manga doesn’t give the reader much to fall in love with in this first volume; this is a story just about Himari and Yori and honestly everything in their lives outside of each other is a bit of a blank right now. We have some scenes with Himari talking to her one friend and some scenes of Yori with the band (which she turns out to not be a member of, although the other band members would love for her to join) but that’s it.
They seemingly don’t have anything noteworthy going on in their outside lives, like jobs, hobbies, or family, that could normally be used to build a sense of character and give readers something to connect with. I keep thinking about the BL series given which developed the boys’ relationships through being in a band together and doing things; so far Whisper Me is missing that “doing things together” action to develop Himari and Yori and their relationship with each other. Eku Takeshima is betting the success of this entire story on the strength of the relationship between Himari and Yori and while that may have worked if this story was a short one-shot, it’s not nearly enough for an entire series.
That’s why I think I might be burned out on contemporary yuri manga right now, or at least romance stories that don’t put their characters in situations that will allow them to become more fleshed out. In a fantasy or sci-fi setting there are at least extra details in the story to capture my interest or, taken in a different direction, if the art for any series is drop-dead gorgeous I’ll stick with a series a bit longer. In both cases at least I’ll be entertained while the characters are waffling. Takeshima’s art is pretty but there isn’t anything stand out about it — even Himari and Yori’s character designs fall squarely into the “bubbly, shorter girl with pink hair and her cool, taller, dark-haired girlfriend” visual cliche.
This first volume just didn’t give me anything to really grab onto and at this rate I can’t imagine that the second volume would be terribly different.