Aido (愛い奴) by Onazuka Kahori, follows the life and loves of Ureha, a young woman who had some years earlier had an affair with another woman, but is now seeing a young man who is quite serious about Ureha – he’s even proposed, but she has yet to answer him. She’s sure she loves him, but something is holding her back. And then she meets Saori, a woman who lights Ureha’s passion in a way that Ichiru, her boyfriend, never has.
When Okazu Superhero Katherine H. sent me Aido, she suggested that it very much seemed to her a more modern version of Moonlight Flowers and I can totally see that. Both are about finding one’s true self and rejecting expected roles, so one can become the person one truly wants to be. Unfortunately, where Moonlight Flowers does this with elegance, Aido wallows in vulgarity.
Ureha, as a high school senior had already had a passionate love affair with another girl, and had set it aside as one does with childish things. Ichiru is clearly in love with her, but he starts off dissatisfied at Ureha’s lack of commitment and spends a great deal of the story acting suspicious, mean and churlish. He eventually falls into the time-honored pattern of “if I can’t get what I want, I’ll just take it.” A classic scoiopathy. Here’s a relationship tip – if you go on and on about how you’re *sure* the other person’s going to leave you – they will.
I don’t want to say I object to Ureha and Saori’s relationship, but I can’t say I see a lot of positives in it. Saori’s first act is to humiliate Ureha and that pretty much is their dynamic throughout. It makes it hard for me to like Ureha when she’s put herself in the position of choosing one jerk or another. Unlike Sahoko in Moonlight Flowers, she’s not escaping one demeaning relationship for a relationship between equals – she’s escaping a perfectly acceptable relationship for a demeaning one. Where Kaoru in Moonlight Flowers is cultured, elegant, successful, Saori is a name in the gay bar scene; big fish, small, desperate pond.
The difference between the classic Yuri of Moonlight Flowers and Aido is also reflected in the art. Flowers is, as I said, elegant, classic, clean, where Aido is messy and hard to follow.
Ultimately, Ureha’s choice could seem like a great middle ground to many, but in the end I was unable to find any real enthusiasm for Ureha raising a child whom at a young age, already seemed pouty, cynical and selfish, just like her mother.
There are some positive messages to be gleaned from Aido, though. The main clear and present message that is directed at all straight women is that they really had better never have lesbian sex, because it is just so much more amazing than anything they will ever have with a guy. ^_^
Art – 4
Story – 5
Characters – 4
Yuri – 9
Service – 4, unless you’re into scat, then 9
Overall – 5
Where I found Moonlight Flowers romantic, elegant and beautiful, I found Aido‘s treatment of the same theme to be merely crude.