May 17, 2018
This work is primarily meant as a didactic look into the world of real-life women-who-have-sex-with-women (and of some trans men) in Japan in the early 2000s. It is, by design, a slice-of-life which is intended to teach people about the world of what Japan calls "sexual minorities".
If you want to know more about the real lives of LGBT (well, LBT) people in Japan, it's a great read. And any straight or male person with a serious interest in yuri ought to read this, as a good corrective to thinking it's all endless sighs and blushing in girls' schools.
However, it suffers from:
- Not having much
of a plot (it's real life, life doesn't have a plot)
- Being somewhat dated (it's around 10 years old, and it's been an eventful decade)
- Being somewhat remedial for people who already know a thing or two about LGBT communities
- A rather unconventional art style for people who are used to typical manga
All that said, I did come away feeling like I had a strong sense of the author as a person and liked getting to know her a lot, and I enjoyed reading about her and her friend's experiences. Those character moments are probably the best part of the book--character moments when her relationships can just be relationships without being Representatively Queer, and moments about the ways that two different people learn to be closer to each other and love each other. It works best when it shines as a biography rather than a lesson-book.
Which means, ultimately, that this book suffers from the society that created it. It's wonderful to learn about someone's experiences, but (at least at the time the book was written) the general public was sufficiently ignorant about LGBT people's lives that the author had to be a guide and representative and standard-bearer, instead of just a person speaking from her own life. I'd be curious to see what this book would say if it were written today, or ten more years down the road; but what I really hope is that ten more years from now, there won't be a need for a lesson book--people will already know.
What did you think of this review?