Yuri Manga: Yuri Hime, Volume 10

November 12th, 2007

Yuri Hime, Volume 10 comes in at a bulky 400 pages. Wow. Despite that, I’m going to try and review it in one post, because I have a gigantic backlog of things to review and only a week before I go away and don’t care for a while. So, let’s see if I can keep the story synopses short and sweet. (But not alliterative, because that would be annoying.)

To begin with, this volume comes with a lovely clear file with the cover picture of Seriho and Sarasa (in tie, notably designed by Alice Quartet. AQ is another Fujieda series about five clothing designers. Yes, five.) Very nice.

The volume starts out with “Clover” the beginning of a new series by Hiyori Otsu; a tale of four sisters, a transfer student, an embarrassing situation and whimsical desire to ride on the luggage rack of a subway car. Thumbs up as always from me for Otsu’s art and characters.

“Arcadia” is a story of love between Yui-chan, a typical schoolgirl and Nanako, a wandering spirit that loves her. There was nothing particularly stand out about this, nor was it in any way horrible. Sweet and forgettable.

Ash and Towa play out two parts of the same story in “Epitaph,” in which chance(?) encounters bring a mother and daughter together.

Miura Shion’s Yuri essay covered a story I had never heard of – “Honey Honey-Pie” from a collection called “So Long.” I’ve got it in my Amazon JP cart now.

“Apple Day Dream” continues as Kaoru attempts to find the guts she needs to tell Mayu how she feels, while Mayu takes the opportunity on their date to explain that she is neither tsundere or an ice queen – it’s just in her nature to be that way. I almost liked this chapter. The clothes were nice, at least. (This is meant to be ironic, as the story *is* about clothing designers.)

The newest chapter of “Cleo the Crimson Crises” (still a great title) follows Suo’s friend Momo as she’s approached, glomped and “befriended” by newcomer Kiki (whose name screams “watch out – bad thing lives here!) while Cleo hugs Suo in lots of interesting poses. I keep waiting for something to happen, but the art is such a train wreck, I’m not sure I’ll notice when it does. ^_^

I was surprised to find that Kazuma Kowo’s story was continued from last volume in “Tsumasamadachi October.” Nanao meets Mastumoto-sensei by chance and when the teacher’s friends make fun of them, implying a crush, Nanao is fast to deny it. But Mastumoto is just as fast to say that she’s damn sexy and she can prove it. Nanao is left with a drunken teacher sleeping it off on the sofa. Personally, I’d write on her face or something. lol I liked this story for reasons I can’t quantify. I just liked it.

Chi-Ran has a story in which two girls are in love and they kiss. Brilliant! “Himitsu Shoujo” is pretty much like everything else she does.

One of my top three stories in the book, “20 musume x 30 otome” (The 20 year old girl and the 30 year old virgin) by Morishima Akiko follows the trials and tribulations of 30-year old art teacher Keiko, when she agrees to go out with her 20-year old student Emi. Blinded by Emi’s shinyness and youth, Keiko comes to face with lots of issues she didn’t know she had. It’s cute, it’s about grownups and it’s got a sweet ending.

Takahashi Mako once again explores the world of neurotic Yuri in “Kumo no Ito”. It was yuck – creepy horrible kids doing creepy horrible things, but hey, it’s LOVE! Gah.

“Strawberry Shake” was brilliance. Best chapter yet. Hayashiya Shizuru’s art is really peaking. Love love love, is all about as Julia and Ran learn what Zlay band lead Ryou wanted with them after all. And once they clear the level of dealing with the clothes – which were great, btw – they run into the big boss. They are being asked to kiss on stage. This precipitates a major crisis and an even more major confession. It was a terrific chapter from beginning to end. It was worth getting the book just for this.

But, since we *have* the book already, we also ought to enjoy “Ameiro Kouchkan Kandan” by Fujieda Miyabi. Sarasa barely notes the fun of the school trip, so focused is she on things at home. The other girls aren’t stupid – they recognize love when they see it, but Sarasa is still mortified when Haru fills them in on the fact that it’s someone older. Meanwhile, at the tea shop, two customers ask Seriho if she misses Sarasa, ’cause she seems out of it. Seriho agrees that when Sarasa’s not around, she let’s things slide, but the two women, who admit to having been together for 15 years ,say they they weren’t talking about the shop. When Sarasa returns, Seriho has a suprising (and happy-making) question for her. Wonderful chapter. Wonderful story. I love Fujieda’s ability to do Yuri with high moe content that is neither fetishy, nor shallow.

