In Volume 4 of Rakuen Le Paradis (楽園Le Paradis) we, the readers, are treated like the adults we are and…man, it feels good.
This chapter of “Collectors, “by Nishi UKO was absolutely breathtaking. Not because it was dramatic, or because it dealt with serious issues. It took my breath away because it was about women who are a couple, and their friends, and their lives. It was about nothing *at all.* It was just about the most perfect lesbian comic I’ve ever seen. Imagine – a story about women who are lesbian and then the story happens. Sigh….. And I’m a huge fangirl for Nishi UKO-sensei’s art, so as far as I’m concerned, this was a 10 out 10.
Takemiya Jin’s story that began in Volume 3, “Omoi no Kakera” continues here as Harada’s little sister is forced to deal with her brother’s relationship with Takaoka, her own feelings of disgust at his being gay and her shock when she learns that Takaoka is as well. It doesn’t help so much that Takaoka correctly identifies her feelings as the jealousy they are. This chapter went a long way to moving the sister as antagonist out of the way, so I wonder if we’ll get a third chapter. Gosh, I hope so. I really like the level-headed reality of this story.
Nishi UKO has a second short, “PV” that looks back at Takako’s first experience with another woman. It’s a sweet, little quicky.
“Ending,” by Shigisawa Kaya takes a very emotional look at the ending of a relationship, and provides a nod back to the old days of Yuri, when one person always ended up married or dead and the other bereft. It was so interesting to see that again I had to read the story twice to make sure it actually went there. ^_^;
Once again, Rakuen Le Paradis weighs in as one of my favorite magazines. I just never know what it’s going to do with my brain or my heart. Whether the stories are straight, gay, lesbian, other, they are by creators that I personally consider some of the best in the business. While I’ved only touched upon the stories that have lesbian themes this issue, I don’t want you to assume that the rest of the magazine isn’t worth your time and money, because it absolutely is. In fact if you told me that I’d have to give up every magazine but one, the one I’d keep is not, as you might expect, Yuri Hime. No question, the one magazine I’d keep when all others were taken away from me is Rakuen Le Paradis.
Overall – 8