Updated 8/16/2012: Please re-download the new version of the one-shot. We fixed a glaring spelling error and refined the translation in a couple of places. None of the translation changes impact the story, but for the sake of correctness, I recommend getting the latest version. Sorry for the boo-boos, but when they are pointed out, we always go back and fix them. (Many thanks to Zenny for her input.)
I really like this one-shot. Both the art and the story are lovely and I love the main male character Oohashi. This is the kind of one-shot I thought (or hoped) would be in Aoi Lala, but it seems the editors at Hakusensha had something else in mind. So I’ve taken the liberty of selecting “blue” one-shots to replace the anticipated Aoi Lala materials.
I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to this story as many of us are at crossroads where we have to decided what we want to do in the future. Some of us are close to graduating from high school or college and others of us are in between careers (like me). I think we all come to a point where we have to ask whether what we like to do will put food in our bellies vs. living a life without passion for what we end up doing. The only answer I have to this dilemma is if you can’t do what you like, then try your best to like what you’re doing — or at least do something you like with the money you earn.
I think a little cultural difference comes into play here between the US and Japan. Nowadays teens do extracurricular activities to make themselves appear well-rounded to colleges and universities. It’s academics AND extracurricular activities and not academics OR something considered extracurricular. Regardless, I think what Aoi goes through in this story is universal and the story shows how wonderful it is when you meet someone who supports you and your dream.
Okay, onto the release!
Link to “Summer Blue”: (PDF — version 2)
Next up will be another water-themed one-shot!