I absolutely love this manga! Though I almost didn't read it because of the school setting (you know why), I powered through and fell in love even more with each panel. The characters are also well developed.
Decided to read this again, and it's interesting that the thing I note most this time around is how Rio changes in how she relates to Sahoko. At first she's aloof and kind of a lady-killer, being suave and come hither and so forth. Following the suicide attempt, she totally changes gears, connecting more honestly and shifting into "devoted girlfriend" mode instead without all that smoothness.
The bonus chapter made me realize that NanoFate are a much less fucked-up and gritty alternate universe version Sahoko and Rio, respectively. :-(
It's a little surprising that Fate isn't a lot more troubled than she is, even in their universe. But I can see it.
In my headcanon, she really is as messed up in the head as Rio -- it's just mostly left off-screen, along with most of her recovery and re-adjustment during the pre StrikerS time skip. The main difference between them is that Fate was given strong moral principles by Rynith, and so her self-destructiveness (mainly in A's) was more of a "sacrifice myself for others" kind, while Rio is simply hurting herself in-between having unhealthy relationships.
Glad this wasn't really an explicit yuri. It hit the feels, but then I was slapped with reality and could relate to like, the needing that other half or whatever. Aside from that, the story was really realistic. Usually mangas start all happy and end happy or semi-bad, but no, this was a story of progression and a very, very, very patient Higa. Some moments I was like damn Rio, kinda cold gul. But then I was like yo, it's all good, but you better get better.
"Fix her like a machine" indeed. It's interesting to see something that deals with how ableism manifests in East Asian cultures. The idea that people with mental illness can be permanently fixed is prevalent, and when reality looks different, there's a lot of doubling down (leading to claims that people do things "for attention", for example). There's also the matter of people caring more about appearances than mental health.
All in all, this might be one of the most mature comics I've ever read. I'm really glad I stumbled on this.
Read this a long time ago and ive been on a mission lately to reread/rewatch things to see if they hold up or if id understand the story better. This one falls under the category of better understanding. This story does a wonderful job of explaining love and how it can hurt or help people. We get extremes on both ends and the therapist couple are great as they help broaden the readers perspective. The best part about this is that the love the two protagonist is beyond Yuri; it's about opening yourself to someone, and they happen to be gay too. Nice classic Yuri/ kinda not Yuri read. There's a lot of these kinds of stories now a days that also tell a similar story, and this one is not a perfect take, but damn, this is not one to skip