I’m cheating today. This is not a collection of manga I’m writing about, it’s two different stories in four different places, and two are cameos, which all happen to star the same characters. Because it *will* be a new series starting in the next Comic Yuri Hime magazine I thought it would be fun to tell you the story as it exists currently.
The story in question tells of the women of the Ameiro Kouchakan Kandan (飴色紅茶館歓談). It begins in the book pictured above, [es] Eternal Sisters 2 anthology. On the cover are the two principles of the story, Seriho (left) and Sarasa (right.) In the ES collection, we meet Seriho who is the owner of the Ameiro Kouchakan, (loosely, the Amber Tea Pavilion.) Sarasa is a local high school student who spends an inordinate amount of time at the cafe, and asks, quite cutely if she can just work there. But Sarasa’s motive is not money – she’s in love with Seriho. Seriho reciprocates the emotion, and Sarasa comes to work at the cafe. In this story we also meet regular customers Haru – who runs some kind of freaky fortune website, and her friend/partner in mischief Hinoko. Hinoko is the obligatory goth-loli girl that one always finds in Fujieda Miyabi’s work.
The second “chapter” of this story takes was published in the extra comic inserted in the August 2006 volume of Yuri Hime. In this little omake, we are given character profiles in which we learn that Seriho, despite her youthful looks is 25, and Sarasa is 17. Huh. How ’bout that.
Tanabata is fast approaching and Seriho wants to something extra special for the cafe. They come up with a special blend of tea that they pour in a long stream (evocative of the milky way, which features in the Tanabata story.) Haru and Hinoko join the staff for the day and the four women have a successful and lively day full of customers. To thank them for their assistance Seriho offer to treate everyone for dinner. Haru and Hinoko leave first, while the others remain. Seriho tells Sarasa that, long before today, she had planned to close the cafe. Sarasa reacts strongly, protesting that people – she – loves the cafe. Seriho and Sarasa have an emotional scene, but Sarasa is successful and the cafe remains open. Phew.
The third appearance of the ladies of the Ameiro Kouchakan is Kotonoha no Miko to Kotodma no Majyo to manga. In this volume, Letty, having newly freed Tsumugi from her confinement in the shrine, takes the miko to her favorite watering hole. The big scandal here was when Tsumugi – assumably unfamiliar with ways of the outside world – expresses her love for Letty firmly and loudly. Poor Seriho almost dies of embarrassment…
And the fourth, but not at all final, appearance of the Ameriro Kouchakan is the MikoMajyo Drama CD (the one packaged with the manga in the deluxe set), in which Letty and Tsumugi once again visit, this time accompanied by the errant mountain god who has run away. Shrine guardian Isuzu is forced to drag the wayward deity back to her shrine bodily. Tsumugi’s request for Letty to open up and say “ahhh” forces Letty to confront her inner femme, and inspires Hinoko to fluster cool Haru by doing the same.
Now, to be honest – these four appearances are the ones I have, or have noticed. I have no doubt that somewhere along the line there’s some crossover with Fujieda’s other series, especially the ones I’m less familar with.
But what does exist is cute enough that I though it warranted a mention. And I bet that, once the story begins running in Yuri Hime we’ll get a collection that includes both of the first two chapters.
Here’s hoping, anyway.
No ratings, since it’s not *yet* a collection, but overall – even more adorable Yuri from Fujieda Miyabi!
BTW – Happy Birthday me. Older, as my mother says, but not at all wiser. If you’re moved to send a present, buy a book from ALC Publishing or t-shirt or mug or something from the Yuricon Shop. That’s all the present I need. ^_^