One of the joys of visiting my local comic book shop is their seasonal sales. I found this omnibus in the dollar box. Not a bad deal for over 300 pages of manga! Girlfriends is a Yuri romance which means it focuses on same sex romances between women.
This is also a school romance since the two protagonists are in high school when they meet. The themes in this story are handled very well. We see the beginnings of the girls attachment through the eyes of Kumakura Mariko. Mariko is very shy and keeps to herself at school until Ohashi Akiko comes into her life.
Soon Mariko has a group of friends, a cute makeover and some very complicated feelings for her new best friend. In this volume we see Mariko struggle with her feelings without having anyone to discuss them with. At this stage in the story Akiko is a bit clueless to Mariko's struggle which leads to many understandings and heartbreak.
I think this is a very important book that manages to balance mature themes with the drama and cuteness fans of manga romance look forward too. I'm going to have to hunt down the remaining volumes in this series.