Skyblue Shore Volume 2 cover image is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.
Comedy/Romance; Rated “OT” for “Older Teen 16+”
When she was a small child, Tomo Sakurai was a frequent visitor to the beach. One day she made a friend of a young beachcomber who gave her an agate stone. Her parents’ divorce took her away from the beach, but Tomo never forgot her friend. Now a high school student, Tomo meets Riku Tanaka, the school janitor who rescued her from peril, and his brother Tento. She doesn’t know that one of them is the boy who gave her the precious agate.
Skyblue Shore, Vol. 2 begins with the aftermath of the near drowning of Tomo. Riku rescued her, but the moment got the better of him. Riku blurted out a family secret, and Tento is furious that he did. Later, Riku encourages Tomo to befriend Michiru Saeki, the girl who nearly caused Tomo to be drowned, but Michiru has a huge crush on Riku, which is why she despises Tomo. Meanwhile, Tento gets to see Michiru’s ugly side and tries to warn Tomo about her. Finally, Riku and Tomo encourage Tento to sell the crafts he makes from material he finds on the beach at a local flea market.
THE LOWDOWN: While there is plenty of pleasant high school comedy and lots of teen romance, Skyblue Shore is really a character drama and teen soap opera. Jealousy, rivalry, catty girls, fighting brothers, family secrets and more are the ingredients of this spicy mélange of high school romance and teen drama. Vol. 2 is actually an improvement over the first, which was also a good read, and creator Nanpei Yamada’s art is expressive as ever. I am very much looking forward to Vol. 3.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers who enjoy shojo character drama as much as they enjoy shojo romance will like Skyblue Shore.