Manga Review: Hoshikawa Ginza District 4

Author: Kurogane Ken
Length: 3 Volumes, 19 Chapters + Extras
Year: 2010
Genre: Age Gap, Yuri, Romance, Student/Teacher Relationship
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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.

hoshikawa ginza district 4 yuri manga
Minato (left), Otome (right)

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.

hoshikawa ginza district 4 yuri manga
page example, click to enlarge

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.

Story: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Yuri: 9.5/10
Art: 6/10
Total Enjoyment: 7.5/10


13 thoughts on “Manga Review: Hoshikawa Ginza District 4

  1. Loved this one. It was fresh. Loved there two relationship, and how much they cared for each other (and loved one another) despite there age differnce. Best part was it wasn't creepy, like alot of age gap's.


  2. You should of seen how I reacted when I first read her say that she wanted to have sex with her. Me: IT'S A KID YOU CREEPY SICKO! SOMEONE GET AN ADULT! SHE NEEDS HELP!!!
    All I could think is that she left a verbally abusive, neglecting environment to a sexual and perverse one.I felt so bad for that child never having a proper parent to grow up with…Then overtime it became more cute and I didn't feel creeped out. But THIS should never be acceptable in ANY society. I loved the manga tho… (Ended at legal age.)


  3. Agree with what Bigbossbalrog said.
    Also, Otome was the aggressive one here, but I also felt a little weird when Minato just blurted out that she wants to have sex with Otome.
    But even this situation only happened thanks to Otome's persistence.


  4. You both have good points, Minato had a lot of restraint to not go into her desires. (All the way until it was enivitable that they would be sepreated.) And yes Otome was the initial aggressor which doesnt help Otome's innocence case lol.
    But…This “child” is just that, a “child” (if im right still in elementary) No matter how persistent she was, Minato should of never fueled the fire with agreeing to kiss her when they are alone. (If memory serves me correctly, because of this I may re-read this manga.) Don't get me wrong I loved this manga it was different and enjoyable compared to many others I've read but I'm just stepping back and looking at it in how society would veiw Minato and Otome, legally no matter who was the aggressor Minato is at fault and should of never responded to any of Otome's advances. (Glad she did though else this wouldn't be a yuri manga.)
    But aside from the legal repercussions that could of befallen Minato if word got out this manga was made to show two societal hardships, the (LARGE) age gap and the lesbian relationship. Which I think the writer depicted very well. In everyway you look at the relationship, Minato has the childish need to be loved or taken care of and Otome is in some ways more mature then Minato. So throughout the whole manga you have the feeling that they are lost without one another which I liked the most about this story.


  5. I really like what you said last. I absolutely love reading about these kinds of relationships as well. It could end very dramatically, but if it works out, it's just the cutest and most heartwarming thing ever~

    If I remember correctly, Otome was like 13 or a little younger, which is really young and in my understanding still too young to even thing about relationships at all. Well, some people might disagree with me.
    If this was made into a real-life movie, then I'd probably not watch it, but since this is “only” a manga, I don't mind it that much.
    Saying something is “only” a manga is probably my justification to enjoy a lot of different things that I wouldn't enjoy if they really happened to someone.


  6. My second favorite yuri manga of all time and the main reason why I accept age-gap pairings as being plausible when done right. Funny how times change when the mere thought of a 20+ year old and a 13-14 year old getting it on was freaky…now I find myself fascinated whenever Takako takes the top spot and dominates Runa.


  7. For me it's still rare to like age gap manga, but this one really did everything right.
    I guess it's the same with Runa and Takako for me, but that's all thanks to Runa's behavior.


  8. I only remember one time skip, so I'm just going to assume you mean this one.
    In that case it's only been a few years.
    I think they actually mentioned just how many, but I'm too lazy to check 😛


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