Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yay, yuri Ladies Comics!: Works

I love the stories from Mist, a yuri Ladies Comics magazine that's out of print. By virtue of being Ladies Comics, Mist's stories aren't high art, but I love their... classic josei-ness, if you will. In addition to that and Mist's focus on older women, I like how its couples are always in love, at least by the end of each story. Tangent: Someone I met in Tokyo this past summer raved about how a Ladies Comics magazine that's still being published, Comic Aurora, has some good lesbian content. She showed off the shelf of Comic Aurora issues she'd collected as proof that it's worth reading. When I bought and skimmed an issue, there was no yuri... just, like, rape and creepy old businessmen. The woman who raved about it seemed earnest, but I can only rationalize her recommendation as a bad practical joke. The point of this rambling is that I enjoyed Mist before that, but after the "What the hell was that?" of Comic Aurora, Mist feels like the warm, fuzzy hug of Ladies Comics. And that's what most of Tadeno Eriko's Works features- romantic stories from Mist- along with an excellent story from Phryne, a lesbian magazine that's also out of print.

"My Sister's Wedding" ("Imouto no Kekkonshiki"), the Phryne story, is about Emi, who attends her younger sister Yuka's wedding. Her girlfriend Takako isn't able to come along for obvious reasons, and her mom and other relatives are predictably bugging her about getting married herself, since she's 30. When she calls Takako after the ceremony, Takako proposes. Emi comes out to her mom, who...well, is coming around by the the end. Yuka already knows, and is cool with it. This is my favorite story in this collection.

"I Like You the Way You Are" ("Sugao no Mama de") is about Suzu, a university student whose kouhai in the drama club, Misato, fell in love with her in high school. Suzu dated another girl in high school, her sempai Yasuko, but Yasuko left her to get married after they graduated. Now Suzu has a beard boyfriend. Misato confesses her feelings to Suzu, but Suzu rejects her. Thankfully, Suzu realizes that she's being stupid, breaks up with her boyfriend, and admits that she likes Misato. Happily-Ever-After for them. ^_^

The next two chapters, "My Sweet One" ("Watashi no Kawaii Hito") and "Gentle Loving" ("Yasashiku Aishite"), focus on one couple. Mizuho is the business development section chief for her company. She divorced her husband after falling for a superior...who got married and left the company. Still, she doesn't regret it. ("I owe the freedom I live in today to it.") She falls for her new kouhai at the company, Yuka, but puts distance between them after gossip that Mizuho's a lesbian starts floating around. She and Yuka get together anyway. "Gentle Loving" is about Mizuho and Yuka working out their problems caused by the different priorities they put on work (Mizuho's priority) vs relationship time (Yuka's). As in all Mist stories, there is sex- but it's a bonus in this book's case, not the focus. (Not that there can't be good examples of PWP.) I love how this chapter shows that Mizuho has other queer friends, who she gets relationship advice from. Happily-Ever-After, of course. ^_^

There are also some 4-koma following the characters from "My Sweet One" and "Gentle Loving," a few pages of gag comics focusing on different characters, a nice commentary by Tadeno Eriko addressed to the people reading the American-published version of her work, including commentary on how the yuri genre has evolved since she started drawing yuri, and a "Note on the Cover Picture" that made me go "Awww." If you like happy yuri stories about adults, you should really check out Tadeno Eriko's work.

Story: "My Sister's Wedding" = A, "Gentle Loving" & "My Sweet One" = A-, "I Like You the Way You Are" = B+
Art: B+
Overall: A-

Tadeno Eriko now goes by the name Mizuki Monica (Twitter account here) and publishes manga as part of a circle online (link nsfw). Tadeno/Mizuki's circle also uploaded some manga onto YouTube. She used to make print doujinshi under the circle name "Office Mono."


Yukimi said...

Tanks for te recommendation :)You are a bit evil 'though because I should be studying :P

It's good to read about adult lesbian relationships because if you guided yourself by what the media spreads you'd believe only cute young teenagers can have lesbian realtionships XP

Katherine Hanson said...

@Yukimi- From what I've seen, there's more age diversity in lesbian storylines outside of anime and manga, but yes, still...moar stories featuring adult lesbian relationships!

A Day Without Me said...

I actually picked this up on a whim at Anime Boston earlier this year! It was certainly a vast improvement over my last Anime Boston yuri blind buy - the totally underwhelming Voiceful. Thank goodness.

Katherine Hanson said...

@A Day Without Me- "a vast improvement" <- Like the fact that it actually has yuri. lol