Last year, I had the pleasure to read Crême Brûlee, a doujinshi by a Dutch BL/GL circle, Open-Minded. It was an even greater pleasure to receive a copy of this year’s book, the all-Yuri Liquorice.
The folks at Open-Minded are true to their name. There are few limitations in this book. There is no attempt to draw “manga” but instead one finds a collection of stories that range so broadly that they are quite impossible to summarize in a word or two. This, I think, is a wonderful thing.
As with all anthologies, both art and stories vary widely. What I like best you may not and vice versa. (I am still amazed that there were people who did not adore “Grass” from Yuri Monogatari 6, as I consider it to be one of the best stories I’ve ever published in every way….) So far – I am not completely done with the volume, preferring to read it a little bit at a time, just as one might eat the sweet it’s named for – my favorite story is a completely context-less short in which two robots make love so fiercely they destroy each other. Who? Why? We’ll never know.
The true strength of Liquorice is not in the execution but in what it aspires to be. Not a copy, not “like” anything, it’s a genuinely original work. I can’t tolerate the flavor licorice, but I’ll gladly savor Liquorice over and over again.
Overall – 8
My heartfelt thanks go to the fine folks at Open-Minded for the copy of the book, and my genuine wish for their continued success.