Ryounosuke tells us a bit about himself, and his life, before he considered becoming a woman in “Mermaid Line.” He tells Mayumi that he’s considering beginning hormone therapy, but has some issues – and obviously, so does Mayumi. Will this bring them closer or break them up? You’ll have to read the chapter to find out.^_^ I like how this story is dealing with deeper feelings, and confusions and worldviews, without being strident.

“Nanami to Isuzu” remains wacky without being funny. I’ll be honest, I barely skimmed this one. If you want to tell everyone how it went, feel free to do so in the comments field. ^_^

Plot complications fall thick and fast, as we get a load of tragic Yuri backstory for Sawacchi in “Aoi Shiro.” Luckily, as quickly as she burdens us with her past, she sheds it in the face of Momo’s cheerfulness, until…gasp! A relic of the past comes back! Shock! Confusion! I found this to be a realllly long chapter for some reason. It wasn’t bad, but it dragged. Maybe half a dozen plot complications at once was a bit too much.

“Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen” reaches a new level of bizarre as Arare is confronted by her classmates who are distressed at the idea of running a marathon. “If you’re a rain fairy, make it rain,” they say. Sadly, her advice turns them into a room full of teruterubozu, thus practically guaranteeing a beautiful day and a weird-ass end to the chapter. Pun intended.

Morishima Akiko weighs in again, this time with the next droolly-faced entry of “Yuri x Yuri Mimasen.” This time she and her editor take a break from creating Yuri, to attend (and throw lots of cash at) the all-Yuri doujinshi event, “Maiden’s Garden.” Jealous? Who, me? Grrrrrr.

Drama scatters like falling leaves in “Hatsukoi Shimai,” where Miyu and Kirika share memories of themselves as children and face a crisis in which Miyu, who has been given the role of the Princess for the school play (again) runs away form the Drama Club. She is sick to death of playing princesses and wants to do something else, but when she expressed this, she seen as being too big for her britches. She resolves her angst by deciding to play a very tomboyish princess. Akiko learns that Touko-sensei’s time at the school is coming to an end (nooooooo!) and Teshigawara gets extra grumpy to drive of the cute younger girl who’s been hanging around her. Haruna and Chika plan an afternoon of relaxation in their secret place; Chika runs off to get drinks when out of her past comes Haruna’s evil plot complication, erm, sempai. As always, I really like this. But if Touko-sensei and Akiho don’t get together soon, I may be forced to pout.

Hakamada Mera’s “Ame to Hatsukoi” follows the usual progression of rain=angst, sharing umbrella=love, to a first kiss that threatens to become a lot of kisses. Yukari-chan runs away into the rain, terrified of her desire, but Ebi-chan follows with an umbrella of love and more kisses.

Good volume? Yes. Absolutely. Percentage-wise, there was significantly more I loved than any other volume previously. I figure if there’s three stories I really like, then a magazine’s doing good – this one had 7. And the clear file. Yay.

I really wish this magazine would go monthly, but I don’t know how they’d do it. The artists already have brutal schedules.

Overall – 8

If you’re not getting this magazine, then you *are* missing some of the best Yuri out there. Sure, scanlations are nice for you, but I want the artists to be able to pay their bills. Buy it.

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12 Responses

  1. Erin says:

    I’ve read “Honey-Honey Pie.” Aside from one of the characters being overweight (though the manga is about her going on a diet to try and get a guy), I didn’t think there was anything particularly special about it–just another Yuri one-shot about unrequited love. It’s a nice story, but I wouldn’t expect much from it.

  2. Thanks for the warning. I already had low expectations – the description in the essay sounded dreadful. lol

  3. Anonymous says:

    OT, but I honestly have no idea who else should I ask.
    I’ve recently come across a manga called Maria Holic by Endou Minari, currently 1 volume and ongoing in Comic Alive. From what I could gather, it’s about a girl who enters the very same school her parents met at with the ambition of following their example and finding true love there. Except that it seems like since that time, the school restricted itself to girls only?

