Yuri Hime Volume 5 has much that is good, some that is okay and one or two things that were disappointing.
Starting with the cover, as I always do, the characters are not Touko-sensei and Akiho, as I had hoped, but two entirely new characters who are nonetheless are from Tsunojo High School, the setting for Hatsukoi Shimai. There is a short bio for each of the characters and a discussion of their relationship.
Starting with the less good, to get it out of the way:I have heard that this particular issue was plagued with some difficulties, including illness (Morinaga Milk is reported to have fallen ill…we wish a speedy recovery if its true), so there’s a sort of tentative feel to the whole issue. There’s nothing by Morinaga Milk, Fujieda Miyabi or Morishima Akiko in this volume. BUT, don’t despair! We expect to have all three back next issue. Indeed, this issue includes a short bound volume as an extra containing an intro to Fujieda Miyabi’s newest story. More on that later…and a little surpise relating to that, too, even later. ^_^
On to the stories!
The volume begins with everyone’s favorite yuri love comedy, “Strawberry Shake Sweet.” At last, Ran and Julia are reunited – with some surprising outcomes. Sena confront the photographer that broke her heart, with some surprising outcomnes. And Saeki gets more exercise than she’s used to.
“Mermaid Line” is a new series about a pair of mismatched friends – one who is beautiful, graceful, etc, etc and one who isn’t, or so she feels. The beautiful girl, Megumi, jokes that she is really a mermaid, but seems to swim awfully badly for one. :-) When, after Karasuma buys Megumi a copy of a picture book of the mermaid fairy tale, she begins to fantasize, just a little, that she is the Prince. To Be Continued…
The essay on yuri history covers “Applause” – a title familar to those who like “classic shoujo” yuri manga.
Chi-Ran’s story this issue, “Shoujo Bigaku” is a little departure from the norm. Beautiful Natsuki (BTW, clearly “Natsuki” has replaced “Yuri/ko” and “Kaoru” as the new “default yuri character name…) is completely in love with cute Kanae. In order to be able to go out with her, Natsuki has cut her hair and is masquerading as a boy. Their relationship progresses to the physical, but as much as she’d like to, Natsuki can’t bring herself to confess the deception. One day Kanae ends up outside the school and is verbally assaulted by some of the students for being unworthy of Natsuki-onee-sama. Kanae is, quite sincerely, confused, but the light dawns when Natsuki arrives to disperse the crowd. Her secret is out. Kanae runs away. Natsuki skips school for three days, until Kanae arrives to apologize – and to admit that she was naturally surprised, but decided that she loves Natsuki, period. Happy end.
Taishi Zaou and Eiki Eiki present what appears to be “Little Red Riding Hood,” a sequel to the earlier “Female Wolf.” This story was pretty much a radical departure from their usual overwrought tone – and as a result, it was GREAT!. Fuyuka, having been given encouragement by the school doctore to pursue her feelings, decides that she’s going after Natsuki (ahem) the school’s female “wolf”. She devises the usual “Come over to my house, no one else will be there” stratagem and awaits Natsuki’s arrival with nervous anticipation. Natsuki arrives and the two proceed to eat dinner, dessert, play a video game and watch a movie. Natsuki thanks Fuyuka for a fun evening and takes her leave…. Leaving poor over-stimulated Fuyuka a complete mess. Was she wrong about Natsuki’s feelings? She ponders the question at school, as Natsuki has a run-in with the school’s “jaguar” to her “wolf”, Haruka. Fuyuka bails only to slam into Haruka’s pet girl, Akiho…who looks awfully like Fuyuka herself. It’s a tag-team Yuri something! Continued next issue – but who knows what will happen….
Oh my, how pervy “Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakuen” has turned out to be. I don’t know why I was surprised, really. The original color splash for it was pretty suggestive and, as I pointed out, female demons are almost *always* portrayed as possessing unusual (for women, as assumed by men) sexual appetites. Arera is confronted with the fact that she will NOT be communitng to school, and then is forced to realize that despite her claim to be a rain fairy, there’s incontravertable proof to the contrary – she’s got a navel. Pero and Neko agree to hide the fact and encourage her to participate in normal student life. Arera agrees, until she’s told that normal student life appears to include a lot of okazu…if you get my meaning. If not, check out the very first post here ever.
Color pages of “midsummer love” follows, with random couples shown sexing it up. A few lines fill in details about each, as if anyone cares. ^_^
And I’ll finish this part off with the latest chapter of “Hatsukoi Shimai.” Touko-sensei’s arrival has the whole school in a tizzy – but none more so than Chika, Akiho and Haruna. Chika’s greatful for Touko’s ride home, but would rather have been with Haruna. In order to keep Touko away from Chika, Akiho is throwing herself at the teacher as a roadblock. She’s not even sure why. In the meantime, Haruna is starting to have dreams about the stressful time when she confessed to her former sempai and was (it’s implied) rejected – the thing that made her originally so cold to Chika. We learn that the dream had gone away since Chika came to the school…. As she feels Chika growing closer with the new teacher, Haruna withdraws, ultimately snapping at Chika in a very hurtful manner. Again, some of the stuff that’s going on is new from the original Drama CD, so I approve – especially the Haruna backstory, and Akiho’s overreaction to Touko-sensei. ^_^
I’ll call it quits here and try to get Part 2 up soon!