Aoi Hana

Title: Aoi Hana

Mangaka: Takako Shimura

Manga Duration: November 17th, 2004 - July 6th, 2013

Anime Duration: July 2nd, 2009 - September 10th, 2009

Films: N/A

Director: Ken'ichi Kasai

Episodes: 11

Volumes: 8

Chapters: 52

Genres: Romance, Yuri, Coming of Age

Themes: Recovering from trauma, childhood friends, school life, lesbianism, gender roles

Characters: Fumi Manjoume, Akira Okudaira, Kyoko Ikumi, Yasuko Sugimoto, Pon, Mogi, and Yassan.

LGBT Characters: Fumi Manjoume, Akira Okudaira, Kyoko Ikumi, Yasuko Sugimoto, Orie Ono, Hinako Yamashina.

Summary: The story follows the childhood friends Fumi and Akira as they reconnect ten years later, and the development of their romantic relationship. They deal with relationship issues, family, friends, processing their childhoods, and growing up.

Content Warnings: Fumi used to be in a incestous relationship with her cousin, until said cousin got married. This isn't talked about after the first volume, but Fumi seemed to struggle emotionally with the fact. Sex is also mentioned here and there, and implied, with a "fade to black."

Personal Review: This is by far one of my favorite LGBT+ series focusing on lesbian relationships. It's realistic with the way it's portrayed, with Fumi and Akira's feelings towards one another. The character development is also super interesting, you can really see them change over the novels. I also feel like it’s realistic in the way it portrays teenagers and their relationship with romance, it's relatable. However, if you like fast-paced manga, this is not the manga for you. It doesn’t have much of a plot, and is mostly character-driven. But first I must warn you: the anime isn’t that good, and the manga is by far superior. For the best viewing experience, read the manga, and don’t bother with the anime.