One of the greatest pleasures I have as a Yuri manga fan is seeing the development and growth of an artist I like. In 2015, I had the chance to introduce you to Ratana Satis, a talented Thai artist, who had put together Lily Love, a story of two college students who fall in love. Earlier this year, I was able to review the English translation of the story. As with Godley Malabanan’s Tagalog Yuri comic World Canvas, my only criticism was in the typicality of it. Lily Love is a classic “Story A” without much to differentiate it from the many others of it’s sort.
Still, I loved Ratis’ art and her characters, I was thrilled to be able to pre-order her newest series, Pulse. Volume 1, which arrived as a gorgeous hardcover volume that is now sold out. I hope that it will be re-released as a softcover, but it can be read online for now.
The hardcover is large, like a bande dessinée, with a color cover wrap, and a one-color image on the book itself. The pages are full-color, each with two strips down the page lengthwise, as one reads online. The pre-order came with a color postcard of the leads, a pin and the book includes a color fold-out poster. It pretty much pulls out all the stops. ^_^
Pulse is, in short, the story of a heart surgeon who has no heart. Mel is a successful heart surgeon and a playgirl. She has her pick of the nurses and other lovers, but has no interest in a relationship. When she meets Lynn, a college student who needs a heart transplant but will not get one, Mel feels an unsual, for her, sense of attraction.
Lynn recognizes Mel’s interest but also can see that Mel herself is isolated from others – by choice, but still.., so she comes up with a ridiculous idea. If Lynn can make Mel fall in love with her, she’ll get the surgery, and only if Mel will do the surgery. Well, Mel refuses to commit to the last bit, but takes Lynn’s bet. As the volume comes to a close Lynn has moved in with Mel, in order to better push her case.
There’s a lot to like in this story. Mel is kind of cold, but not a jerk. That is to say, she’s not unkind, or rude, she’s simply uninterested in other people. The sex is nice and always consensual. In fact, that’s one of Mel’s two additions to Lynn’s contract. Sex, should it happen, will be consensual and Mel is not changing her life at all for Lynn’s benefit. Seemed perfectly reasonable to me.
The attraction between them is instant and by forcing them and us to give it time, we can enjoy the tension instead of rushing them to a conclusion.
The fact that both Lynn and Mel are adults appeals to me, just as Donut and Pew were, but with the added layer of an adult not in school. This is something we really have to grasp, in a scene where Mel and Lynn are present when a car accident occurs and Mel jumps into caring for the victims.
The last thing that really made the story stand out was that men exist in this world, as relatives and colleagues. It’s not one of the all-women-all-the-time worlds. This world is the world.
Once again, I have nothing but praise for Satis’ art. Mel is sexy and adult and competent and a little aloof, and Lynn is cute and we want her to win so she’ll get a new heart.
I also want to shout out to the Three Musqueerteers translators, who continue to put out excellent work.
Art – 10
Story – 9
Character – 8
Yuri – 10
Service – 6
Overall – 9
Pulse is an excellent story, and a beautiful book, and I look forward to reading more.