Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Valentine's Weekend: Fu~fu volume 1 ♥

Have you ever wanted to read a series that's simply about two women in love living together? A series that bypasses the "Holy crap, I like her. Could she ever return my feelings?" angst and begins with a lesbian couple's lives following "And they lived Happily-Ever-After"? Then you, my friend, must read this series.

Sumi and Kinana have just started living together. On their first evening in their new apartment, Kina decides that the term "lovers" doesn't fit their relationship any more. Using a great analogy about how all tuna sashimi is tuna (just as a married couple and lovers both fall under the "two people who love each other" category) but there are different names for the different grades of tuna sashimi (the highest quality being toro), Kina compares her relationship with Sumi to toro- meaning that they're now wife and wife (婦婦, or fufu), not simply lovers. (夫婦, also pronounced "fufu," means "husband and wife.") This analogy captures why language matters- why terms like "lovers," "partners," "civil union," and "domestic partnership" just don't cut it as substitutes for gay couples who want to get married.

Nothing dramatic happens. Sumi and Kina buy a bed, take a honeymoon trip to a nice ryoukan, and go about their day-to-day lives as wife and wife. At one point, we learn that Sumi works from home and Kina has to resist snuggling with her while she's working. One of my favorite moments is when they jump into each other's arms after Sumi lets Kina know that she's done with work.

The new neighbors, Komugi and Hayase, are a lesbian couple also. They become friends with Sumi and Kina after they accidentally mutually out themselves. While Kina's the space cadet to Sumi's straight man (although Kina has the uncanny ability to fluster Sumi), Hayase's laid-back temperament balances Komugi's hotheadedness.

Adding to the yuri count, Kina's sister Kanana is a lesbian Casanova. Women have always instantly fallen into her arms for short-lived flings- but a woman named Shirayuki doesn't. After thinking back to the last time she liked someone who didn't like her back (her crush on her kindergarten teacher), Kana realizes that she needs to work to win Shirayuki, and they become our third couple.

I've mentioned before that I love seeing series with multiple yuri couples. Not only because it means more yuri, but because no matter how much, say, Sumi and Kina love each other, realistically, they would be happier knowing other women who are like them instead of being on their own little island, isolated in a sea of heteronormativity. It provides them with a social circle in which they are the norm.

Most importantly, Sumi and Kina are wonderful together and never fail to make me smile. (Even the back of the the cover is cute- showing overlapping photos of the different couples.)

Story: A
Art: B
Overall: A

This volume also includes two very short one-shots by Fu~fu's author, Minamoto Hisanari, about a stoic, tall high school girl who is dating her short, bubbly sempai. These one-shots appeared in the Eternal Sisters anthologies from several years ago. I'll give them a B.


Akumaten said...

Lovin' Wife and Wife
Truly a breath of fresh air (pun intended)

Katherine Hanson said...

@Akumaten- "Truly a breath of fresh air" It is indeed. :-)

P.S. said...

For me Fu~fu is a strong reason why I need to learn Japanese, alongside Hayate X Blade.

It's great to see the "moe" style used to protray the day-to-day life of two women in love, that is both funny and sweet.

It is why my mind melts when I heard, on the Shoujo-Ai Archives, that some yuri fans from Japan hate this show for a silly reason.

Katherine Hanson said...

@P.S.- Yeah, those homophobic complainers on 2chan. Men who like the idea of lesbians as titillation but feel threatened by something like Fu~fu (or by real lesbians who want, like, rights and stuff and don't need men for relationships) really are pathetic.

And yes- we need more funny, sweet series featuring the day-to-day lives of two women in love. (If you haven't tried Nishi UKO's Collectors, you might like it also. Similar premise, although not moe style. I'm really looking forward to seeing it come out as a tankoubon also.)