This is another of Morinaga Miruku's H-manga. It doesn't seem to be as dark as Mare (I've only skimmed through it, so I can't say for sure right now), but there are rape scenes in it, though I won't be posting those here. It has a nice bittersweet yuri one-shot at the end that I like a lot, too.
Click the thumbnails for the full-size scans.
Kazumi's father suddenly brings a child he'd had with another woman to live with his family (his wife has been dead for two years now). The new girl, Tomomi, ends up being in Kazumi's class, too. Kazumi reflects that she feels sorry for her mother, who died without knowing that Tomomi's father had cheated on her.
Tomomi is working at a part-time job to pay Kazumi's family for her living expenses, and Kazumi is grateful for it because they're in the black for the first time in four months. She does wonder what sort of job Tomomi has that keeps her out so late.
Tomomi comes home, and Kazumi tells her she can go use the bath first because Tomomi is busy watching TV. The rest of the family is out at a nighttime baseball game. Kazumi looks through Tomomi's backpack. She finds a sailor uniform and wonders if it's from Tomomi's previous school.Just then, Tomomi pokes her head in to ask something about the shampoo, and catches her. Kazumi tries to cover up her snooping, saying she was wondering if Tomomi's work uniform needed washing. She then asks her point-blank what sort of job she has. Tomomi puts the uniform on and says, "This sort of [part-time] job. Satisfied?" Then she asks if Kazumi wants to work at her job with her.
Tomomi then starts to seduce Kazumi despite Kazumi's protests, and tells her that she sometimes gets female customers, too. She asks Kazumi if she can understand what she and her mother had to do to survive.
She tells Kazumi that she looked at Kazumi's family from far away once, back when she was in grade school. Kazumi's family was so poor they could have given Tomomi's family a run for their money, and yet they looked so happy. She confesses that when her mother died, she decided to push her way into Kazumi's family and then mess them up. But then in just one evening/night, she started liking them.
Afterwards, while Tomomi is sleeping, Kazumi thinks to herself that she'll have to get Tomomi to quit her job. She also thinks to herself that come summer vacation, the two of them should go visit the graveyard (to visit their mothers' graves, I would guess) in matching dresses.
Chapter 2 is about Kazumi following Tomomi to her job and both of them getting into trouble (this is the chapter with the rape scenes). Chapters 3-6 are about het romance.
For as long as Tomomi could remember, it was just her and her mother. The one time she saw Kazumi's family, they seemed very far away.
Three-person conferences (which I think are supposed to be Parent-Teacher conferences) are coming up next week. Tomomi wonders if her father will come to hers, and Kazumi reassures her that of course he will.
Then they talk about blood type for a bit (blood type is a big deal in Japan--it's kind of a superstitious thing there that one's blood type influences one's personality), and we find out that Tomomi doesn't know her own blood type, or what her mother's was. Kazumi takes Tomomi to go find out her blood type. Kazumi's is O, by the way, and her father's is A. Tomomi's turns out to be B. She thinks to herself that her mother's blood type was O (which confuses me, cause she told her friends before that she didn't know what it was ^^). Kazumi is happy because Tomomi's boyfriend is B, and two Bs have good compatability. But Tomomi is upset because there's no way an O and an A could make a B, so it turns out that her father isn't really Kazumi's father (?). While she's spacing out, she hurts her finger.
Tomomi thinks to herself that she hated Kazumi's father for abandoning her and her mother, and now it turns out it wasn't him. She can't understand why her mother lied to her.
Tomomi says she has a headache and wants to stay home from school. She tells Kazumi to go on without her.
Kazumi comments to her father that she shouldn't have taken Kazumi to donate blood the day before. She says she'll cook her some meat for dinner. Her father is surprised, and tells her to go back home.
Tomomi is packing her things. She feels like she has to leave Kazumi's family. She tries to tell herself that it's no big deal.
Kazumi comes in, out of breath, and asks Tomomi where she's going. Kazumi tells Tomomi that she heard about the truth from her father. Tomomi then realizes that Kazumi's father knew the truth all along. Kazumi feels bad because this wouldn't have come up if she hadn't pushed Tomomi into finding out her blood type. She apologizes. Then Tomomi apologizes for stirring things up in Kazumi's house when she's not even a relative. Then Kazumi asks why Tomomi referred to their house as only hers, and Tomomi tells her she's leaving. Kazumi kicks Tomomi's bag outside and yells at her. She asks her if she's planning to pretend none of it happened, to abandon them all because she's not a blood relative, even though she was with them for a year. Tomomi apologizes. She thinks to herself that she was afraid of being told she couldn't stay there (that it "wasn't her place"). She asks Kazumi not to cast her out. And they have sex. During this, one or both of them think that the two of them aren't strangers.
Then Kazumi's little brothers call from school, her father is there and they're coming home. Kazumi's father tells Tomomi that in the back of the bureau is his secret savings, which he earned doing night work (at which the two girls have the hilarious and scarring image of him in bunny ears and a sailor uniform... ^^). The savings is for both of his daughter's weddings--he considers Tomomi his daughter, too.
When the father and brothers get home, they're all concerned about how Tomomi is feeling. Kazumi says that Tomomi is okay now, and Tomomi thanks everyone.
