Manga Review: Notes from the Garden of Lilies


Author: Suga Atsushi
Length: 2 volumes
Genre: Comedy, School Life, Drama, School Idol, Yuri
Scanlation Group: Yuri Project
Story 8/10 and Characters 9/10:
Misono Fujiwara, or how people call her “The Saint” is like the idol of the whole school and the daughter of an esteemed household. Thanks to her status she’s usually the centre of attention and respected by all the other students. However even though she always helps out wherever she can and is always surrounded by people, she’s quite lonely. The people around her are not the ones who she considers to be her friends since all they seem to see in her is just her social status. Still there is one person that treats her differently, like an equal, even like a nuisance and that is Yuri Kurashiki. 
While being a total outcast for both her outward appearance as well as her rough personality, Yuri is usually avoided by her classmates and thus always ends up being alone. However even though it does bother her quite a bit, she at least seems like she doesn’t really care. 
One day after school, Misono finds out about Yuri’s story book, in which Shinobu, Yuri’s childhood friend, writes down all the ideas for the manga Yuri draws. Totally embarrassed that someone found out about it, she hides the fact that she actually didn’t write what’s written in there, since giving away that information could get her into even more trouble in the first place.

After this encounter, the two of them build up a strange kind of friendship with each other in which Misono more or less bullies Yuri into showing her more of her stories and the fact that one of the characters seems to be written after Misono increases her interest even more. But even though things between them start out pretty weirdly, they actually manage to become real friends and Yuri even comes clean about the fact that she draws manga. 
Still just as things start to work out between them, Misono decides to help Yuri make some more friends and just when her plan seems to work out, some new problems between those two start to surface.
Notes from the Garden of Lilies mostly scored for me when it comes to the two main characters. It was both funny and entertaining seeing them interact with each other and it usually ended with me laughing about Yuri’s reaction while at the same time feeling sorry for her being teased and toyed with like that. Maybe that makes it sound as if Misono is a pretty cruel friend and honestly, I think she at times really was, but on the other hand, the fact that she couldn’t really let her true self show to all the others probably made it all the worse, whenever she was alone with Yuri. Poor her…
Anyway, there is not much I can complain about in this manga, it was all in all a very nice read and one of those series that I really don’t want to come to an end. However there are a few things that I would have liked to see as well. So for once a little more yuri would have been nice, but more about that later and secondly I wanted to read more about Shinobu and her girlfriend. From what we got to see in the short scenes about them in the manga, the two of them looked like an interesting and fun couple as well.
Oh and one more thing, I didn’t really understand why Yuri would get bullied for her blond hair, if there are obviously other girls with different hair colors as well. But then again, I guess that’s just manga logic, so it’s fine.

Oh and one more thing, the manga Yuri draws is usually yaoi and that makes things even more fun~

About the ending:
I’m a big fan of overly romantic endings, but in this case, it didn’t even bother me that there was not even a kiss. I think the ending is perfect as it is, even though I feel like I want to read more about them and also how their relationship continues from this point on, but I really do think that the manga ended at just the right time.
But let’s not forget about that fantastic extra chapter! 
In just some rare cases I really get that extra chapter I’m wishing for and in even less cases this extra chapter really is what I was hoping for. And in this case, I gotta tell you, it was just SO good! This final chapter was fun to read, had plenty of yuri subtext and it confirmed their relationship, which was probably the only thing I didn’t like about the ending. I think other than a kiss, there was not much that I was really missing, it was just perfect!
Yuri 6/10:
The score of this one is rather low compared to other yuri manga. The reason for that is not the fact that I didn’t really like the couple, in fact I love them, but the thing is, there is not much yuri going on. Yuri and Misono start off as strangers, become friends and at some point we can suspect that the latter has feelings for Yuri. So I would say this manga only contained some yuri subtext, well until that extra chapter that is~
I think the very last page of this extra chapter alone was able to make up for all the yuri moments I was missing in the manga. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here. 

