It's fairly common for manga, particularly yuri manga it seems, to come by serialization by accident. The author will write a one-off story, which by a twist of fate or raw talent proves popular enough that they are called on to revisit it on a continuing basis and wham! You have a serial. Sasameki Koto feels like one of those accidents.
Its first episode is a hard-polished gem of doomed romance, an autonomous study of interwoven affections that describes, in less than thirty minutes and with perfect conviction, a complex and achingly sad relationship. It's an amazingly tight and accomplished little work, as much a short film as a pilot episode. With economical strokes it paints a lonely yet lovely picture of a girl whose need to hide her feelings has placed her in an untenable emotional position. The characters are gracefully sketched, their emotions convoluted yet painfully comprehensible, and their romantic entanglements all too real. And it's all-plot, cast, and emotions; pointedly unresolved though they may be-beautifully, seamlessly self-contained.
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