Thoughts on Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection

A little while ago, I tweeted that my local Waterstones was selling the Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection manga. I didn’t pick it up because I hadn’t experienced the visual novel at the time.
It ended up disappearing from the shelf, perhaps bought by a fellow yuri fan. After having read the original visual novel and shared my thoughts on it, I was eager for more yuritopia.
As such, I recently made the effort to travel to the next town over and pick up Kindred Spirits: The Complete Collection from the Waterstones there – after reserving it to ensure I wouldn’t have a wasted trip.
Hirari Comics originally published this manga spin off as two volumes on April 30th, 2015. The first volume, Another Yuritopia, was written and illustrated by Hachi Itō, whilst the second volume, Friendly Quiz, was written by Toitentsu and illustrated by Aya Fumio.
Seven Seas Entertainment released it in English as a single omnibus volume on January 31st, 2017.
New characters are introduced in the manga, but there are plenty of familiar faces present as well.
The manga is set after the events of the visual novel, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Kindred Spirits on the Roof The Complete Collection

The cover of Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection, featuring Mako and Shiori

Based on the hit yuri game!
Mako and Shiori are childhood best friends trying to repair a rift in their friendship… or possibly turn it into something more. Meanwhile, fellow student Hase Chiharu joins the Quiz Club to become closer to Natsuki and Rika, a power couple she adores. Tokino, another club member, can’t take her eyes off their beautiful upper classmates either, and as Chiharu and Tokino observe the couple together, their own sweet relationship begins!

We’ll kick off with the story of volume 1, which bears the title Another Yuritopia. The chapters across both volumes are referred to as episodes.

Episode 1 of Another Yuritopia kicks off with Shiori dreaming of when her childhood friend confessed to her. At the time, Shiori’s response was to run away.
Back in the present, class 2-B of Shirojo plans to put on a play for the upcoming school festival. Shiori volunteers to work on the scenery, and she is joined by Seina and Hina.
Shiori’s childhood friend, Mako, is on the track team. Shiori feels that she has been running every day since Mako confessed to her.
Seina offers her support to Shiori.
When Shiori is with Hina, they bump into Mako. Shiori runs almost immediately.

Hina catches up with Shiori in episode 2, though she doesn’t bring up Shiori running from Mako.
The preparation for the school festival gets even busier, so Seina takes Shiori to a place where they can work in peace. That place is a certain room that holds some very important memories for Seina.
Elsewhere, Mako believes that she is to blame for Shiori’s behaviour, and says as such to Hina.
With midterms coming up, Hina suggests that they have a study group – she has someone in mind who can tutor them.
Hina, Seina, Shiori and Ano go to Yuna’s place. They study of course, but as Ano says, the highlight of that particular event is getting to eat Yuna’s cooking.
After that, Hina walks to the station with Shiori. She tells her that she should make up with Mako, as well as what Mako told her earlier.

Summer holidays arrive in episode 3, and Shiori decides that she will finally make up with Mako. She struggles to approach her, but a combination of a downpour and a forgotten umbrella ends up with Shiori borrowing Yuna’s umbrella and sharing it with Mako.
When Shiori asks Mako if they can go back to being friends, Mako reiterates her confession.
Summer break ends, with Shiori having spent most of it thinking about Mako. She ends up asking Seina what it feels like to love someone, and later one she talks with Hina about what happened. Hina encourages Shiori to share her feelings with Mako.
Plenty of familiar faces show up on the day of the festival, whilst Shiori ends up experiencing it with Mako. She tries to confess, but things don’t quite work out. However, with the help of the Broadcasting Club, Shiori is able to get Mako to wait for her at the memorial tree.
There, Shiori is finally able to reveal her feelings to Mako.

There is an afterword from Peg, the artist of the original visual novel, as well as a drawing of Shiori and Mako.
We then get a small bonus comic showing how Shiori has changed, which includes her seemingly being able to wordlessly communicate with Hina.

That wraps up side A, so it only makes sense to turn our attention to side B: Friendly Quiz.

Episode 1 begins with Chiharu deciding to join the Quiz Club, simply because she can’t resist the cute and cool combo of the current club members, Natsuki and Rika. Chiharu isn’t the only one who is interested in joining the Quiz Club; Tokino wants to join for very similar reasons to Chiharu. Chiharu is pretty quickly able to pick up that Tokino loves ‘friendly girls’ as well.

