Yuri Manga: Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen, Volume 2

November 21st, 2010

Ah, young love. It’s all drama all the time. Especially when you’re a human who has accidentally found their way to the youkai world and fallen in love with a two-tailed cat-girl spirit.

Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen, Volume 2 picks up just at the end of Volume 1. Arare and Kiri are in love, that much is obvious, but they’ve got something important standing between them and consummation of that love – the fact that if they have sex Arare will cease to be human and will become a youkai herself! Her situation isn’t made easier when she meets Akina, a youkai who tells her that she herself made that choice.

As much as they desire one another, this simple fact keeps them apart. And, it is this simple fact that causes them to fight and causes Arare to run off, unaware that Pero has followed her. When Arare ends up back in the human world Pero is somehow dragged along. Awkward, but not unbearable…until the human world starts to make Pero sick. Now Arare has a more pressing problem – if she doesn’t get back to the world of the youkai, Pero may die!

I have had a strong belief that I knew what the end of this series was going to be from waayyyyy back in the story. As soon as we heard, in fact, that Arare would become a youkai if she made love to a youkai, I pretty much assumed I knew what the ending was going to be. It seemed so *obvious!* I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I will say this – I could not have been wronger. ^_^;

The ending was cute, the ending was happy…it just didn’t do anything like I expected it to. So kudos to creator Nangoku Banana for finding a unique, creative way out of that well. (That phrase has a story behind it. My Dad was telling me a story of a serial he read when he was a kid – one of those adventure things, you know. The hero was bound, at the bottom of a well, no one around for miles, no tools to rescue himself with, etc, etc. End of chapter. Next chapter began, “Once out of the well…” We use that phrase around my house to signify cheating your way out of corners you’ve written yourself into.)

No doubt Kiri and Arare will live happily ever after.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – 7

Overall – 8

This series is still not for the prudish. It’s more serious than Volume 1, and slightly less outrageous, but still pretty over-the-top.

On another note, if you are interested in the youkai portrayed in this story and don’t want to wade through a lot of tedious academic research or historical stuff, I recommend Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt’s Yokai Attack!, a fun “field guide” to youkai you might encounter and how to deal with them if you do.

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4 Responses

  1. Eric P. says:

    This really did turn out to be a sweet romance in a semi-weird and twisted way, definitely a title that offered something a little different in the genre. My only gripe is that it could’ve had a little more of the long-necked teacher, who stole some of the scenes for me.

  2. @Eric P. I also liked Rokurokubi-sensei. The final story in the collection is a very short omake between her and the Snow Maiden from the summer chapter.

  3. Ayra says:

    I really like this serie. It was quite original, the characters were mostly likeable (Kiri in particular), the art was very nice and it had plenty of humor. Two thumbs up from me!

    I’ll admit that it makes me wonder about the classification system, though… Well, I know you touched on this subject before on the blog (and I do completely agree that those classifications shouldn’t exist in the first place), but it’s really mind-boggling to me how they classify things.

    It’s classified as “a book for women”. My favorite Yuri book is Linkage (mainly due to the blind girl story), and that one is classified “for men”. I have no ideas how they even start to decide whom it is aimed at.

    TMG has nudity, sexual situations, some fanservice-y scenes and some simply questionable ones (Milking chapter in volume 1).

    Linkage has absolutely none of that. The whole classification thing is just based on stereotypes on the first place, but I can’t even start to understand their line of thought on the subject. I’d definitively have expected to have TMG in the “for men” and Linkage “for women” categories. Some fits where I expected them to (Like Himegami being “for men” for example), but others like those two don’t.

    I know the classification system isn’t important (I buy and enjoy stuff from both categories), but I just happen to be utterly confused by it anyway :)

  4. @Ayra – No, the classifications don’t have anything to do with stereotypes. They are about marketing.

    Books in Japan are defined by the audience the magazine is marketed to – not who reads it, not the content, not the genre (like action, romance, scifi).

    If a publisher markets a magazine to women, that manga is a “women’s” manga – even if it has a lot of service, or sexual situations.

    Yuri Hime is a little different, because although the majority of the audience is women, it is marketed to “people who like Yuri” which is unusual for Japanese publishers.

    Overall, Yuri Hime, up until now, has mostly been written for and by women, so it’s not absurd to call it manga “for women” at all.

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