And we should also not forget about Shinobu and Azusa. In their case it was pretty obvious that they were going out and as mentioned above I would have loved to read more about them.
 I agree~
Art 6/10:
Just like in “The Flower and the Star”, the art in this one is also not that stunning, even though I really loved the volume covers. These two are really gorgeous. Other than that the art is ok, not very special but still nice to look at.

click to enlarge

Total Enjoyment 8/10:
It’s probably for the fact that both manga ended almost at the same time or rather were fully translated at the same time, that I just can’t help but compare this one with “The Flower and the Star”. And even though I rated both of them almost exactly the same, I still think that I liked “Notes from the garden of Lilies” a little more. Rather than making me laugh out loud, this one really entertained me and the ending was also much better, so maybe that’s the reason, but either way I think they were both pretty awesome.
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24 thoughts on “Manga Review: Notes from the Garden of Lilies

  1. Unlike Flower and the Star, this one was quite amusing. Actually, my favorite parts all took place in the Volume 2 bonus epilogue chapter of all things. I guess it was because both the main and secondary couples were so cute together. And the VERY LAST PAGE! Haaaaauuuuuuuu! SO CUTE!

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  2. I do like the art style a lot, actually. It's distinct, conveys a lot and is very memorable. Compared to something like Citrus, which has technically impressive art but I barely remember what Yuzu looks like just a bit later. Sometimes, less is more.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this series from beginning to end. It's just a bit tragic that Suga had to shove all his ideas for the series into the extra instead of getting another volume or two because the magazine it was in was canceled. Really a case of “what could've been.”

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  3. Haha how could I ever forget that?
    But you know squealing about the cuteness of fictional characters and being a manly man don't necessarily have to contradict one another 😉

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  4. Yeah, you're right, I think there was enough room for another volume, where Suga could have also stuffed all the cuteness of the extra chapter into, but then again, a great series always ends when you least want it to.

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  5. This is exactly what i was hoping for. It really was a GLORIOUS extra chapter. *sighs* It is something i reread whenever i have a bad day.
    The whole manga made me fangirl non-stopping althought in a moment i felt uneasy because i thought it would end abruptly…
    I think what made this one so great is the fact that clarifies a relationship between Yuri and Misono in the future (that is, after graduation), something that not much yuri manga shows, nor even imply.
    I was sad it ended. I think out of the things there was ongoing at the moment, this one was the very best. Agreed with you, we need more Shinobu x Azusa.
    Now i'm hoping for more omoi no kakera, maybe other Morishima's works… i feel a little empty :'c

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  6. I was also so very grateful for that very last page that made it clear what will become of those two.
    It was really the perfect end~

    And now I'm waiting for more yuri manga by Suga Atsushi, well other than his other work “First Love”.

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  7. They should continue and show Shinobu and Azusa as the main characters
    Then they can make a story on what Yuri and Misono's lives are like living together like wife and wife
    Then do the same with Shinobu and Azusa
    I just gave a few more volume ideas

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  8. “The Flower and the Star” and this are pretty much the same.
    Nose does not enjoy it much because I felt like it ended too quickly and leave that last leaf to finish and go.
    Had at least a kiss but even that would be under so I left a great void in the story.

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  9. sorry, lol I meant to post it on the main page for the top 10 yuri manga. I watched the sasameki anime, then with it's ending I had to finish the story by reading the manga. When I was done I wanted to find more yuri to read. Found the top 10 list – http://yurireviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-top-10-yuri-manga-list-updated.html – I started reading them from top to bottom, I read the flower and the star, then I read this. then I skipped to the bottom and started reading girl friends. Sasameki was still the best I'v read hands down. loved it so much, trying to find something to fill the space it left when I finished it.

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  10. Haha, no problem then.
    In my case, I liked it, a lot actually.
    But then again, I feel like there are simply so many more that were better in many aspects.

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  11. Any recommendations? I really liked the flower and the star and notes from the garden of Lillis. Girl Friend was a slow start but gets really good in the middle. I want a yuri I guess school based. A yuri where every female character are not lesbians would be good. Just the MC or a few others. Maybe a Cool Main character, that isn't yuri from the start. Well It wont have to meet all of those specifications, just school based and no fantasy or sify would be good. What would you recommend?

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  12. Accidentally read that it was canceled or something after only a few chapters QQ. Anything else? Maybe I can read prism to pass time at school.

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  13. Yes it was unfortunately cancelled, though it lasted for several chapters that include the most important aspects of a yuri romance anyway. (You'll see what I mean when you're done reading it)

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  14. So, this is my favourite manga of all time. Also being the one manga that dragged me and trapped me in the beatiful world of YURI. It’s just, I love this manga 😛

    Thought I’ll comment in this just becouse its my favourite, there’s really not any other reason 😛
    Also did I mention I just love this manga? I did? Good.

    Liked by 1 person

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