Saturday, December 10, 2011
Dounika Naru Hibi is a two volume collection of one-shots focusing on relationships. Most of the stories are het, but there's also some yaoi in volume 1 and, in two chapters of volume 2, yuri.
In chapter 5, a woman named "Ecchan" attends the wedding of Yuri, the woman she dated in high school. She slips out of the reception to cry and runs into Aya, who loved Yuri in college. They hook up and start dating, and realize that even though Yuri was a jerk to both of them, it's a good thing they met her because they wouldn't know each other otherwise.
Chapter 9 is about a woman named Shino who is in love with her roommate Tamiko. Tamiko catches Shino trying to kiss her when she's asleep, and sleeps with Shino. Shino thinks that it's too good to be true- a whim that Tamiko will regret or change her mind about- so she moves out. Tamiko shows up at Shino's new place and convinces Shino to let her move in.
Shimura Takako is at her best in her longer stories, but her Dounika Naru Hibi one-shots are still great. (Most of them, at least.) I like their general focus on adults and their refreshingly mature, matter-of-fact approach to sexuality. The yuri chapters also make some nods to yuri conventions that make them feel, like Moonlight Flowers and Morishima Akiko's one-shot "Princess of the Stars" in Ruri-iro no Yume, like sequels to the girls' school stories that yuri is most famous for. Ecchan, Shino, and Yuri all attended girls' schools and Yuri was the classic mega-popular girls' school "Prince."
The themes in Dounika Naru Hibi's yuri chapters provide an interesting compliment to some of the themes Shimura has been exploring in in Aoi Hana (besides the love-at-a-girls'-school motif, you have: what it's like to recover from a love that went down in flames, and not being sure if your feelings and the feelings of the person you're in love with are on the same level), but they're great on their own as glimpses of idealistic relationship drama between realistic adults.