Adachi and Shimamura, Vol. 7

By Hitoma Iruma and Non. Released in Japan by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Molly Lee.

I have spent several volumes of this series fascinated by the thought process of Shimamura, and this is the volume that really drove home that perhaps I should have been paying more attention to Adachi, who is starting to worry me. Overexcitable angsty gay has worked for her so far, and has ranged from amusing (we see that in the first quarter or so of this volume) to seriously concerning (the rest of this volume). Indeed, Shimamura has benefited far more from getting a girlfriend, and makes stabs towards almost being normal in this book, in a detached introspective way. She’s saying and doing the right things. Adachi is not, and her lack of any other social group other than her crush/girlfriend is starting to tell in a bad way. Shimamura is allowed to have friends. It can’t just be the two of them in a bubble of their own. Given that I doubt the author is going to do a breakup arc anytime soon, I can only hope Adachi matures soon, as Christ, she’s annoying right now.

The main plot, such as it is, is the two girls trying to get used to their new relationship upgrade. Shimamura has to be a bit more proactive about everything, going along with making lunches for each other and things like that, while also still groping in her own mind towards how she feels about Adachi. I think she clearly loves her – she talks offhandedly about wanting to spend the rest of her life with Adachi – but it’s not connecting with anything other than her default “well, whatever” emotional setting. And there’s also old childhood friends to deal with… or rather, to avoid. As for Adachi, you’d think she’d be over the moon, and she is, but her anxiety and stress is simply making things worse most of the time. You know things are bad when she’s asking Nagafuji for date advice – if you thought we’d end up with boomerang throwing again, you’re right.

The main plot is bookended by several interludes showing alternate universes where Adachi and Shimamura meet or interact in different way. Sometimes this can be a mistake – the universe where Adachi stayed cool and aloof made me think “Oh my God, I wish we had this one instead” – but for the most part they show us that no matter what, the two girls will always somehow find their way to each other, which is sweet. There’s also the usual brief interaction with Yashiro, and I must admit I respect the author for not simply using her less and less as our heroines figure everything out but insisting she barge into the narrative anyway. She’s still not quite human, but she’s not quite 100% abnormal either. She’s almost a mentor to Shimamura and her sister, and has even taken to showing up in Shimamura’s dreams. It’s… weird, but not bad, sort of like eating a food with an unusual filling you didn’t expect in it.

The next volume promises a school trip, which should be fun. Till then, Adachi needs to chill more, Shimamura needs to chill less, and Nagafuji needs to find a different children’s toy.

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