    Japanese makes me head ache, so I have to ask, has this title ever been mentioned in any of the Japanese sources you frequent? By flipping the pages, there are plenty of nosebleeding girls and some kisses, but that can be misleading (I’m suspecting the main love interest is a crossdresser, but maybe I’m just paranoid). If it is , however, I’ll be sorely disappointed that it came unnoticed, since it seems to be poking lots and lots of fun at the Marimite-esque all-girl sanctuary stereotype.

    I’ll be very grateful for any clear info you can provide :)

  4. Erin says:

    Erica: You’re welcome. I figured as much.

    To anonymous: I looked up the Japanese Wikipedia article on Maria Holic. It says that the main romance is between a girl and a crossdresser. So, while it’s possible there’s some other Yuri in the manga, the main romantic pairing is just some variety of pseudo-Yuri.

  5. And thanks again, Erin! I really appreciate you looking that up for anon. :-)

  6. Green_Puyo_Tea says:

    Where can I buy volumes of Yuri Hime? Do you just order them from amazon.jp ?

  7. I buy them through Amazon JP. All of the pictures and titles are linked directly to the entry on Amazon JP.

  8. The Annoying Puyo Who Keeps Asking Noobish Questions says:

    so do most of the sellers support international shipping? how much do you generally pay for shipping? is there liek a certain seller you always buy from? im tempted to start buying the Yuri hime volumes, is there a lot of furigana in it? if i have trouble, i can probably ask my friend to help me through the check out process.

  9. Yes, Amazon JP ships internationally, and the buttons on the page are in shte same loaction and are the same shape and size as every other amazon, so it’s not to hard to figure out. When you go to check out there is a link to “display this page in english” so you can checkout easily.

    The amount of furigana differs with each story. Some more and some less, depeneding on the author.

    Shipping costs differ depending on how fast and how far and how heavy, so I can’t really answer that simply.

  10. Erin says:

    Amazon JP uses a set formula to calculate shipping. They don’t do it based on weight. For North America, there’s a 2,700 yen base fee plus 300 yen per item handling fee for books. Shipping to Europe, South America, Africa, or the Middle East has a higher base fee but the same 300 yen per item handling charge. You can find the exact amounts in the Help section, listed under “Shipping –> International Express Shipping.” It’s all in English.

    I buy Yuri Hime from Akadot Retail, since their shipping is cheaper (though the magazine is more expensive). They also seem to have back issues in stock.

    You can also buy back issues used from Amazon Marketplace, but it’ll probably end up costing you more–there’s a 1300 yen shipping charge per item (even if you get multiple items from the same seller). If you do want to do that, it’s pretty easy, since you can pay for it the same way you would any Amazon order. Just look for “海外への発送が可能です” on the list of sellers selling the item used, as that means they ship internationally.

  11. frozenh2o says:

    Hi, this is my first post here and I just want to thank Erica Friedman for all the Yuri Information. Thanks to her (and the ‘look and you can just see we are born for each other’ picture of Sarasa and Seriho in the cover of Vol.10) , I dug up every Japanese site I know (and those which came up in Google)to look for all the issues of Yuri Hime. And, last week 1/3 of it finally got delivered to my doorstep. Though it’s the latest one third. Yes! I am now staring over and over again at the said picture. And I have to agree the clear file is so very much worth it. Now, I don’t have any excuse that I forgot my Japanese homeworkssss.
    I have to say, my favorite is none other than Ameiro-Kohchakan-Kandan. Although, its the only one I have properly read with a dictionary. And, I’m sorry but there seems to be a correction in Master Erica’s post in that the customers are together for 50 years I think and not just 15…
    Anyway, I’m off to read everything else… Damn, I wish I was born with Japanese skills and an endless supply of money for buying manga…

  12. Anonymous says:

    sweety_pinky: hi everyone. thx u so much Erica. i’m glad that you explain a lot of Yuri stuff for us by translate it from Japanese. I don’t know any Japanese, so it is really hard when i try or decide that i want to buy Japanese manga or magazine. because i can’t read or understand the meaning of its. that would be make me so frustrate. however, i think because i like this Yuri hime magazine stories so much that i think i will try to buy some of them.

    so if any of you could help me with this please. i want to know how many magazines that YURI HIME, YURI HIME S, YURI HIME WILDROSE, & YURI SHIMAI has been come out till now? i really wish that some company would take up this book and translate it to English like Shonen Jump / Shojo Ai magazine. anyway, thank you guys so much. bye ^^

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