Pure and Akira’s story comes to an end in the final yuri manga volume. Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 wraps up Pure and Akira’s relationship in saccharine sweet beauty despite the confusing parts of the story. However, the story deserved another volume or two for clarity and more time for backstory and side characters. Plus, I’m not sure about the implication of love and disability.
Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 is from Yen Press, written and illustrated by Kazura Kinosaki, translated by Amanda Haley with lettering by Abigail Blackman. The story is about standoffish Akira Kouno, whose high school life is turned upside down when she meets Pure Sakurasaka, a gorgeous girl who swears she’s Akira’s lover from six years in the future.
A Man on a Mission
The volume begins with Ruri and Sumire talking about the time-reversal machine and Ruri’s plans. He travels back to keep Akira and Pure separated but requests Sumire travel to a time before he was born to make sure his mom, Hotaru, and dad, Midori, never meet. He resents his father’s affair and their divorce, which left his mother ill and alone. So Ruri concludes the best way to ensure his mom has a better life is to make sure that she never meets Midori; thereby erasing his and Akira’s existence. Sumire’s torn because she faults herself for all that happened but doesn’t want to erase Ruri. After all, Sumire rescued Ruri when a truck almost hit him as a child.
Reunion Too Late/Disability Does Not Mean Alone
A lot of Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 is Akira and Pure living separate lives. Although Akira and Pure haven’t met in this present time, that doesn’t stop the fated nature of their love. Akira dreams about Pure often, wondering if Pure is a person in her dreams or not, and wanders around hoping to meet her. Pure does remember Akira but can’t find Akira since Ruri pays the detective she hired to give her false information. They don’t reunite until Pure saves Akira halfway into the manga, then we are in Pure’s memory of the future.
I’m also unsure about how they meet when they are older in Pure’s memory. Akira and Pure meet when they are 23 years old, and Akira is in a wheelchair from an accident. Pure confesses her love, and Akira rejects her but wants to remain friends. Dealing with the subject of disability and relationships is tricky. I did not like that this volume implies that Akira’s disability is an issue or that she can’t be in a relationship because of it. The volume should spend more time fleshing out that backstory so the reader understands.
Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 is sweet but lacking. The end of Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 feels rushed. I appreciate Kazura Kinosaki explaining what transpires, but I was still confused, and the disability and love connotations were disappointing. But Akira and Pure did get their happy ending, and they didn’t rush into marriage but took their beautiful time. They complement each other; Pure’s joyful disposition brings out Akira’s brightness, so they are still goals. They make this journey, confusing as it is, worthwhile.