About time I did a Yamaji Ebine review. In the early 2000's Yamaji published three single volume yuri stories- Love My Life (2001), Indigo Blue (2002), and Free Soul (2004)- that starred adults and addressed lesbian identity in an unambiguous manner that's still rare today. She also published a tankoubon called Sweet Lovin' Baby in 2003, half composed of yuri one-shots, half non-yuri. In a nutshell, the main relationship in Free Soul could be described as "Will they get together?" ("get together" = "have a relationship", not "have no-strings-attached sex"), with Indigo Blue as, "Will they stay together?", and Love My Life, the most mellow (and famous) of the three, as, "They're definitely together- now what?"
Izumiya Ichiko is an upbeat 18 year old university student who is studying to become an English-to-Japanese translator, like her dad. Her mom, a designer, died 7 years earlier. She's in a serious relationship with her girlfriend Joujima Eri, who is studying to become a lawyer.
Ichiko comes out to her dad by introducing Eri to him as her girlfriend. When she's alone with him later, he tells her that he's gay too, and so was her mom. (Amusingly, she has the exact same stupefied look on her face when her dad comes out to her as he had when she came out to him.) While this is a shock to Ichiko (in a "Wait, my parents weren't really in love? I didn't know about this massive chunk of their identity?" sense), Eri, who isn't out to her family and has a homophobic, sexist father, reminds her that she's lucky.
The rest of the story takes a slice-of-life approach, as Ichiko attends school with her friend Take-chan, who's gay too, meets her dad's boyfriend and the woman her mom was in a relationship with and thinks about where her and Eri's future will go. The biggest threat pops up when Eri can't see her in person for a while because of her studies. But yes, it ends happily. ^_^ (I love the big reveal about Eri towards the end.)
Love My Life, like any good realistic story, has characters who feel like they could be real. (All pleasantly real, in this case- aside from Eri's dad, who shows up briefly.) Not only Ichiko's relationship with Eri, but her relationships with the other important people in her life (her dad and Take-chan) are richly developed and heart-warming. The story doesn't shy away from drama, but it isn't heavy-handed. (And it has some incredibly memorable lines. For example, "Human beings are very complicated...The one you love isn't necessarily the one who manages to emancipate you." <- About Ichiko's parents' relationship.) The point is that, whatever problems Ichiko might have, she really does love her life.
While most people who come out don't find out that their parents are actually gay, it gives a great twist to the coming out story in LML. I'd like to see more yuri stories in which the protagonist comes out to her family- or is in the aftermath of coming to her family-, especially since the prospect of coming out to one's close family is usually the most intimidating. The only other examples I can think of are in Free Soul, "More Rica'tte Kanji!?" in Yuri Monogatari 4, "My Sister's Wedding" in Tadeno Eriko's Works, and Ushio in Sasameki Koto. But I'm veering off track.
If you haven't tried Love My Life, it's a must-read- a great pick if you want something that's realistic and smile-inducing at the same time.