Yuri Manga: Fu~Fu (ふ~ふ), Volume 1

December 2nd, 2011

If Yuri Danshi was written to give Yuri Fanboys a taste of what it feels like to have one’s emotions parsed uncomfortably closely, then Minamoto Hisanari’s Fu~Fu (ふ~ふ) was clearly written to explain important things about lesbian relationships to those same Fanboys in the cutest possible manner.

We are introduced to Kinana and Sumi, who have just begun living together after having been a couple for some time. Now that they are living together, they talk about what to call each other, since “lover” no longer is enough. Kinana asks if she can be Sumi’s bride, but that doesn’t feel right either (although Sumi does use “hanayome” 花嫁 later in the chapter.) Eventually Kina suggests a homonym for the word fuufu, which represents husband and wife, 夫婦. Since they are both wives, they should be called fufu, 婦婦. (So, technically a neologism and not really a homonym, since fuu and fu aren’t pronounced the same, but I don’t suppose that anyone but me cares about that.)

The second chapter of this volume is by far and away my favorite. If you are a regular reader, you know how much I long to read stories that focus on domestic life of an established couple. And, perhaps,  you know about my fondness for my big pluffy bed. So to have a chapter in which Su-chan and Kina go out to buy a pluffy bed of their own makes me happy beyond words. The fact that it’s a brutally adorable chapter helps.

Sumi and Kina go on a honeymoon, we meet Kina’s big gay sister Kanana, and their equally gay neighbors Hayase and Komugi. Every chapter is filled to the brim with appallingly cute lesbians.Of course no one uses the “l” word, but Hayase and Komugi do state plainly that they are lovers. Close enough.

The final two chapters are stories that ran in ES-Eternal Sisters, Volume 1 and Volume 2, from back in 2004 and 2005.

What I said in my original comments on Fu~Fu stands – this manga is important. Using moe art and adorable characters, this series quietly, cutely teaches Yuri Danshi what a lesbian relationship looks like, what is important to us, what daily life is like.

My personal favorite scene is the beginning of chapter 3, when Sumi announces work is over, and Kina points out how patient she’s been. They both stare at each other and throw their arms up…and give each other a great big hug. I mean, really. How cute/real is that? That kind of thing totally happens in my house nearly every day. (No, that is not sarcasm. I mean it.)

So, if no one I know was pining for a glimpse into the inner life of a Yuri Fanboy, almost everyone I know has been waiting with anticipation for a series like this, in which a lesbian couple is portrayed with honesty, affection and healthy dollop of cute.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Character – 10
Lesbian – 10
Service – 5

Overall – 9

Fu~Fu  is *so* close to perfect, Minamoto-sensei deserves heaps of praise. I’d like more of this please!

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22 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    A glorious manga, I’m glad to soon hold this (and Ameiro2) in my hands! Looking forward to the ES mangas too, since I never owned that.

    Review’s missing Loser FanBoy – 11 though. Or maybe that’s LoserMe. ^^

    (I’m also glad I’m not the only doing stuff like the throw-hands-up with girlfriend. Makes me feel a lot more sane now, thanks Erica!)

  2. “almost everyone I know has been waiting with anticipation for a series like this” <- Yes, yes, yes. Every chapter of this manga is a bi-monthly dose of "Awwww." Definitely looking forward to more.

  3. Felix says:

    I’m thinking this might be the next import Yuri manga I buy. I think the LFB score might be higher depending on how much they love cute moetastic slice of life series. Actually considering that, this series would be perfect for Yen Press. I would fit nicely with all the other moe slice of life series they have.

    I wonder, what would actually make it “perfect” to you?

  4. Jenny says:

    Available in translation? (Actually, that would be a helpful thing to note in all of your reviews).

  5. @Jenny – Unless it says (English) in the title of the review, the item is in Japanese. All works available in English are also tagged in the categories English Anime or English Manga, to make it easier to find them.

  6. @Felix – One of the chapters devolve into jokes about wearing animal ears and there’s even a 4th wall break complaining to the editors of the magazine about it.

    The most recent chapter had a sudden, kind of bizarre plot complication.

    Both these things weren’t entirely boring domestic life, They both felt like bones thrown at the LFBs reading this, because they apparently were getting bored and unhappy with a story about happy lesbians being happy.

    I’d like to have the editors have the strength of their convictions and avoid placating the 30% LFBs in favor of having Minamoto-sense create a consistently great manga about happy lesbians being happy together. That would make it a 9.5.

    If someone were to actually discuss being “a lesbian” it would break 10.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Review’s missing Loser FanBoy – 11 though. Or maybe that’s LoserMe. ^^”

    That should have been Loser FanGirl. Writing while asleep is fail…

  8. @Anonymous – The LFB score for this is actually pretty high considering that we never see anything sexual. It’s because of the chapter with the animal ears, which was just pandering.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I was criticizing myself, not your post. Personally, the manga really seemed to be targeted at me, cat ears included – I guess that COULD make me a honorary guy (at least I seem to have called myself one, lol!).

