ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow,’ Volume 6

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A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6

Unfortunately, A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 doesn’t quite live up to the highs set by its predecessor. The yuri manga series from mangaka Makoto Hagino centers on the relationship between new student Konatsu and Koyuki after Konatsu joins the aquarium club. The two forge a strong bond in their own little world, but as their friend groups expand, they realize they may have stronger feelings for one another than just friendship. The manga is published in English by VIZ Media, but at the time of this review, the localization credits for volume 6 had not been provided.

If Volume 5 focused on Koyuki’s relationships with others, then  A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 focuses on Konatsu’s lack thereof. Konatsu sees Koyuki and Kaede hanging out one day, and looking close. She is surprised because instead of feeling happy that her friends are getting along, she doesn’t like it. What follows is a rather introspective and angsty reflection on Konatsu’s part. While Koyuki is getting ready to graduate and is breaking out of her shell, Konatsu has convinced herself that Koyuki is all she has. She has formed a bit of a dependence on Koyuki and even admits that a part of her doesn’t want Koyuki to make other friends so she can have her all to herself. It is definitely a toxic dependency, but the purpose is Konatsu realizing that it isn’t healthy.

The delivery of all this in A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 is mixed in its effectiveness. Some moments hit like a punch in the gut, with Konatsu fighting anxiety attacks and struggling to articulate her feelings amidst social anxiety. Other times, it reads more like a melodrama, where Konatsu’s internal writhing at times is repetitive and overblown. It can grate on the nerves, especially since the solution is so simple: communicate. Their moments with Kaede, Koyuki, and Koyuki’s brother are actually the best. All three are having different struggles with social anxiety, but even in a shorter amount of time, it is conveyed a bit better than Konatsu’s. Overall, this volume is fine, but it feels as though the content was stretched out to fill it.

Hagino’s artwork remains consistent. Due to the introspective nature, shading is heavily utilized. The weight of Konatsu’s anxiety can be felt by the reader, as the page slowly progresses to pitch-black backgrounds. Additionally, in the pitch black of the pages, Hagino occasionally draws bubbles, as though Konatsu is drowning in her own thoughts. It is a nice detail that readers who struggle with similar issues will relate to.

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 is an okay installment in the series. It dwells a bit too much in some places, turning relatable into melodrama. It often feels as though the content wasn’t enough for the volume, but forced to fill it anyway. The series is still enjoyable, but ideally, Konatsu will grow past her toxic dependency next time.

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 will be available February 9th, 2021 wherever books are sold.

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6
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TL;DR

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow Volume 6 is an okay installment in the series. It dwells a bit too much in some places, turning the relatable into melodrama. It often feels as though the content wasn’t enough for the volume, but forced to fill it anyway. The series is still enjoyable, but ideally, Konatsu will grow past her toxic dependency next time.