This is me reading Himeyuri-tachi no Houkago:
I had absolutely no expectations of this book when I got it. Never read a single review, never even read the description. I bought it entirely based on the fact that Mori Natsuko is a famous lesbian author and I liked the title. ^_^ I was totally, completely unprepared for the kind of stories the book contains. It turned out to be a collection of “erotic fiction.” In other words, Himeyuri-tachi no Houkago was unremittingly filthy. It was also brilliant. This is *exactly* the kind of thing that makes spending all those hours learning to read Japanese worthwhile. ^_^
All the stories are short tales of emotional S&M and light B&D sometimes in a school setting, other times not. The way each story is constructed lets the reader know that the author is completely aware of how silly each premise is (and they get REALLY silly at times) and that she just doesn’t care, thanks. This is the kind of cheesy titillation that Strawberry Panic attempted, but came nowhere near the level of intelligence and artistry (and wtf-ness) that Mori-sensei attains here.
The first story was mostly a tale of emotional sadism in high school, but that was followed quickly by revenge against a school counselor who calls two girls’ relationship a “pseudo” love. Extra kudos to the protagonist, Miu, who pegs the teacher’s comment as a beard for her own gay leanings.
There’s the story that takes place in the future, when masturbation is an Olympic sport (I’m laughing as I type that, because the story is just…indescribably funny) and the hysterical story about the day when the aliens show up and demand to see a lesbian threesome in order to save the world. ^_^
My favorite story was the penultimate one in which an old-school sukeban gang girl type shows up at a rich girl’s school to challenge “the chief” – only to be tied up and tamed by the Student Council. Oh my god…so brilliant. I read this traveling home on the train – I hope my fellow passengers weren’t too freaked out by my fits of shrieking laughter. The last story is an homage to Mori’s horror roots, with a creepy sisters-by-marriage story with an unpleasantly ambiguous end.
And despite the absurd premises, this book was pretty hot. So bonus points for Mori, because that takes actual skill.
Story – 8 on average, with moments of 12
Characters – 8 on average
Yuri – 127
Service – 10
This book was so “stimulating” that I’ve already come up with two stories in homage to the sheer evil genius here. ^_^ I *must* read more by her…