I know, I know. I said I was done with this series. I say that sometimes. But then I need another item or two to make an order on Amazon JP worth it, so…
Anyway, here we are in Yuri Hime Wildrose, Volume 6 (百合姫 Wildrose) and while I am not dancing a joyful “this is it!” dance, I’m not gritting my teeth or anything, either. And perhaps the folks at Yuri Hime are getting comments that echo my own, because in it’s own PWP way, this volume of Wildrose steps up its game by a notch.
This is most apparent in the first story of the volume, “Yume no Hanashi,” in which Naho is moved to tears when she realizes that she is not alone in her school as a girl who loves other girls. Given that recently the US is dealing with reports of young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth struggling against prejudice and abuse from not just the people around them but from the leaders of their communities, who don’t seem to care that their casual homophobia is inciting acts of hate and intolerance…this message is an incredibly powerful one. And, given that Wildrose does tend to be rather more superficial than sensitive, and almost all Yuri avoids complications of awareness and identity, this simple acknowledgement of how alone a LGBTQ young person can feel and how important just knowing that you are not alone, is an amazingly powerful statement. It was a strong opening for the volume.
Again, in “Moment Like Fireworks,” the continuation of Nanzaki Iku’s ShizNat-esque couple, Sayo and Ritsuko’s story, Sayo first introduces Ri-chan as a friend to an old classmate , then corrects it to a “good friend,” and then backtracks, explaining that she and her girlfriend would like some alone time to engage in some love talk. Sayo later apologizes for not making the point right away, but Ritsuko expresses understanding and gratitude.
There were a few stories where younger women had to work a little harder at getting their point across to their older lover, and one story in which a Devil tries to ruin an Angel, only to be thwarted by her purity and love (a very cute story, I thought. It seems obvious to me that the real danger is that the Devil will start to feel “Love” and go good.)
There are a few stories which are not “good” in the big picture – one in which a not-very-veiled threat of suicide brings two lovers back together did not, to me, seem to be a good ending to a relationship that just needed to end. Relationships do that sometimes. But then there’s something like “Houkago Berry Girl” which was just…silly. It made no statements, had nothing deep to impart, but was cute.
My major complaints about the Wildrose stories are that they have basically been retreads of “Story A” and left me feeling empty at best and quite often icky. This time I felt like they had actually stepped up their game, with more established couples and even some “lesbian identity” in a few of those stories.
Overall – 7
I’m back on the wagon for Wildrose 7.