Yuri Manga: Cocytus Perfect Edition (コキュートス 完全版)

December 13th, 2016

Back in 2014, Kodama Naoko, in pre-NTR  days had two short series that had run in Comic Yuri Hime magazine, collected under the title Cocytus. (Cocytus is one of the five rivers that runs into Hades. Cocytus is the river of lamentation. Isn’t that a cheerful title? The other rivers are Styx, Lethe, Acheron and Phelegethon, because I know you know I care about such things. ^_^)

Now her work has been republished in a final format as Cocytus Perfect Edition (コキュートス 完全版). The two series follow couples so close to being identical that I had to keep reminding myself that it was two separate series.

In the first, a cheerful schoolgirl finds herself intrigued by, protective of, and eventually interested in a melancholic classmate.

The second and title series follows, again, two classmates, who are close and getting closer. Ultimately, they decide to remain together without a sexual relationship. We see them in the short original epilogue as adults who have established a life as a couple for themselves.

There’s nothing really bad about Cocytus, certainly nothing that lends itself to lamentation. The characters are pleasantly bland, with small moments of humanity that, should they have been developed, might really have led to a great story. But they weren’t.

I’m not particularly fond of Kodama’s tendency to draw her Nadesico-type character with deadish eyes, but that’s a fairly small quibble.

Ratings:

Art – YMMV, but for me it’s 6, tops
Story – Same
Characters – 5 They never really develop beyond quick flashes of “oh”
Yuri – 4 By default, rather than by intention
Service – The title story has some rather pointless nudity

Overall – 6

If you either like Kodama’s work generally, or would like to look back a bit at an earlier series, Cocytus is a nice enough read, if not particularly compelling.

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2 Responses

  1. Mariko says:

    I found the Cocytus manga (at least the second story, “Moratorium”) to be a lot less benign than you.

    Mao’s relentless and calculated manipulation of Itsuki (who she openly admits she has no feeling for other than friendship) in order to keep her under her thumb and away from any other relationships is both cruel and frightening.

    Yeah, the epilogue suggests that Itsuki is aware of the situation and willing to manipulate back, but the question then is why? She is so enamored of her completely straight friend with whom she knows she has no hope of an equal partnership that she will accept a lifetime of lies and subjugation to be near her?

    Either it’s sick codependence or harmful emotional abuse, but either way it’s not a very pleasant story. Just having your character admit they are a bad person who does bad things doesn’t excuse their behavior. ><;

    • I understand your feelings. I simply never cared about any of the characters enough to feel strongly about them. It seemed to me Itsuki could see that there was something wrong with Mao and accepted her anyway, because she had a caretaker complex. Typically, when I don’t much care for the characters, I sort of consign them to the “have each other and stay out of other people’s lives” bin.

      But I certainly see your point.

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