The second half of Yuri Hime “S” is as variable as the first. What was good was really pretty good, and what was bad was exhaustingly tedious.
“Interface” by Kurogane Kenn (Shoujo Sect) was unexpected in every conceivable way. The story begins with a girl walking in on another girl drawing a stick figure on the chalkboard in a classroom. When the first girl asks “who is it?” the second replies, “There’s no one inside.” But she touches it with a blown glass heart pendant then says that the pendant is her. (Not “hers” – “her.”) She gives the first girl the pendant, then runs off and quite literally disappears. The girl (who remains nameless throughout) tries to find the girl who gave her the pendant, but is unsuccessful. She’s directed towards Kitamoto-sensei, who runs the handicrafts club, in which they might have blown glass. But Kitamoto-sensei is not only unhelpful, she’s downright rude. The girl says that she’ll come back later and ask, but the teacher just says that she’s not promising to help…which is rather odd, when the question is just “do you know whose this is?” Girl waits for the teacher, who turns out to be out the next day, and waits every day for a whole month for Kitamoto-sensei to return to school. When Kitamoto sees her waiting, she asks if the girl wants to meet the girl who gave her the pendant. The girl says yes, and they get into the teacher’s car and drive….to a cemetery. Ena, the girl who gave her the pendant, died after a protracted illness. She and Kitamoto were lovers, which explains why the teacher was so rude when she realized that Ena gave someone else the pendant. The girl suggests that by giving her the pendant, Ena is now inside her, and the story ends with all sorts of possibilities.
I can’t tell you how much I liked this story. It was original, the art was clean and Kurogane drew the adults to look like adults. It was just plain old good in every direction. Hands down, the best in the book.
This was followed immediately by a new original work by Fujieda Miyabi (Iono-sama Fanatics) called “Otome-iro Stay Tune.” Hinako and Arise work together on a radio talk show. Arise has a raging crush on Hinako, which Hinako brushes off through a variety of implausible mental gymnastics. But to thank Hina for her guidance, Arise is about to go home with her and make her some dinner…to be continued. This story was so short it felt like half a chapter. I wish the other half had been included. Much the same way the most recent “Ameiro Koucha Kandan” chapter in Yuri Hime 8 felt sort of half done. I think Fujieda’s just running out of time between all his projects.
Next up was the totally crack-tastic “Gretel” by Sudoo Kaoro (Onegai Suzune-chan). I recognized the art style immediately, which was weird because about all Sudoo is known for is pretty obscure hentai…it just happens that I own – and like – Onegai Suzune-chan. LOL Mikoshima Yuu is ecstatic to be entering into a all-girl world at St. Millefeuille Gakuen. Mariya is annoyed that she’s been assigned to show the newbie around (and she’s also the resident panty-shot recipient, for no particular reason that I can see.) But Nagi volunteers to escort her – in fact, she’s positive frantic to do so, and immediately starts to court Yuu, who is thrown off her stride when she’s so openly being pursued by a beautiful girl. But she gets used to it pretty fast, and succumbs shortly thereafter. As they kiss, a loud alarm makes them jump – okay, now hold on, because this story gets pretty weird, pretty fast – the school has been invaded/infested with “Formika,” creatures that feast on sugar and are therefore the enemies of young women everywhere. Got that? Everyone is running around like crazy; theteacher suddenly develops a GothLoli younger sister who clearly speaks in a monotone and who is tied into the school systems; Formika defense is on. Hashimoto-sensei enters the control room where an engineer-y type touch chick gives her the lowdown on the situation and the GothLoli girl monitors everything. In the meantime, Yuu’s beautiful maiden’s garden has blown up in her face and she’s sort of standing there in shock. When a gigantic Formika tears through a wall and heads towards her, she thrusts her hands in front of her and blasts it unconscious! Everyone, including Mariya of the panties, reacts with shock! Except the Teacher and the Smoking Engineer Woman who just look pleased with themselves. Mariya tells Yuu that she has “Gigantus Force” to which Yuu reasonably replies “huh?” and Nagi runs up happily to tell Yuu that she has it too! Yay! They both have “Obu” – to which Yuu reasonably replies, “Obu?” To be continued…obviously. This story was simply bizarre, so of course, I liked it. ^_^
“Apple Day Dream” is, like its Yuri Hime counterpart, primarily concerned with Kaoru’s breast obsession. In this case, because it’s summer she wants to see Mayu in a bikini. This is one of these stories in which my “Good” rule come into play. If Kauro were a guy, he’d be a boring perv. As a girl, Kaoru is a boring perv. I’m so not into this series. The art is nice, but there’s no anything – no plot, no character development, no humor – unless a girl endlessly obsessing about breasts is, in your mind, endlessly hysterical.
“Itoshii no Maid-sama” by Hakamada Mera (Saigo no Seifuku) was barely readable to me. The carnival-head art was compounded by the main character being drawn to look and be the size of a five-year old. The sight of her sexually molesting her sempai just…nope. DO NOT WANT. The story? Creepy chibi Eri wants pretty Kyouko and whines and clings until she gets her. Bleah. I didn’t even think it was possible to like Hakamada less than I did already, but yup, it’s possible.
In “Flower Flower” by Iwami Shouko (Suzunari!) Princess Nina has been sent to a foreign country to marry the prince only, she’d prefer the princess instead. Shuurei’s not sure about this – especially when Nina turns out to be more than a little cruel and sadistic. When Shuurei shows Nina kindness, Nina breaks down in her arms. The story ends with Nina being difficult again, but there should be a continuation, so we and Shuurei can enjoy more passive-aggressiveness and abuse.
Yuzuha Seiro’s story, with a title I haven’t translated and am too lazy to look up is a servant/ rich girl story with a sad ending. The art is very pretty, but the story isn’t a happy one. Suzuka-ojousama and Kotone are in love, but Suzuka has to be married to the man her family chose. Suzuka leaves Kotone a note and hopefully will not forget her true love.
The final story is all-color “Cassiopeia Dolce” by Takagi Nobuyuki(Kokoro Library.) It ought to be popular with those readers who liked Kokoro Library – you know, the kind of people who like cupid-faced girls of undetermined age dressed up as maids for no reason in an all-girl’s word that has no explanation. There’s a kiss or two and some light nudity, because of course when women all get together, we all wear our lingerie or maid outfits and eat bon-bons and try to kiss one another. It’s a compulsive behavior. In this case the maids all compete for the affection of their mistress, who seems to be on laudanum. I recognized both the art and the service. You can have both. I’ll stick with some of the earlier stories, thanks. ^_^
Overall – 7
I’ll say it again, it wasn’t all stuff I liked, but I liked way more than expected. If it keeps the hideous service to a minimum, I’ll be pleased. If it starts adding more maid costumes and panty shots and having less original ideas, I’ll drop it and save my money for better.