Yuri Manga: Whispered Words, Volume 2 (English)

February 8th, 2015

ww21Whispered Words, Volume 2  (Amazon / RightStuf) is the English-language edition of Sasamekikoto, Volume 4, Volume 5 and Volume 6.

And, as I said in my reviews to those volumes, when this much pressure has been built up…something’s gotta give.

The series started as a mostly-comedic “best friend with a crush” plot, expanding out to almost all the possible Yuri tropes that we were familiar with. For that alone, this was a pretty terrific series. But then the veil of comedy became thinner and thinner and we started to see a serious drama beginning to unfold…and more importantly, the abyss of possible tragedy. In a fascinating sort of reverse meta, the characters are painfully aware of the impending calamity.

Sumika and Ushio are speaking to one another, but nothing is being said. Everyone around them can see what lays between them. Even when they know what it is, they can’t just say it. The logjam becomes untenable. Thankfully, the tragedy that breaks it up is laughably mundane. Phew.

This volume has some of the best storytelling I’ve seen in schoolgirl Yuri manga. No complicated school rituals, no gender switched plays…no tortured metaphors. Just two people you can imagine knowing, in a situation you can imagine happening, and the manga is still funny and ridiculous and painful in places…just like life.

Technically, Volume 2 is a notable improvement over the first printing of Volume 1. I know just how difficult it is to publish a 100% error-free book, and it amazes me how jarring even a single typo is. Generally speaking, I think 1 error per 100 pages is acceptable. This book has fewer than that. Nice work by One Peace.

Volume 2 includes a sweet little short about a schoolmate of  Ushio and Sumi’s with powers of divination who can’t see her own future. It has a very “awww” ending.

The best part of this review? Volume 3 is already shipping. If you gave up on this series, for whatever reason, I ask you right now, as a personal favor – give Volume 3 a chance. It’s worth it. I promise.  ^_^


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Art – 8
Characters – 8
Story – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 1

Overall – 8

Many, many thanks to One Peace for the review copy.  Volume 2 was as emotionally wrecking as I suspected, and I’m very glad it’s in English for us all to be brutalized. ^_^ Volume 3 ahoy!

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9 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    One of my all time favorite Yuri mangas. I proudly own all 3 volumes.

  2. Michael says:

    I can only second and third the recommendations. I enjoyed this so much that I spent several days on my most recent trip to Tokyo tracking down the 4 (out of 8) volumes of the Japanese-language tankobon to complete my set, and then laboriously reading all the way through.

    When I pick up the English-language volume 3, I’ll be able to read much more quickly :-) But it was definitely worth it to do things the hard way.

  3. Lyn Jensen says:

    So I guess if this book’s a combination of vols. 4, 5, and 6 into one volume, then it’s a long book! 300 pgs. maybe?

  4. Shannon says:

    SUCH a good book. Hope it’s selling decent. Will be looking around for 3 once it hits stores.

  5. Chris Driggers says:

    This, and Aoi Hana, are the reason I became a fan of manga, Yuri in particular. I’m glad the genre is seeing success here in the States, and I’m happy to contribute to it.

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