1) I am neck deep in the tedious grunt work stage of Yuri Monogatari 4, the newest yuri manga anthology from ALC Publishing. As a result, reviews *will* be more spaced out than usual. My arm is already falling off, and I’m just in the beginning stages. So please bear with my much slower-than-usual pace of reviewing.
2) I can tell that I am getting more popular – more of you are writing in to tell me how wrong I am. ^_^ I do read all your posts…not always all the way through, but I do give each the old college try. Don’t feel bad if I don’t respond. It just means I don’t have time, don’t have anything to say, don’t feel that strongly about it, or think you’re an idiot. You can decide which it is. ^_^
3) Today’s review is due entirely to the generosity of the folks at Media Blasters, who are very, totally, supportive of Yuri in general and Yuricon in particular. I am beginning with the third volume of Loveless because that is the one I was given. Should I obtain the second volume at some point in time, I will review it. If you would rather read a single cohesive review of the very Yuri, very lovely Yuri arc in Loveless, then you will want to read my initial review of this series.Since my opinion of the show as a whole hasn’t changed, you’ll probably want to read that anyway.
Volume 3 picks up after we have initially met Kouya and Yamato, and learned that they are a Sacrifice and Sentouki pair. They are also, we learn, Zeros. This appears to mean that they have been genetically created or altered (the anime is vagueish about this – the manga might shed more light on this, but please don’t think my lack of information denotes interest) to be nothing more than puppets in this game.
Kouya’s and Yamato’s arc, while short, is actually quite good. It also looks to be just about identical to the manga arc, so that’s something for Yuri fans to look forward to in the translated manga. The bottom line is that they find hope and light in what is a palpably hopeless and dark life of doomed combat. In other words, we can believe that they actually do live happily ever after.
My personal favorite moment was about 2/3 way through the arc when Yamato is facing Ristuka, the protagonist. I had just been saying to myself that Ritsuka’s deceased older brother must have been a total prick, when Yamato makes that exact comment. <3
Just for kicks, I watched the two episodes after their arc. I spent most of the time cringing at the icky shota and utterly soppy, faggy gayness of all the male characters. Thank GOD Kouya and Yamato weren’t treated with the same broad strokes, or they would have been wearing tool-belts and birkenstocks. I kept screaming at the TV “Not every gay guy dresses like that!” ^_^;
Because the DVD is a Media Blasters release, there is only a subtitled track , no American voice track. This is no loss for me, personally, but you might want to be aware before you buy. Additionally, I found the subtitles to be plain wrong in places – in that way I always complain about, where the translator takes liberties with what they say to make it more casual language. Again, not a problem for most people.
HOWEVER, I will never, *ever* understand the thing anime companies do when the character screams one thing – almost always a person’s name – and they substitute something else like the person’s title. If Ritsuka screams “Sensei!”, why on earth would you translate that as anything other than what it is? It happens several times where a person is called by one thing and the translators, for reasons of their own, have them say another thing. My final complaint about the DVD; the opening menu is nigh on impossible to read from 10 feet away – at least for my tired, old, eyes.
Ratings (for the Yuri arc only)
Art – 5 (grainy and hard to see at times)
Story – 8
Character – 8
Music – ugh, don’t get me started
Yuri – 8
Loser FanGirl – 20
Overall – 7
I seriously doubt that I’ll ever be able to watch anything but the yuri arc in this series…it just has too many fetishes that are not only not mine, but make me actively cringe.
But the Yuri arc, primo. Thumbs up. Excellent.