This, the newest volume of Comic Yuri Hime once again proves that Yuri manga can be targeted to an audience of women (and judging from the letters section, mostly lesbian!) and be sexy, funny and a darn *good* read.
Really, the very worst problem with Yuri Hime is that it is a quarterly publication. I wait with baited breath for the day that it is a bimonthly – or even better, a monthly magazine. It hurts me a bit to know that it will be summer before I can once again enjoy these stories. Secondarily, not every single comic appeals to *me*, but I am not the world. ^_^ It’s a genuine strength of Yuri Hime that the types of stories and the art is varied enough that there are things I like – and things I don’t. This particular issue was overall excellent, with great things to come.
As always, we start with the cover. Haruna (left) and Chika (right), the leads in Hatsukoi Shimai grace the cover once again, this time in fetching spring ensemble. Gone are the days of one or the other looking surprised or vexed. They are shown here holding hands openly and facing us directly with happy smiles. Think back on covers of yuri manga…how many can you think of that show that? Not that many, trust me.
The first story is new, “Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakuen.” This is the story of a young girl on her first day at a new girl’s school. Her mother is sad that it’s raining on her first day, but Arera tells her that it’s okay – she is a rain fairy, after all. On the way to school, she take a short cut through a cemetery…which seems to go on and on and on and on…. Arera sees a beautiful woman, approaches to ask her directions and finds herself entwined by the woman’s long, stretchable neck. Arera is, of course, freaked, but more so when the woman starts to scream in pain and ask her to push the button on the back of her neck. Arera does, and the neck snaps back like a vacuum cleaner cord. Turns out, this is Arera’s teacher. ^_^ Her classmates are a cat girl, several oni, a bodiless head of smoke, and other non-humans. There’s a moment of anxiety when they mistake her for a real (tasty smelling) human, but she assures them she’s a rain fairy. She’s accompanied to her dorm (which she didn’t now she was assigned to and tries to escape only to find that she is inexplicably trapped on top of a cliff) to find that her roommate is a licking demon – a long-tongued female demon that enjoys, erm, licking. Yeah – more next issue as Arera deals with weirdness. The color page for this is exceedingly suggestive – remember, kids, all female demons have heightened sexual needs – that’s part of what makes ’em demons. ;-)
The climax of “Kotonoha No Miko To Kotodama No Majyou To” finds Letty facing down the god of Tsumugi’s shrine, in order to release the miko from her bondage to the place. The god appears as Tsumugi since, as she points out, the miko is the most important thing in Letty’s mind right now. The witch demands Tsumugi be released, and the god offers a deal – if Letty can handle her power, she’ll let Tsumugi go. The god blasts Letty with everything she has. Back in the room with Tsumugi and Suzushiro, the red thread that attaches Tsumugi to Letty snaps. Tsumugi wants to run off to the shrine to save the witch, but Letty reappears, weak as can be, but alive. The god takes Suszushiro as her next miko (which works perfectly, as Suzu was in love with Tsumugi from afar and can now worship her up close and personal as the god.) Letty and Tsumugi kiss, Letty makes a new red thread to bind them (and in the shape of a heart, I might add – Letty’s such a romantic) and the two go off after throwing us the boquet at their wedding.
Mako’s most recent contribution, “Michikusa” wasn’t as awful as her other stories, although her art will never really be appealing to me. We follow a couple who all the other students are making fun of, because they are always together and hold hands. One confesses that her feelings for the other are exactly what the other kids are implying. No crisis occurs and they continue to walk along the grassy path, doing flower ID, holding hands. Much happier than her usual fare.
“Goshuujin-sama to Issho” hits a whole LOAD of fetishes that aren’t mine. ^_^ In this story a rich young brat wants a puppy and gets a puppy girl who she instantly loathes for being a mutt. Muttgirl is clumsy and dorky and emotionally fragile and it kills her to see her mistress so unhappy (which brats almost always are.) Eventually they learn to love one another and live happily…but one will always have dog ears and a tail and a collar and somehow that’s just…yeah. If it’s your fetish, it’s adorable. Enjoy.
Hayashiya Shizuru continues the pre-New Year’s arc in “Strawberry Shake Sweet,” in which Ran has just made her modeling debut. It’s Julia’s worst nightmare – Ran looks gorgeous. She keeps herself going with the promise of seeing Ran someday soon, while Ran is doing the same thing, interspersed with work. Her new photographer and she are walking together when another woman accosts them. This was a former idol and someone the photographer “cultivated closely.” Now, spurned by the photographer, the former idol is bitter and obsessed. She warns Ran, who is clueless as always. Ran and Julia end the issue with separate, but mutual self-cheerleading and promises to be together – eventually, soon.
Chi-Ran’s story “Kanoujo ni naritai!” I think takes us back to an earlier couple. Either that, or all her stories are so similar that I’m having trouble keeping them apart…. Matsuri is a famous model. She and erm, the other one (sorry, I’m really, really tired today) are sharing a place to live for some reason or other. Girl is obsessively attracted to Matsuri and wants to be just like her, but really, what she wants is Matsuri, you know, naked and close. Matsuri seems to have either no inhibitions or is coming on so strong that only an idiot wouldn’t recognize it. Our resident idiot fights back her feelings just as long as she can until, while sharing a bath, she kisses Matsuri. They end up in bed (in a Chi-Ran story? shock!) and live happily ever after. This series is also upcoming as a collected volume, so keep your Yuri-dar on that for one too. ^_^
And that’s going to be where I cut for today. I’ll try very hard to finish part 2 (Touko-sensei! New Simoun!) before I leave for vacation at the end of the week.