From the creator of Iono-sama Fanatics, comes an equally adorable, equally yuri-riffic series, Kotonoha no Miko to Kotodama no Majyo to, by Fujieda Miyabi. (Transliteration supplied on the book itself.)
MikoMajyo, as Fujieda refers to it in his afterword, ran in Yuri Shimai, then Yuri Hime magazines, and has now been collected into a single volume. There are two versions – the manga only and the deluxe version which comes with a Drama CD. If you know anything about me, you’ll be able to guess that I bought the deluxe version. A review of the Drama CD will be forthcoming. ^_^
As with the other Yuri Hime Comics volumes, I’m going to review this story as if we have never read it before. Some of you may have not…although you absolutely should.
The story begins with European witch Letty, complete with broom and big pointy hat, arriving at a small shrine in Japan that is hidden away by a magic barrier. Letty penetrates the barrier without difficulty and finds that a lone priestess, Tsumugi, tends the shrine. Something about Tsumugi’s plight moves Letty and she takes it upon herself to free the miko from the magical ties that bind her to the shrine. Tsumugi finds herself immediately attracted to Letty and tells her so unhesitatingly. Letty is loathe to free the miko and leave her without normal life skills, so she agrees to take Tsumugi with her. To save Tsumugi from getting lost, Letty conjures up a magical string to connect them. Tsumugi says her favorite color is red, so they are bound by a red thread of fate…and how embarrassed is Letty to find out what that means in Japan! But Tsumugi isn’t fazed – she feels an instant connection with Letty, Letty’s pronouncement that the kiss they shared was just so the magic could work notwithstanding.
The first order of the day is to get refreshments. They just happen to stop at a cafe which you will hear alot more about in the upcoming days – the Ameiro Koucha Pavilion. (The characters from this story were originated for [es]Eternal Sisters 2 and will be the main focus of the new series from Fujieda-sensei for upcoming Yuri Hime issues.) Tsumugi embarrasses the bejeebus out of Letty by happily, loudly and publicly saying that she likes the witch. Letty rationalizes it as a comment from a child, since Tsumugi is essentially a babe in the woods when it comes to personal interaction.
Miko and witch head over to what I can only guess must be a cross-over with another Fujieda series. At a stab, I bet it’s the crowd from Twinkle Saber Nova, Fujieda’s other ongoing manga series. I haven’t read it, yet. (9/5/06 note: Wrong. The designers are all from Alice Quartet, yet *another* original series Fujieda does. It dawned on me when I was going through my Drama CDs and found the first Alice Quartet volume. I had forgotten about this series entirely… it’s about five – yes, I know – clothing designers. Hence Letty and Tsumugi coming to their shop to get clothes.) In any case, Letty and Tsumugi trade in witch and miko costumes for regular street clothes and proceed to go out for a walk. Despite Letty’s reticence, Tsumugi continues to press her case for liking Letty, until Letty is forced to admit that maybe her feelings are not like a child’s. Tsumugi confides she has very little memory of her past. We see that they are being followed by a mysterious someone, even as they are growing closer.
While they are out in a boat on a lake a mysterious wave soaks them. The mysterious someone mysteriously communicates that she’s found Tsumugi and will watch her until she can get her back to the shrine. Mysteriously.
The two women find themselves in a hotel, where Tsumugi once again makes a strong case for her feelings. Letty thaws enough to allow them to share a bed platonically, even giving Tsumugi a good night kiss. (From my perspective, at this point, Letty’s just playing hard to get – I’ve never in my entire life rolled over on someone like that to give them an innocent, chaste goodnight kiss. But…more on that later in the Drama CD review. ^_^)
The next morning Tsumugi seems to have developed a nagging cough. Throughout the day, her condition worsens, until the mysterious someone arrives and blames it on Letty! Turns out that the mysterious someone is a servant of the shrine, Suzushiro Isuzu. Isuzu tells Letty that Tsumugi’s well-being requires her being at the shrine, and Letty having released her is what is killing her. Tsumugi regains consciousness and tells Letty her unhappy story – in order to save her life, her mother gave her to the god of the shrine as a servant. While she eventually got used to it, as a child the abandonment weighed heavily on her.
Letty is determined to save Tsumugi from this fate, and decides to have it out with the shrine’s god. In a magical handwave, she is once again the witch and hops on her broom to save the woman she loves. Tsumugi comments that she never expected her knight on a horse to be a witch on a broom. Isuzu is shocked, but a little impressed with Letty’s skills.
I won’t give away the ending, which you already know if you’ve read my reviews of Yuri Hime anyway, but trust me – the girl gets the girl. ^_^ And she does it with some style, too!
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 1 on principle
Overall – 8
Once again, Fujieda Miyabi-sensei comes through with an original work that doesn’t at all read like every other yuri manga ever. It is unrelentingly cute without ever getting cloying. The ending is solid – and cute – with a great lead-in to the Drama CD!
A definite must-have for Yuri manga fans.