Comic Yuri Hime, Volume 14 starts right off with “Creo, the Crimson Crisis.” Color pages, adverts for things like the Yuri Hime calendar, Soulphage and YH collections are followed by a chapter in which Suoh remains a wet rag and her sister’s illness appears to be an advanced form of Vampirism. Important things are afoot, so Suoh is packed off to a friend’s house, where friend’s creepily friendly mother is much too nice to be trusted. Meanwhile, In Creo’s homeworld, another powerful pointy-eared warrior woman decides to become a plot complication.
New series “Girls’ Life” begins with some generic school bullying, but the victim has no intention of rolling over for the mean girls. She continues to apprach Otsu-sempai, even though the evil henchchicks disapprove. Otsu, one of the four protagonists, seems to barely notice anyone’s existance outside her own group, which includes her favorite lap pillow, Nao. When the victim du jour tells off the evil leader, Otsu, Nao and their friends are watching. Otsu offers encouragement, in a lopsidely funny way, the jealous, mean girl goes off in tears and the uncrushed victim heads off, stronger for it all. But the mean chick is determined to continue to love Otsu-sempai and runs off with ideas of shortening her skirt and not learning any lessons from her ordeal. I’m sure we’ll meet the rest of the “Girls’ Life” gang in the next chapters.
Tsukiko-chan is in love with You-chan. Another girl has noticed, but she’s in love with Tsukiko. They end up in bed together, but Tsukiko’s heart is with You-chan. The other girl offers to be a stand-in in this Hakamada Mera story, “Kono Onegai ga Kanau nara” (If this wish were fulfilled.)
And finally, we reach the end of the beloved “Strawberry Shake Sweet.” It begins a year after Ran has disappeared. Julia is almost 18, she’s cut her hair short and she continues to be a successful talent. But she has never once let go of the idea of finding Ran (to Saeki’s eternal irritation. lol) Julia tracks down Ran’s Mom, the Yuriko-lookalike whose phone call was the source of Ran’s dissapearance. Turns out she’s a famous model/actress and she did NOT want Ran in that crazy life, so she’s sent her daughter off to live with her father in the US. Julia pleads with Ran’s mother to “give Ran back!’ going so far as to say that she couldn’t care less if Ran never acted or modelled again – she wants her back in her life. Ran’s mother blows her off. But, one day she learns that Ran is back in Japan and runs off to see her. When she does, Julia threatens to kill her if she doesn’t touch her right NOW. The manga comes to an end with the two of them embracing, and a pithy little comment from Zlay’s ever-present lead singer. I’ve heard some people say that they were dissapointed by this chapter. I thought it was quite good, myself. And to be honest, I anticpate a goofy second epilogue from the collection. This is good love-comedy, with a happily-ever-after and lots of face faults. ^_^
Fujieda Miyabi’s “Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan” follows Haru and Hinoka, as they leave Sarasa and Seriho behind for their intimate chat. They talk about Sarasa’s feelings for Seriho, which prompts Hinoka to ask flat out what Haru thinks of her. Haru says she doesn’t have that kind of interest, but looks mightily put out when Hinoka says that Haru’s not her type – and then gets annoyed that she felt that way. lol
In “Yuri-Yugi” by Chi-Ran, rumor has it that the new transfer student Kotone (who came from a girls school) is weird. The protagonist watches as one of the beautiful guys in school hits on Kotone and is rebuffed. When he and the girls around him accuse her of being a “rezu” she replies by saying yes, she is a lesbian and how dare they be such utter jerks, presuming that they can just have their way with people because they think they can do anything. After telling them off, Kotone takes her leave and the protagonist follows, ultimately taking hold of Kotone’s wrist to stop her from walking away. Timdly she asks if it was all true. It was, Kotone says and yes, she has a lover, she responds when asked. The protagonist can’t figure out why her heart is pounding or why she followed Kotone, but the other girl tells her why – because she has those kinds of feelings too, doesn’t she? In any case, they can becomes friends. And thus the protagonist’s life is changed.
Which brings us to the climactic chapter of “Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen,” in which Arare has to choose whether her desire for Kiri or her desire to remain human is more important. Arare says that she doesn’t care at all about being a human, or going home ever again, she wants Kiri, dammit. But when they touch each other and it starts to get heavy, Arare tearfully pushes Kiri away and runs off. Kiri says that she probably went too far, apologizing to the absent Arare as it begins to rain….
That takes us the second set of color pages, which give blurbs of anime popular with the Yuri crowd and to about the halfway mark! We’ll stop here, and finish it up tomorrow. ^_^