Yuri Manga: Yuri Hime, Volume 7 Part 2

January 29th, 2007

Don’t forget to read the review of Part 1 of Yuri Hime, Volume 7, before you read this review, or you’ll be all confused. ;-)

Part 2 begins with a story by Hakamada Mera (of Saigo no Seifuku fame), a story called “A Giraffe’s Neck is Too Long.” Himeko tells Miki that she likes her over some cake, which gets Miki all flustered. They go to the zoo where Miki is uncommonly critical of the animals, hence the title. Quite suddenly for both Miki and myself, Himeko asks if they can have sex. Miki is stunned into silence. They go home, without Miki answering. Himeko suggests that first, maybe, they ought to kiss. Perplexlingly, the story ends there…. Typically of a Hakamada story, the characters look ten – and like they are wearing carnival heads. I’m just never gonna like the style…

Next up is the most weird chapter of “Tokimieki Mononoke Gakuen” to date. And that’s saying something, as this story has been one weirdness after another. Arare and Pero are on the run from their exceedingly angry classmates, who had all been punished severely by grump ole Rokurokubi-sensei, for their make-up skills – or more properly, Arera’s lack of them. This chapter is not for the faint of heart – if you’re squeamish or easily squicked, you might really want to skip this paragraph. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…! Arera and Pero run off and hide in a beat-up old shack, only to find a cow-girl-demon there, with exceedingly large breasts. Arare and Pero discuss how nice it would be to have really large breasts. They ask the cow-girl what she eats. She tells them that her name is Harami and she eats grass. They try this, but bleah. Harami says that what she really needs is to be milked, and asks Arare to do the honors. And, yes, she does. It’s a scene that is so awful that it’s wonderful, without being good. lol Arare is pretty squicked, but she does the deed, while Pero, not wanting to waste the milk, drinks some. At which her breasts grow enormous. Whee! Arare licks her fingers and voila! She too has gigantic boobs! The two capture some of the milk for their classmates and take their leave of a much relieved Harami. When poor Rokrokubi-sensei comes into class, she comments, and I quote, “It’s a village of breasts.” So awful… ^_^

“Spicy Sweets” was a really nice -and different – story. Yuu and Aki live together. Aki is a high school student who wants to be a baker, and Yuu…well, she has money, that’s for sure, but where does it all come from? Aki heads off for school, while Yuu lazes around, until the phone rings and she freaks. She rushes off to Aki’s school to get her, driving a high-end sports car and once Aki’s inside, she screams off, talking craziness about how they have to leave Japan – NOW. Aki, unsurprisingly, is confused. She convinces Yuu to take her home, where the source of Yuu’s anxiety is revealed as…her mother. It becomes instantly obvious that Yuu is, in fact the daughter of an old, powerful Yakuza family, and they’ve had enough of her nonsense. Aki stands up for Yuu, and we get a flashback of how they met when Yuu had originally run away from home. Yuu stands up for herself and her mother backs down. We leave the two of them to some private love-love and cake. For not being another “two schoolgirls decide they love one another” story, it’s worth it – but the art is interesting, too and the non-linear structure of the story works really well with the art. I hope we’ll see more of Neko Natsu in future issues.

More color pages reviewing a yuri-flavored game I’ll never play. lol “Katahane” art has been popping up for a few weeks on yuri image boards. This was followed by a “other yuri stuff” page with a quickie mention of, among other things, the movie Love My Life which I reviewed last week.

The Yurim fairy tale is “Little Red Riding Hood” this time with a sexy grandmother, sexy wolf and sexy hunter. No way to lose, is there?

The next, and final chapter of the second arc of “Hatsukoi Shimai” just about made the whole magazine for me. As I’ve mentioned several times, this arc has differed considerably from the original “Touko-sensei appears” version in the second Koi Shimai Drama CD. In particular, the end of that CD made me nuts, as Haruna and Chika lay in bed together (I grit my teeth as I type this) holding hands. UGH. Ughughugh.