    Some of us girls like the cat ears as well, just look at catboy yaoi (or Loveless).

    I did understand the page a bit differently, poking a bit fun at pandering. I could be naive there, though.

  10. @Anonymous – Sorry, I didn’t presume it was criticism. (For future reference, you should *always* imagine me smiling when you read my word here. I usually am, in any case.)

    I know LFGs like the cat ears, too, but the point was that they were specifically inserted to be a pandering moment, and not a “moment of domestic bliss.” Thus, the higher LF score than otherwise. ^_^

  11. Anonymous says:

    Aaah, I see. That makes sense, sorry that I was a bit confused. And I’m glad you didn’t mind my comment, I’m ESL so I could write a bit off.

    [tiny]I still think it’s also pandering to the likes of me o.o[/tiny]

  12. @Anonymous – I never mind comments! (Even if I disagree with them sometimes) Because a comment means you read my post, thought about it and had something to add to the conversation. That’s always a good thing. So thank you for commenting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here’s hoping someone buys the license in English and markets it to not only manga fans but also to anyone else interested in a story “in which a lesbian couple is portrayed with honesty, affection and healthy dollop of cute.” :)

    BTW, about marketing titles to adults coming from angles like LGBT interests or indie comics fandom too (definitely potential customers of Minamoto Hisanari’s Fu~Fu, right?) instead of only to adults coming from the already-a-fan-of-Japan angle, check out

    http://comics212.net/2008/07/16/flipping-splicing-and-mutilating-manga/#comment-81585 (and “I also think that, should someone like D+Q release a manga unflipped, the commercial possibilities of the work are practically halved. Any time a prominent blogger talks about a new manga release, Ed Brubaker (love ya Ed!) pops up in the comments to mention that he can’t read unflipped [backwards] manga. Just can’t read it. And he’s not alone… it’s one of the things that makes unflipped manga so attractive to younger readers by the way… it’s like visual pig-latin. So yeah, I mean, we get the Tatsumi books rearranged (“translated”) for Western audiences and the sales are great because the older, not-necessarily-manga-reading crowd that the books are aimed at can actually read them, and most importantly the original creator of the work is happy with it.” in the original post above that comment)

    :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    “I’d like to have the editors have the strenght of their convictions and avoid placating the 30% LFBs in favor of having Minamoto-sense create a consistently great manga about happy lesbians being happy together. That would make it a 9.5.”

    I wonder if the folks who found the magazine’s 70-30 split in readership between the non-LFBs and the LFBs found the magazine’s split in revenue between the non-LFBs and the LFBs.

    Maybe it’s the exact same 70-30. Maybe the 70% spend even more on the properties per capita (like buying more copies for other LGBTers to try the manga?) than the 30% do. Maybe the 30% spend 3 times as much per capita (like buying the mangas *and* the animes *and* the figurines *and* the hugpillows…) as the 70% do and therefore outspend the 70%. Who knows? I sure dunno!

    BTW, can LFB mean Loser FanBeing? ;)

  15. @Anonymous –

    > BTW, can LFB mean Loser FanBeing? ;)

    It sure can. I usually use it to represent males because what it measures then is the salaciousness of the treatment of the female characters. Looking down cleavage or upskirts.

    When characters are panderingly cool, like Saber in a suit in Fate/Zero, I see that as a LFG score, to represent the squee factor. Loser FanBeing is a score I’ve used to express overall fannishness and Loser FanErica is when I’m probably the only on on the continent who gives a rat’s ass, like with Hana no Asuka-gumi. ^_^

  16. @Arkadi – > If you don’t mind a question, what’s the accent that everyone seems to be speaking in the manga?

    They are speaking Kyoto-ben, the Kyoto area accent.

    > And if you don’t mind another question, could ‘Minamoto Hisanari’ be a pseudonym of Fujieda Miyabi? Because the art looks so similar, and the whole sweet, laid-back atmosphere is so like Miyabi too.

    Minamoto-sensei is one of Fujieda-sensei’s assistants.

    There are a few other of Miyabi-sensei’s assistants publishing comics now and again in Comic Yuri Hime, as well.

  17. Catherine says:

    Before I put this on my wish list – do you remember if it had furigana? It will be years before I can put aside my furigana training wheels.

  18. @Catherine- No, there is no furigana. The Comic Yuri Hime audience is presumed to be adult, because I can’t think of too many series in it that have furigana.

  19. Catherine says:

    @Erica: ohhhhh rats. OK, thanks. In the only untranslated series I’ve bought so far, the one about adults has furigana while the one about teenagers doesn’t… so I didn’t know if there was a strong correlation the other way.

  20. @Arkadi – Email me and I’ll explain it plainly.

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