Yuri Manga: Girl x Girl x Boy Otome no Inori

September 22nd, 2008

All too often, stories with love triangles are unsatisfying.

It’s natural for us to pick the pair we want to succeed and find any other form of resolution irritating. We often wish no one settled with anyone, rather than the “wrong” couple work out.

Girl x Girl x Boy is the story of a love triangle with a satisfactory ending.

Fuuka is in love with her best friend and classmate Riri, who protected her, when they were younger, from the bullying of the boys at school.

One of those boys, Itta, was the one of the worst bullies – Fuuka can still remember how cruel he was to her. So she is not pleased at all to have Itta transfer into her high school, be seated next to her – and worst of all, confess that he likes her!

Fuuka’s having a hard enough time with that, but when Riri admits that she likes Itta, it’s just intolerable.

The story follows the three of them as they try to maintain balance between their mutually exclusive likes and dislikes. As a result of that balance, they pull together as friends, but the specter of sexual attraction doesn’t ever truly go away. It comes to a head in an abortive attempt at a threesome in a hotel…something that splits them up as friends, and destroys the possibility of them becoming lovers in any combination.

Itta breaks the impasse by reminding the girls how much fun they had as a trio of friends. He asks Fuuka and Riri to recapture that feeling between them, because he’s transferring to another school. His announcement forces Riri to deal with her fears about Fuuka’s and her feelings, ultimately bringing the two girls together. When Itta returns, he admits defeat in love, but insists on reestablishing his place in the triangle. The end of the book sees the three of them as friends, but Riri and Fuuka as a couple.

There were some decent things about this book. Fuuka’s feelings for Riri start out as an extension of her gratefulness for the other girl’s protection. I was concerned that this was too fragile a feeling and it would be destroyed by Riri’s waffling, but ultimately, Fuuka’s feelings grow into a more mature love.

For her part, Riri is the one torn by her feelings of love for another girl. Reticence takes a hold of her as she watches a show on gay people who have had to give up all hope of family life in order to be with their lovers. She’s just not willing to do that. And so, she chooses Itta as a way to avoid dealing with it.

Itta starts off as a total jerk – not taking no for an answer, being obnoxiously persistent, the usual. But ultimately, he ends up being the most honest of the three. His feelings for Fuuka aren’t complicated by concerns about society’s approval, but he does fight a cool sempai off – going so far as to scold the sempai for almost outing Riri and Fuuka.

I can’t say I really *liked* this book. It wasn’t bad in every way – in fact, it wasn’t bad in any way. The art was okay, the story was okay, the relationship ended in the way Yuri fans might hope, but nothing really stood out, either. It was a pretty predictable tale from start to finish.

When I think about Girl x Girl x Boy I feel like I didn’t like it. But when I take a second to really consider it, there wasn’t anything objectionable. So, I guess it’s more that it had no oomph, and that all the tropes have been covered by stories I liked better.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 7
Service – 2

Overall – 7

As a fairly realistic expression of the feelings of two babydykes, it was totally satisfactory. As entertainment…it was totally bland.

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7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well I guess i have to buy it to see how it will affect me as a Yuri fanatic, nonetheless, thank you for your honest review Erica!

    Keep up the Good Work!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are there any scanlations for this?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes. [/So Not Helpful]

  4. “Please do not email to ask for items to be scanned, or where to get scans. To *support* Yuri, you must *buy* Yuri.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    THIS MANGA IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO AWESUM!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    ^
    That LFB must be on crack LOL.

  7. I thought it was pretty marvellous, though you’re right to an extent. It’s so… non-committal to its story that it wasn’t impressionable outside of the immediate “here, now and feeling it” reaction.

    Perhaps it’s more mulling over material than actual impacting work.

    For one, I thought that Riri ended up being the most complex character, Fuuka was the one easiest to relate to, and Itta turned out to be the most likable. There’s that triangular balance working there again.

    For one, though, it didn’t turn out predictably for me. Were this a non-Yuri manga, the ending would have totally been predictable, but as far as Yuri with a guy involves tend to go, it usually would be expected to end like this:

    1. nobody gets together
    2. guy and girl get together
    3. somebody dies

    So ultimately, I didn’t see that ending coming until midway when Riri really showed her true self. And it was pretty surprising character development; honestly didn’t see that coming. Her relationship with Fuuka went from one of self-satisfaction and superiority to one of affection and then turned into love. And with that love came undeniable fear. So she went with a safer bet.

    As for Itta, he’s probably going down in Yuri history as not being a total idiot when it came to the girls. It’s sort of admirable of him, really, to back off when he noticed what was happening with their group dynamics. And it was very nice of him from the start to try to keep the girls together, although you can chalk it up to him not wanting Fuuka to be sad. Either way, he’s a nice guy, and he wasn’t left underdeveloped as most guys in Yuri manga tend to be.

    All in all, I would give it an 8/10 for solid characters. Were it longer, it may have become tedious to readers, but I felt that story needed some work. It was possibly the weakest part of the entire manga.

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