The second half of our overview begins with Takemiya Jin’s “Kirakira,” in which Saya befriends Mari, the plain sister of magazine model Ria in order to get closer to the famous sister, only to find that her interest no longer lies with Ria at all.
With the kind of synchronicity I’ve come to expect from her, Miura Shion’s Yuri essay discusses Ohana Holoholo.
The “Para Yuri Hime Ten” strip is about a girl who discovers Girls Love manga and life in elementary school.
Meiko is 28, and she’s having an affair with Yukari, a girl years younger than she in “Lunch Box.” She feels a little guilty, then a little jealous and then mightily annoyed, when Yukari tells a friend that she’s not seeing anyone. It was just a case of miscommunication, though.
“Mizu-iro Cinema” comes to a close with Tae leaving Yui to allow her to get back together with Akane, without asking Yui if that’s what she wants. She doesn’t and they end up together. Phew.
In “Moso Honey,” Nonoka’s Student Council tenure seems to involve her being depantsed/deskirted rather more often than you’d expect. Nozomi-sempai is cool, because we’re told she is.
Fans of service will enjoy the color pages, wherein the Sono Hanabira, Ikkitousen XX, Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan and other anime and movies are discussed.
Mist-a-like, “My Unique Day” brings star actress/dancer Miki into the orbit of her admirer Sorako, and their brief mis-start before they both find the right method to fit their relationship.
Hayase-sempai rises to the occasion with an impassioned, if fictitious, defense of Mashiro when they are both dressed down by a teacher for having a relationship out in public where peeping toms and jealous classmates can tattle about it. Hayase says that she coerced the younger woman. When Hayase returns to argue their case, since it was in fact the jealous classmate who tattled, the teacher shuts her down. Crisis looks like it might actually loom in “Sayonara Folklore.”
And at last, a story I skipped. I’m finding the bittersweet not-quites of the Black Cat Mansion series to be pretty dull.
“DNA Double XX” returns with a chapter that has a lot of potential and fails almost utterly to maximize any of it, cashing it all in for a pile of cliches. Aoi cleans up nice for the dance with the Eves, to learn that the Adam’s plumage is not the only thing they do to attract mates in this society of peacocks. There will be duels, we are told, so it’s no surprise when, after Aoi disses Erika for her unkindness to a clumsy, sincere, bespectacled girl who wears underwear which we are forced to look at repeatedly, Sakura appears to defend the Eve-in-chief. Duel? Do ya think?
Skip the next, as “Hime Koi” has roundly failed to capture my interest.
And lastly Hakamada Mera’s “Kimi ni Naru” goes where we hoped it would go, as Amane spills to You just what her history with Yuki was. It turns out to be slightly more seedy than expected, as Yuki became pregnant by her tutor. You offers herself to Amane as a stand-in for her lost love but, after a rather hot kiss, Amane reels herself in. She pours cold water on both of them by telling You that she can stay the night but after this, she doesn’t want to see her ever again. Understandably, I think, since it would take a seriously strong person to avoid that particularly slippery slope. I want to categorically say that between this story and “Kaichou to Fukukaichou” in Yuri Hime S, I’ve come around to Hakamada. Her characters still have giant heads, though.
The ad for the next issue offers a 5th anniversary special “surprise.” Along with all the usual fun, there’ll be a pin-up by and interview with Aoi Hana‘s Shimura Takako. And, most importantly, from this issue forward, Yuri Hime is moving from a quarterly to a once-every-other-month format, so 6 times a year from the current 4. I hope you’re as excited about that as I am.
Overall – 9.5
So, 5 years into this experiment, we have a solid handful of some really decent art, storytelling and by god, adult women in relationships. Now we just need to get it over here legitimately and we’ll have arrived.