Yuri Manga: Princess Princess

October 12th, 2010

Although I only “discovered” Aoki Mitsue‘s work in 2008 with Papaya Gundan, this incredibly pleasant, fun and goofy artist has been around since the early 90’s. So, when I learned that she’d be drawing for Yuri Hime, I was confident that we’d almost instantly see stories that were appealing. …And that was exactly what we got.

In Princess Princess (プリンセス・プリンセス) the stories may be short, but they are full-bodied (much like the characters themselves) and drawn with the, what’s the word I’m looking for…conviction, that many stories lack.

The title story, “Princess, Princess” covers the well-worn territory of a smart girl and her slightly slower-than-average love interest.

But where Aoki really shines is in stories like “Sweet Room” where she plays with her own fetish of an older woman in love with a younger woman, turns it on its head and makes fun of herself as she does it. (How do I know that this is her fetish? She writes about it *constantly* in her manga, and has mentioned it about a million times on Twitter. ^_^;;)

In “Sugar Complex” a girl stresses over her weight, only to find that that was what her lover loved best.

A gang girl protects her best friend from the evil, obsessed, rich girl, student council president’s lust in the incredibly silly “Bankara Otome Gakuen.” No surprise – I really like this story. ^_^

The last two stories are a mini-series called “Lunch Box” which combine all of Aoki’s strengths – obsessions with food, a younger woman seducing an older woman, and a strong streak of otaku awareness for an incredibly satisfying short that I’d really like to see continue.

Ratings:

Art – 8 (very solid josei stylings)
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – More underwear than anything – 4

Overall – 8

I like Aoki’s work very much and recommend it highly, as a good example of a josei artist working in Yuri. She brings strength, confidence and a fun, goofball sensibility to every story.

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3 Responses

  1. Akari_House says:

    Wow, that’s a name I haven’t seen in a while. I might have to start picking up Yuri Hime again. I visited Aoki-sensei’s studio a couple of times in 1999 as a friend of a friend I was staying with. Interesting to note that one of her three assistants at the time was a certain Morishima Akiko (who I got a nice signed Utena dojinshi from! :D).

    I need to dig out my old copies of Aoki’s work again. One of her manga (Koume-san…I think it was called?) was being produced as an anime short at the time as part of Gainax’s “Ai no Au-Au Hour” which was overshadowed by “Ebichu Minds the House” in the same program.

  2. @Akari House – Funny you should mention that, because Morishima-sensei and Aoki-sensei were discussing her assisting on Twitter a week or so ago.

  3. Akari_House says:

    Nice, I’m sure that must have been an interesting twitter conversation!

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