Yuri: Manga: Tsubomi, Volume 1

March 2nd, 2009

YNN Correspondent Erin S. and I began to chat about Tsubomi (つぼみ), Volume 1. I was going to review it anyway. Here’s what we said.

pkChinensis> I read Tsubomi. It was better than I expected.
Rosa_Foetida> Hi Youko.
Rosa_Foetida> It wasn’t bad.
Rosa_Foetida> My only real takeaway was that there was little that stood out.
pkChinensis> Yeah.
Rosa_Foetida> I have to re-read it to review it, but I can only remember two stories off the top of my head.
Rosa_Foetida> But it is only a first issue and as it goes on, it will probably develop more of a personality.
pkChinensis> There was one artist whose style reminded me a bit of Shimura Takako’s.
pkChinensis> Yeah.
pkChinensis> Which two stories?
Rosa_Foetida> Yes – I thought that too, and double-checked the name. :)
pkChinensis> :)
(Answered later, but placed here for continuity) Oh – which two stories? Morinaga Milk and the office non-romance with art that made everyone look puffy, like they were all on steroids.
pkChinensis> I liked the art style of the ghost story, too.
pkChinensis> Though that one wasn’t very yuri.
Rosa_Foetida> I found it very wood-cut like, but it really wasn’t very Yuri.
Rosa_Foetida> Not something I’d put in the second position for the book, myself.
pkChinensis> Yes.
pkChinensis> Well, maybe the second part will be… not holding my breath, though.
Rosa_Foetida> Me too.
Rosa_Foetida> I felt that a lot of the stories were retreading the same old safe territory, crush/love/unrequited/kataomoi
pkChinensis> Yeah.
Rosa_Foetida> Nothing was really – “we’re a couple, now here’s the story.”
pkChinensis> Right. Well, that’s fairly rare to begin with.
Rosa_Foetida> I know. I was just hoping that this was not going to reinvent the same wheels.
pkChinensis> Oh, Erica, you and your foolish hopes. lol
Rosa_Foetida> I know, I’m a romantic at heart.
pkChinensis> (I’m sure you’re not alone.)
Rosa_Foetida> But with a name like Tsubomi, I really didn’t expect much.
pkChinensis> Right, and from Manga Time Kirara.
pkChinensis> It was actually better than I expected, so… :)
Rosa_Foetida> Exactly.
Rosa_Foetida> Agreed.
Rosa_Foetida> Every story could be called “You’re always on my mind”
pkChinensis> lol.
pkChinensis> Maybe not EVERY story.
Rosa_Foetida> Maybe. But an awful lot.
pkChinensis> Right.
Rosa_Foetida> In my mind, the color of Tsubomi is gray. I felt like I was watching a Black and White TV, because the stories had little depth or contour or color.
pkChinensis> Hmm.
Also from later, but added in now for continuity
pkChinensis> Some of the stories were just plain stupid–like the one about the girl who’s really the spirit of the flowers the other girl gave her crush.
Rosa_Foetida> Absolutely.
Rosa_Foetida> The last one, by whathisface waren’t all that anything, either
Rosa_Foetida> just girls sitting around talking, really
Rosa_Foetida> I [need to write] an emphatic note of reality to all the delusional fans who think that the Morinaga story is somehow going to be Nana and Hitomi.
Rosa_Foetida> I find it hard to believe that so few people understand that Morinaga does not own that story.
pkChinensis> Well, Morinaga keeps talking about it on her blog.
pkChinensis> So she must think she has some chance of drawing it somewhere else.
pkChinensis> Yoshitomi Akihito? Yeah, that story didn’t grab me either… just “Ha ha, two sets of sisters in love with each other.” (In other words, the one girl’s love is the other girl’s sister.)
Rosa_Foetida> yeah
Rosa_Foetida> whee
Rosa_Foetida> I don’t think she’s going to be able to with the same names.
pkChinensis> Well, she can always just use the same basic character designs and change the names… again. lol
pkChinensis> I don’t think it’s necessarily the specific characters people are attached to as the stage in their relationship the later stories are about.
Rosa_Foetida> I agree – what they want to see is “the next step”
Rosa_Foetida> But the sisters thing didn’t strike me as “love” so much as “moe”. “Oh you’re so cute, like a little doll I just want to eat you up” kind of thing and crushiness
pkChinensis> I didn’t read it that carefully, so it probably was.
* Rosa_Foetida admits she didn’t read it that carefully, either
pkChinensis> lol
pkChinensis> Some of his Yuri Hime S stuff was interesting, but this… wasn’t.
Rosa_Foetida> Yes.
Rosa_Foetida> Hey, Youko?
Rosa_Foetida> Can I ask a favor?
pkChinensis> Sure.
Rosa_Foetida> Can I just use this conversation between us as the review?
pkChinensis> lol
pkChinensis> If you like.
Rosa_Foetida> Because, it’s pretty great, looking back at it.
pkChinensis> Haha.
Rosa_Foetida> I was going to cut and paste comments from it, but the whole conversation thing works.
pkChinensis> Cool.
Rosa_Foetida> You’re officially a guest reviewer on Okazu now. :-)
pkChinensis> :)
pkChinensis> Do I get a cookie?
* Rosa_Foetida gives Youko a cookie.
pkChinensis> Yay.
pkChinensis> Thank you.
Rosa_Foetida> You’re welcome.
Rosa_Foetida> And there you have it.


Me – 6

Erin – 5

Here’s hoping it grows up fast.

One last note. No, The Morinaga Milk story is not the continuation of Nana and Hitomi’s story.

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8 Responses

  1. darkchibi07 says:

    Geez, this feels underwhelming. :/

    How long does it take for some of the manga-ka to start getting a bit edgier and more daring when dealing with Yuri plots?

  2. The first issue of Yuri Hime was pretty underqwhelming too, so be patient. But as for being edgier and daring – stop looking at magazines published for the mainstream.

  3. darkchibi07 says:

    Of course…the mainstream readers! They know what kind of Yuri they want! *sigh*

    I’m a patient person; their interests will evolve in due time at some point in the future. All it needs is one popular Yuri series that can pull it off.

  4. Anonymous says:

    darkchibi07 said… their interests will evolve in due time at some point in the future. All it needs is one popular Yuri series that can pull it off.

    More popularity means more moe and less Yuri, not the opposite.

    Anyway, been part of the Manga Time Kirara collection, which is an Otaku-oriented moe manga line, I wasn’t expecting anything good from Tsubomi.

  5. Let me very clear – Tsubomi was not bad. It was a first volume. Saying “you’re glad you didn’t get it because we didn’t sing paeans of joy is exactly the wrong response.

    There is only one way to be heard – buy the book, then tell the publisher what you want, politely. Otherwise, you’re spitting into the wind.

  6. Katherine says:

    Darn. Even though the cover art left a lukewarm impression on me, I still hoped that Tsubomi would be a little better, or have at least one promising looking series. And why does the most popular type of Yuri generally seem to be type that I consider the least truly “Yuri”? At least I still have my Yuri Hime. But here’s hoping Tsubomi will blossom soon. (Lame pun, I know. XD)

  7. Katherine says:

    Whoops. o_o;; Sorry, it looks like my comment was sent twice.

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