Thoughts on Chasing After Aoi Koshiba Volume 1

Chasing After Aoi Koshiba is a yuri manga, created by Hazuki Takeoka and Fly. More specifically, the former is credited with the creation, whilst the latter is credited with the manga. Seems a bit odd not to go for the typical “story by” and “illustrated by” credits, but there you go. Kind of assuming that’s what is meant here, too.
Kodansha Comics licensed the series for an English release. This first volume contains chapters one through to six.

Chasing After Aoi Koshiba Volume 1

Front cover of the first volume of Chasing After Aoi Koshiba, featuring Aoi Koshiba and Sahoko Narita

A wistful yuri romance about the intense feelings of youth, and the perspective and regrets that adulthood can bring.
Sahoko had lots of friends in high school, so there’s no shortage of people to catch up with at her reunion. But the person she wants to see most is missing: Aoi Koshiba, her old classmate and first crush. Years ago, Aoi was the basketball team’s rising star, and caught Sahoko’s eye as an easy way to score social points. Sahoko later learned, however, that Aoi had long quite the game due to a difficult home situation. When an unexpected kiss pulled the girls closer together one day, it became clear that Aoi was in need of more than just a cynical social climber – and perhaps, Sahoko was the one.

This first volume of Chasing After Aoi Koshiba bounces between two different periods of time in Sahoko’s life: her third year of university, and her second year of high school. The first and last chapters focus on university, leaving us with high school Sahoko for the majority of the time.
That’s unfortunate, because high school Sahoko is incredibly grating. On the surface, it only appears that she cares about being one of the popular crowd, and has no qualms about insulting those who are not so predisposed towards standing out.
Fortunately, that crush she start developing on Aoi Koshiba does steer her towards becoming more bearable – just not by the time the high school section of this volume is over. I will hold my hands up and admit that her interactions with Aoi are cute and amusing, but the other aspects of her character make her someone that I really can’t bring myself to like.

As for her university self… it’s harder to judge her character, as it’s pretty much mostly just her pining for Aoi Koshiba. Still, I’d take pining Sahoko over the one that just wants to be popular. She does state at the beginning of the story that she did “encase herself in armour” during high school, so I guess things can only get better. I hope so.

Aoi Koshiba herself is a lot more likeable, I’d say. We only meet her high school version in this volume, but I still like her much better than Sahoko. Sahoko gradually discovers more and more about Aoi during high school, and she just gets more and more likeable. High school Sahoko still has a ways to go, though…

Whilst I do have my reservations about Sahoko’s character, I do have to say that this first volume of Chasing After Aoi Koshiba has intrigued me. I look forward to seeing how Sahoko’s crush on Aoi develops. It is the university timeline that most interest me, though: I’m curious to see if Sahoko will get that reunion she desires, or if she will notice that maybe one of her friends actually has an interest in her. At least, that’s what seemed to be hinted at towards the end of this volume.
So, it’s got my attention, and I’m interested to see if and how the two different points in Sahoko’s life are balanced out as the rest of the story unfolds.

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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