Stellar Six of Gingacho Volume 2 by Yuuki Fujimoto

Stellar Six of Gingacho Volume 2 by Yuuki Fujimoto

One of the things I found so frustrating about Tokyopop going down the tubes as a manga publisher is that it had really started to increase the output of nice shoujo titles right before it was dissolved. I will always feel a yearning to read the rest of the delicious crackfest that was Demon Sacred, wonder about the hot janitor student romance possibilities in Sky Blue Shore, and wonder what happened when the kids of Stellar Six of Gingacho grew up. If you read the first volume of Stellar Six, the second is very similar. The thing that makes this series so enjoyable is the nostalgic and humorous take on slice of life stories at a street market as the protagonists face the pressures of high school and teenagerdom.

Mike is still determinedly innocent, determined to stick together with all her friends from the street market even as they face attending different high schools from each other. She’s unaware of the feelings her best friend Kuro has for her, even though it is obvious to everyone else that he’s in love with her. Life goes on as it always does, with Mike’s gang investigating various incidents at the Gingacho street market. First they investigate a mysterious case of vandalism prompted by jealous love at a local shop. Next, Mike and Kuro are besieged by all the athletic clubs at their new school, because the displays of athleticism they’ve honed by promoting the market make them desirable prospects. Mike and Kuro help a new family to the neighborhood open their Bento shop, with some special care for the young girl who misses all of her old friends that she’s moved away from.

With a slice of life manga like Stellar Six, what happens isn’t as important as the interactions between the characters as they navigate their daily lives. Memorable moments from this manga for me were the blank stares Mike and her friends give the adults who predict that their friendship isn’t going to survive high school, or the awkward way Mike and Kuro discuss love after they see the effects of a love triangle in one of the cases they’ve investigated. It is too bad that we’re not going to see the full series of this manga, because angst-free, slice of life manga are hard to find.

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