This time, Chika runs out, not into the dark night as in the Drama CD, but into the rain, to look for the beaded ring that Haruna gave her. In this version Touko-sensei saves the day by returning it to Haruna, who slips it onto Chika’s left-hand ring finger – and don’t think for a second that they don’t notice. Chika practically explodes on contact. Haruna also confesses that the reason she was so standoffish to Chika, was that when she was a first year, she had a sempai that she liked, who was always lovey-dovey in private, but very cold in public. She saw herself in Chika and automatically tried to push her away. Meanwhile, Touko gets Akiho to admit how jealous she was of Chika and Haruna. Akiho ends up crying in Touko’s arms, not that Touko seems to mind, mind you. Touko does tell Akiho of her experience in school, with a girl she loved but never told, and Akiho still thinks she’s full of it. They do not, however, get together…yet. Back in Chika-Haruna world, they have arrived at Haruna’s secret place behind the school. The rain has stopped, the sun is coming out. Chika pulls out the ring she made and puts it on Haruna’s left-hand ring finger. And…they…kiss! Can you believe it? I was so happy. Then, just to make my joy almost complete (Touko not get Akiho, Erica still not 100% happy) Haruna FINALLY tells Chika she loves her. Finally. It’s been what, three years since that first Drama CD??? Grrr. But as an end to that arc – thumbs up. And more to come for the next issue, so there is still hope for Touko and Akiho. ^_^

Mori Natsuko has solid advice for the same three problems in her “Yuri Doujo” column.

Chi-Ran has two women who have sex! I know, you’re shocked. This time it’s a cute, little girl alien who has adopted a cute, not-so-little human. When her pet human shows some natural reluctance at sexing up a child, alien girl gets all grown up, special. The next morning she’s back to being little and, assumably, cute.

Last up is a gorgeous piece by Morishima Akiko called “Sakura-hime Hana Fubuki,” which, if you read “Ichigo-hime” in Yuri Monogatari 4, will be quite familiar. Unlike dashing and daring Ichigo-hime, who protects commoner Sakura, in this case Sakura-hime is in love with her protector Fubuki, but ultimately Fubuki returns to the flower petals that she is, while Sakura sits under the tree she’s named after and let’s the flower petals fall (Hana Fubuki). It’s a bittersweet story, beautifully drawn, as always.

Doujinshi reviews, fan letters and the usual bundle of ads brings us to the final get on this issue of Yuri Hime. A page of Yuri Hime stickers! Yes, you’re very own stickers of Ran and Julia, Ryou and Saeki, Chika, Haruna, Akiho, Letty Tsumugi, Chi-Ran characters and bunch more. I love stickers. :-D How much more do I love rare(ish) stickers of Ran and Julia….heh heh heh. I’m almost thinking of buying a few more copies of the magazine, just to have extra stickers. ^_^

So, there you have it. Yuri Hime 7, some of the best, some of the weirdest, some new, some old, and something for everyone.

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3 Responses

  1. Senbei says:

    In response to the paragraph on “Tokimieki Mononoke Gakuen”, I am a little bewildered. The story described reminds one of the dystopic (and for lack of a better term) “art” manga collected for Range Murata’s Robot anthologies. I am… a little confused to find something on the same level of disturbing found in a magazine with a potential audience of, what, young women? The imagery reminds one of ero-guro-nansensu, or at least a couple of stories from that genre. Does such a story really work here?

  2. For a definitive answer, you’d be better off addressing your question to the editors of Yuri Hime. :-)

    I don’t believe the intended audience for the magazine is, in fact, “young” women. (I put young in quotes, because youth is relative.) From what I understand, the audience is older teen to adult women, and adult men. This is borne up by the fact that, in most stories, the use of furigana is infrequent.

    And as an anthology, I much prefer to have a wide variety of stories than to have the same thing over and over ad infinitum. I find Takahashi Mako’s violent prepubescents FAR more disturbing than the milking of a cow. (Although it did bring back the repressed memory of a very, very, bad story I read many years ago, that I honestly wish I could wipe from my memory.) This was shocking, but not disgusting. I’ve seen FAR worse. For instance…take a look at Life, in which the protagonist is a cutter, is sexually abused and almost kills herself. And that story is quite explicitly for teens. This chapter of TMG is quite explicitly meant to be seen as a comedy.

    We all draw our lines somewhere. This didn’t cross mine, particularly.

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