Adachi x Shimamura (Discussion Thread)
I'm on volume 1 (if you're on a later volume, just mention it in your post if you can). This first post will be a bit rantish, so feel free to skip it and post your thoughts below on whatever you're reading.
AdaShima anime is coming soon, so I did restart my reading of this one. Up to meeting the "space suit" clad girl with Hino on the fishing trip.
One thing I really appreciate is how much in the first quarter of the book they've gotten out of a small scale setting: There's obviously the gym loft where they play Tennis, but there's the gas station fence, the book store, dramatic bike rides through rainy streets, fishing holes, two houses with a suburban setting, cafeteria food runs, etc.
On the plot front, there's that highschool level tension you feel in every scene, the whole "what does she really think of me / what do I feel for her" aspect and "will I screw up my friendship if I do XYZ". The friendship also goes from "we're acquaintances who just happen to be wasting in the same loft, I don't have the right to call her a friend" + avoiding Adachi's eyes when walking with her friends, to iirc outright acknowledging Adachi as her friend in front of Hino and Nagafuji.
I've seen some folks reading upset at these girls being called "delinquents", that they're boring because they don't live up to the term delinquent, but I assume folks read a synopsis and had an expectation ahead of time about their delinquency that the novel didn't fulfill? Cause the book makes no bones about it that their delinquency is just truancy mostly, and otherwise they're normal girls (and overly "girly" in some aspects, like the fear of creepy crawlies). They're just misunderstood by their peers / teachers. Though Shimamura's friend Hino implying Shima is "cool"... She may want to dial that back a bit.
There's some interesting choices writing wise too that makes it seem more "literary". A lot of Shimamura's narration is her comparing her feelings to physical elements around her, like the tennis ball bouncing being like her knocking on the door to Adachi's heart, her attempts at trying to appeal to Adachi being compared to a back and forth ping pong match, the connection between Shimamura's friends and Adachi being like a deformed ball of clay mush, and Adachi + Shimamura both being compared to aloof cats. Then there's things like having Hino's planned fishing trip be washed out and delayed to Sunday, but we never actually see the Saturday or anything, it's just almost random (the only real thing we get out of it is that Nagafuji's refused to go even on a day she didn't have club meetings, so an extra little joke). I think it serves to make it feel more organic, realistic too.
Definitely different than a lot of "active" books, which I think is maybe why some may have the idea that nothing happens in it. You got Shimamura contemplating about why she's wasting time with this girl and trying to figure out how she's attempting to fill some void in her heart with her, so a lot of the book is stuck in her head so far. One of the cuter images in the story is told in a passive way, Shimamura talking about Adachi bolting upright with her "cute toes" splayed out the first time Shimamura came to the loft and she mistook her for a teacher.
I actually started my read through with the Audible version of the book which if you live in Japan (or have a VPN) I do recommend getting. Voice acting gives life to the characters and occasional wise cracks. I'm abandoning that route because it takes a lot of effort to keep up reading along in English as a non-JP language learner, and also because the voice acting for Shimamura is that kind of quiet, exacting kind of tone and a lot of the book is her stuck in her own head + feelings / worries. It just takes a long time to read, and again, easy to lose my place, but I would like to revisit it another day.
Read through V1. Don't really have too much to add, but just want to do a little wrap up post before I move onto Volume 2, the anime, or whatever other Yuri I read.
I was a little less into some of the stuff in the latter half (eateries and an alien).
I did appreciate the forwardness of Adachi and Adachi trying to discover her sexuality a bit. The standout scenes were obviously
Shimamura is sadly the dense type. I would love if the story turned that on its head and had her take the lead at some point with advancing their relationship.
I always do kind of like the whole "what do these people think of me" highschool stories, because it's a fairly relatable premise. Also enjoyed the whole "when you grow up, you lose that empathy / understanding of highschooler life and insecurities" when Shimamura's parents are embarrassing her.
The direction for this story isn't totally spelled out (obviously discovering their feelings is obvious, but what they'll do with them is a bit undecided). It is interesting how Adachi ponders that she'd be letting her family down if she married a girl because she won't carry on the bloodline (just adopt an adult man, Adachi). I'd probably like to see more of Adachi's home and Adachi's family (they aren't important to her, she isn't close with them, which maybe means they shouldn't be important to us though).
I'm curious what they're doing with the alien. At first I thought she had a mission that involved getting Adachi and Shimamura together as meeting her is the impetus for Shima trying to "reel in" Adachi by inviting her to her house iirc (I suspected the alien's compatriot she met up with was actually Shimamura herself; her future self was her friend or something but she's stuck with past Shima after time traveling), but it seems like that isn't the case as she wedges her way in between them and even rejects something Adachi asks her about when they're bowling. Shima clearly sees her as a little sister type. Adachi inadvertently sister-zoning herself too with Shimamura in that scene. xD
Starting V2. Will add some thoughts here later.
So Shimamura is dealing with both parents in the intro, hers and Adachi's. I feel like their home life and social interactions were such an integral part of who they were as characters last volume, but only hinted at mostly, so it's good to see these parental figures in a more full view this time. Adachi's absent mother is painted negatively, but the forced half-assed change Shimamura seeks is also painted negatively. Shimamura can't put into words what the ideal mother is because it's something more intrinsic, and once you put words to it, it feels hollow. I wonder where they'll go with all this.
Shimamura's mother on the other hand is a piece of work. She likes to tell her little sister not to be like Shimamura, and one of the values she tried to instill in Shima was "don't embarrass the family". I can see how she and Shima are going to come at odds should Shima start dating Adachi at any point. Shima's mom also physically assaults her in anime fashion (bonk to the head; pushes her in the pool)... Yeah, not a fan of this character.
Little alien chick and little sis of Shima meeting is cute. More of that wholesome friendship could be fun. I do wonder what the alien's deal is (I feel like they're going to do something cheesy later and say that the bond of Adachi and Shima birthed her or something... I don't know). Her alien companion is also still out there apparently, curious who or what that is (watch it be a dog or something).
Now we're on to Adachi struggling to ask Shima out... On a date... On Christmas. Good luck my in
denial friend. x)