I started writing this post because I read a manga posted by I read a lot of mangas in my free time. So much so that I have favorite mangakas (author of manga); Mizu Sahara, Aoyama Gosho, Motomi Kyousuke, etc. Shimotsuki Kayoko has never been one of them. I have never even noticed any of her work before, until I stumbled on the anthology ‘Ko no ren no namidasuru.

Vanilla by Shimotsuki Kayoko is a story about a high school girl in love with her friend. The love is unattainable, unspoken; the object of her love has a girlfriend. Bla bla bla… It might strike as a corny story for most adult readers, but something about this story drew on me endlessly. It is the vanilla factor in the story. So, here it goes.

“The smell I hate most is vanilla. I can’t stand it in ice cream or milkshakes, and I get stomach burn whenever someone puts on vanilla-scented cologne. Even though I used to like it so much before.”

I hate vanilla and I blame you for it.
All this hatred, all this burns inside me.
All this.

That’s perhaps unfair,
especially since in your eyes nothing has changed.

Still, I’m blaming you.
I’m blaming you for not noticing me;
not enough anyway.
Only enough to borrow pencils from me,
and only enough to sit with me during music classes,
but not enough to truly notice how you affect me.

And that makes all the difference;
you’re next to me but you may as well be in another city.
Or state. Or country. Or continent.
Just elsewhere. Whatever.

Vanilla used to elate me,
just a whiff of it in the air brought me joy.
Just vanilla, and its association with you in my head did that.

Until her that is,
and now vanilla is just torture.
So much so that I cannot recall anymore
the times it brought me joy.

“It eats me up whenever you smell like vanilla!
I can’t eat ice cream or drink milkshakes anymore!!
And I used to like vanilla so much!!
Now I hate it because of you!!”*

* all quotes were taken from the scanning and translation of the manga done by RAE & Hatsumimi, further hosted on


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