I’ve said it before and I’m saying it more these days – “Yuri” stories can be defined as having lesbian content without lesbian identity. Maka-Maka, Volume 1 is pretty much a perfect example of this. There is undoubtedly lesbian content, but it is also made very *very* clear that these two women are not lesbian in any way. Nor are they bi. They are two straight women who happen to enjoy sex with one another. That’s it. Just, “friends with benefits.”
I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the first volume of this, since it’s been four years since I first reviewed it in Japanese. Each chapter is a simple “Plot, what plot?” type fanfic. “Nene and Jun get naked,” “Nene and Jun feel each other up in the CD store,” “Nene and Jun have sex for some other reason that really doesn’t matter much.” There’s a little character development, and it becomes increasingly clear that the two actually, honestly do care for one another, as the book goes on. But…no, they aren’t a couple. In fact, they are both seeing guys who, we are told repeatedly, pretty much suck as lovers. (I will refrain from making a snarky remark here. Insert one that satisfies your own levels of paranoia about your abilities as a lover.)
The reproduction is stellar. Kitty Media, the adult imprint of Media Blasters, did a fantastic job of bringing this book over here. There’s honestly nothing to complain about. The dual cover, the fold out two-sided poster, the undercover gags, all remain intact. The translation feels right. Nene and June aren’t made to sound “Omg! Rad!” as some feared. They sound like women in college, who have different personalities and issues.
While I’m praising Kitty – and in the interest of disclaimers that might point to bias and or open corruption ^_^ – let me once again thank Frank, who not only shepherded this book so beautifully into English, he gave me the first copies of both volumes off the press. They really do look lovely. Nice job, everyone.
Art – 8
Characters – 9
Story – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 9
Overall – 9
As a tale of two adult women who find comfort in each other’s company, and pleasure in sex with each other, Maka-Maka is a realistic, entertaining “adult” manga.
This would make a great gift for someone looking for something with adult content that isn’t squicky, loli or fetishy.