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Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 worth reading feature

Girlfriend, Girlfriend volume 1 review

Two-timing fair and square, redux!

GIRLFRIEND GIRLFRIEND VOLUME 1 cover April 2021 Manga Releases Worth Reading
Release Date
April 6, 2021
Publisher
Kodansha
Story & Art
Hiroyuki
Translator
Jacqueline Fung
Letterer
Nicole Roderick

What would you do if you were a teenage boy and two cute girls wanted to be your girlfriend? If you were the main character of a doujinshi called “Two-Timing, Fair and Square”, you would try to date them both while being completely honest about what was happening. But what if you were that same main character, with those same two girls, but now you found yourself in a manga called “Girlfriend, Girlfriend”? Well, you do the same thing. But is this expanded series as good as the doujin? Let’s find out in our Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 review!

Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Girlfriend

Naoya Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 review

Naoya

Naoya is a first-year high-school student. He may also be the luckiest boy in Japan. 

Saki Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 review

Saki

Naoya’s childhood crush and current girlfriend.

Nagisa Tomomi Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 review

Nagisa

Nagisa is a girl with a massive crush on Naoya. Her name was Tomomi in the doujin, but the author inexplicably changed her name for this version. 

Threes company?

Naoya is head over heels in love with Saki, his new girlfriend. He’s been confessing his love to her once a month since they were both in elementary school, and she finally said yes. Everything is going great until a new challenger appears in the form of Nagisa. She confesses her love for Naoya, who becomes immediately smitten by the gorgeous girl.

Always had a crush

Naoya doesn’t have a dishonest bone in his body, so he immediately tells her that he likes her. However, he informs Nagisa that he already has a girlfriend and doesn’t want to cheat on her. So he comes up with a solution: the three of them can be a polyamorous threesome. Nagisa agrees to the plan. But can they get Saki on board?

Girlfriend, Girlfriend volume 1 spoilers

Girlfriend, Girlfriend volume 1 spoilers

The three of them wind up spending the day together, doing sports and karaoke and just hanging out. At the end of the day, Naoya tells Saki about his two-girlfriend plan. Saki reacts pretty much like how you’d expect: by punching him in the face.

punch

Eventually, however, Naoya and Nagisa persuade Saki to at least give it a try. She reluctantly agrees, and they all move into Naoya’s house as the next step of the experiment. Things seem to go well at first, but the two girls quickly see themselves as competing with each other, and that’s where complications and comedy arise.

Doujin vs Manga 

This manga began life as a sixty-page doujinshi (an indie comic, which we reviewed) before the author expanded it into a weekly series. If you’ve read the original doujin (still available from Irodori Comics), you’ll notice that very little has changed. Naoya and Saki are mostly the same (their back history has slightly changed), and Naoya now lives alone instead of with his mother. But the core story is still the same, so much so that the author uses several pages from the doujin in this volume with no alterations whatsoever.

The only one to change is Nagisa, whose name was Tomomi in the doujin. And one other change which bothers me for reasons I can’t explain. She was pretty much perfect in the doujin; here she is a bit of an airhead. I think I get why the mangaka (Hiroyuki) changed her personality – an ideal character can be a bit bland – but I liked her previous incarnation better.

Oddly enough, Hiroyuki doesn’t acknowledge the doujin in the afterword at all. He reprints the first four pages and calls it a prototype but then fails to mention that this prototype is sixty pages long and that huge chunks of it appear in this volume.

The art of dating

The art is identical to the doujin version and is nicely drawn. This manga won’t win any art awards, but the images are solid and do their job. The characters are distinctive and expressive, and the backgrounds are well-done.

Is Girlfriend, Girlfriend vol 1 worth reading?

Yes, especially if you’re a fan of the doujin. This book covers all the ground of the doujin and then takes the story further, giving us more of Nagisa’s background and fleshing out the not-so-pleasant realities of trying to make a three-way relationship work. That said, I didn’t love it as much as I expected, given how much I liked the doujin on which it is based.

There’s a lack of depth to the characters; everyone feels one-note and over the top. That’s fine for a doujin, where everything tends to happen in four-page chunks, and you don’t have a whole lot of space to write. But it doesn’t quite click in long-form manga format like this. I’m still going to buy volume 2 because I want to see where these characters go with their relationship. But we’ll see if I go for volume 3.

Thanks for reading our Girlfriend Girlfriend volume 1 review, why not leave a comment below? Also, you can support the blog and see for yourself if two girlfriends are better than one, buy picking up Girlfriend, GIrlfriend from either Amazon or BookWalker.

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