It is completely true that this is a Yuri manga. It is also true that it is about love between two girls. However. It is *also* true that this is one of the freakiest, most diseased manga I’ve read in a while – so of course I want to tell you all about it! ^_^
I picked up Parian no Sono in the Animate in Ikebukuro. It was shelved with their slowly growing (but as-yet unlabeled) Yuri manga section. These sections, as I’ve mentioned previously, are starting to pop up here and there. They usually have the Yuri Hime collections, Iono-sama, Strawberry Panic and a few random other titles. In some stores the “other” might be slightly more adult titles, in some stores, they were slightly more “soft Yuri”. The sections, which are still relatively new, are completely in flux right now. I look forward to seeing how they grow. This store was the only one that had Parian featured in that section. Bruce and I eagerly bought it. I wonder what he thinks of it? I think it’s pathological. ^_^
In short, Parian is the story of a girl in love with her Judo team captain.
In full, it’s the story of a weirdly drawn, munchkin-like “cute” girl with enormous breasts whose existence invites stalkers, molesters and perverts of every kind, and who “forgets” to wear pants a lot, so she ends up doing a lot of half-naked Judo. Which makes this the first “Yuri” manga I can think of that explicitly adds the wrestling fetish to the more usual Catholic schoolgirl nonsense. (I know that wrestling fetish manga has long added Yuri, but this is really the other way ’round.)
So the story starts with “adorable” heroine Botan (by which I mean she’s awful and I wanted to squash her like a bug) getting on the train and immediately being groped, so she’s late for Judo practice. But the joke’s on us – she’s late because she kicked the guy’s ass and…here’s the best part…got *in trouble* for doing that. Nice.
Lots of pants-off stupidity, hugging the club president, and on and on with the “funny” hijinks. It’s established early on that Tessen-sempai does indeed love Botan, but most of the lovey-dovey is on Botan’s side. There is an actual moment or two when the couple have a quiet interlude. But not too often – and it’s usually interrupted by Botan putting Tessen into a choke hold or arm lock or something equally as romantic.
The first big crisis comes in the form of Botan’s sister, who is 1) even smaller and “cuter” than Botan; 2) goth-loli (duh!) and; 3) evil. She wants her sister to return to classical dance, because Botan had showed such talent and because she’s got a huge siscon. Through lies and manipulation, Botan is made to return to ballet, but being away from Tessen breaks her heart. Eventually the sister realizes that Judo is where Botan needs to be and releases her. The end comes as Botan runs into buchou’s arm’s….without pants. AHAHAHAHAHAHA.
There’s the teacher/nun that falls in lust with Botan, and spends much of the book peeping. And the teacher/Judo club manager who has the hots for Tessen, and colludes with the nun to keep them separated. A misunderstanding over a hot springs incident involving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation almost splits Botan and Tessen up for a moment, but not.
So, yes, Yuri. But any romance is so well cloaked behind so many layers of freakishness, that I thought it fit nicely within this week’s unintentional anti-romance theme. ^_^
Art – 3 Augh!
Story – 3
Characters – 3
Yuri – 6
Service – 8, but it has to be a *special* kind of Fanboy to find this appealing, much less sexy
Overall – 3
Usually, I’m totally gung-ho for stories that feature girls who do martial arts (Yawara anime, out in 2008!) and I love joint locking (Ryomou is da bomb!) but this was just too much of a lot of bad things. At first glance, I thought the title was Pariah no Sono It totally should have been named that. This one’s sad, even for Wani Comics (who, incidentally, also do Ikkitousen.) ^_^