Manga Review: Girl Friends

Girl Friends is the first yuri manga I ever read, and in my opinion, still one of the very best. It’s drawn and written by Milk Morinaga, a manga artist whose name you should probably keep in mind if you are a yuri fan.

STORY: 9/10

Mari is a shy, studious girl who has neither a boyfriend nor any friends. One day, Akiko – one of the most fashion-conscious and sociable girls in the class – strikes up a conversation with her out of the blue! As the days go by the two become inseparable, with Akiko often cheerily remarking on how they became best friends so easily. Mari has a lot of fun with Akiko and her group, slowly becoming more outgoing despite still being timid and awkward. But she knows, deep down inside, that she doesn’t want them to stay just friends forever… (Source: Baka-Updates)

The plot, as simple as it sounds, is about two girls falling in love with each other and the hardship they have to go through in order to really make it work out. There is no thrilling action and no exessive drama. This series is probably one of the most realistic yuri love stories out there, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable.


The two main characters, Mari and Akko, have a great dynamic. While Mari is a very shy and insecure girl, Akko is the complete opposite, loud, outgoing and very self-confident.

It was fun watching the two girls in their every day life while they slowly, but noticably, got closer and closer to each other, just in order to have this new found bond being crushed by one careless action. So even though the story of this manga was never rushed or fast-paced in general, it still sometimes felt like their relationship was one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

girl friends yuri manga
Akko (left) and Mari (right)

ART: 8/10

Milk Morinaga’s art can best be described as very cute, with round faces, big eyes, and delicate bodies. That’s why I think another word to describe it would be ”girly”. This art style is also very clean and nice to look at. In general, I would say that this is some top-notch artwork. Furthermore, I’d like to mention that in this manga, there is a great emphasis put on the aspect of clothing and make-up, which, of course, counts as an advantage for most of the female readers.


Since this is a yuri manga, the relationship between the two protagonists, Akko and Mari, is the main theme of the story. While we get introduced to many other characters that all include their own problems and interests to the plot, Mari and Akko remain the center of attention. As already mentioned, this is a very realistic story in which the ever-changing emotions are the driving factors to all the actions. The two girls’ relationship is gripping yet not exaggerated, and you’ll find yourself questioning their actions many times, yet the more time you’ll spend thinking about it, the more you’ll be able to empathize with them.


In the end, I would recommend this manga to all yuri fans, because this is probably the best yuri title out there right now. Furthermore, I also recommend this to everyone that enjoys a cute and heartwarming love story with a lot of great comedy elements and very nice artwork.

girl friends yuri manga milk morinaga
Click to enlarge


35 thoughts on “Manga Review: Girl Friends

  1. Wow. I am really depressed now that I've finished reading this :(.

    I really enjoyed the story, the drawings and basically everything else about this. I am sad that it has ended but it also gave me a sense of what I could describe as fulfillment and joy at seeing them together in the end. I loved it so much I even bought both Omnibus's

    Loved this a lot 🙂


  2. Oh I know what you mean, I hate it when good manga come to an end but since it's a happy end in this case, this manga leaves you with a very nice feeling.

    But since you just finished Girl Friends, chances are high that you don't know “Kuchibiru Tameiki Sakurairo” yet.
    It's a series of little short-stories (that are mostly connected to each other) by Milk Morinaga and the characters look exactly like Akko and Mari.
    I'm pretty sure you'll like this as well 😉


  3. i finished reading girl friends a few days ago and i was just so depressed cause its over and i just wanted more because everything about girl friends was good (in my opinion) and its definitely my favorite yuri manga and manga ever also i really want an anime for girl friends but i dont want to get my hopes up


  4. Since you just finished Girl Friends, you might not know about Milk Morinaga's other works.
    And if you don't, check them out, I'm pretty sure you'll love them as well 😉

    As for an anime version of this… I don't think this will ever happen, we should be happy enough that we actually got a drama CD for this one. Even though it was not much, I was happy to see the voice actresses they choose for Mari and Akko and they were quite fitting.


  5. ive read himitsu no recipe, gakuen police and kuchibiru tameiki sakurairo i love them all a lot mostly gakuen police but i cant not wait any longer for new chapters of himitsu no recipe and gakuen police i really want to read them. also theres a cd drama for omg thanks for telling me i got to search it up later.


