Hakodate, 1878. Perry’s Black Ships have forced Japan to enter the world stage. European and American powers struggle for pieces of the pie, while Japanese law enforcement fights a battle against foreigners who have created a lawless “Wild West” space in this small port.
And one young girl is burdened with a fate that forces her to fight the other “foreign” inhabitants of the town – the Youjin. (Think dark elves or bogeymen-type humanoid nasties.)
Hyou, the heroine of Hakodate Youjin Buraijou Himegami has mean fightin’ skills in this lawless town, which she uses to fight off a couple of low-lifes from beating on a scruffy kid in a ragged cloak. When she gets home – the Butterfly Cabaret – she finds, to her not at all pleasant surprise, that the scruffy kid is really a buxom new dancer, Himeka. For a girl who lives at a cabaret/whorehouse, Hyou’s got some serious issues with nudity, so of course Himeka throws herself at Hyou at practically every possible opportunity, naked if at all possible. Himeka has no issues at all with nudity.
We see the foreign forces gathering: gunmen from America, banditos from Mexico, mafioso from Italy, Orthodox priests from Russia, gray suited guys from England and nattily dressed women from France (led by a nattily dressed-in-a-suit woman passing for a guy) who all align themselves with the dark forces to call the Youjin, in order to take over that town, (and, presumably, then Japan and the world, bwahahahahah!)
Hyou finds herself overwhelmed by a gathering of Youjin, but at the critical moment is saved by woman dressed in a sort of fox-ninja getup, Himegami. She takes care of Hyou when the girl collapses in her arms. Turns out Hyou bears a spell from her infamous father – when Youjin are born, a tattoo of a leaf appears on Hyou’s back – when they die, the leaf disappears. Both processes are very painful to the girl.
Himegami (who is *obviously* Himeka,) brings Hyou back to the cabaret, where she sleeps with the girl (naked of course) until she recovers.
Service here is mostly large breasts and big butts. Not just big – well-developed, muscular haunches. It’s kind of amusingly impressive. ^_^
Yuri in this volume is slight; Himeka’s affection for Hyou – and her tender loving care – are very suggestive. If Hyou wasn’t so passive-aggressive, I think Himeka would be glad to do more than share a bed with Hyou. On the other hand, Hyou is fascinated, full of admiration and more than half crushing on Himegami. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Himeka presses the issue, because as Himegami she has a chance.
Art – Interesting
Story – Amusing
Characters – Intriguing
Yuri – Engaging
Service – Impressive
Overall – 7
Guillion, the French leader, is definitely gunning for suit-wearing EPL status. Woot.