Yuri Manga: Octave, Volume 3

December 13th, 2009

At the end of Volume 2 of Octave (オクターヴ), I expressed the sentiment that I did not want Setsuko to be hurt, even as I knew that there was no way to avoid it.

And indeed, as the pages of Volume 3 open, there is Setsuko, crying. It didn’t help that I expected Yukino to come home and lie about her evening. It did help that the characters of Octave are hyper real and they manage to deal with some very seriously drama-inducing situations in a way that few, if any, people would actually deal with them.

And so, as Yukino’s esteem issues come to a head, Setsuko and Mari’s calm sensibility and reasonable natures forced Yukino to grow the fuck up and take responsibility for her choices.


On the bad side, Setsuko cried.

On the good side, Yukino comes out to her friend, the newly re-debuted idol and admits her jealousy of Mika. A pretty excellent scene – without “Afterschool Special” overtones, just one adult female having to verbalize something that is not real until it is actually verbalized – I am in a relationship with another woman.

On the best side, Yukino finally putting her past behind her and, with a little push from Mari and Setsuko as they close the laundromat, moving forward into a relationship of equals and life of her very own.

If this had been the final volume, I would have been satisfied. But it isn’t. The story continues. I’m…speechless.

What am I always saying here? That I’d like to see a story that goes past the happily-ever-after to the bits that aren’t so good and then are good again. Well…there it is.

Yukino meets Setsuko and they like each other. Not the end of the story. Not the end at all. ^_^


Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 9
Service- 3

Overall – 9

I cannot *wait* until Volume 4. Please, those of you reading scanlations, do not helpfully educate me as to what is going to happen in later chapters. I’d much prefer to read it myself. Thanks. ;-)

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17 Responses

  1. Ahms says:

    This manga got me into the Yuri scene. Great characters, a more realistic take on a relationship, no overused cliches, etc. So good :)

  2. @Ahms – I agree. It’s realistic, adult and not pander-y. There’s something to be said for an adult stories about adults.

  3. BruceMcF says:

    Speaking of sc*nl*t**ns, how do we get a real edition into print in English?

  4. C. Banana says:

    This seems to be without a doubt, the most realistic seinen Yuri manga there is. I wonder if there’s a good chance that it can come over to North America as it’s a lot more like a story written in the West than Japan (other than the trappings of the setting).

    It would be nice to see Octave adapted into an anime but it looks like it’s far more likely to be adapted into something live action.

  5. Yurigirl29 says:

    I also felt sorry for Setsuko and in fact hated Yukino. She lied to Setsuko’s face about what she “did” and when she finally confessed, she made it look like it was Setsuko’s fault! How mean is that?

    Anyway, my wish is the same as yours. I also agree that this manga really does have a realistic approach. However, wouldn’t be nice if all Yuri love stories will have a happy ending? Some stories have heart breaking endings and I don’t really like that. =)

  6. Ive says:

    Dang… I gave up after Vol 1 because it was really painful to read, and I heard Vol 2 was even more so.

    Now it looks like I’ll be jumping back in. Thanks for the review.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read this series from scan******s because there doesn’t seem to be a chance that it might get published in Taiwan, neither. If it does get published, I would gladly buy this great series!!
    I’m surprised by how much I was moved by the characters in Octave, especially getting very annoyed at Yukino’s actions, though they are so realistic that I hate it!!! lol
    Hoping for more of Octave : )

  8. zookeeper says:

    To anonymous from above~

    Totally agree with you!
    I would totally buy it if it is published in Taiwan.
    I guess the only possible way to buy it here would be to special order it from Japan, which would mean…it would be in Japanese! Ha! Hum. Although I am learning Japanese (thanks to Erica’s emphasis, especially in regards to reading the Maria-sama ga Miteru’s light novels in Japanese), but still memorizing seasons and numbers!

  9. Yurinsane says:

    This is absolutely one of my favorites. I enjoy that the protagonist is flawed and makes poor choices because the author also shows the character’s personal growth from her mistakes. I really hope an official version (digital or paper) is released in English.

  10. Ahms says:

    > I enjoy that the protagonist is flawed and makes poor choices because the author also shows the character’s personal growth from her mistakes.

    That’s totally it! Thanks for putting it into words :) The characters are ‘human’ and it makes the story feel ‘natural’.

  11. Cryssoberyl says:

    I can only agree with everyone else. Octave is simply fabulous.

  12. Anonymous says:

    TO zookeeper,
    WOW…I didn’t expect to meet anyone from Taiwan here XD
    Nice to me you!! : )
    Ah…Japanese is too hard for me, I could only hope and wait for some companies to publish these mangas.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m still rather shocked and amazed that Octave is serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine along with popular series like for example Ah! My Goddess and Mushishi. I hope there will be some manga company in the U.S. willing to license this; I think you mentioned how despite Del Rey having first dibs on Kodansha licenses, this doesn’t seem to fit their overall criteria on what they usually release.

  14. Sapphire says:

    Octave is quite possibly my favorite ongoing Yuri manga right now. It may not be as entertaining as other Yuri manga, (like Girlfriends that has me laughing, swearing, and squeeing) but I enjoy the true blue Yuri portrayal that some couples might face.

    The drama reminds me of NANA toned down a notch.

  15. talesteller says:

    but Octave HAS been published in Taiwan! It’s published by Tong Li, under the name 變調的旋律.

  16. entangled says:

    As talesteller said.
    Thanks for Tong Li that we can buy this comic book in Taiwan. :)
    And the vol. 3 is already out (on 12/07).

    This is my favorite Yuri manga.

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