Way back in 2000, when I created what is now Yuricon, I knew that I wanted the mascot to be much, much *cooler* than other con mascots, which tended to go for cute, rather than cool. And she had to be an out lesbian, because otherwise what was the point of having her? And, above all, she had to have blonde hair and blue eyes with hair down over her right eye, because I find that impossibly sexy. ^_^
So I created Yuriko. I made her a pop idol because you can do *anything* with a pop idol and find a way to make it plausible. ^_^
Shoujoai ni Bouken: The Adventures of Yuriko was originally released as twice-weekly issues to the Yuricon Mailing List. Currently, the releases of Saiyuu no Ryouko, the sequel to SnB are released on a once or twice a month basis, due to time constraints, but they are still released with resonably regularity. In fact, the next issue of SnR will go out tonight, after I finish this review. ^_^
As Yuricon grew, I wanted people to get to know Yuriko, so I added SnB to the Yuricon website. Over the years I have had dozens of offers of people who wanted to draw the story as a manga (but when faced with the concept of creative control and deadlines, they all faded away) and been bombarded with hundreds of requests for the same.
Well, making SnB into a manga was just too big a project, but I came up with what I think is a good compromise. Kelli Nicely has been a staff illustrator for Yuricon for years and she does what I consider to be some of the best pictures of Yuriko around. So I asked her to illustrated Volume 1. And to be 100% honest – I think she did a great job. I’m really pleased with almost every picture in the book.
While she labored at the illustrations, I had a team of editors read my story and point out an enormous number of errors. lol I had never had the original edited, only doing proofreading and editing in-house, if you will…and boy did the story need to be edited!! So thank you to Editor Ed, Sparkle and Paulette. Many times thank you.
So, with solid illustrations and good editing, that brings me to the story itself. Is it good?
When I started to write Shoujoai ni Bouken I had almost no idea of what the story was going to turn out like. 91 “issues” and 3 chapters of omake later, I was totally in love with my creation. I decided that I would keep writing about Yuri, (and Midori, her famous writer girlfriend) because I honest-to-goodness loved writing them. 5 years later my opinion has not changed. I adore them both and all the other characters that inhabit Yuriko’s world, especially Kishi-san, Yuriiko’s gruff chain-smoking manager, and Mariko, Yuri’s best friend – possibly the only character with which I have anything in common. (Probably because we’re both Virgo.)
So, yes, I genuinely believe that this is a good yuri story. It is everything I am looking for in a yuri story – plenty of drama, angst, an older protagonist who is uncontestably gay, with enough sex and romance to give it spice without making it porn.
But, with a natural tendency to write for myself, of course I would think that, so here is my proof to you that SnB is a good story.
Editor Ed from ALC Publishing is not a manga fan. He is not an anime fan. Ed is not a yuri fan, either. He is frankly uninterested in such things, but he is an *excellent* editor. He does this for a living, so I know that he will be brutally honest in his editing. I was sweating bullets when he was working on this volume, because if he said it was “okay” or he shrugged or got that look on his face – you know the one, the “polite” look – I was going to be mortified. I mean, this is a guy who works for a major publishing house. If he hates it (and I’ve heard about some of the books he’s had to work on….pee-yew!) then that would pretty much mean that the story sucked rocks.
When he gave me the manuscript I asked, knowing that this could kill my ego forever, what he thought. He said it was fun, enjoyable, that he kept looking for the sex, but when he got there, it turned out to be awfully sweet…then he looked at me and said, “I want to know what happens next.”
There you go folks. There’s *the* proof. That was all I needed, anyway. ^_^
Art – 8
Characters – 9
Story – 9
Yuri – 100%