Yuri Hime Volume 11 is about 460 someodd pages of Yuri goodness, plus an extra mini publication, Petite Yyuri Hime as an omake. There’s new stories, and continuing stories and a few series that end. Like all anthologies, you may not like everything in it – there are some stories I certainly do not care for – but with *so* much inside, there’s bound to be something you like. :-)
This volume starts off with “Sweet Peach,” a news series. Kisaragi Touka is in the infirmary and is a bit freaked out/intrigued by the doctor. And she can’t help but wonder who the mysterious woman in the infirmary is. She need not have fretted about that, because on the way home Touka is attacked by energy creatures of some kind and the doctor – now dressed as a maid, and the other woman – now with pointy animal ears and a Big-Ass Sword TM, save her. The doctor-maid take a few licks of the Touka-sicle and the swordswoman kisses her and takes her …somewhere safe. With no explanation, of course. But she has a magical mouse for company at least. To be continued – hopefully, to make some sense. :-)
“Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen” ups the service a few notches with this issue’s chapter o’bizarre. A kappa and a two-mouthed woman fall in love. Only, the kappa falls in love with the giant mouth on the back of the two-mouthed girl’s head. The front mouth on the face, is jealous, but the kappa only kisses the back mouth. So…the face decided that she wants the kappa’s lower lips. Irritatingly, the mouth in the back takes those too. And the whole time this is going on, Arare is trapped in the tree above, forced to sit through this extremely extreme situation. See, she was playing hide and go seek when the two below started to…and now… Kiri shows up, gets the gist pretty fast and asks if Arare want a little sumthin’-sumthin’ for herself. Of course not, don’t be silly, etc, etc. But Kiri kisses Arare anyway. To be continued, but never to be less freaky. :-)
This chapter of “Strawberry Shake Sweet” is the BEST CHAPTER EVER. *EVER*. And because it is, I can’t tell you a damn thing about it without spoiling it rotten. So here we go – prepare to be spoiled rotten. If you do not wish to be, skip to the second set of asterisks.
Preparing for massive spoilage…
The chapter begins with Julia and Ran’s staged kiss in what is a really nicely executed series of panels. The concert goes on, but Julia and Ran take themselves off to change. Julia, trying to convince herself again, talks about the kiss as good work, just a job, etc and Ran loses it. She blurts out her feelings about Julia. Julia being Julia, tries to convince herself that really Ran didn’t mean it that way. But there no putting cats back in bags, as we know. Watching the concert from above together, Julia *finally* tells Ran what she feels. And then immediately regrets it. As she hems and haws and thinks the usual “well, that’s it” Ran says her name. Julia looks up to find herself being kissed soundly by Ran. The two of them sort of wander their mental way to the place where they realize that yes, indeed, they do have the same feelings for one another…and Julia gets a grade-A nosebleed. Thus completely ruining the mood. LOL
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Saeki gets “a really bad feeling about this.”
More craziness to come, but seriously. Best chapter ever. Would that all “funny” Yuri be this good. And seriously, I have got to work on a short fan letter to send Hayashiya-sensei. Because she’s bring me a lot of joy these days. :-)
Morishima Akiko’s signature round, snuggly art fills “Star Princess”; a short, no-context piece about a girl who considers herself a prince to her friend’s princess.
“Creo the Crimson Crises” continues, but I’ve sort of stopped caring. Suoh is so weepy and soppy, and she appears to be getting smaller with each chapter. She’s practically a pocket pet at this point. One of Suoh’s school friends turns out to be a raging demon who, in “defense” of Suoh, tries to defeat Creo. Doesn’t work. The flaw with this kind of story is that Suoh, whom we are all fighting over, is as interesting as a rag. It’s a pretty common flaw in anime and manga and for me, it’s insurmountable.
Kiko loves Ohzawa in “Koi Wazurai Lovesick.” She tries to get the point across, but Ohzawa’s being a little dense. Frustrated with Ohzawa’s inability to understand what she means, and how much Ohzawa’s dating a guy from another class hurts her, Kiko has to find a way to make the point. She makes the point by kissing Ohazawa, then walking away. Ohzawa comes running up to return the kiss – and the emotion.
“Nanami to Misuzu” remains the hysterical confabulation of animal ears, siscon, maid and other fetishes that it always is.
Last year, Ichijinsha ran a “new artist” contest. The results of that contest are published – with an example of the art, a synopsis of the story and the exceedingly generous prizes offered. The winner has been published in this issue of Yuri Hime.
The winning story, “Daisuki” by Hanatsu Yaya, is the next story in the magazine. It’s…grim. A girl who is the punching bag for her entire school is in love with and lives with a girl who is actually a dragon. While the art in “Daisuki” is reminiscent of many josei artists and not at all bad, and the story has some unique twists, it is not a happy story.
Following that are lots of color pages which contain advertising and the next chapter of “Aoi Shiro.” Which turns out to be the last chapter of “Aoi Shiro.” Like the Simoun manga was to the anime, this is meant to be read as a complement to the game. There is no complete story being told. I kind of feel that that’s a bit of a cop-out. (I’ll pick up that thread again later, so let me hold off on the rant for now.) But, for what it’s worth, this manga kind of actually sets up the game, as far as I can tell. The game’s main character, Shouko, is introduced and given a back story. Sawacchi and Shouko learn to stand side by side and Momo sort of drops back to supporting actor. It’s a pat, but pleasant end – and presumably, a pat, but pleasant opening to the game.
I think I’m going to stop here, but there’s a lot more to go, so don’t forget to check back tomorrow – and thanks to everyone who continues to support Yuri by buying Yuri Hime and other Yuri Manga. :-)