Tomomi thinks to herself that she understands why her mother had her meet this family. In this tiny apartment are her father, older sister, and two little brothers. Her final thoughts: "Even if a day should come when we have to part once more... ---Even if that day should come... To my precious, precious ---beloved you---" That's the end of the main story.
There are a few shorts, one of which ("Kimi to Watashi to Anzen Pin to"--"You, Me, and Safety Pins") is about Kazumi and Tomomi cosplaying as Utena and Anthy from Shoujo Kakumei Utena.
Then comes my favorite part of this book, the yuri one-shot. It's called "Toki ga Yurusu Yume no Tsumi," which literally means something like, "The Dream-Sin That Time Will Forgive." Can't think of a better rendering of the title right now, sorry.
The main character, Okano Megu, is flipping through a book, and thinks to herself that she should throw out this ribbon, since it's been 4 years [since her relationship with this girl, I would presume]. Then the flashback starts. It takes place during her first year of high school, which would be 10th grade, when she joined the gymnastics club.
Other new club members fill her in, since she wasn't there the day before--in all the athletic clubs, first-year students have to have an exchange diary with second-year students. Apparently all the other girls have rushed to pick the nicest second-years to partner with, and the main character has basically gotten screwed over. Aww. Just then, a third-year student, Kitagawa, comes up to Okano and offers to be her partner. At first the first-years wonder whether it's all right for her to do it with a third-year, but Kitagawa assures them there's a precedent for it. Of course, then another first-years whines about how it's not fair and she wants to switch with the main character. lol
The narration informs us that Kitagawa is small but talented, and that her good personality and her appearance make her popular with the underclassmen.
Okano wonders to herself why Kitagawa approached her.
Okano's boyfriend, Ryou, sees her exchange diary and comments that girls' schools are weird. lol.
Okano thinks to herself that Kitagawa is cute. She remembers a conversation earlier that day--Kitagawa already went out and bought a notebook for them to use, and already wrote the first entry.
Okano comments that she's going to write back. Ryou asks if she enjoys doing it. He then asks her if the other girl is cute, and suggests she introduce her to Atsushi, who was just dumped.
The P.S. of the entry asks if Okano has a boyfriend. In her reply, Okano writes that she doesn't.
Other girls comment on how close Okano and Kitagawa are, and how they wish they could have done the exchange diary with a third-year too. Some other girls warn Okano that the second-years have been glaring at her a lot because they think she's been being favored by Kitagawa. They warn her that the second-years might try to have a private meeting with her. Just then, one of them asks her to come to the second-year classroom during lunch.
Kitagawa, worried about Okano, runs up to the rooftop. Okano tells her the meeting is already over. Okano says she was afraid she'd be lynched, and starts talking about how she fixed up her hair and stuff just in case. Kitagawa starts crying, and apologizes. Okano tells her that it's not her fault, and that it was no big deal anyway.
The narration tells us that it was at that point that Okano realized Kitagawa's feelings, and that she was really nervous over a mere kiss.
Okano is over at Kitagawa's house. She remarks on how clean Kitagawa's room is, how it's such a contrast to her own messy one. She asks where the rest of Kitagawa's family is, and Kitagawa tells her nobody's home. Kitagawa offers Okano some tea or juice or whatever, but Okano has something else in mind... ;)
The narration tells us that Okano can feel the the trembling of the petite body beneath her fingers, the slim hips, and she's conscious that this is a girl she's touching. She tells Kitagawa that her (Kitagawa's) heart is racing.
She asks her if it's an unpleasant sensation to be undressed by another person, and Kitagawa tells her that she doesn't know.
Okano tells Kitagawa that it's the first time she's touched another girl.
Kitagawa cries out in pain when Okano puts her fingers inside her, and Okano realizes that Kitagawa is a virgin. She asks Okano if it hurts, and Okano says she's fine.
Kitagawa remarks that the two of them have become lovers. Okano kind of confirms it halfheartedly, but we can tell she hasn't been thinking along those lines. The narration tells us that she herself didn't truly know what she wanted back then, or how she really felt about Kitagawa.
Okano's boyfriend asks if she's still continuing the exchange diary, and she says yes. He tells her it's a waste of time, and he wants to have sex again. She drops the diary by the side of the bed.
Kitagawa overhears some other girls talking about how some girl ran into Okano at a love hotel.
Okano apologizes to Kitagawa for not telling her about her boyfriend. Kitagawa asks how old Okano's boyfriend is, and Okano tells her that he's a college student. Kitagawa runs off, telling her she doesn't have to write in the exchange diary anymore.
The narration tells us that Okano wasn't hurting at all over losing Kitagawa, that her relationship with her was more fragile than a male-female relationship.
Some girls are talking about how they heard these two girls are a couple, and Okano tells them that could never happen.
In the narration, Okano wonders to herself why she did "that" at the end--at graduation, she takes the ribbon from Kitagawa's school uniform.
Back in the present, Okano wonders to herself whether Kitagawa cried.
She's packing up boxes, planning to move to Tokyo. She wonders to herself if she'll forget it all once she moves. The one time she saw Kitagawa afterwards, and those dreamlike days [with Kitagawa].
Okano muses to herself that Kitagawa is probably already sleeping with the guy she saw her with. She thinks to herself that she should've taken Kitagawa's virginity herself when she had the chance.
Then her brother calls to her, telling her the moving truck is there.