Yuri Manga: Cirque Arachne (サーク・アラクニ)

May 19th, 2013

Do you remember Kaleido Star? I do. I remember I had a very contentious relationship with the series. I disliked some of it to distraction and loved some of it to tears. The series was constantly made worth watching for the intense relationship between the star of the show Layla and the energetic newcomer, Sora – a relationship that was almost, but not quite, what we hoped it would become.

I am, it seems, not the only one who felt the story needed to be “fixed.” ^_^ Yuri manga artist Saida Nika clearly felt that if there was less “break your self-esteem into shreds to force it to grow” and more “Sora and Layla sitting on a trapeze” it would be better all around, as well. And so, we find ourselves reading Cirque Arachne (サーク・アラクニ). smiling, because even the Amazon JP description say what we can all see – this is the version of Kaleido Star we always wanted.^_^

Thetis, called Teti, is a newcomer to Cirque Arachne and is paired instantly with the show’s current star, the emotionally distant Charlotte. Lotte finds her gaze returning again and again to Teti, finds herself remembering and confronting her painful past, her self-imposed loneliness and, at last, her feelings of attraction for the new girl.

Teti is everything Lotte is not – she’s openly passionate about her love for acrobatics, for her enjoyment of…everything, from high places to delicious kebabs. And Lotte.

While they train together – as Circus Mistress Leni planned all along – they grow closer until, inevitably, they open their hearts to one another. Cirque Arachne will now have two stars, who will face the audience with hands and hearts entwined. Awww.

An extra chapter of Saida’s earlier work “Berry Girl” closes the book.

Because Cirque Arachne was very obviously written for those of us who had seen Kaleido Star and wanted to see it re-created in our own image, the story has little padding. It gets right down to the meat, without much digression. Both Teti and Lotte get just enough backstory to render them individual and apart from their earlier influences. In a sense the story moves too fast,  but because we all knew the rest of the story, it’s just the right length. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 9 Fixed, at last
Characters – 8
Yuri – 10
Service – 4

Overall – 8
Now that’s she’s gotten this out of her system (for which I thank her immensely!) I look forward to more from Saida-sensei. Let’s see what else she can do. ^_^

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10 Responses

  1. Lynzee Lamb says:

    Art looks gorgeous! I hope it gets some localization, even digitally.

    • Agreed. It’s a good choice for something like DMP or Chromatic, it’s girly, fun, has the circus theme and the doujinshi tie-in to Kaleido Star which was distributed in English. And, as a single volume, it’s not a major commitment of resources.

      • BruceMcF says:

        When I click on the yuri checkbox at emanga, I get two volumes of one title ~ Happy Go Lucky Days (which I guess I have to buy when my tax return comes back, just to be able to say I have all of emanga’s yuri titles).

        So if they added this one, they could claim a 50%-100% increase in their yuri content (depending on counting by volume or counting by title).

        • Ayra says:

          Based on the relatively long preview, volume 1 didn’t seem to be yuri at all. None of the stories contained in the description seem to include any yuri either (It’s either male leads falling in love, or female leads falling in love with men). The first story of volume 2 is potentially yuri (Depending on where it goes) but the description from the other stories most likely aren’t. I’ll pass on those books personally.

          On the positive side, I see that they do offer PDF and various e-book formats downloads… That’s certainly useful! While I maintain that buying from JManga was worthwhile despite the end (Great selection of stories, translations were really good, the cost was under 50% of a physical book, it did support the authors of those books and plus they did refund the leftover points), I have to admit that I’m sad that I won’t be able to re-read all those stories again after next week (Poor Poor Lips, Hanjuku Joshi and Kimino Tamenara Shineru in particular). Being able to download a pdf of your purchase does prevent that issue from happening, so I do hope that emanga (or similar companies) will pick up some yuri titles to publish.

          … and that had absolutely nothing to do with Cirque Arachne. Sorry!

          • I agree, Ayra. I didn’t much like Happy Go Lucky Days, nor did I find the little Yuri in it worth a review. That happens quite often in short story collections. In 2003, it was enough to garner a mention here – in 2013, it is not. ^_^

          • BruceMcF says:

            OK, a 1000% increase in their yuri catagory.

            I tweeted Digital Manga:
            “Hey @digitalmanga ~ you know how eManga has only one title in it yuri section & its not really yuri? License Cirque Arachne & fix that.”

            They tweeted back:
            “@BruceMcF We’d love to — thanks for the suggestion!”

            … so at least its out there.

  2. For the 14th million time, I would like to remind readers that we at Okazu do NOT support scanlations. We support the legitimate purchase of manga and support of manga artists and the manga industry.

    Try not to be flaming dunderheads when you comment here. I know many of you read scans, but if you’re going to be a dolt about it, you will have the privilege of commenting taken away. I cannot abide dolts.

    If you post about scanlations it will be removed. If you continue to not get the clue, you will be banned from commenting.

    The rule of thumb here at Okazu is “Add Value” with each comment.

  3. If you say you’ve “read” something that has no legal English distribution, you have read a scanlation. And if you then post “Oh I read that!” when I know you do not read Japanese, you are also being aggressively clueless. It disposes me to be less than positive towards you. I dislike when people over the age of 15 act like children. What do you mean “how do you know?” Seriously? You looked for a manga online, and did not pay for it or find a legitimate free site, so you have read a scan. If you cannot figure that out, you have learned nothing from reading this blog.

    I encourage readers to learn, to think and to post valuable comments. This may mean if a person has nothing to say, it is perfectly okay to say nothing. You have felt the need to comment on every post you read. I do not feel the need to post all those comments.

  4. Congratulations. You completely failed the test. You’ll be blocked now.

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