Manga Review: Pure Water Adolescence

Author: Kazuma Kowo

Year: 2006
Length: 1 Volume with 8 interlinked short stories
Scanlation Group: Lililicious 

Genre: Drama, School Setting, Age Gap, student-teacher romance, Yuri
Characters: 8/10
Ritsuko Matsumoto: She’s a woman in her mid-twenties (?) working as a school nurse in a coed school. After breaking up with her fiancé, she develops feelings for her several years younger medical assistant that also happens to be a girl. And even though she knows that a love like this will not be accepted by neither the law nor society, she nonetheless risks losing her reputation but still tries to keep their relationship a secret.
Nanao Okumura: Nanao is a member of the health committee and likes to spend her free time in the nurses’ office with Matsumoto rather than with her friends. Thanks to her sometimes grim looking face, her classmates see her as a pretty cool and maybe even aloof person, but in reality Matsumoto is the only person that knows just how cute Nanao can be.
I absolutely loved Nanao. She’s one of the few characters in manga that I can’t really put into a specific category. For example, she’s definitely not a complete tsundere but she sometimes acts like one; She often isolates herself from her classmates, yet she’s not a total loner; She’s a very strong character but she has her flaws and she’s not afraid to show them.
What I’m trying to show you here is that Nanaos character doesn’t fit into any of these labels. You can’t really foresee how she’ll react in a certain situation and that’s kind of rare with all the tsundere, airhead and whatnot characters around.

Matsumoto (left), Nanao (right)
Story: 8/10
The story stars with Nanao finding out that Matsumoto and her fiancé just broke up. For Nanao this is a huge shock, since she’s been seemingly idolizing Matsumoto and her relationship from the very beginning. But what’s even more irritating to her is the fact that each and every time Matsumoto calls her name, her heart seems to tighten, leaving her with some new and unknown feelings. However she doesn’t really get enough time to think about the cause of these feelings since Matsumoto uses the opportunity to answer her student’s question/feelings with a kiss.
From the beginning Nanao is not sure whether Matsumoto is really taking their relationship seriously and their age gap definitely doesn’t make things easier. Furthermore they share a forbidden love, which is why they have to be especially careful. But these won’t be the only problems. Matsumoto is oblivious to the fact that Nanao desperately tries to live up to her lover and grow up as quickly as possible. And even though Nanao gives it her best to act mature, they can’t really solve their problems and end up having different plans for their future…
Unfortunately the amount of drama is quite high while the story itself is really short. Still the pacing is just fine and surprisingly the actions don’t feel as rushed as one would think. In fact even though their first kiss happens just within the first chapter, it somehow seems natural and the same goes for the drama. It just doesn’t feel forced but rather believable for a couple like this.
As a side note: These two are not the only couple presented in this manga. There’s also a short story of the get-together of 2 of Nanao’s classmates. And while I think that this is cute as well, I would have preferred another chapter about the main couple instead of a subplot like this.
Art: 7/10
It’s usually not that hard for me to recognize the art style of an artist, but in this case I didn’t know that Pure Water Adolescence is done by the same artist as “Sayonara Folklore” or several yuri one-shots like “Sitting behind the girl I love” or “Love me softly”. It’s maybe because Pure Water Adolescence is one of Kazuma Kowo’s first manga so that I just couldn’t recognize her later works. Oh well let’s get to the point, the art style looks simple but great and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the way the main characters look as well. And I couldn’t agree more with the following:
I fully agree with Matsumoto

Page example, click to enlarge

Yuri: 9/10
This is one of the manga that every yuri fan should read. It’s neither a very long story nor is it very exciting. But what Pure Water Adolescence is really good at, is showing a realistic romance of a couple that will most likely come across a lot of refusal in society. Well not for the obvious reason that they’re both girls but because of their age gap as well as the fact that a teacher (or in this case a school nurse) is not allowed to have a romantic relationship with a student. I would have wished to read more of Nanao and Matsumoto, but the amount of yuri in this manga is definitely satisfying as it is. 
Total Enjoyment: 8/10
If I had to name some negative aspects of this manga, the first and probably only thing that comes to mind would be its length. After finishing this manga I was really craving for more. It didn’t feel incomplete or anything like that, I just felt like I wanted to read more about Nanao and Matsumoto.
Maybe the following will make me look like a pervert, but I actually wanted to see their first time having sex together. I mean, by the end of the manga the two of them have been together for a really long time already and it’s been pretty clear that, on many occasions, Matsumoto wanted to go further than just kissing. But then again it was also extremely cute to see her enduring her desires and being content with the simple knowledge that Nanao loves her.
So all in all Pure Water Adolescence is a really beautiful manga, with a very nice art style, great characters and some believable drama. It really deserves to be my number 4 in my Top 10 Yuri Manga list and if you haven’t read it already, you should definitely catch up on it now.

7 thoughts on “Manga Review: Pure Water Adolescence

  1. Ohhhh ohh ohh! Pure Water Adolescence!!! This is one of my favorites! From the get go Kazuma Kowo really knew how to pull at my heart string.

    I don't usually care for age difference stories. Guess it's weird where that's the line I draw. So it means something to me when someone can pull of an age-difference story that gets me going. Amano Shuninta's 'The Structural Formula of First Love' is the other age-difference story that caught my attention.

    Either way, I'm glad to see you also appreciate this gem. I agree with all of your comments.

    Something interesting to take notice of is that while the volumes may start things off with Summer-Window Syndrome, the logical starting point as it's when Ritsuko and Nanao's relationship begins, the first chapter to be released was Chatting in Our Pajama's, which had the two already together! It didn't even star Nanao!


  2. Nicely done dood. While there is another Age-Gap I enjoyed even more than this one, this is definitely one of the best AG yuri manga out there. It handles the situation in a realistic manner and gives MILF fans a beauty to ogle at. Rawr. I guess Nanao has her own distinct charm as well “coughmeganebabecough”


  3. “The Structural Formula of First Love” was indeed a wonderful age gap one-shot, but I still have the strong urge to see how their story continues even though Amano Shuninta stopped just at the right moment.

    And I have to agree with you, I was a little confused when first reading Pure Water Adolescence, but that's mainly because I didn't start with the first chapter but the second or third… Yeah I'm stupid^^


  4. First of all thank you 🙂
    I also think that Pure Water Adolescence is one of the best yuri age gap manga out there, but then again, without going through my collection or googling it I can't really come up with many titles like that to begin with.
    But I wish there were more, especially ones that really take this topic seriously and don't only show a MILF having sex with her loli student.


  5. Thank you for the review. I'm not really used to read yuri with an adult/student relationship, but it was a great manga with great characters (especially Matsumoto ~).


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