When the anime was simulcasting, it was my first exposure to Adachi/Shimamura. While I haven’t seen many yuri titles I liked the art style as well as the laid-back atmosphere. I was interested to see how the anime was compared to its source material so it was a great surprise to see that light novels and manga were available.

*Spoiler* A dream of kissing your friend is likely to be a dream.

You want to be more that friends (Adachi Shimamura and pg. 47).

Adachi Shimamura focuses on two girls: Adachi, and Shimamura. They share the same class, but they spend more time at the gym playing pingpong than they do studying. They slowly develop a friendship and maybe even more. The series centers on their growing friendship, the complicated and painfully awkward feelings that first love can bring, as well as discovering your sexuality. We also see how the leads relate to the characters around them. There is also an alien, but she will be revealed later.

Although the barebones concept of this series is a bit bland, it can still feel that way if used in other hands. However, the writing style of the leads sets them apart. Shimamura feels like the popular high-school girl she sees in romances, but there is a sense of loneliness that occasionally surfaces. She can communicate with her classmates but isn’t able to connect with them. Adachi is not what I expected. She’s a stereotypical shy girl and she’s working to remove the barrier she created around Shimamura. Her outbursts of energy are often unexpected and can seem very awkward. However, she is still trying to move their relationship forward. They may appear to be very different but they are so complementary that it’s easy for one to become invested in the other.

Yashiro and Shimamura (Adachi & Shimamura), pg. 116).

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From volume 1, one thing I liked was the way that more attention was placed on our leads than the side characters. Shimamura isn’t a bad character, and his friends Hino (and Nakafuji) aren’t bad either. They provide Adachi with more depth and contrast to our main characters. (Who would’ve thought this girl could have a little bit of a jealousy side? It’s not clear if this scene is later in the series. However, there were some fanservice scenes in the anime that looked very early 2000s. I am glad it hasn’t been included in the manga. Yashiro the alien was also absent in the first half. She felt like an unrecognized character, so it was refreshing to see her less prominent. Although I don’t know why a story grounded in reality chose to include a little girl who glows and wears spacesuits, it was something that made me leave the story. While she is okay and may serve a greater purpose in the future, her alien quirkiness makes me wish she was a normal child.

Remember my review of Given? I’m a big fan of series that take their time. Adachi’s and Shimamura’s anime created a peaceful atmosphere where the story could breathe. Similar scenes are found in the manga, but they feel much faster and more urgent than those I saw in anime. Although slower stories might not suit everyone, I am sure that there are many who enjoy the manga’s slow pace. You might consider the light novel if you are looking to pick up from the anime’s end but still want the slower pace. This is an uncommon addition. However, this volume had a short section from the light novel at its end. Adachi Shimamura and Shimamura may be an exception to the rule. Light novels are not something I’ve ever been very interested in. The light novel might be the perfect option for me as I am a slow reader. Hitoma Iruma’s writing style is very clear. Shimamura’s perspective allows her to see the chapter through Hitoma Iruma’s eyes, giving her more depth than I could get from either adaptation. It appears that Japan has nine volumes of the light book, so there is plenty to look forward.

Adachi and Shimamura tell a slow burning story about two young girls who learn to love and accept people. Their relationship is sweet and real, but sometimes it is so awkward that I was able to recall my high school years. You will enjoy it no matter what medium you use, whether you read manga or anime.

The second floor is the gym. It’s our spot. They don’t hold classes at this spot, even though class is in session. I met Shimamura here. This is the essence of this feeling. Yesterday, I dreamed that I would kiss her. Shimamura doesn’t think like that. Shimamura might think of “friend”, but I want to become the first thing she thinks about when she says it. That’s all.