Author: Kurogane Ken
Length: 3 Volumes, 19 Chapters + Extras
Genre: Age Gap, Yuri, Romance, Student/Teacher Relationship
First of all, I have no idea why I missed this specific manga, but thanks to a recommendation from a nice reader, I caught up on that, and I’m quite happy about it.
Hoshikawa Ginza District 4 shows the relationship between Minato, a high-school teacher, and Otome, a young middle-schooler. Due to Otome’s difficult past, and thanks to Minato’s unfailing persistence, the two of them managed to live together, while Minato acts as a caretaker for Otome
Despite their huge age difference, they manage to have a pretty balanced and equal relationship. It sometimes even seems as if Otome is the more mature and even independent one between the two of them. She is far more skilled in doing the housework, takes better care of money, and doesn’t much behave like a middle-schooler, in general. Minato, on the other hand, seems to take many things far too lightly. Not only does she often act more spoiled and childish compared to Otome, she also has no idea how to manage to live and take care of herself on her own.
However, when it comes down to business, Minato can be quite persistent. So when she heard of Otome’s situation at home and saw the girl more or less living on her own, she decided to help and took matters into her own hands. Still, even though I might not have the necessary knowledge when it comes to stuff like that, for me, the whole process of taking Otome away from her family and making her live with Minato seemed far too easy. Well, they did run across some more severe difficulties towards the end of the manga, but it still seemed like it went far too effortlessly at first.
I haven’t read that many age gap manga before, and to be honest, I’m usually not interested, because this is just not my cup of tea. This manga, however, managed to make things right, at least in my eyes. I think the age gap is like 13 years, while Minato is most likely twice as old as Otome, but I was neither constantly reminded of Otome’s young age, nor did their relationship really seem like this mother-daughter-relationship Minato might have striven for at first.
As already mentioned, the two seem to have a quite equal relationship, and luckily the art also helps make their age gap seem a little smaller. In general, their relationship often reminded me a little of the relationship between Runa and Takako from Sono Hanabira, even though the distribution of roles in this manga was not that extreme. Still, just like Runa, Otome also takes the leading role in their relationship and tries to get some things going between her and Minato, but she mostly has to deal with a half-hearted rejection.
Well, I really enjoyed Minato’s inner struggle of wanting to be more intimate with Otome, but at the same time, refusing to do so because of her young age. It was both amusing, but at the same time, it also built up the tension between the two of them, making their final get-together feel pretty intense.
Last but not least, let’s also come to the art.
I already told you that I like the fact that the art somehow makes their age a little hard to tell. They both look pretty young, and the only way of telling who’s younger is by going by their height or their cup size. This is mostly not a very positive thing to say about the art, but in this case, I was happy about it because I’m just not a fan of extreme age gaps. However, I still can’t say that I really liked the art that much, and if I remember correctly, there were like one or two chapters that were just some rough sketches without any shading. I guess the author didn’t have enough time to finish the chapters, but this really irritated me at first.
All in all, this is by far my favorite work by Kurogane Ken, and it’s actually a shame that I didn’t know about this one sooner. If you haven’t read it yet and don’t have a problem with age gap manga, why not take a look at this one? And don’t worry, it’s nothing like Kurogane Ken’s other works, such as Shoujo Sect. So if you didn’t like that one, don’t hesitate to try Hoshikawa Ginza District 4.
Total Enjoyment: 7.5/10