Read a story about Donut
|I’ve been reading more manga and webcomics lately, but again found one that just really felt great to read this week. As you can already see, the name of this webcomic is Lily Love. I call it a webcomic because I don’t know what they would call a manga-form comic from Thailand, so that’s what I’m going with.|
Girls in Love
Let’s start off with some suggestive conversations…
So what is this story about? This one’s really simple: two college women who fall in love with each other. This one skips right past yuri and goes straight to Girls Love. And to be honest, that’s the way I like it. I don’t need 40 chapters of “What is this feeling I have when I see her with another person?” and “I think I like her but what if she doesn’t like me?” This is frequently even worse with stories depicting same-sex relationships, because of the assumed attraction to opposite sex people. This often translates into even more fear of being honest about feelings because there’s that additional hurdle. It’s almost a miracle that anyone ever gets together in some of these stories.
Mew on the left, Donut on the right, and Leo in the middle with the bandage
So in Lily Love, the main character from the beginning is Donut. From the beginning of the story, she’s the one who isn’t chasing boys, or really anyone, and has to listen to the other girls in her college group talk about it. But then a new girl moves into the dorm room next door, and things start happening in Donut’s life. Mew is a year older, finishing up her fourth year of college, and makes a pretty poor first impression, first smoking, then forgetting her access card to get back up to the room. But Donut is not that much of a stickler for the rules, and helps Mew smuggle a hamster up to her room. But the real relationship parts start when Mew barges in to spend New Year’s with Donut since they’re both staying in the dorm. Get a little bit drunk, and maybe spend a little too much time too close to the other person, and follow that up a few days later with a hug that lingers a bit long…
Mew doesn’t leave it a question for long
And that’s what begins Donut’s investigation of her feelings, as she wonders why she can’t get Mew out of her head, and why she feels so bad when Mew starts ignoring her. Finally after talking to her friend Ice about whether it’s ok for two girls to be together, Donut catches Mew as she’s about to leave town and confesses for everyone to hear. And so starts a nice relationship where both people are obviously into each other, which helps weather the worries about it being the right thing to do, or about Mew’s ex-girlfriend demanding a lot of her time dealing with her overly-possessive boyfriend.
Different levels of detail for different artistic effect
I think the first thing that pulls me in to this comic is the visuals that Ratana Satis uses. The character designs are really great, and allow for both expression and just outright beauty without changing much. Since it’s Donut’s perspective, most of the shots that go for prettiness are of Mew, but Donut isn’t exactly ugly. The faces do go from simple to intricate, but that’s part of the charm and expression. The thing that really keeps me in the story, tho, is the great messaging with regards to same-sex couples. From the beginning, when Mew comes out to Donut after Donut assumes she was dumped by her boyfriend, to Ice’s advice, to almost everyone else’s reaction, there’s no shame in being in love with someone, no matter what their gender is. Nor do they say that lesbians are ok, but bi is not (this is sometimes even an issue in US, although not as bad as with trans identifiers). I don’t know what the general opinion is of homosexuality in Thailand, but it hasn’t come up as an issue as yet. There hasn’t been any hiding of their relationship, and the only person opposed to it is Mew’s ogre of a father.
A Couple More Images
(Prepare for Scrolling!)
I also find it interesting to learn more about Thai customs from the translation notes. Like the reason there are such odd names (Donut, Jigsaw, Mew, Ice) is that apparently it’s common to use nicknames for everyday use. Or the wearing of uniforms all the way through college. It’s certainly not anything that makes you think you know everything about a culture, but interesting differences are interesting (and if I’m not correct, feel free to correct me in the comments. I certainly don’t want to claim to be an expert).
I hope that you’ll give Lily Love a try. It’s licensed in English at Lezhin Comics, and reprinted with permission at dynasty scans.