"Undying Flower" one-shot, scanlated by Endless Dimension
I read yesterday on the shoujoai.com forum that Endless Dimension had released a yuri short, so I downloaded it last night. Here are my impressions of it.
Okay, I think I'm only finding the Warning page funny because Lililicious would never have one (people know what they're getting when they download our releases, since everything we do is yuri). Or maybe it's the language they use: "Warning! The following chapter contains light shoujo-ai (girl vs. girl love) contents. Viewer discretion is advised. If you decide to read on, we shall not be held responsible for any possible outcome thereon as we've already given you a choice." First of all, that use of "vs." conjures up some really funny images. Violent hate-sex, anyone? Then there's the "any possible outcome" part that, well, gave me some funny ideas that I mentioned in #lililicious:
"If you decide you hate [male genitalia] (hey, there could be kids reading this lj, this is a pg-rated post ;D) now and want [female genitalia], it's not our fault."
"Warning: you may never want to read anything other than yuri after this..."
"Warning: after this, you will start to look at your girl friends in a new light..."
"Warning: after this, you will realize that the yaoigirls are all really sleeping together..."
Seriously, do they expect mass vomiting or something? Or just sudden sexuality crises? ;) I guess some people just put "homosexual content" (I hate that term, and similar ones like "lesbian relationship," because they marginalize us bisexuals) in the same category as "rape" and "chan" (sexual acts with children under legal age). Hunh.
Okay, on to the manga.
The language is a little funny, and I'm not sure if it's because their translator (and editor?) isn't a native English speaker or if they're trying to convey formal language in some weird sort of way. Either way, it's still very understandable, so don't let that deter you from reading this. :)
It looks like a standard yuri plotline so far--girl has just transferred to an all-girls school and has moved into the dorms. The twist here is that she's here looking for a guy (bet you're not going to see THAT plotline in Yuri Shimai! That's rather unfortunate, actually. I would be happy to see some het/bi stuff mixed in with yuri, especially if it meant some new plotlines). The guy was her teacher at her old school and transferred to the new one, and was the only person she had gotten close to or something.
She suddenly walks in on two girls kissing, one of whom is dressed like a guy. It's funny, because she turns red and thinks "So this sort of thing really does happen at girls' schools!" [my paraphrase of the translation] She then finds out that the masculine girl, Ibuki, is going to be her roommate. Typical plot point... blech. Oh, well.
She has yet to see the teacher that she transferred to the new school for, because she isn't in his class, students aren't allowed in the staff room, and she has to be in the dorm by a certain time each night. Aww. She worries that he's deliberately avoiding her, but who knows if he even knows she transferred there?
As expected, Ibuki (the roommate) persistantly tries to spend time with her even though she (the main character)'s cold to everyone, including Ibuki. We also find out that the main character has an unhappy home life (her parents are both seeing people on the side), which I suppose is supposed to at least partially account for her cold demeanor.
When she asks Ibuki why she cares so much about her, Ibuki tells her a ghost story about a botched double suicide between two lovers who lived in the dorm--the typical story about one of them being forced to marry a man and wanting to die with her lover instead.
Hmm. I thought the translator's use of "bastard" (oops, did the rating of this post just go up to pg-13? Sorry, kids!) as an insult for Ibuki was odd until the girls in #lili assured me that they use it for both genders. I guess that' just me being out of the loop again, although they claim that they are, in their own words, "foul-mouthed perverts." They were also mainly Aussies (the ones around when I asked), so who knows.
Ibuki has figured out that Yuuki (the main character) is there to see her old teacher, so she goes to see him on her behalf. It turns out that he did know about her transferring there. She overhears the conversation because someone asked her to bring some sheet music to the staff music room (well, they call it "staff music room," but I'm guessing it's the office for the music teachers), a situation which Ibuki contrived. It turns out that the teacher was deliberately avoiding her because he felt it was best for her, since if she was with him, she wouldn't be interacting enough with the outside world.
We find out that Ibuki had a female lover/girlfriend before--Yuuki will be wearing her old dress to the prom (no idea why Ibuki has her lover's old dress... maybe they'll explain later? My theory is that she did a botched double suicide with her lover, like in the story).
Ibuki, Yuuki, and the teacher all hang out together one day. There's a cute scene where Ibuki remaks to the teacher that Yuuki has a cute smile. :D Later, the teacher accidentally leaves behind an envelope with pictures of omiai candidates (potential marriage partners), and this makes Yuuki cry. Ibuki is angry that Yuuki is crying alone and comforts her. Aww.
Spoiler: Ibuki really is a ghost from the story she told Yuuki. She disappears after Yuuki figures it out and asks her about it (after kissing her goodbye, however ;D). At the very end, it looks like Yuuki is going to have a chance with her teacher--he turned down all the omiai candidates. She also looks to be making a new friend, a girl who she lent shoes to for the prom.
I liked this overall, even the ending, although I think other yuri fans will be disappointed by the ending (hopefully that's not giving too much away!). There were also a couple kisses between girls, rather than just subtext, which was nice. The one thing that irked me the most was Ibuki's declaration that she liked Yuuki because of how passionate Yuuki was about her teacher. I suppose that fits with her character, but it just didn't sit right with me for some reason.
I hope this synopsis/review was enjoyable and/or helpful. Would people like to read these for other stuff, like Lililicious projects or other yuri? And should I crosspost this to yuri and/or yuri_manga (and is there an easier way to crosspost than copying and pasting into multiple entries?)?