Two months have passed since Chiharu and Tokino joined the Quiz Club in episode 2. Tsukuyo is invited along to ask questions for a practice quiz. Chiharu and Tokino lose against Rika and Natsuki, perhaps due to the latter two holding hands. That really puts a dampener on the concentration of Chiharu and Tokino.
Whilst eating together, Chiharu and Tokino discuss whether Rika has a crush on Natsuki or vice-versa.
Later on, Rika spots Natsuki with a girl from the Kendo Club.

The Quiz Club participates in the Student Quiz Championship in episode 3, with a few familiar faces cheering them on. Chiharu and Tokino meet two girls from Senkyou Girls’ Academy’s Quiz Club. Last year, they ended up shaking Natsuki’s confidence which caused them to lose.
Natsuki and Rika make it into the finals, where Natsuki reveals just what she was talking with the girl from the Kendo Club about – a method to focus mental energies.
The girls from Senkyou are Natsuki and Rika’s opponents for the finals, but they are unable to shake Natsuki’s resolve this time around.

There’s an episode 3.5, which is pretty much just a quick phone conversation between Rika and Natsuki after the Quiz Championship.

Rika’s feelings start getting the better of her in episode 4, so Chiharu and Tokino decide to help her out during the summer camp. Rika reveals how she first met Natsuki, and says she wants to confess to her. After telling Chiharu and Tokino that, she asks for their help.

Chiharu and Tokino find themselves having fun setting things up for Rika to confess in episode 5. Eventually the time comes, and Rika shares her feelings with Natsuki.
After that, Natsuki asks Chiharu and Tokino about their own friendliness. Their first reaction is to deny it, but realisation soon hits them.

Side-B: Friendly Quiz ends with a congratulatory note and drawing of Chiharu and Tokino from Peg. There are also 4-koma extras featuring Chiharu and Tokino’s imaginations going out of control whenever they see a pair of girls pass by them. We also learn that Natsuki and Aki are cousins.

Kindred Spirits on the Roof is so good, of that I have no doubts. This manga is a very worthy follow-up – the new characters introduced in it have no problems fitting in amongst the established cast.
It warms my heart to see so many familiar faces from the visual novel, with Aki and Youka’s cameo of them performing on stage together being perhaps the best thing ever. Seina and Hina have fairly extensive roles in Shiori and Mako’s story as well, which was nice.

Whilst I love both stories presented to use in Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection, I will say that I enjoyed Friendly Quiz a little more. I suspect that’s because of Chiharu and Tokino effectively being yuri fangirls.
I love how that brought them together, and they also have this thing where they bump shoulders together that I find rather adorable. It is thanks to them that they Rika is able to confess her true feelings.
I also liked Natsuki giving them a hint that helped Chiharu and Tokino realise that there might just be more than their love of friendly girls connecting them.

I may prefer Friendly Quiz, but Another Yuritopia certainly isn’t without its merits. Seeing familiar faces return from the visual novel is a joy. However, they are only the supporting cast this time around; it’s all about Shiori and Mako.
The story is pretty much about Shiori coming to terms with her own feelings, which must have been seriously pent up after Mako’s first confession to her. I guess it’s lucky that they both decided to attend Shirojo, particularly with the likes of Yuna and Hina there willing to lend a hand.
Another Yuritopia does tread over some familiar ground – Shiori and Mako sharing an umbrella is very reminiscent of the same thing between Umi and Sasa, though we got different results this time around.
The school festival also playing an important role is another thing seen in the visual novel. Again, things play out differently, so its nothing to really worry about.

If you enjoyed the Kindred Spirits on the Roof visual novel, you pretty much owe it to yourself to get hold of the Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection manga. I would go as far as to say that it is practically required reading for yuritopia fans.
There may not be scenes of the characters getting as intimate as in the visual novel, but that doesn’t take away from just how great it is at all.
If you were to ask me which yuri manga I’ve read is my favourite, I would be torn between Kindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection and Kase-san. That should give you an idea of just how highly I think of Kindred Spirits on the Roof.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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