If there was ever a volume of Yuri Hime magazine worth buying, Volume 20 is that volume. It was the most stellar issue to date. I’ve mentioned that I have now taken to skipping any stories that simply don’t interest me – out of 18 stories, I skipped only 2 and liked or loved all of the ones I read. This was a great volume from beginning to end.
It begins with cover art by Fujieda Miyabi of Sarasa and Seriho from Ame-iro Kouchkan Kandan, and moves right into a pin-up by Morinaga Milk on one side and Dite on the other.
The first story, “Tsuki to Drop” is a variation on the group date gone wrong plot, when Nobara gets jealous of the guys paying attention to Tsuki at the gokon.
In “Mukou no Budou”, Itsuwa is regretting not taking the chance to reach her hand out towards Mitsue, when she had it back in high school. Seeing Mitsue with a lover now hurts more than she was prepared for.
Miwa-san is a typical OL, whose life changes when she quite accidentally meets actress Nagae-san. Suddenly, her life is filled with new people – and new feelings. These last two stories are both stories about adult women, so of course they made me happy.
And, although “Yomijinrazuno Tsukari Desu” is back in a school setting, there was something so refreshingly goofy and fun about it that I liked it anyway. When Tsukasa gets a love letter from “S”, she thinks it’s from Sumika, and goes the old-fashioned route by befriending her to get closer to her. However, she completely misses the fact that the writer of the love letter shares the same initial with her best friend, Sakurako.
Morishima Akiko’s series about grown-ups, “Renai Joshika,” brings two of the couples together in a business overnight in a cheap hotel in Hokkaido. This story has a number of things I’ve never seen in a Yuri Hime manga before, including some very clever fourth wall breaks and femme drag for the two butches, Mitsuki and Saki. And it looks like Mitsuki and Kaori are reigniting their old relationship. It’s been 15 years since they were lovers – I’ll be interested to see how their adult relationship works out.
“Yr Yr” covers that awkward space between a confession and a response.
And we’re going to end with an utterly squee-worthy chapter of “Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan” about which I can say very little without spoiling it. Sarasa and Seriho go out on a second date. To say that Seriho brings a U-haul would not be that far off. lol Seriously – this chapter is worth the price of the magazine. (I’m a little shy of halfway, but pressed for time today.)
Speaking of the price of the magazine. I know that many of you would purchase it if it were cheaper to get but sadly, the reality is that unless you live in Japan, it has to be shipped, until they – and we – have a model that works for legit digital reproduction (something I am working on, because it’s time to stop discussing the problem and start talking about the solution.) The magazine is about $9 USD and the shipping can be twice that easily. As you know, I always link to the Amazon JP entry for the magazine, because I have an affiliate account. I know it’s pretty steep shipping from there, but that cost per item goes down when you buy many items at once. A 20-item order can have a cost per item of about $4 USD, depending on what you get. Here are some other options:
BK1 books has more shipping options, so you can go a slower/cheaper route. You do need to know some Japanese to use their site, where on Amazon JP you can check out in English.
Also, if you live in a major city, a large bookstore can potentially get a subscription for you. And, if there is a Japanese bookstore anywhere in or near your town, they probably won’t have any difficulty getting it for you. Asahiya, Kinokuniya and Sanseido all have overseas stores and all are glad to provide subscription services. It helps to show up with a cover, or a printout of the title and/or the ISSN for them. We speak with an accent. :-)
J-List does have Yuri Hime listed in their magazine section, and a subscription is available through them.
And Anonymous tells us that HMV JP also has an English-language interface, with a caveat that HMV’s overseas shipping is EMS only, no SAL. Thanks Anon, much obliged.
So, there really are a lot of options for you to buy Yuri Hime, and make the point that there is a legitimate overseas market. The more we buy, the more our voice is heard. In the near future I’ll expand about how this can change things for all our benefit – and talk about the solution I mentioned above. :-)
Part 2 tomorrow!