  6. i need help i want to listen to the girl friends drama cd but i cant find it online anywhere i need a link so if you find a link plz reply


  7. ya me too im happy that we got a drama cd and you are right the voice actors are really good and they fit the roles really well but im still hoping for an anime


  8. When I did pick up Girlfriends it was the first Yuri manga I ever read and I fell in love with it. When I finished reading it I actually felt the void empty feeling you get when you finish any story cause it was over and it saddened me a bit. I do like it's somewhat realistic take on the characters and their growing relationship which really works. I notice though the manga goes through ups and downs sort of realistically but one does question why it happens. Like there will be a great big up moment (usually at the end of a volume) and then there will be a moment to bring things down (at the beginning of a volume weirdly enough). Still the way it concludes is very sweet and I think I'd recommend it to Yuri fans and people that like sweet romance stories.


  9. I think Milk Morinaga might have stretched out the story a little bit and added some drama that wasn't even necessary. Like when Mari didn't understand that Akko's kiss in the karaoke bar wasn't just a kiss between friends. When she then started distancing herself from Akko, I was just like 'Here we go again…'

    On the other hand I think all the additional drama made their final get-together all the better 😉


  10. Just finished reading this. It's pretty nice. I like it! They're all so cute! I like the ending, implying that they're still together. Lovely! =) ❤


  11. Finished reading it last week. One hell of a manga…The best yuri manga ever, Citrus comes close but this is the best.. I just wished i'd see them till they get married. it took me few days to get over of the feel this manga left me. i would really appreciate if you suggest me a good yuri manga with a good story and romance .


  12. My favorite yuri manga. I really like the Akko and Mary, and especially how they value their relationship. Initially they started with friendship, helping each other in school and personal models, but gradually their relationship became more and more romantic, and when they both realized that they are much more than just a friend, then confessed to each other in love and started dating. Especially in chapter 34, they went beyond kissing and so have become even closer to each other by securing their relationship. It's a pity that in chapter 35 Morinaga Milk did not show the ending where Akko and Mary met after graduation, because I think that this would be the end of the best and most plausible. But nevertheless manga I very much liked. Girl Friends forever will be my first favorite yuri manga of all.

    In addition, Russia now publishes its license. But at the moment it was released only four volumes Girl Friends, and the last fifth volume will soon be released. When in Russia will publish all five volumes, then I will buy them again and will enjoy the wonderful yuri manga artist Morinaga Milk


  13. I couldn't agree more, it's simply the best yuri manga out there and I think there won't be any competition any time soon.

    Girl Friends has been licensed in Germany too. It's exciting isn't it?
    Though, I have to admit, even if I have all 5 volumes, I don't like reading it in German 😛


  14. Exactly. This product is truly a masterpiece in the genre-yuri. May be on it soon will be removed anime adaptation. Drama CD for this manga is already there.

    It's good that in your country licensed so wonderful manga. And not only publish it in Japan, Germany and Russia. She also licensed in France, Taiwan and the United States. Also to the United States it was released in the united two volumes.


  15. So… I was wondering why a lot of people say they don’t think it’ll ever happen 😦 ? I mean… this manga is on every list, every yuri fan knows about it. Wouldn’t it make sense that, perhaps, someday they’ll make one? 😦


      • I see :/… well, thank you for replying. I guess we’ll just have to keep wishing on the stars then ^^… But, considering that citrus and netsuzou trap were confirmed for their anime adaptations, who knows? 🙂


      • mmm. i think it’s just… how can i say… most of the story is told by Mari or Akko’s thinking, not a good thing for an anime.


      • Well, that doesn’t mean they can change some things for the anime. Though, yeah I also have my problems seeing this as an Anime. Though, who knows? After seeing the other two getting anime adaptations, we should surely not lose hope~


      • Hmm I do see your point, but… animes tend to show characters thoughts, don’t they? It’s a license they often take and it’s part of why animes are so awesome. Of course it shouldn’t be all of it, but I think it would be a healthy challenge in the case of Girlfriends.

        What can come off of that, could be truly amazing. I often wonder, and it’s beautiful 🙂

        Not lose hope, I like that.

        Liked by 1 person

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