Yuri Manga: Aoi Hana, Volume 3

May 19th, 2008

A-chan, her older brother, Fumi, Kyouko and two school friends are headed out to the country for a vacation at Kyouko’s family’s summer house in Aoi Hana, Volume 3.

We meet Kyouko’s cousin, who is also her fiancee’, and her aunt who is very nice and her mother who is not. Kyouko’s cousin and A-chan’s brother have a chat over golf, where he admits to actually liking Kyouko, but knows that it’s pretty useless. The girls all walk through the woods. When Akira slips, Fumi’s *right there* to catch her – Pon-chan complains that when she slips, no one saves her. :-)

The girls all camp out for the night in a cabin after making curry. Fumi and A-chan find themselves up late at night looking at the stars, and suffering from summer colds the next morning. :-) When the rest of the girls go out for the day, Akira accidentally overhears a private argument between Kyouko’s cousin and mother about Kyouko, with some serious bile on the mother’s part. She is clearly not accepting at all of her daughter’s sexuality. Mom’s got some issues of her own.

The next day, all the girls except Fumi are attending Yasuko’s sister’s wedding. We switch points of view to Yasuko’s family, where Yasuko, dressed in suit and tie, is in a foul mood. She’s happy for her sister, but miserable because of her feelings for about to be brother-in-law. The wedding is beautiful, of course.

A-chan and Fumi decide to go to Enoshima after the wedding. When Yasuko overhears A-chan making plans, she wants to see Fumi, so she invites herself along. Fumi’s not terribly happy about it. Yasuko says she wanted to see her, but Fumi tells her flat out it’s no good. She walks off with Akira, leaving Akira’s brother and Yasuko to follow behind.

Yasuko starts to think about how she became the butch she is now, by trying to become the man she admired so much.

While sightseeing in a cavern, Yasuko and Fumi have a moment, in which Fumi says that she gave up on Yasuko, and Yasuko apologizes.

Later that night, Fumi admits to Akira that her first love was A-chan, then apologizes for saying something strange. A-chan’s a little surprised, but handles it with good grace.

Later, we hear that Yasuko’s moved out – and is, in fact, living with the girl who played Catherine to her Heathcliff. Kyouko tells Yasuko that she really does love her, while Yasuko, who seems happy about shedding her former life like a shell, is not as concerned with it as she might have been previously.

A-chan begins dating Kyouko’s cousin and Fumi finds herself jealous enough to feel pain.

To Be Continued.

There are also some side stories about other couples as omake. These are not people we know, just shorts of love and loss.

This volume was, like the previous volumes, emotional without being histrionic. More and more, I find myself liking Fumi, pulling for her, hoping that she’ll find someone even better, even cooler. A-chan is Fumi’s past and now, so is Yasuko, but we can’t help but think that there’s someone (possibly even Yasuko, once she’s gotten past her own issues, but I almost hope not) out there for her who can treasure her and make her happy. Kyouko too – we *know* she can do better than to waste her love on Yasuko.

Yasuko in suit and tie was pretty nice, even if she had a face on for the entire scene. :-)

Ratings:

Art – 7
Characters – 8
Story – 8
Yuri – 5
Service – 1

Overall – 8

I can’t wait to see where this series goes, and with every volume I pray that it doesn’t get canceled before it finds some place of resolution. As we won’t see the next volume until 2009 at least, that’s a whole lotta prayin’. ;-)

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8 Responses

  1. Fuyumi says:

    Man, I wish this would get licensed for the American market… I love how normal everyone is in this, how normal the whole story is – its such a relief from all the really ridiculous Yuri and Yuri-tinged stuff out there.

    Also, the art is very nice =)

  2. Anonymous says:

    > These are not people we know, just shorts of love and loss.

    They are Kyouko’s sisters in youth…

  3. I think it’s Yasuko’s sister in the first one, too. Now that you mention it. :-)

  4. kieli says:

    This manga is just so bittersweet. Fumi is one of my favourite characters and I’m sure everyone can identify with her on some level. Thank you for your thoughts on this series!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Something interesting for the Yuri News.

    Ichijinsha has announced the lineup for their shoujo muke (for girls) light novel label, Ichijinsha Bunko Iris. The list includes seven titles, of which two are Yuri novels: “. (period)” and “Wild Bouquet Hana no Sakanai Kono Sekai de”

    http://www.ichijinsha.co.jp/iris/

    It’s interesting to note that the artwork for “. (period)” is done by Kurogane Ken (Shoujo Sect). Can you really imagine this guy doing artwork for a shoujo publication? It’s kinda surprising. ^^

    Anyway, sorry for the off-topicness.

  6. Anonymous says:

    After a long wait, vol 3 finally arrived.. unfortunately, after the high expectations, the book felt quite subdued compared to volumes 1 and 2. I felt I couldn’t really get into the story.

    That this book felt quite challenging language-wise (especially for a manga) to me may be partly to blame, however. I’ll probably have to re-read it when my head isn’t full of statistics exam material (exam was today and head should be draining fast already :-).

  7. Anonymous says:

    What I also particularly love about this series is how unpredictable it is. The artist juggles so many characters with such a graceful balance that I’m left seriously amazed at her storytelling skills.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i want more fumi/ah-chan !! xD
    i like this manga and im glad that lililicious is scanlating this ^^ im waiting for volume 4

    i dont like the idea of fumi/yasuko again..i hope that at the end fumi and akira can be more than best friends cuz they have a great chemestry

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