A Look at "Story A" for Hooded Ultilitarian

April 4th, 2011

I refer to “Story A” here quite often. It is my shorthand for a typical story that encapsulates the standard tropes of what we now think of as a “Yuri” story.

This weekend for my column on Hooded Utilitarian, I trace the history of “Story A” and walk it from the past through to current iterations, in 40 Years of the Same Damn Story, Pt. 1.

Next month I’ll be looking into the origins and iterations of another very typical Yuri trope.


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8 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    ‘…of what we now think of as a “Yuri” story.’

    You missed out the word boring there: What we think of as a boring Yuri story.

    Read the article, was very nice and informative. Thank you as always for going out of your way to be interesting.

    However I must ask: your examples of good stories using that structure in the article (Aoi Hana I am mainly thinking here) as they by now have long since passed the ‘They like each other.’ phase, and have yet to end, do they even count as such stories anymore?

  2. I don’t think Aoi Hana has surpassed the Story A boundaries yet, but within them is a very excellent story. Sasamekikoto has moved beyond the fence a bit.

    There is no 1|0 dichotomy on “Story A.” A story can still be Story A and be not-Story A at the same time. Any story that has a girl meeting another girl or woman will have some Story A qualities by its nature.

  3. BruceMcF says:

    Is it spelled underly or underlie?

    “has given the manga world any number of tropes that underly much of “manga for girls” and a whole truckload of Yuri manga tropes, such as life in a Catholic school dorm, intimate piano duet, room in the tower, and others.”

  4. Cryssoberyl says:

    A fantastic article, I thank you for writing it. Personally, I don’t feel that “reading the same story over and over” is a problem as long as these stories are told in tandem with other, more ambitious envelope-pushing works. The very oldest and most basic human stories (e.g. “hero saves world”) really have not changed much in the entirety of human history, but that doesn’t stop these stories from being enjoyed becuase, of course, they are new for every new human that comes along.

    As you point out, the generation of fans who watched Strawberry Panic and thought they were seeing something new were not the same ones who read Shiroi Heya no Futari back in the day. There will always be a need for the basic stories to provide uncomplicated entertainment to a never-ending stream of new fans for whom it is novel and exciting.

    But of course, I haven’t said anything here that you don’t already know.

    Personally, I love a simple, cute Yuri romance as much as I ever did, even as I worship the more progressive works of Chi-Ran, Morishima Akiko, Shimura Takako and many others.

    …Although I must point out that in my mind it is – and always has been – a foregone matter of course conclusion that “they like each other” means “they will defy the world and spend the rest of their lives together cultivating an ever-deepening love”. :P

  5. BruceMcF says:

    Oh, and a lovely article, to which I had nothing to add, although that minor fact did not prevent me from not doing so at some length.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not a single mention of Hayate X Blade’s architecture and subsequent deconstruction? For shame.

  7. @Cryssoberyl – I actually agree with you. The exasperation expressed by “The Same Damn Story” was meant as literary device, rather than a complete reflection of my opinion, in this case. ^_^

  8. Felix says:

    Interesting article. Thanks

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