If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that I haven’t been really happy with Comic Yuri Hime this year. Too much pandering to the low and uncreatively-minded, too little actual girls in love with each other and almost no creative content.
So you might imagine how surprised I was to be able to say that the March 2015 issue of Comic Yuri Hime, (コミック百合姫 2015年 03月号) was very good. Like…actually really “Good” with a capital “G” good, meaning that, while I personally didn’t like everything, they are stretching the genre a bit again, so that it’s not the same one story over and over.
The magazine did not start off well for me, with a cell phone “comic” of two girls in maid costume and cat ears, so I was not feeling open-minded when I started reading. But, I was intrigued with the opening manga chapter “12bun no Etude” which began as a track club story that segued into a band story, with strong overtones of the few good bits of Sora no wo to. Trumpets, but I’ll be magnanimous and forgive that. ^_^
It was “Shoujo Shikaku” that blew me out of the water. I hated it, but it’s the first horror comic we’ve seen in the pages of Comic Yuri Hime in ages. I hated it precisely for the reasons I’ve discussed; the balance of power is held by someone other than the protagonist and the scales are balanced against them. It was also full of service-y creepiness, which is not to my taste, but as much as it is not at all for me, I was glad to see horror in the magazine once again. It’s seemed to me that recently manga magazines are finally finding their way back to horror stories after decades of sort of avoiding them.
I was a little disappointed in Ohsawa Yayaoi’s newest which, although it was about two adult women, went over some well-trod material and ended up being a watered down What did You Eat Yesterday? Waste of a good character. I hope we see more/better from this setup.
“Chou Chou Nan Nan” from Takemiya Jin came to a climax that was not unexpected, but still was sweet.
In “Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san” an actual for real Yuri couple finally appears and it’s Ryuuzaki Otome and and Torao Mari. Okay by me.
“Tsuki to Sekai to Etoile” also comes to a kind of climax and for the moment, everyone is playing nice. That was a nice change of pace. ^_^
Aoto Hibiki’s “Yurino-onee-san” (which could also be read “Yuri no Oneesan”) was also a refreshing change of pace. Told from the point of view of a young boy, about the two women who live next door, Yurino and Miyako, we get to see Shintarou recognize what their relationship is, how it works and how much it means to them. He’s a good kid and his fresh eyes give us a chance to understand that love is love. It was sweet.
Then we come to “Love Desu,” again by Kuzushiro-sensei. In start contrast to the horror story, this ridiculous thing pits two evenly matched, psychotic and violent people in a deadly love/hate relationship. This time one gets stabbed, but she’s the one who gets the kiss, so by the standards of this story, I think she won this round. ^_^ Again referring back to my discussion of violence – they are evenly matched and fully aware of what they are doing. This series is, therefore, perfectly enjoyable to me.
Last, but not least, was “Kanaete! Yuri Yousei” by Minamoto Hisanari-sensei. I think, honestly, he’s hit his pinnacle here. It’s all the moe he could ever want, and an actually amusing story about an old Yuri trope. I actually laughed at out loud at it. And what a perfect way for me to end this issue.
Except that it wasn’t the final chapter in the issue. Instead, we had a chapter of the Yuri Danshi side-story “Ore to Yuri”. Oh well.
As always I’ve left a number of stories out, and I’ll never talk about “To Lie Anguru” which I want to burn with fire, so if you’re not moved by these, trust me, there’s plenty of Yuru Yuri and other moe comics to be found.
Overall – 8
For the first time all year, I can actually say I enjoyed an issue of Comic Yuri Hime. The May 2015 issue has already been released and July is available for pre-order. All of these – and any back issues that still exist – are available on the new Yuricon Store in the Japanese Manga Section – just click C in the alphabet header, or search for it by name!