Author: Tokumi Yuiko (篤見唯子)
Publisher: Manga Time KR Comics (Serialized in Manga Time Kirara)
Original Release Date: July 12, 2017
Where to buy: CDJapan
The story focuses on the daily life of Ichinose Hana and her friends, Tama, Eiko and Kamuri. This is where summer break begins with Tama looking forward to wearing swimsuits on a beach. Before that happened, Tama takes her friends went to a tomato stand where Hana struggles to eat one without making a mess. They eventually stay over at Hana’s apartment. However, they become disappointed especially Tama that it is raining heavily outside. They ultimately decide to wear swimsuits indoors. Eventually, Hiroe joins in on the fun after she brought over lychees. Later, the rain stopped and the girls decide to go to an amusement hotel to use their pool.
Aside from the indoor swimsuit fun, Hana runs into Eiko who is walking a pug called Maresuke (稀助) during a morning walk. Also, Eiko and Miki tries on their new dresses for someone’s wedding ceremony. Next, Hana’s parents come to visit. Hana decides to take a walk and finds Kamuri who is staying in the same hotel as Hana’s parents. Hana tries to introduce Kamuri to her parents, but she runs away to a tree. Lastly, Hana went to Hiroe’s apartment to deliver something. Instead, she helps Hiroe to open a mountain of packages containing sweats and other things Hiroe ordered online.
Compared to the anime, there are some similarities. While the chapter where the girls go to a tomato stand is mostly the same, but for others, there are some differences. Most notably the arc where the girls spend time indoors wearing their swimsuits. Sure, there are some things that are the same such as Tama’s chest size insecurities, Tama attempting to untie Eiko’s and eventually Hiroe’s swimsuit string to name a few. Others like Tama arranging a rice ball on a dish, Eiko doing nails for her friends and of course, Eiko’s bikini top coming off and landing on Kamuri’s head after she woke up from a nap didn’t make it to the anime.
What is interesting about the fourth volume is that we finally learn about Eiko’s family. Apparently, their family own a dog, which didn’t make an appearance in the anime. As expected, he is cute although it scared Hana. Also, there is Eiko’s and Miki’s parents. As you would expect, their mom, Saeko (紗枝子) is definitely pretty and makes the same laugh Eiko usually do.
Of course, there is their father, Youji (耀司). Not much to say about him except that he is overprotective of his daughters when he said that he won’t let them leave the household. He is also used as a butt monkey and at one point when his wife and Miki called him disgusting. I have to admit that he is also somewhat a crybaby as well since he cried in some of the panels.
Also, it’s interesting to learn a bit more about Hana rounin years. I have to admit that it’s interesting to see what Hiroe bought online and neglected. As expected, she bought a lot of sweats. Eiko would probably become angry if she saw this. Obviously, Hiroe ordered them before she met Eiko, so I can’t blame her.
The interesting part comes is when Hiroe offers Hana the chocolates that she brought to her as a souvenir. From this, it’s interesting that Hana ate mostly bitter ones during her rounin year. When she ate the sweet ones, she couldn’t handle it. Still, it’s interesting that from eating the sweet chocolates that Hana realizes how much she changed compared to a year ago. This is not surprising since she was able to make new friends.
Lastly, there is the Eiko and Inami moments. While the chapter where Inami gives back the candy Eiko gave to her made it to the anime, there is one other scene that didn’t. This is when Inami discovers Eiko in the shower undressing. Yep, this whole chapter is a nice ship tease for Eiko and Inami. At one moment, Inami went on top of Eiko on the bed and tell her to obediently sleep after she realizes Eiko have a fever. At one point, Eiko grabs on part of Inami’s shirt indicating that she doesn’t want her to leave. It’s not surprising since the first page of the manga have Eiko and Inami.
Overall, the fourth volume of Slow Start is definitely a fun read. Just like the anime, there a good number of yuri moments, most notably with Eiko and Inami along with Eiko and Kamuri. While reading the manga makes me realizes some differences with the anime, the comedy and artwork is great. In short, if you want more after finishing the anime, it’s worth taking a look at the manga.