Last year, Ichijinsha announced that the Yuri Hime Wildrose series would be undergoing a name change. And so, the Girls Love series was born. Japanese bloggers had some issues with the title, due to the missing apostrophe in the English-language title. Most of them weighed in with a preference for Girl’s Love, but I think I probably would have used Girls’ Love, if I was going to insist on the apostrophe. It’s all moot because Ichijinsha didn’t ask any of us and so, Girls Love it is.
More importantly, the question I had was, was the newly re-named publication going to be better (or at least different) than it’s predecessor?
Unequivocally, the answer is…no. Girls Love is the same kind of “Plot, What Plot?” porn shorts that I found almost entirely unappealing in Wildrose. As I read stories by Rokuichi, Mikuni Hachime and other Comic Yuri Hime regulars, I thought a bit about what, exactly, kept me from enjoying the stories in this series. I mean, these folks are pretty popular and I like some of them. So…what is the problem?
Upon reflection, I’ve come up with two distinct issues that I have. Neither is true for every story, but one or the other is true for most.
The first is – the art. In many cases, I find the art to be actively unappealing. Some artists that are popular with other readers, absolutely utterly fail to be sexy to me. When the stories are merely meant to frame the sex, this is problematic.
Secondly, and again, I realize that your mileage may vary on this but, quite often I find the way the characters maul each other to look, well, painful, rather than sexy.
Either one of these can kill a story for me, and together they kill most of the stories in the book. Combine this with the unfortunate tendency of most PWP stories to pretty much suck as stories and you basically still have a book that wastes a lot of talent for very little return, IMHO.
That having been said, this volume had a few stories that were notable for one reason or another.
“Junjou Playgirl” by Asagi Shinobu has a typical setup of quiet girl getting seduced by the school playgirl, but she turns the tables on her seducer in a rather cute way.
Morishima Akiko’s “Omoidasu Musubi” was sweet, a little melancholic and I wish there had been a resolution, rather than a fadeout.
“Yume Miru Yoake” was just…I don’t know what it was, but I liked it anyway.
Saida Nika’s “Amai Namida” was also another same-old setup, but I liked the ending quite a bit. It almost had a feel of after happily-ever-after.
Like all the Wildrose volumes that came before, it’s not like every story sucks, it’s just that after I’ve read them, very little sticks in my brain and too much of the sex looks uncomfortable and painful for it to be fun to read.
Overall – 6