Yuri Manga: Yuri Hime S, Volume 5 (Part 1)

August 7th, 2008

There’s definitely some good and some bad in Volume 5 of Yuri Hime S. The good gets pretty good, and the bad is – in *my* opinion – quite bad, but for some reason this volume left me feeling like it was the best so far of this Yuri fanboy-focused magazine.

The first story brings us full circle in Kurogane Kenn’s “Konohana Link,” dropping us into the story as transfer student Chieri tries to not be noticed just outside the window as two girls make out inside a classroom. She’s saved by Saori, who is ditching pre-school festival duties to feed a stray dog that comes by the school. In many of the most recent chapters of this story, I kept wondering where the Yuri is. It returns for a brief glimpse here, but I do hope we’re setting up a real story somewhere in all these random vignettes of nothing.

I found the next story, “Love Cubic,” to be tedious at best and replusive at worst and refuse to talk about it.

Yoshitomi Akihito’s distinctive style is a refreshing change from the previous story, and his “Natsu no Ari,” while a little distressing unless you *really* like ants, is not a bad story at all. ^_^;

For the first time, “Flower Flower” didn’t entirely consist of Nina abusing Shu. In fact, they seem to be getting along quite nicely, so Shu’s older sister feels as if she needs to break the accord between them. Nice. Despite that, the biggest challenge Shu faces is how to tell Nina that she is actually female – a concern that comes to a crisis when they suddenly find themselves in the bath room at the same time. Oh Noes!

“Yuru Yuri” is a gag-oriented comic about three friends, two of whom are older than the third, so it’s a moment of great rejoicing when she finally joins them at this school. Yay! The gags are mildly amusing, but there’s no sign of Yuri in any of the first two chapters here, at least. Just three friends.

“Ichiba Chikakute, Toi Futari,” is about a pair of sisters, one of whom is a student, one is a teacher. The teacher is sleeping with other students and her little sister is jealous. But don’t worry, they’ll be together forever.

Hiyori Otsu’s story-telling style suits the next story, “Katakoihime” perfectly. In this story, Ooishi is asked out by a guy, but turns him down by lying and saying there’s someone she likes. She heads out into the rainy season downpour to find Mizuno lying in the rain. Mizuno, who loves the rain because it cheers her up, is in love and Ooishi can tell, because she practically shines. Ooishi finds herself watching Mizuno all the time, so when she puts two and two together she asks Mizuno if the person she loves isn’t their female teacher. Mizuno is embarrassed, but admits that it is. When the news reaches Ooishi that their teacher is getting married, she runs off to find Mizuno. On this bright sunny day, Mizuno starts to cry, so Ooishi runs of to fill a bucket with water, pours it over Mizuno’s head and asks her to cheer up. A great, quirky story about first love.

You may remember that at the end of the last chapter, Arisa had Hinako pinned down to her bed, and had just confessed in “Otome-iro Stay Tuned.” Back at her apartment, Manager Matsurika plays video games and laughs when she receives Tomoe’s email about Arisa and Hinako. But, her attention is turned away when her own lover, VP of Production, Rui comes home. Arisa and Hinako manage to get a little “chuu”ing in, before the alcohol catches up to Arisa and she falls asleep. The next day Hina arrives to fined Tomoe, Arisa and Masturika calmly discussing *her* love life. The story ends as she screams about privacy, dammit.

And “Honey Crush” continues to weave its way through the story of boring ole Madoka and the girl, Kyouko, and the ghost that love her. Kyoko’s ability to see and talk to ghosts is debated in school, with Madoka coming to her rescue, which drives Kyouko to confess her feelings – again. The ghost objects and Kyoko’s battle with unseen forces to an obvious bwah-wah-wahhh~ ends the story.

Pretty chunky volume this time, so I’ll do this in two part, then wrap up a few comments for the overall. So, to be continued in Part 2. ^_^

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