Aya is an outsider at the prestigious all-girls school Kuromi Girls’ Academy, where elegance and proper manners are necessary. That said, two months in she’s doing well enough, but the amount of Instagrammable foods at the cafeteria and the proper personalities of the girls makes her feel she’s got a ways to go. And compared to one of the most popular first-year girls, known by others as “Shirayuri-sama”, Aya wants to get to that level of comportment. However, on a walk through a classroom annex, she stumbles upon Shirayuri playing video games.
And uh, using the most colorful and refined words for a young lady after beating an online opponent in
Street Fighter 4 π4 (Iron Senpai 4).
From Shirayuri’s unexpected persona and her own gaming past, Aya doesn’t know what to do aside from keeping it a secret. The problem is Shirayuri realizes that Aya is someone who did play games and doesn’t want to forget about her. Meanwhile the school has banned games, even making sure students put their phones in their lockers at night. How will Aya attempt to become a refined young lady now?
I’m a huge fan of works referencing or using video games as a reference, so Young Ladies Don’t Play Fighting Games was on my must-read list. Even more so with the subject of fighting games, as that was my interest growing up. So the only thing that could’ve made things bad if this work made all of that boring. This manga instead stuffs 6-hit combos and talks invincibility frames in one volume. So yes, it turned out there was nothing to worry about.
Aya when explaining why she wants to become a young lady did feel a little flimsy. She grew up interested in games as a kid, gravitating towards playing video games with the boys and kicking their butts. But somewhere along the way she wanted to change, and this was the result. Why she changed gets expanded upon a little later, but I’m hoping to get a bit more backstory on why she decided to work hard enough to get a scholarship and attend this specific academy. But for now after talking to Shirayuri, it’s clear Aya’s skills and her mindset involving fighting games are still there. What will she do now that she knows herself that gaming is still a part of her?
Meanwhile we don’t have much backstory for Shirayuri, which makes it fascinating in of itself. For someone as devoted to fighting games as her, what led her to go to Kuromi Girls’ Academy? Her family is certainly a likely reason, which then leads into how she got into gaming in the first place. Many questions abound, but for now, she’s seen as perfection publicly, but deep down she’s kind of a trash-talking brat. How will her meeting Aya change her personality?
These two certainly shine in a good way to make this first volume feel engaging and fun. While there’s some technical data regarding combos and frame data, it’s not that intensive to where it’ll take you out. In fact, chances are you’ll either be laughing or frightened at one girl’s intense love of fighting games. Also it’s funny that it references Street Fighter, but that’s not the only fighting game it uses as its base (68-hit combos? Fatality? Hmmmmmm). The art also sells either the seriousness or the hilariousness (see their daring escape from being caught by janitor), making it enjoyable as well.
As for the girls liking each other…there are two real scenes of Aya and Shirayuri getting up close and personal. Everything else is more of Aya trying to understand Shirayuri and them facing each other in π4. There was one part involving the two where there was no text for what Shirayuri was saying after she says, “What makes you shine like that?” and only later on do you realize Aya didn’t remember what Shirayuri said but recalls it later, it’s just she then says, “How do you shine like that?” Not sure why it couldn’t be the same words since it was when the two were in the classroom.
In general this is set in an all-girls school, so there certainly will be cases of romance in the future, with these two and or others who have yet to shine. But in volume 1 there’s still much to learn about Shirayuri, how these two will continue to interact moving forward, and how in the world can they play video games when they can’t at school? Well, I’m certainly looking forward to finding out.