Yuri Manga: Yuri Hime S, Volume 3

January 13th, 2008

I was happy to pick up Yuri Hime S, Vol. 3 while I was in Tokyo and scan through it one evening at my hotel. Now, after a more thorough re-read, I have to say that it was a slightly mediocre issue. One of those issues between this one and that one, when plots are still developing and some of the stories are shortchanged as others get more page count – you know how it goes.

Iwami Shouko’s “Flower Flower” starts off the magazine with color pages and more of Princess Nina’s tsundere ways. Shuu continues to be sincere and lovable, and for a moment we think Nina’s thawing, but no, she’s just drunk. Hopefully this story will do something soon, because “I like you, no I don’t” doesn’t really count as a plot to me.

And *speaking* of twincest, “Himawari Saita,” by Kuromasa Shisei is a story drawn in that drippy-wet style, about twins. One twin, Himawari, is desired by an obnoxiously persistent sempai who will not take no for an answer. But Himawari does not want to be severed in any way from her beloved sister, Nasuna. Nasuna has a brain cell, however, and explains patiently to her older twin that its a good thing that she find someone else who loves her, differently than she can. Nasuna gives her blessing to Himawari to find love, and walks off thinking that she also ought to find a nice person for herself. This was quite possibly the first twincest story I’ve ever actually enjoyed, mostly because of Nasuna’s emotional maturity. The art all made them look wet, though.

Kurogane Kenn hit his stride with the completely characteristic “Konohana Link” which appears to be the first chapter of a series. Two stories parallel each other. In one, a student confesses to her sempai, in the other, new student Suzuki Chieri comes to the school. The two girls are kissing when Chieri sees them, as she walks around the school. But, as she watches them making out, she can’t help but notice that one of them is looking back at her! Kurogane does slick PWP work, but the salaciousness factor on his stuff is high. I wonder if he can manage to make his characters 3-D enough to satisfy a female audience….

“Cassiopeia Dolce” continues to be a typical Takagi Noboyuki story with lots of underwear, maid outfits, bathing, Yuri and doll-faced characters. His art has always left me cold and this chapter doesn’t move the story forward at all. In it, newbie Anna stresses about the many girl-girl kisses that are going on here at the store. Olga seems to be okay with all the kissing, but Elza seems to have selective memory – worse, Anna’s starting to fantasize a bit about Elza. And she does a day’s work, too.

Finally! A Hakamada Mera story I *liked*. It had to happen one day. “Kaichou and Fukukaichou” was cute. The Student Council President is gaga over her Vice President, but the feelings may or may not be returned. In the meantime, it’s up to the Fukukaichou to keep the flaky Kaichou on track. The characters almost looked their ages and for some reason, I just liked this story. ^_^

Koumei Keito’s “Hana no Yurina-gumi,” which is probably meant to spoof “Asuka no Hana-gumi,” I pretty much skipped. It’s one of those stories with a shrieking hysterical “cute” munchkin of a creature that dogs the steps of normal looking characters. I just couldn’t do it. I’ll never be able to.

“Tainai Kaiki” by Yoshitomi Akihito managed to be fetishy and still not suck. Two girls are in the school pool when it begins to rain. They end up in the curtains in the multipurpose room. Mayu had previously confessed to Akami, but had been rejected as a lover, although not as a friend. But for some reason, Akami is moved to kiss Mayu today as she sleeps. Mayu wakes up, asks if she was kissed and when she is told yes, takes control of the situation. They kiss until the heat inside the curtains is intolerable and when they go outside, the walk on the water in the schoolyard together.

“Nanami to Misuzu.” Another skip. Something about sleeping arrangements.

Kaori has fond memories of a girl she knew when she was younger – and she remembers the day she gave that girl a pair of earrings. Imagine her surprise when Ayabuki shows up at her school in Kurata Uso’s “Pierce.” On the night of the school festival, Ayabuki arrives at Kaori’s fortunetelling booth with a guy she likes and Kaori falls apart. But Ayabuki pursues her and at least they can be friends…and maybe more?

“Girls Love” by Morishima Akiko is a series of 4-panel comics about Hana-chan’s not at all secret crush on Kaori-chan. Every single person in her art class knows – including the very enabling teacher. Everyone except for the seemingly clueless Kaori. And of course Hana doesn’t have the guts to tell her.

There is nothing wrong with “Minus Literacy” per se. I just can’t figure out what the hell it’s about. But hey, I’m not alone, because Iinchou is still figuring it all out. If Matsudaira is the head of the household, why does it seem that her maid, Miharu runs the place? And what on earth is going on with the girl with mad miko skills? I’m kind of on Iinchou’s side on all of the madness.

“Gretel” by Sudou Kaoru opens with Yuu waking up to find herself sharing a bed with a provocatively clad Nagi and Mari and her brain full of memories of kissing them both deeply and fighting off monsters. Mari wakes to find Yuu in the middle of a puddle of nose blood, in front of Nagi’s prominent breasts. Then we shift scene to get some exposition about the Formika and magic use at the school. At which point our resident Goth-Loli girl shows up in cat paws and ears so thems as who likes that can squeal or whatever.

And finally, Tsubaki Asu’s “Honey Crush” is a few pages of reaffirming by Kyouko and the ghost that they think the girl they like is worth pursuing, even though she isn’t.

In retrospect, I’m not sure that the volume was really mediocre, just that I had hoped that “Gretel,” and Kurogane Kenn’s story would have been given more pages – I’m not loving “Flower Flower”. And I was disappointed that there was no “Otomeiro Stay Tune.” So let’s revise mediocre to vaguely dissatisfying. :-)

Ratings:

Overall – 6

The next post will be my 900th. Huh. How ’bout that. That’s a lot of anime and manga. And btw – 263 posts in 2007. That’s about two every three days.

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