Thus begins Linkage, the collection of Yuri Hime stories by Kurata Uso.
These stories are linked only by their exploration of that one moment, when two people realize that they share the same feelings as one another.
Two office workers who misunderstand their importance to one another, a young flutist and the woman who loves her, a rebellious schoolgirl who falls for a blind girl, two sisters who have always been close, and an AI researcher and her creation. None of these really has any ‘link’ to one another. The links are forged between the women in the relationships, and between them and us as we watch their love blossom into something real.
There’s little here that stands above and beyond the Typical “Story A,” really, except that that characters are well drawn and well conceived. Despite the fact that only one of them even acknowledges the difficulty of the admission of loving another woman, these stories are pretty darn good.
The best, if over-sentimental, story follows rebel-chick Keiko and her gradual fall into love with blind, brave and honest Haruka. It was sappy – good heavens it was sappy. It not only involved brave, plucky handicapable Haruka undergoing dangerous surgery, but ends with Keiko’s softer, gentler side being praised by the rest of the class. Who could stay dry-eyed in front of a thing like that?
Yes, this is a collection of girl meets and girl likes and other girl likes her back the end, stories. Don’t look for more beyond that or you will be disappointed. Nonetheless, there is at least a little variety in age and circumstance and, the whole office affair and Yoshino in a suit to start the book off works for me.
Art – 8
Stories – Average 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 7
Service – 1
Overall – 8
I would very much like to see a longer story by Kurata. I think there’s some solid story-telling potential in there, and hope to see something beyond just a one-shot.