I first read Sorairo Girlfriend right around the time I finished Blue Friend. Though not nearly as overwhelming as the latter, this cute yuri manga nevertheless offers a compelling and, at times, emotional read. Set in high school where people are mean, cliques are cruel, and love is confusing, Sorairo Girlfriend follows the budding relationship between Hiromi and Juri.
As a child, Hiromi dreamed of being a princely knight.  When a new student, Juri, transfers to Hiromi’s class, this innocent childhood fantasy is rekindled. Juri is a stunning, alluring girl with a very harsh personality and a caustic tongue. Thus, despite how cute she is, she still manages to alienate most of the class on the first day. When Hiromi defends and befriends her, she becomes quite attached to Hiromi. Juri even casts Hiromi as Romeo and herself as Hiromi’s Juliet.
Faced with Juri’s aggressive and possessive behavior, Hiromi grows unsure of her own feelings for Juri. To complicate things further, Hiromi’s best friend is unhappy with Juri’s quickly dominating presence in Hiromi’s life. Still, Juri continues to push Hiromi’s personal boundaries, and eventually crosses the lines of friendship. An unexpected kiss on stage during the school play – conveniently Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – sends Hiromi’s heart into a turmoil. Hiromi pushes Juri away, runs from the stage, and avoids school for the next few days. When she finally returns to school, she finds the class has not only isolated Juri, but also bullies her for her lesbian act. Will this Romeo and Juliet story again end in tragedy? Or will Hiromi be Juri’s handsome knight?
I found Sorairo Girlfriend incredibly captivating. It has a very nice blend of adorable scenes and intense moments. Although many elements of the manga are clichés, the story remains fresh. Prince-like heroines  and school plays starring two girls in romantic roles  are common in yuri manga. In fact, even Romeo and Juliet seems to be a favorite of the genre.  However, these tropes never feel tired because of a certain degree of realism integrated into the complex plot. I particularly like the turning point of Hiromi and Juri’s relationship, which is driven to some extent by the harassment Juri faces. It is so refreshing to see Sorairo Girlfriend touch upon discrimination. Further, while the manga does deal with more serious issues, it does not become emotionally exhaustive, and maintains a fairly gentle atmosphere.
Juri also helps to keeps the story from being bland. I enjoy watching Juri completely disregard Hiromi’s comfort zone. Her powerful presence and stark personality is so charming. Besides, I love manipulative girls!
- Hiromi wants to be Princess Sapphire from the anime Ribon no Kishi, who dresses up as a prince. Instead of marrying the prince from a neighboring land, Hiromi instead wants to be together with the gorgeous witch.
- One of my favorite presentation of this motif is in the visual novel, A Kiss for the Petals – My Dear Prince.
- Strawberry Panic!, Aoi Hana, and Marimite all have school plays.
- This reminds me of the play in K-On!!, in which Mio and Ritsu have lead roles. And yes, Mio and Ritsu are a yuri couple.
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