Futari Escape Review

Futari Escape Review

Futari Escape manga series cover art
Futari Escape

Senpai and Kouhai Against Reality

Futari Escape (ふたりエスケープ) is a girls love slice of life manga by Shouichi Taguchi. I found it while looking through manga serialized in Comic Yuri Hime. As you may have guessed, Comic Yuri Hime is a yuri manga magazine.

This is a pretty short manga. The series is 35 chapters long, split into four volumes. So, I was able to read the entire thing in one sitting. Also, it helps that the chapters aren’t very long. I think most of them are under 20 pages.

But what’s Futari Escape about? It’s about two women who live together and their battle against reality. We don’t know the names of these two, and they don’t appear to know each other’s names, either. So, they’re just known as Senpai and Kouhai. Senpai is the small one, and Kouhai is the big one.

Senpai vowing to show Kouhai how to escape reality from the manga series Futari Escape
Senpai vowing to show Kouhai how to escape reality

So, why are these two trying to escape reality? Well, escaping reality is what Senpai does all the time. She’s unemployed and not looking for a job. Instead, she plays video games and lazes around the apartment all day long. And yes, that means she doesn’t pay rent or anything, but we’ll get to that.

Kouhai’s the one who needs to escape reality to survive. She’s a manga artist, which means she’s always under pressure to meet deadlines. The series begins with Senpai agreeing to teach Kouhai how to escape from real life so she’s not crushed under her workload.

Then, that’s basically what the rest of the series is about. It’s about Kouhai feeling stressed out due to work, Senpai suggesting some way to escape reality, and Kouhai taking it too far. But what really makes the series good is the dynamic between Senpai and Kouhai. They’re fun characters.

The Manga Artist and the Freeloader

Let’s talk about the relationship between Senpai and Kouhai. First off, there’s pretty much no overt romance between them. Sometimes, they’ll blush when they look at each other or when one of them says something embarrassing. But that’s as far as it goes.

There’s quite a bit of implied romance, though, in the form of how these two coexist. As I said, Senpai doesn’t bring anything to the table, financially speaking. She has no job and also no money. It’s not like she’s unemployed because she doesn’t need to work. She doesn’t want to work.

And, in fact, Senpai goes even farther than simply living with Kouhai for free. She uses Kouhai as her personal ATM. Or, more accurately, she refers to Kouhai as her wallet. Kouhai doesn’t only cover Senpai’s living expenses. She covers all of Senpai’s expenses, both her needs and her wants.

Senpai and Kouhai from the manga series Futari Escape
Senpai and Kouhai

So, what does Kouhai get out of this relationship? Does Senpai cook? Not usually. Does she clean? Definitely not. There are only two things Senpai provides, and they might not seem all that important — at least not at first. She provides companionship and her cute appearance.

Companionship is vital for Kouhai. She doesn’t leave the apartment on her own very much. And, the one time she thought Senpai was gone, she had a mental breakdown. Senpai’s companionship and her ability to get Kouhai to take breaks from her work can’t be understated.

Why does her cute appearance matter, though? Kouhai thinks Senpai is very cute, and that’s one of the main ways Senpai “pays” Kouhai to live with her. Basically Kouhai thinks that having a cute girl living with her is motivation to work harder. And I can’t say I disagree with her on that. That would motivate me, too.

I Expected Romance, I Got Comedy

Obviously, since Futari Escape was in Comic Yuri Hime, I expected more yuri. Yeah, it’s about two women who live together. They sleep in the same futon and bathe together, as well. But that’s not the kind of yuri I’m used to.

Consider this: The most popular manga in Comic Yuri Hime is Citrus. I’m not saying I was expecting this series to be degenerate like that one. However, I was expecting more overt acts of romance than what I found here. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.

Yes, this series wasn’t what I expected, but I still liked it a lot. And it’s actually very similar to another series from Comic Yuri Hime that I like: Yuru Yuri. I’d argue that Yuru Yuri has more yuri than Futari Escape. But both series are primarily comedies.

Kouhai trying to be a YouTuber from the manga series Futari Escape
Kouhai trying to be a YouTuber

Comedy is something this series does very well. Shouichi Taguchi is kind of a genius when it comes to comedic timing using manga panels. There were multiple times when I thought I knew what direction a joke was going in just for him to go in a completely different direction in the next panel. And it worked really well.

I’ve seen manga pages where the punchline panel comes at the bottom of the page. But that’s not how the jokes in this series work. Instead, the punchline panel is at the top of the following page, which works way better.

If the punchline is on the same page as the setup for the joke, you’ll have already seen it. You might not have read it, but you likely still saw it. If the punchline is on the next page, that’s not going to happen as easily, and it makes the jokes land better.

Final Thoughts

Futari Escape gets an 8/10 from me. It’s a very good, short manga. If you like cute girls and comedy, I don’t see how you wouldn’t like this series. And because I liked it so much, I’m planning to read another manga Shouichi Taguchi worked on soon. Maybe next week?

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. I’d also like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. And I’d like to thank Rob and Pepe for supporting at the Kouhai tier.

To learn more about the perks of supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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