The second half of Comic Yuri Hime, Volume 16 (コミック百合姫) starts off with what I consider to be an interesting turn of events. In “Honey Mustard” Morishima Akiko details a silly little story of two careerwomen, Kaori and Mitsuki. Some years ago they were lovers, but are now good friends – then rivals, as they fall for the ubercute server at the window of what we used to call in college a “grease truck.” Mai finds both women attractive in their own way, but her coworker, Chiho is less enthusiastic because she is, quite clearly jealous. The story itself is cute. It’s nice to see more adult characters, but that is not particularly what interested me.
What interested me was something Chiho said. In response to Mai’s comment about how attractive both Kaori and Mitsuki were, Chiho says “My gut tells me that those two aren’t like us.” In fact, she uses a phrase “Kocchi no Ke.” I’m not sure I’m going to be able to explain this right, so my apologies if I cock this up but in this sense “ke” is a group or way of existence. In English we might say, “My gut feeling is that they aren’t family” in the sense that the speaker is gay and so is the person being spooken about. “Kocchi no ke” (*this* way) not “socchi no ke” (*that* way.)
Japanese is a language of implication. This little phrase “kocchi no ke” implies a lot. The way Chiho says it implies that she and Mai are gay and she thinks that Kaori and Mitsuki are not. The next panel clarifies that, yep, Mitsuki and Kaori are women who love women. And to me, it’s the absolute closest we’ve ever had in this magazine to the recognition that there is a “world of L,” a “ke” that is not “non-ke,” the slang word for straight.
In any case, in the end Kaori and Mitsuki realize that Mai and Chiho belong together and they think that…maybe…they do too.
In “Renai Kouzou Shiki,” Maki finds that a bitter curse made 13 years ago rebounds on her exactly as she wished. Only now she has to deal with the consequences. This was a really fun story, because Chisato is so grounded and mature at 13 that it totally works and isn’t icky at all.
Kaoru is growing her hair a little longer and Mayu is thawing out a little, going so far as to be seen touching in public, in “Apple Day Dream.”
For fans of girls in bandages, a fetish I have barely registered before as such, but am starting to see some interesting patterns, “Kyoumei” explores a super violent world, and bonds of affection that can grow even in the harshest, bloody environment. I find I do not disapprove. :-)
Ichijinsha Iris Light Novel “Otome ha Hana ni Koi o Suru” gets an intro manga in which we can see that all the typical Yuri tropes are covered so we don’t worry that there’s any original ideas we’ll have to deal with. Phew.
It’s climax time in “Creo the Crimson Crisis!” Creo, Suoh and Suoh’s sister battle for survival in the face of Suoh’s transformation. Urara is saved by Kiki who fights the other visitor from Creo’s planet for her. Suoh finds herself grasping at things, only to see them slip through her fingers and although she wins the battle, it’s begining to look like there’s a war on that she’s being sucked in to.
“Mukashi mo Ima mo Kore Kara mo” is a very decent sequel to the story last issue of Kadou and Miya who are both crushing on Rinko-sempai and the fallout as Kadou and Rinko actually go out. Happy endings are had all the way around, as Rinko is able to find her true love and Kadou is freed to be with Miya.
A non-linear tale of love, and loss and coffee in “Imprinting no Coffee” was hard to follow, but one of the best in the book.
All is wrapped up by letters, and envelopes and ads.
Overall, an amazingly strong second half to what has to be one of the best overall issues of Yuri Hime so far.
Overall – 9