While the first half of 2019 have two seasons devoid of Manga Time Kirara adaptions, the wait is almost over. This consists of Machikado Mazoku, Ochikobore Fruit Tart and Koisuru Shouwakusei (Asteroid).While the former will air this summer, the other two will air probably in the fall or in the near future. With that, It’s time to take a look at the first volume of Ochikobore Fruit Tart (おちこぼれフルーツタルト, lit: Dropout Fruit Tart) manga.
Author:Hamayumiba Sou (浜弓場双)
Publisher:Manga Time KR Comics (Serialized in Manga Time Kirara Carat)
Original Release Date: May 15, 2016
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A normal high school girl named Sakura Ino from Okayama came to Tokyo to make her dream of becoming an idol a reality. She joins Rat Productions, which is managed by Kajino Hoho. She takes Ino to the Mouse Villa. Living there is the three original members, which consists of Sekino Roko, a child actor, Nukui Hayu, a musician, and lastly, Maehara Nina, a fashion model. Sadly, none of them are known by anyone.
As Ino joins the team, Hoho reveals that the Mouse Villa will get torn down unless they manage to earn more than 100,000,000 yen. To achieve this, Hoho plans to revitalize the group as an idol group called Fruit Tart. With that, the girls do various idol promotion activities and eventually do a mini live performance. However, Fruit Tart garnered hardly any attention despite being successful.
However, a girl named Midori Hemo, who passed the audition for Cat Production decides to join Rat Production for some reason. Also, a mysterious classmate whom seems to have become smitten towards Hayu, Ino and Fruit Tart filled Ino’s shoe locker with tons of love letters. Ino and Hayu eventually finds out the person behind the letters was Honmachi Tone. She saw their live performance and seemed to love it.
If you take a glance at the characters, there are some design similarities to Sou’s other words. Roko resembles Hana from Hanayamata, but with darker hair and shorter in height by 4 centimeters. She has a harsh personality. She becomes upset when it comes to Hoho’s antics, mention of her height, and of course her older sister. Yes, Roko’s little sister, Chiko who is part of an idol group, Cream Anmitsu has a huge obsession for her older sister. It’s obvious that Roko doesn’t get along with her mostly because Chiko is way taller than her.
Not only that, Roko is seen with Nina a lot, since it’s something she desires the most. However, Nina seems embarrassed by how big her breasts are that she is poor at doing swimsuit and gravure photo shoots. Not only that, she grows quickly that she can’t wear the clothes she enjoys making. Of course, there is Hayu who dreams of becoming a cute lady who becomes disappointed after receiving a one-piece dress and trying it on. She finds out that it doesn’t fit her.
Lastly, there is Ino, the main character. While she is the most resourceful since her mother and other people bring her bags of free food, there is one thing that is obvious. On her character introduction page, one of her favorite things is girls. Yes, Ino most likely a preference for females.
It becomes somewhat obvious when Hayu tells Ino that the school they are attending was an all-girls school before it turned into a co-ed school this year. She also mentions that there is a possibility that a lot of girls also likes girls. Ino becomes surprised. This becomes more obvious when Hemo who is shy girl who initially reveals having a huge crush on Ino. It’s like love at first sight, which led her to join Fruit Tart instead of Cream Anmitsu. Of course, Ino doesn’t mind this at all.
Of course, there is more yuri moments besides Ino and Hemo. Aside from Nina hugging Roko, there is Higashi Riri. She is the producer for Cat Productions and Hoho’s childhood friend. Hoho doesn’t seem to like her since she sabotaged her love confession for a boy during elementary school among other things such as Riri beating Hoho by having better grades in middle school. Even in college, Hoho met Riri again. It’s somewhat obvious when Riri openly admits that she loves Hoho. In short, the obvious pairings so far are Hemo and Ino, Nina and Roko, and Riri and Hoho.
Overall, the first volume of Ochikobore Fruit Tart is a fun read with enjoyable characters with some nice yuri moments. From looking at the idol costume and character designs, they look familiar to Sou’s previous work, Hanayamata. While they are different in the overall activity it focuses on, they both have two things in common. That is music and dancing. Aside from that, I wonder if Fruit Tart will manage to get past the underdog status and manage to raise 100,000,000 yen. We will find that out eventually as their idol adventures continue.