mizuno_youko (mizuno_youko) wrote,

Words on a few yuri manga

I recently got some books through Amazon Marketplace and Yahoo Japan Auctions, so I'll be posting some info on them throughout the next few weeks.

Secret Garden by Egawa Hiromi and Amagatsu Toriko:
This is a nonfiction manga about a real-life couple. It looks great; I'll post a proper review of it later. I don't think you can buy it new anymore--I had to use a proxy bidder just to get it used from Amazon Marketplace (some of the sellers there will ship internationally, though it's $13/book even though they ship by SAL -_-;. Look for "海外への発送が可能です" in the blurb under the seller's name--but a lot won't).

I picked up a couple issues (the first issue, printed in June 1996, and the 1996 Autumn issue) of this now-defunct lesbian magazine through Yahoo Japan auctions. There's some neat stuff in there, and it's cool to have a piece of history. The only really great manga in the first issue is Takashima Rica's, which is already out in English, but there are a few nice 4-panel comics by someone else too. The other issue has the first installment of Plica, which I think is pretty much the same as what's available online, minus the title page (though some of the strips look unfamiliar, so either I've forgotten them or they're different. Must check that, along with the strips from the Plica book a friend gave me recently).

Futarippochi by Ikeda Riyoko:
I was reading through this list of yuri and yuri-ish manga and came across a couple titles by Ikeda that I hadn't read yet. I was a bit skeptical about how yuri they'd actually turn out to be, but decided to try one and see. Boy, am I glad I did--classic melodrama as far as the eye can see! lol
Our heroines don't get a happy ending, of course--this is from 1971 (it came out a few months after Shiroi Heya no Futari--Shiroi started serialization in February, and Futaripocchi started serialization in June). The protagonist's feelings are also kind of unrequited (I'll go into more detail in "spoiler space" below). The clothes are hilarious, of course. Especially the butchy girl's outfits. The best had to be the matching polka-dot outfits the two heroines wore together: a dress and a pantsuit. That nearly blinded me... the dress had ruffles, for god's sake. rofl (The ruffles weren't polka-dotted, thank goodness. If they had been, I might have had to just give up on the manga entirely.)
Now that I've rambled on about fashion and history, let's get to the actual plot. Kaoru--who even looks a bit like the Kaoru from Ikeda's later yuri work Onii-sama e, and is adorably butch--ends up staying with Reiko for reasons I didn't bother reading in detail about (Something to do with their families, I'm sure. Since they're not shackin' up by their own choice, I don't really care.). They don't get along at first, but Reiko ends up falling for Kaoru. Now, as we all know, this is a classic yuri manga, which means that Reiko's angst over liking Kaoru is nowhere near enough. No, Ikeda is going to hit us with some Shocking Revelations right about now, so I suggest you have the appropriate background music ready.
Ready? Highlight the text if you want the spoilers. Kaoru discovers that she and Reiko are... wait for it... SISTERS. (DUH DUH DUUUM!) But she decides not to tell Reiko this. So as Kaoru is developing sisterly feelings for Reiko, Reiko is continuing to fall for Kaoru. Meanwhile, there's a guy who's interested in Kaoru. Reiko intercepts his letters to Kaoru (she wants Kaoru all to herself, and gets jealous at anyone being close to Kaoru; a guy is even worse than Kaoru's female friends). Kaoru later discovers this while Reiko is lying in bed, sick (Did I mention that Reiko has a heart condition and might be dying? DUH DUH DUUUM!). She's very angry with Reiko, but decides that if Reiko is interested in the guy, she'll step down and let Reiko have him. A bit after this, Reiko tells Kaoru that she's in love with her. Kaoru thinks it's just a phase, of course... She tells Reiko, "I love you, but only as a sister. By the way, we're HALF-SISTERS!"
Poor Reiko has quite a lot to deal with now. Let's review:
1) Possibly fatal heart condition
2) In love with another girl
3) Suddenly has a half-sister
4) In love with her half-sister
But wait! There's another shocking twist yet to come...
Reiko and Kaoru begin discussing their blood types, and it turns out that they can't possibly have the same father. Just then, Kaoru's mother gets a phone call and rushes off to meet with someone. Kaoru follows her (and Reiko follows Kaoru), and discovers that the man she's meeting with is... KAORU'S FATHER. (DUH DUH DUUUM!) But wait, there's more! Apparently this guy is a real bastard. He worked Kaoru's mother to the bone, sucking everything out of her. When he went to prison for burglary, Kaoru's mother was already pregnant with her; she told Reiko's father that he was the father of the baby.
Now that she knows she's the child of such an evil man, Kaoru decides to kill herself. Naturally, Reiko decides to go with her. They take sleeping pills together. The End.
Cheerful story, huh?
Since Futarippochi turned out to be yuri, I'm going to get Sakurakyo next (the other Ikeda title from that list).
Futarippochi has been reprinted a few times, but it's still hard to get ahold of. I think the most recent reprint is in this book, if that helps.
Tags: yuri and other f/f

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