It was a complete surprise to me that Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari, Volume 14 was the final issue. Reading this volume, I had the distinct feeling that it came as a surprise to the artists, too.
And it’s a shame, as this volume, the last we’ll ever get, may well have been the overall strongest volume they ever had. But, with the example of Tsubomi already establishing that the Yuri audience, while demanding, is just not really all that big and self-supporting and not willing to support an online commercial venture, I guess Hirari just had nowhere to go.
Especially excellent was Amakure Gido’s opening story, “Watashi Baka”, about a post-high school meeting, and pretty much the entire first half of the volume (with one notable exception of Kurogane Kenn’s really creepy no-context sex scene story) were lovely.
I will look forward to the final wrap-up volumes of a few of these series, and hope that someone develops a valid online alternative for Yuri, as paper is just too damn expensive to be supported by this small audience.
Overall – 8
I admit to being concerned at the contraction of the Yuri market. A number of pro Yuri artists are having their gigs pulled out from under them and are returning to doujinshi. I desperately hope new opportunities open up for them soon, but I’m realistic enough to know my hopes aren’t meaningful in any real sense.