Yuri Manga: Tsubomi, Volume 4

December 23rd, 2009

Tsubomi Volume 4 is good example of why it’s worth reading a few volumes of any anthology magazine before you give up.

It’s not that Tsubomi is perfect, just that it’s better than it was. Some of the stories have had a chance to get their feet under them and get some speed going after a soft start. Other stories are jumping into the race at speed. Others stories are still stumbling along, looking a little worse for the wear as a result.

This volume gets off to a strong, if predictable, start with Kurogane Kenn’s story of a teacher and the student she’s fallen for. Thoughts of Christmas presents and taking care of each other start to slip for both into dangerous territory.

Yoshitomi Akihito has two stories of friends in love with each other’s sister and who will *obviously* end up together. This series never fails to bore and annoy me, because he’s a better writer than this and compared to the more sincere stories in the collection, this story seems plain old skanky and tired.

Most of the stories play it safe in Story A space. There’s a girl, she’s in love with another girl. Sometimes they realize they love one another – sometimes we’re left wallowing in the pre-work of “Oh my god! I’m in love with her!” Even Morinaga Milk’s series is treading a well-worn path to nowhere at the moment.

The stories are mostly non-committal, pleasant and some of the pairs are adults (in theory at least, they often still look ridiculously childish.)

Tsubomi has finally reached the space where Yuri Shimai started, so I’m hopeful, but not expecting, a little growth at this point. I do wish we could skip all this girl meets girl nonsense and start with good solid stories about girls in love, but for so many this many-times retold tale is what Yuri is. I will keep my fingers crossed that the authors want to and are allowed to be a little more creative in the next 4 volumes.


Overall – 7

Okay, okay, I’ll give it one more issue…. :-)

Many, many thanks to Okazu Hero George R for thinking of me as he shopped around Japan to provide more Yuri to review! Thanks, George!

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