Yuri Manga: Yuri Hime S, Volume 4

April 10th, 2008

Last week, I briefly mentioned that I found this fourth volume of Yuri Hime S soulless. I wondered why that was, so I spent some time today, in between sneezing my head off, to re-read it and ponder what my problem was with it.

In short, my problem is that most of the stories end where they should begin. The endlessly rehashed tension of two barely pubescent girls who “like” one another is, well…boring. About half the stories in this volume are just that – girl likes girl. Girl confesses, other girl doesn’t push her away, the end. Let’s call it moe Yuri “Story A” for short. That will save me from having to keep typing it over and over.

Cherry Lips – “Story A” with cat-eared, kimono-wearing loli urchins. Three fetishes at once.

Cassiopeia Dolce – Alternate end to “Story A,” in which Anna’s confession to Elsa-sensei is met with “Great! I like you too! Let’s work hard together!”-type, wrong interpretation of “like.”

Kotohana Link – “Story A” setup in which girl fails at romantic scene in school play and the director confesses her feelings.

Flower Flower – Nina continues to abuse Shu physically and emotionally, while Shu continues to try and woo Nina. This is a comedy manga, FYI.

Peach-colored Sigh – “Story A.”

Secret Stream – “Story A” with a twist. They *both* are torturing themselves with their feelings about the other one.

The Two of Us Under the Sky – This iteration of “Story A” is a continuation of last issue’s “Himawari Saita,” as Nasuna tries to decide on a classmate to pursue. Her friend Ma-chan volunteers with a really sloppy (I mean gross sloppy) kiss.

Minus Literacy – Miharu has left. I have no idea why.

Honey Crush – takes a complete turn away from Kyouko and the ghost stressing about Madoka, and instead has the ghost stressing about the existence of the *other,* cuter spirit that lives, bathes and sleeps with Kyouko. Ghost tries to scare cute little Mitsu away, but fails and learns to play nice.

Otome-iro Stay Tune – Arise and drinking buddy Tomoe show up at Hinako’s place where, through drunken stupidity, Arise’s “Story A”-type concern is blurted out. Arise jumps Hinako, insisting that her interest is real.

Fragments – “Story A” between two sisters, one of which looks 8. So a double whammy of negativity for me.

The People Who Are Near Her – Continues from last volume’s “Kaichou and Fukukaichou,” this time from the Vice President’s point of view. Every time she wants to help the President out, or be near her, other people are already there. She manges to share her lunch and take care of Student Council business, and the President comments that she’d be nowhere without her. Happy, happy, joy. joy. Not yet at “Story A” point, but crawling slowly there.

Model Maiden Gretel – continues from last volume, as Yuu, Mariya and Nagi continue to bond as a team through sleeping, bathing and destroying beasties together, with the occasional sloppy kiss. Looks like Mariya is developing a “Story A” type crush for Yuu, while Yuu is completely gaga over Nagi, with her no personal boundaries and mean kissing skills. A second team of three girls tell them to get a grip and become a tighter team already, then show them up with sparkly Orb powers.

Nanami and Isuzu – Valentine’s Day and general “Story A” wackiness

Hime-chan is a Shy Girl – “Story A” buildup, with a side trip on the seven school mysteries and playing someone else’s recorder.

So, as I was saying, in all but a few of the stories, the formula is pretty static. Stories end when the two girls decided to be together, which is basically the same thing that annoyed me about fairy tales as a kid. All that sound and fury for not much pay off. Of the few continuing series, “Gretel” is the most original (which isn’t saying much, but at least it’s something!) and “Otome-iro Stay Tune” is the only one with adult women who like women.

Ratings:

Overall – 5

If you are a fan of moe Yuri, this book is made for *you.* I’m about 1/8th satisfied with it, myself.

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8 Responses

  1. Emma says:

    Ach, flower flower isn’t soooo bad. As a fan of EPLs, I’d think you liked the princess lady who’s name escapes me more than you do. Though I guess she’s more unpleasently neurotic than psycho. But, I’d be pretty damn bitchy if I found myself on the wrong end of an arrange marriage too. So, it’s all relative.

  2. Senbei says:

    I really made an attempt to read Cassiopeia Dolce. The art was okay, the characters were interesting… but the story and/or plot was confusing to say the least. It didn’t help that it seemed to begin in medias res and then proceeded to get sidetracked at the first sign of progression…

  3. emma- Nina isn’t an EPL. She’s just a spoiled brat. I like psychosis, but I find passive-aggressive behavior exhausting.

    senbei – quick summary – Anna joins the sentient doll-making shop and falls in love with the artist. Real story – girls take lots of baths. It’s Takagi Noboyuki, after all. :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Frankly, I would be hard pressed to touch a magazine with a cover like that with a barge pole, let alone leaf through it. I’m sorry, but when you say one of the characters looks about 8, you were being generous – there is something about that loli aesthetic that squicks me.

    On the plus side, Mnemosyne 3 is out, watched it and I’m waiting for you to get the ball rolling (so to speak) on the ML.

    Regards,
    MdG

  5. MdG – why wait for me? For one thing, I love when people who are not me start conversations on the ML. Secondly, as I mentioned, I’m sick and not really up to intelligent conversation much this week.

    Just post about it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t S supposed to be a male oriented moe version of Yuri Hime? If so, sounds good to me. You just don’t like the genre.

  7. I don’t care for moe, when it’s merely a cover for looking at little girls, it’s true. But that wasn’t what I didn’t like about htis particular volume. It was just that it was the same story over and over and over, with never any sign of, say, becoming a *story.*

    It’s like reading the same openiong chapter over and over and never moving on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is hardly a new problem, or one restricted to Yuri.

    Come back, Nana and Hitomi, your genre needs you.

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