Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime S, Volume 2

November 13th, 2007

I admit it – I’m reviewing in size order, largest to smallest. My parents are coming at the end of the week and I’m trying to get the piles down to a size my father can watch the TV over. No joke.

Today, I’m going to tackle the second largest object in the pile, Comic Yuri Hime S, Volume 2. ^_^

Just as a reminder, CYHS is the brother compilation to Yuri Hime, in which artists who are well known for drawing highly servicey, moe and/or fetishy Yuri for a male readers are drawing Yuri for a more mixed audience.

My opinion of this magazine remains the same – it’s not as bad as I feared, but it’s not as good as I hoped. The “moe” part of the fandom means that many of the characters seem waaaaaaaayyyyy ootsy-cutesy or baby faced and I just will never, ever find that appealing. Sorry. If you do, then you will like this magazine better than I do.

The magazine begins with a few color pages on the recent Blue Drop anime, once again mirroring our conversations on the Yuricon Mailing List.

The first story is “Cassiopeia Dolce,” by Takagi Nobuyuki, creator of Kokoro Library. Anna arrives at Dolce to be the new worker and is surprised, confused and alarmed by the fact that the dolls are people, the people are really strange, and the girls seem to be kissing one another, and her, with alarming frequency. The story was just sort of silly, until the saliva string length contest began and I checked out. Not sexy at all. Ecch.

Kurogane Ken’s story “Watashi no Kido” was kind of suspended between two things that weren’t fully developed. The end of the world is coming and a bunch of girls gather on the roof to greet their death. Just as the end begins, Misa spots Yuma, who she had never had a chance to tell how she feels. In trying to call out to her, Misa falls off the roof, but (no deus ex machina here) ends up floating as the multiple-kanji explanation is given over the world PA system that I didn’t fully comprehend. Yuma and Misa end up floating together in space and kissing as the world probably doesn’t end, but I can’t be sure. lol When I have more time, I’ll give this one a closer look. Despite myself, I like Kurogane’s work.

“Flower Flower” by Iwami Shouko pickes up after Princess Nina has established her seme role over poor Princess Shuu. Shuu struggles to find a way to make Nina be nicer to her, which succeeds, but only in private. Poor Shuu. Poisoning Nina seems like the easiest route. The art is cute, the story is sort of soppy and I can see it going on eternally like this. I don’t dislike this story, but I hope something happens. Passive-aggressiveness isn’t a plot.

“Yappari Idol” by Araki Kanao lost me right from the first page. You like loli/moe, it’s perfect. Grow these kids up so that they are not repulsively young and then maybe I’ll care. Young idol is a lesbian, so gropes and kisses another idol. Yes, young lesbians are known for this kind of behavior and not say, years of confusion and self-loathing. Reading this story made me feel ucky.

Still with the schoolgirls, but much less nasty was “Sketch,” by Yoshitomi Akihito (Blue Drop.) Rika asks Sae to do a portrait of her, so she can give it to the person she likes. Sae knows that Rika’s seeing a sempai. As she works on the picture, she starts to realize that she’s in love with Rika. As Rika goes off to go on a date with the sempai, she gives all the pictures to Sae who, after a moment of hesitation, kisses her. The story is given a little depth and humor by the addition of a great analogy about apples being eaten. This story was sweet without being sickly and I like Yoshitomi’s art.

“Otome-iro Stay Tune” by Fujieda Miyabi was hysterical. Back in the studio with Arise and Hina, Arise is voice-acting the very Yuri story of a shoujo manga series that takes place at St. Lotecia’s Academy. Hina’s surprised, she’s not really a shoujo manga fan. Arise segues into using the manga as a pretext for playing with Hina’s hair, but talking about it in a way that listeners would get totally the wrong idea about what was going on in the studio. ^_^ The program producer and director approve. The last issue was so short, we barely had time to see who was who, but this issue was much better. I can see that this story isn’t going to be deep or emotional, but as art, characters and story are all kind of fun, I’m okay with it. As “funny” teasing goes, this was WAY better than Nina heaving books across a room.

“Minus Literacy.” I just don’t know where it’s going. We pick up at the end of last chapter with Iinchou somehow having been involved in Takeyama’s family drama, in which her deceased family left her millions of dollars in debt with only a big house filled with priceless treasure and money – and a maid. I just don’t get it.

If you are fan of the Lucky Star art style, you will probably enjoy “Kokoya Riron.” I am not. Therefore this short story filled with adorable little SD creatures assumably doing incredibly cute, yet somehow Yuri things was completely lost on me. It started with a snake puppet hissing “suki” and just went downhill from there.

Madoka has a boyfriend. In any other world, this would be a good thing, but if you are the ghost protagonist of “Honey Crush” by Tsubaki Asu, is it not. You would be reduced to playing mean-spirited little tricks on your love and her boyfriend in hopes of breaking them up. Kyouko arrives in time to stop ghost girl from kissing Madoka after inhabiting her boyfriend’s body. Kyouko confesses to Madoka, who plainly says she’s not interested. In the end, neither ghost nor girl are willing to give up on Madoka. Why? I have no idea. :-)

“Nanami to Misuzu” remains exactly the same as it always is. Goofball situations with Bwa-wa-waaaah punchlines. A new character shows up, in lieu of a plotline, a cute ninja girl this time.

In “Kuroi Hitomi no Majou” a serious first-year confesses to Satomi, who reacts coldly, then tortures herself about it. In the fine tradition of shounen manga, her “no” is completely ignored, because you know, she really didn’t mean it. Or something. Two Hakamada Mera stories where the girls didn’t skeeve me. It’s a miracle. They still have huge cabbage patch heads, though.

And last of all, the one story I was most looking forward to, the second chapter of Sudou Kaoru’s “Otome Kikan Gretel.” We last left Yuu in a state of complete and utter confusion as she inexplicably defeated a gigantic monster with powers she is now informed are “Aube” – Appearance of Unlimited Bio Energy. In other words, Nagi explains cheerfully, we’re all witches here. Mariya and Nagi defeat the big-ass monster, but it’s not really dead yet, so Nagi commands angry Mariya to kiss Yuu – deeply. It turns out that Yuu’s power is to absorb the powers of anyone she kisses, so…. The kiss occurs, Mariya and Yuu combine to defeat the plug-ugly Formica and thus it is that Yuu’s all-girl school life begins. This story is so dumb, I love it.

While Comic Yuri Hime S isn’t as full of joy for me as Yuri Hime is, it’s not bad, either. I’d like to see a lot less of the moe/loli/cute, but there’s just nothing I can do about that.

Overall – 6

I forgot to mention this yesterday – for some reason, in both YH magazines, there’s a bunch of reviews of manga that in no way at all look Yuri. Now, to be fair, I didn’t actually read the descriptions, but it really looks like a rattlebag of manga with no rhyme or reason. I suppose I should read the reviews to find out why they were mentioned, but I’m not going to. ^_^

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