Yuri Manga: Fu-Fu Dengeki 4-koma Collection (ふーふ―電撃4コマコレクション)

July 12th, 2011

This is not the Fu-Fu you’ve been waiting for. This is not Minamoto Hisanori’s Fu-Fu. This is not a serious story about language and rights and perception wrapped in 6 layers of adorable-ness.

This Fu-Fu is the Fu-Fu that, in a series of 4-koma strips, flirts with saying something serious, but never quite does. This is Fu-Fu Dengeki 4-koma Collection (ふーふ―電撃4コマコレクション).

In this Fu-Fu, Furika and Fuyuta are the player names of two characters that met in an MMORPG. They became friends, and eventually were married in the game world. In that world, Furika is a cute bunny girl and Fuyuta is a handsome bird man. In real life, it turns out, they are both high school girls in the same grade at school.

The manga begins with some very affectionate displays of affection between them in public and their disbelieving classmates’ reactions. After an extended kiss, they’re asked, “Are you two lesbians?” Their response is, almost predictably, “No, of course not.” They then clarify that in the game, they are married, so this is obviously totally normal.

There is some space spent on classmate reactions. Predictably the boy representative is less concerned, although somewhat confused by the gap between their behavior and their words. A female classmate, Okada, is outright disgusted, which prompts the boy to say that it doesn’t bother him…he’s not sure how he’d react if it were two guys. Which then brings up a mis-timed reaction from a third classmate, male, about gay guys, implying that he himself might be gay…something that is quickly swept aside in denial.

And that’s about where it all stays in Fu-Fu.  Furika and Fuyuta are in love, married in the game, physically affectionate in person, but in no way are they lesbians.

This manga is a 4-koma, and the formula, while less obsessed with wacky humor than, say, Hyakko, or  Ichiroh!, is still meant to have a bwah~wah~wah~~~~ feel about it.

The second half of the book takes a slightly more serious turn, as Fuyuta (as we’ll continue calling her,) begins to get an inkling that her feelings for Furika are more than just in the game world. There are some awkward bits when she tries to push their relationship to deeper levels of intimacy, but fails, and even more when Furika won’t let her go when she starts to realize her feelings may indeed be “lesbian.” The book ends at a most uncomfortable moment, when Fuyuta lies to Furika about having a boyfriend, so this playing at being married must stop.

I’m not entirely sure what I feel about this book. It’s not serious enough to take seriously, it’s not silly enough to dismiss. Some real issues are touched upon, but not meaningfully, and the humor isn’t quite funny enough to carry the book.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – Starts at an amusing 7 and ends at a somewhat frustrating 7
Characters – I waffle on this, they are so inconsistent. Let’s call them 6
Yuri – Also inconsistent, 6
Service – 2

Overall – 6

It very much feels as if this started with an idea and suddenly had to develop a plot when it continued longer than planned. If a second volume is released, we may see a new direction entirely, as Fuyuta and Furika work through the gap between perception and reality. Of course, I hope they come to the gayest conclusion possible. ^_^

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