Shoushin (傷心) by Yukimura is a Hirari Comics collection of stories that may well have flown under your radar, but were excellent examples of positive changes happening at Hirari, before it went out of business. (I’m not sure there’s a generalizable lesson these, so don’t project. ^_^)
The first story looks at two adult women, friends with benefits, who realize that they’d kind of like their relationship to be more. The second story is an uncomfortable thing about a fox and the girl she becomes human for.
The third story follows a girl who is asked out by an admired sempai, only to find out that “out” means a mountain hike. In a second outing they go shopping together.
“Armet” is a look at a woman and the female knight who protects and adores her. They live happily ever after. ^_^ I particularly enjoyed the art in this story.
Iriya and Hikaru are friends, planning for their school trip to Hawaii. Although Hikaru is on the swimteam, she doesn’t have a cute bathing suit. They try on a few suits and each realizes that they have a somewhat more physical interest in each other than they suspected. A sequel finds them in Hawaii together as they figure out this new relationship.
The next to last story is yet another friends become more tale and finally we turn back to the adult women of the first chapter, in the middle of – again – reworking the boundaries of this new relationship borne from the old.
So, there’s a distinct style here – two women already close become closer. And, in a sense, it’s not entirely different “Story A”, as the main drive is redefining boundaries, but I find it a more pleasant place to be. Less prurient, more sincere.
I also want to note the chapters that include a physically strong or athletic woman have exceedingly good art. Hikaru has the broad shoulders and developed back of a swimmer. She absolutely does look like a swimmer in a girl’s school uniform. Armet too, is drawn to look physically capable. She is tall and substantial. This was something I not only found appealing, but refreshing.
Art – 9
Characters – 8 Generally quite likable
Story – 8 I like this stylistic tic
Yuri – 10
Service – 5 A bit here and there
Overall – 9
Yukimura’s other work seems to be largely BL, but I really liked her Yuri debut, and hope to see more of her in the future.