Yuri Manga: Sasamekikoto, Volume 3 (ささめきこと)

October 13th, 2008

Today we turn our attentions once again to the trials and tribulations of Murasame Sumika, aka Sumi, and her hopeless love for her best friend forever, Ushio.

Volume 3 of Sasamekikoto (ささめきこと) begins with the advent of the school sports festival. Someone appears to be targeting Sumika in an attempt to sabotage her class’s chance at victory. As Sumi lines up for the final race, a shoo-in for her, she runs off to save a “kidnapped” Ushio. Sumi and Ushio – now in penguin costume – are happily reunited.

The school erupts in wonder at the arrival of Lotte, a cute little German girl who transfers into the school in order to experience Japanese life. Resisting Ushio’s attempts at dressing her like a doll, Lotte idolizes Sumi’s strength. In order to train Lotte in karate, Sumi picks up her own training for the first time since she met Ushio. We learn that she quit it because Ushio likes cute girls. Now back in the dojo, Sumi remember just how much she loves karate.

In trying to become strong like Sumi, Lotte over exerts herself and collapses. Ushio blames Sumi for not allowing for Lotte’s size and condition. Sumi responds that Lotte *wanted* to train hard, and likes Sumi’s size and strength – that yes, she is NOT cute. Sumi goes running out into the rain and promptly falls ill. (Once again causing me to speculate on Japan’s bacteria-endowed rains….)

Ushio comes to Sumi’s house and nurses her back to health, but pays the price and gets the cold herself. We spend a little while in Ushio’s backstory, learning how she and Sumi became friends when she transfered in, as a result of the rest of the girls in the class ostracizing her when she admitted to liking girls.

Sumi comes to visit Ushio – seeing Ushio upon the veranda, Sumi’s expression says volumes about her feelings, but Ushio runs away. Sumi bangs on the door and demands to see Ushio who, after extracting a promise that they will always be friends (despite the fact that, at this point, neither of them want to be just friends anymore) falls sobbing into Sumi’s arms.

What will happen in the exciting volume 4 of this manga? I don’t know! But I’m very much looking forward to reading more of this really quite excellent tale of best friends in love.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 5

Overall – 8

My favorite moment was watching Sumi watching Yabase Takemi fighting. The tension in her body, that desire to be out there, to test her strength against another champion…awesome. Like Lotte, I enjoy watching Sumi being not cute at all.

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6 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    Yup, this is definitely one of my favorite Yuri manga so far. ^^ I was pretty surprised to see that it runs in Monthly Comic Alive (same as Maria Holic). Hopefully it will last for at least more than 5 volumes. > < *fingers crossed* I wonder how much running in a more mainstream manga magazine, like how Girl Friends is syndicated in Comic High instead of Yuri Hime, impacts a Yuri manga's popularity. Especially as a manga running in Yuri Hime, no matter how high its quality, would stand virtually no chance of being animated. Plus, I can't help noting how many Yuri Hime titles have ended abruptly when they could have lasted longer; and perhaps, if given a chance, they could have fleshed out their stories (like Hatsukoi Shimai and Simoun) become strong, multi-volume narratives (I know that Hatsukoi Shimai lasted for three volumes, but still). Anyway, Sasamekikoto, Girl Friends, and Aoi Hana are the Yuri titles I'm keeping my eye on as they seem to stand the greatest chance of lasting several volumes, given their pacing.

  2. Hi Katherine –

    I don’t really know what the circulation nubers are for something like Yuri Hime vs Comic High. I can say that I have never seen a copy of Comic High in a manga store and have frequently seen YH, but that may be a matter of timing.

    Yuri Hime is as mainstream as Comic High or Comic Alive – which is to say that they are specialty manga mags and not the ones you’re going to see when you walk into a convenience store. This titles are the ones I consider “mainstream.” And, fwiw, Ichijinsha had had anime made of several Comic Rex and Kings Kings series, so anime is not de facto out of the question. I don’t follow Alive and High regularly, but my gut says that anime do not come from their pages either.

    As I keep saying, anime tends to be lowest common denominator. Other than porn, which address a different set of issues, you’re far more likely to find an anime from a mainstream adventure story than from any Yuri series – it’s too absolute, too specific. Only when the Yuri is one in a number of fetishes, or properly ambiguous will you see a Yuri anime series, to sell the series to the widest range of people, not just Yuri fans.

  3. ashi says:

    I have often wondered about caught in rain = one sick day. I was caught in the rain in Japan once and miraculously avoided getting sick from it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I really think that Sumi is cute. She is cute, sweet and so cool!
    Im so happy about the anime thing ^^

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