I was warned that the manga in the lesbian magazine Carmilla were very odd, but decided to get this book anyway and see if there was anything in there to my taste. Luckily, there were a few stories I liked... they were just outnumbered by the ones that may have scarred me for life. Oh, well. At least I didn't have to spend outrageous amounts of money buying individual issues of the magazine just for the manga.
First up was a story about a girl with a crush on another girl in the tennis club. I think I spent more time thinking, "Eww, that's so unsanitary! Think about where that racket has been!" than paying attention to the plot, such as it was (Girl A likes Girl B; Girl B is sleeping with the coach, who is probably cheating on her with half the team; Girl B is upset that the coach is apparently just using her for sex; Girl B catches Girl A masturbating with her (Girl B's) racket and underwear in the locker room, and refuses to believe Girl A when she says that she is in love, not just in lust, with her; Girl B fucks Girl A, and we discover that they have a D/s relationship in the future and Girl A still likes doing it with the racket. The End.).
The next story starts with the protagonist--who we later find out is an anchorwoman--being held down and gagged while her boss shaves her pubic area. It goes downhill from there.
In the next story, a woman is frustrated that her boyfriend stood her up, so she drinks some wine, masturbates, and goes out for a walk without any underwear on, supposedly to buy more booze. Another woman sees her out there, and they end up having sex in an alley (though in the beginning of that scene, there are a couple panels where the protagonist is having sex with some sort of weird monster--her fantasy, perhaps?). The next morning, she wakes up back in her apartment, but the bag of drinks she bought attests to the fact that it wasn't just a dream. After that, she starts following long-haired women with her eyes.
"Maintenance," the next story, is about a woman who masturbates to the fantasy of being the car a hot female mechanic is working on--there's a garage right next door to the office she works in, and she can see the mechanic from the window of the ladies' room, so she frequently goes there to masturbate. At the end of the story, she propositions the mechanic, who seems interested. This was one of the few stories from the collection that I liked, though the car fantasy was a little too vivid for my taste in places.
Up next is a story about two girls having sex at a school concert. Not really much plot here--a guy in the choir is interested in one of them, and she's getting off on having sex with the other girl while he's up onstage singing.
After that is a bizarre story about a captive princess and a villainess with a giant tongue. And when I say giant, I mean giant. It was a sort of tentacle porn, I suppose.
Next is my favorite story from the collection. A woman is pissed that her lover, who is a writer, modeled yet another character after her. This somehow leads to them having sex in what is perhaps the nicest sex scene in this book, at least by my standards (No rape: check. No monsters: check. No random object insertion: check. Shall I continue, or can you fill in the rest on your own?). The woman asks her lover to stop modeling characters after her, since they work in the same office and she's afraid their coworkers will cotton on to their relationship if this continues. Naturally, at the end, the writer is asked to do a whole story revolving around the character based on her lover.
That was it for Itou Chika, whose stories made up about half of the book. Otosaki Tsubaki, my favorite artist from this anthology, was up next.
Despite the mild sci-fi element to Otosaki's first story, it didn't grab me. A reclusive writer has a clone of herself made to be a companion for her (both sexually and otherwise). It turns out that the writer killed her last lover in a fit of jealousy when that lover tried to leave her, which explains why she requested a clone that would be completely devoted to her. This has its downside, however, as we inevitably discover in the end--the writer cheats on her clone at a party, and the clone stabs her when she gets home. On the plus side, she's got a lover who completely understands how she felt when she killed the last one. On the minus side, she's got a gaping wound in her stomach now, and will probably be dying shortly. Ah, the price of understanding.
The next story seemed completely out of place in this anthology, so it may come as no surprise to you that it was another favorite of mine. The protagonist's parents are no longer together, so she's constantly worried that her relationship won't last forever either. Her lover, whose parents are also divorced, understands her feelings and tries to reassure her. Sweet and touching.
Then there's the infamous squid story, by Sister Midnight and Kawanishi Yukiko. It's a prison story involving a lot of rape and sex with aquatic animals (that's all the info I'm giving--if you want to know what it's about, go buy the book and read it yourself. Or ask Erica--I'm sure she'd be delighted to give you all the gory details! Just kidding. Please don't kill me.). I do not recommend reading this unless you have a penchant for the bizarre and a strong stomach. If you're kind, you'll never mention it in my presence. I may still have nightmares.
After that is a short bit of gratuitous smut by Meguro--nothing particularly unique about it, though I appreciated that the women weren't stick-thin. It's about two OLs, with the new employee abusing her superior.
The last few stories, by Moti, were bizarre and very loli. Again, not recommended if you are anything like me.