Welcome to Volume 17 of Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫), which was both very good and very bad – sometimes at the same time.
The cover story, and new series by Eiki Eiki and Zaou Taisho is…really frustrating. It’s the 22nd century, all the men are dead and women have, for some reason, reinvented hesterosexist society for themselves. Women are either “Adam”s who play the male role in a relationship or “Eve”s who are the female role. In effect, the entirety of human society has become Takarazuka. The protagonist of this story, Aoi, is an “Adam,” attending an “Adam’s” private school. The number one rule of this school is that Adams MAY NOT have relationships with one another – only with Eves.
Not only is this ridiculous, it does something I am simply unhappy with – it turns this story into a BL/Yaoi story since it is *painfully* obvious that Sakura and Aoi will be the main couple here. I find this vexing. Severely vexing. Frankly, it just pisses me right off. I have nothing against BL. I understand that Eiki and Zaou specialize in gender-bendy stuff. But. I do not think this is as cute or clever as they do. Gender is, IMHO, far more complex an issue than sexuality. Yes, it is true that anyone with anyone in this manga will be “Yuri” by default, but the faux-heterosexism and overt “homo”phobia annoys the hell out of me. Editorially, it’s sheer genius. Nonetheless, I am irked and disappointed by it.
In fact, so much so that I find myself obsessing about the lessons I’ve learned about all-female societies when the men are all dead, from comics:
1) Women will be unable to restore any of the existing infrastructures – even after several years. (Y The Last Man)
2) Women will become drug-addled and power addicts with a penchant for dressing as if it was the eve of the French Revolution. (Project ICE)
3) Despite the fact that there is only one sex, women will mandate a two-gender model and make same-gender relations illegal.
(Do NOT suggest early feminist sci-fi to me. DO NOT. The all-female societies of almost all of those sounded worse than death too. I read them all and hated every one of them. Such bitchy politics. UGHUGHUGH.)
I ask you – is it so wrong to want a story about an all-female society where the women are like, say, women? Guess so.
Moving on before I bust a capillary, “Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen” follows Arare as she gets really, really, *really* close to going all the way with Kiri, but doesn’t.
New series “Himekoi” lost my interest in, like, the first page. Girls wear underwear. Yahoos. One of the characters wears a kind of S&M-ish thing. I don’t know or care why. Goofy chibi art and BDSM are not a match for me.
The essay this month is about “Infimary after school” a story I don’t know, which is kind of cool.
“Para Yuri Hime” is sort of a comic essay/story kind of thing that you might find in Mist or Anise and one day I’m sure I’ll sit down and read it all the way through. ^_^
“Graffiti” is *exactly* the kind of doujinshi story that works best for me. Two girls are writing messages to each other on the desk they both use at different times. They meet, becomes friends and fall in love. I would so very much like to have this story continue, but it probably won’t. It was my favorite of the new works.
A very short “Sweet Peach” chapter that was almost, but not quite 4-koma-esque. More a survey of characters than a chapter of the story.
Next up is a side story from “Yuru Yuri” which read just like a chapter of “Yuru Yuri.”
Some time ago I reviewed Papaya Gundan by Aoki Mitsue (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and found it to be good. I’m glad to see Aoki joing the ranks of the the Yuri Hime team. The story is quite typical; smart girl Yuri and dumb girl Hime are childhood friends. Not only does their time together pull Hime’s grades up but, when it comes to love, she’s the smarter of the two.
And we’ll end off on a also-kind of typical, but pleasantly doujinshi-like “Back Shot.” Ema sits behind Kanae and finds herself fantasizing about her. When she gets a glimpse of Kanae’s breast under a sleeve, or bra under her sweaty shirt, Ema pretty much looses her cool. Because they have to work together, Kanae soons discovers the truth and has to confront her own feelings. Another Hatsukoi has begun. (That’s like 4 “first loves” in the first half of this magazine.)
Although the Eiki/Zaou story is stylish, it put me off. I’m glad to see some new artists, some new, if kind of the same, stories. There’s some excellent (and not so much) stories to come in the second half, so tune back in tomorrow!