Yuri Manga: Lesbian Shoujo Ai

March 29th, 2008

This is the last post for “crappy crap” week, but don’t worry – I have plenty more crappy crap in my pile of stuff to read and review. It’s just that my brain is melting and I need to stop reading all of the crap in a row like this…it burns, it freezes!

Like Battle Club, I went in to this book knowing that it would pretty much be crap. I love Senno Knife’s work, he draws pretty lesbian manga with lots of qualifying characteristics like penises, alien creatures, incest, rape, prostitution, etc. So I knew perfectly well when I got this book what I was in for. (Incidentally, I met Senno Knife way back in the dawn of time when he was being translated by Steve Bennett’s Ironcat Studios. He’s a really nice guy with a really cool wife. If you get a chance to meet him, do.)

For the record, Lesbian Shoujo Ai has no lesbians. It has girls who have lesbian sex, in between being raped by fathers and stepfathers and having sex with their brothers, total strangers and local hermaphrodites. Some of the girls are also sisters, which will appeal to the crowd to whom that kind of thing appeals.

Miyako hates her half-sister Misato when she’s brought to the house, but when she finds that she can pass Misato off as herself and not have to have sex with the guy her father sold her to, she likes Misato way more. They dress alike and have sex with themselves. They live happily ever after, fu fu fu.

Marina and Mio meet in a water town, and become lovers on the night of the festival. When Mio sees Marina having sex with what she thinks is the local god, she runs away, but Mio assures her it’s just her very girlish brother. The three live happily ever after, in this water town of dreams.

In a Meiji period girls’ school, Haruna has fallen in love with the beautiful “holy mother” Ayaka as she dances. She writes Ayaka with her confession, then the letters get more and more explicit. When Ayaka sees Haruna leave a letter, they become “sisters” only, Ayaka says, she is definitely not holy in any way. Haruna presses for the kind of relationship she expressed in the letters, but Ayaka rejects her. We see why, when Haruna follows her home one day and watches Ayaka’s stepfather have sex on her. Haruna insists that she loves Ayaka and they do become lovers. When Ayaka graduates, she leaves a letter and a train ticket for Haruna, who gladly runs off with her her beloved onee-sama.

Maria is depressed because the male teacher she has a crush on is getting married. She skips school and finds herself in a falling down school building where she meets ethereal beauty Tsuta, who tells her about her quest to see an angel. They kiss, which wipes the lovesickness from Maria’s heart. She goes back to see Tsuta, and when they make love on the roof of the condemned building, Tsuta confidently says that she saw an angel afterward, so she gets her wish – to have a wonderful lover.

Yuuna has always been in love with Miki but, when Miki kissed her back then, she ran away from her feelings. They went to different middle schools, but now they are in high school together and Yuuna keeps her feelings in a journal. The other girls in class find the journal and start to read it out loud. Mortified, Yuuna runs away, but instead of being disgusted, Miki follows her. They reconcile and make love. If only it could stay like that forever.

In the final two-part story, Kana is hired as a maid to take care of the beautiful Ageha, but the mistress of the house takes Kana as her lover, when she is not making love to Ageha. After a lot of mixed messages and misunderstandings, it turns out that the woman who runs the household was in love with Ageha’s mother, and is injecting her son with estrogen to turn him into a woman she can love. When she realizes that Ageha and Kana are in love, she kills herself and leaves them to live together in peace. As Ageha and Kana watch, a naked, youthful woman who looks just like Ageha appears and she and the spirit of the dead mistress walk off together, hand in hand.

This manga is from Comic Garo, which is one of the notable few indie manga magazines in Japan. They have a great website where they talk about how their mission is to allow manga artists to draw they way they want to, with freedom, but good editorial guidance. This was the same magazine for which Usamaru Furuya of Short Cuts drew his debut work. (I’ve never reviewed those two volumes here, because there’s no Yuri at all in them, but I absolutely *love* Short Cuts manga for the utter wtf-ness.)

And this kind of Yuri-colored hentai is exactly what Senno Knife is best at. Despite it being questionable porn, there’s heart at the center of each story which is lacking in much of what passes for Yuri (like the most recent issue of Yuri Hime S, for instance, which is practically soulless.) In Lesbian Shoujo Ai, the lesbians are brutalized by men and not actually *lesbian,* although they love other women, but at the core of each story you find love – love that frees them from their past.

Ratings:

Art – 6 everyone looks exactly the same in a doll-like way
Story – variable, averaging out at about 5
Characters – same
Yuri – 9 (10, with a point off for all the other stuff)
Service – 9

Overall – 6

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying this is good. But for crappy crap, it ain’t bad. ^_^

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4 Responses

  1. Gah, I hate doing this but I wanted to point out something…

    Garo…This was the same magazine for which Usamaru Furuya drew Short Cuts.

    Furuya drew Short Cuts in Shogakukan’s Young Sunday Magazine (source). Palepoli, I believe his debut series was from Garo.

  2. You hate making an intelligent and helpful correction?

    Well, fwiw, I appreciate it. I’ll make the change.

  3. ajshepherd says:

    For the record, Lesbian Shoujo Ai has no lesbians.

    That one line makes this the best, funniest review I’ve ever read!

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