I can think of a number amazing ways to celebrate this occasion, (cover art of older issues as color pages, the return of popular previous artists for one-shots, a history of the magazine, a timeline….) something, really anything, but the editorial staff chose, for whatever reason, to do pretty much nothing. So the issue is just another issue. Okay, Happy major milestone anniversary, whatevs.
The magazine does start off with a single reprinted chapter, a story that originally ran in Comic Yuri Hime S, Konohanatei Kitan, (此花亭奇譚) about fox-eared girls running around, sort of old-fashioned and Taisho-esque. It was re-released by Birz comics last spring. Of all the possible old series to reprint, I found it almost predictable that they managed to pick one I couldn’t stand to read when it ran in the magazine. Figures, right? ^_^
Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, GPen, Mezamashitokei” takes a tremendous leap away from hedging it’s bets on what kind of story it wants to be when it grows up, to being a grown up story. I take back my complaints from the first volume. This chapter was terrific.
Minamoto Hisanari’s absurdly amusing “Kanate! Yuri Yousei” still manages to be absurd and amusing as it explores yet another Yuri trope, with love.
There are still students alive in “Shoujo Shikaku” by Kawai Roh. You’d think there’d be way fewer, though. If the student body is halved with every round, we should be down a lot more students. Also, I can’t help wonder where do the dead bodies go? I know, it’s bizarre to think about stuff like that, but it’s a massacre manga, what else is there to think about?
“Seeesaw Game” by Takemiya Jin wraps up with the tall girl and the short girl getting together and it’s all rather sweet and typical.
“Ore to Yuri”, the second “Yuri Danshi” series, is slighly more interesting as it folds in female fans to the mix. So the Yuri doujinshi festival now isn’t all male fans or creators. The way-over-the-top tone of voice hasn’t changed at all, but it’s not just Yuusuke screaming. Now we have a half dozen female otaku (and what they hope to get out of Yuri) to match the half dozen guy screaming about purity and love. I’m not convinced that the girls are actually representative of actual fandom any more than the guys are, but at least they have a place in the narrative as fans, not just objects of fantasy.
Overall – 7
Paging through this 10th anniversary issue, I don’t want to say I’m unimpressed, because 10 years is an amazing accomplishment, but a postcard set with cover art for the 4 #1 issues so far (original Yuri Hime, relaunched Yuri Hime and Yuri Hime S and re-relaunched Comic Yuri Hime) would have been swell. There’s nothing in this issue that gives any sense of it having been 10 years other than it having been 10 years and saying so on the cover. I can remember vividly, the editor of the not-yet-launched Yuri Hime at our 2005 Yuricon in Tokyo event asking the attendees what they wanted to see in the new magazine. I guess he doesn’t remember it as vividly. ^_^; But this magazine making 10 years is an important moment in the history of Yuri.
Having said that, Happy Anniversary Comic Yuri Hime magazine! Here’s to another 10.