Volume 15 of Tsubomi (つぼみ) begins with illustrations by Hayashiya Shizuru that, when I saw them the first time, motivated me to tell her on Twitter that they were “stimulating.” A female bodyguard and her charge are seen surrounded by a crowd (opening, awards event, something like it, there are floodlights and photographers and a crowd) on one color page and on the other, black-and-white page, sharing an intimate moment in bed. Really, truly great. Hayashiya-sensei said that she’d love to draw their story one day and I said that I’d love to read it. ^_^
“Hoshikawa Ginza Yon-choume” continues with Minato coming down with a cold…again. Now that I’ve read the whole second volume, I’m kind of cooling on this series, unless it actually goes somewhere that doesn’t make me dislike everyone more.
“Walk Wit Me” [sic] comes to a crisis, and probably a close, as Mallory and Wendy leave their moribund town and the dead souls that live there. In this chapter, it becomes more plain that this is a dust bowl America we’re in. I’d want out too. They end up heading down Rt. 66 to wherever.
Shou belatedly realizes what Chiharu means to her, in “Kurai mori, Shiroi michi.”
Hakamada Mera’s “Higashitotsuka of Eden” is finally starting to take shape, not so much as a Yuri story, but as an otaku story. “Kiku-chan” finds herself outed as a doujinshi author, when the manga research club participates in a comic event.
Hikaru and Megumi go to the ocean with friends in “Prism”. As they kiss, in a corner of the beach away from the rest of the crowd, they are seen by a passing group of people who are rude about it. Later, as they leave the convenience store, they encounter that same group, who proceed to intimidate them physically and verbally. Not surprisingly, this scene is rough. One feels one’s stomach go tense almost immediately, and when the girls are cornered, then harassed, you start to look around the room for help. Luckily for Megu and Hikaru, help arrives and they are freed from a quickly escalating ugly situation. But the feeling lingers for a while. This scene is uncomfortably realistic, which means that the creator has managed to convey the situation well, and make us care about the characters. Another sign of the evolution and maturity of Yuri, we’re getting yet another look at some of the less savory issues a lesbian couple might face. Tsubomi pushes the envelope once again. Kind of a surprise, really, that Tsubomi is the one willing to take that risk, before the older, more established, Comic Yuri Hime.
The rest of this volume was of less interest to me, but might be high interest of you, so do consider buying this magazine and showing your support for the Yuri creators that are working quite hard to bring you stories of interest.
Overall – 7