I’m not going to lie; I basically forgot about this until the last minute this week, and so, lacking an actual plan, I decided to merely review the works of one of my favorite yuri mangaka. Otsu Hiyori is a female yuri mangaka who’s been working in the genre for quite some time. Her art has a heavy shoujo-aesthetic, and her stories mostly follow suit. That’s not to say they’re super heavily Class S or anything; they aren’t, but her stories tend to follow general shoujo tropes and take place in high school.
Pure Water Adolescence is an alright yuri manga. Really, it’s nothing special. Sure, it’s a teacher-student relationship, but those are all too common in yuri. The art doesn’t stand out, it’s not particularly well-written, and it doesn’t contain any important lessons or perspectives. I’ve highlighted a few works on here that I don’t adore, and I’ll probably continue to do so; some works are important even if I don’t think they’re all that good. But that isn’t the case here. So why am I even writing about this manga? Because it allows me to explore the realm of teacher-student relationships, an area I’ve been eager to explore for a long time.
I said in my post on Their Story that I would be branching out beyond the narrow band that is yuri manga, into works that are yuri-adjacent, or not manga. Today’s post is looking at an example of the latter; Kindred Spirits on the Roof, a yuri visual novel released by Liar-soft in 2012 as Okujou no Yurirei-san. Kindred Spirits is a great VN and one of my favorite yuri works, and I’m excited to get into why that is.
I said early on in these that I had a bit of a preference for shoujo-style yuri manga. Shoujo is, of course, the demographic from which yuri first emerged, and it’s had a notable effect on the genre in positive and negative ways. In modern times shoujo yuri tends to carry many of the genre’s more appealing elements without much of the problematic ones. The works I’ve covered have gravitated towards shoujo, largely because I’ve only written about two works with male authors, but I haven’t focused on something that’s really deeply shoujo since Kase-san. Today that changes, as I look at Candy by Yuhuko Suzuko, a female shoujo mangaka.
So far I’ve only been covering yuri manga, a distinctly Japanese genre in a Japanese medium. That’s fine, and there are plenty of great yuri manga, but if I limit myself purely to Japanese works and to manga then I’ll be leaving out a lot of good content. Yuri is a popular genre among queer women and people all around the world, and it’s had an influence on girl-girl works from many other countries. This week I’ll be looking at Their Story, or Tamen de Gushi, an excellent Chinese webcomic by Tan Jiu.
Husky and Medley is incredibly unique in the field of yuri manga. Like a few other works, such as this year’s fantastic My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, Husky and Medley is based on a true story. What makes it far more interesting is that it wasn’t written by those in the story, and was instead made using info from a series of 2ch threads. In the mid-2000s there were a number of these 2ch real-life love stories, most notably Densha Otoko, and this is the yuri version of those stories.
Continue reading “Yearning for Yuri: Husky and Medley”
Ayame 14 is another great work by Amano Shuninta. Taking an entirely different tone to The Feelings We All Must Endure, this manga still manages to explore some great themes in regards to sexuality and identity formation.
So far I’ve only covered manga that I consider to be great works. Obviously, I can never be objective, but the works I’ve covered so far were ones that I think would appeal strongly to anyone interested in reading yuri. But not all worthwhile yuri will appeal to everyone, and not all worthwhile yuri is fantastic. There’s some stuff out there which is interesting in certain ways but not amazing overall. Manga which I personally love due to some specific element that doesn’t matter to most. We’re going to be looking at one of those manga this time, in the form of 2006’s Kashimashi.
This week we’re looking at Prism, a truly fantastic schoolgirl manga that ended far too soon. Prism stands out for a number of reasons, from its nice art to its concise storytelling, though most people know it for being canceled early after allegations of tracing. While that has marred its reputation and left it unfinished, it’s still very much worth reading.
I like to spotlight adult-focused manga in this series, but yuri is a genre dominated by schoolgirl settings. It would be nice if adult-focused stuff began to occupy a bigger part of the market and a shift in that direction is occurring, but it’s going to be a long time until that makes up the majority of the genre. For now, anyone who wants to read yuri has to accept that schoolgirls are a part of the genre that isn’t going to go away. And so today, I present a wonderful high school yuri story by acclaimed mangaka Morishima Akiko: Hanjuku Joshi.