Saturday, October 9, 2010

Manga Review: Tokimeki Mononoke Jougakuen volume 2

This title is an extra-fun read now that it's Halloween season. (Halloween decorations downtown + dorm movie night viewing of Sleepy Hollow and...Monty Python and the Holy Grail = festive mood) Anyway....

Continuing from where the first volume left off, Arare knows how she feels about Kiri (and surprisingly, didn't spend much time processing it before confessing) and Kiri reciprocates, but they have one big, silly obstacle in the way before they can, uh, do as they please. A hasty decision on Arare's part leaves Kiri heartbroken and Arare and Pero accidentally wind up in the human world. But young youkai can't survive long there (human air rots their lungs, see), so Kiri crosses over to the human world to bring back Pero. And Arare...?

This is a Yuri Hime comedy, so it's obvious that Kiri and Arare will get a happy ending. How that ending comes about isn't as obvious, which is pretty nice. Even though the story in this volume is more continuous and drama-heavy than the first volume's very funny scattershot, slice-of-life approach, it still brings regular doses of the pop culture and youkai lore-infused humor that has always made the series enjoyable. Arare and Kiri make a cute couple and the supporting characters are still suitably weird.

Most of the story hinges on a really, really dumb, pulp fiction-friendly plot point, but everything ties up satisfactorily. And for once, the source of angst isn't "holy crap, you're a girl too"- it's "holy crap, you're a youkai and the rules governing your world are completely arbitrary." For a silly yuri story that combines offbeat humor with a bodice-ripper sensibility, Tokimeki Mononoke Jougakuen is a solid read.

Story: B
Art: B+
Overall: B

I'm looking forward to Nangoku Banana's next yuri series- especially to seeing how her sense of humor translates into a story without youkai.

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