krpalmer: (anime)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I do read a lot of the "girls' love" manga that's licensed and translated over here, although often commenting here about personal impressions of a lot of it dividing between "charming fluff" and "exploitative" might admit to two not completely dignified reasons for taking an interest in it. When a title does seem to steer in between those two poles, though, it stands out. "After Hours" might have caught my attention to begin with because it could be seen as Viz edging into a field Seven Seas has occupied a lot of space in; that its main characters weren't even "high school girls" but twenty-something also distinguished it (although I suppose that perhaps means having to shift to a term with slightly different meanings loaded into it, "yuri manga"). Emi and Kei waking up together at the beginning of the first volume after meeting at a dance club cut through the usual nervous dawnings that can seem to weigh down series with younger characters, and in some ways I was interested in the feeling of "a series where the same-sex relationship doesn't dominate everything" as Emi gets further into Kei's DJ scene. However, it was also possible I got to thinking "a same-sex relationship, that's one thing; characters deep in the club scene, that's really outside my personal experience."

At the end of the second volume, though, the personal problems that had been flaring up between Emi and Kei got nicely resolved, and I did get to contemplating again whether, as much as some of the comments that get tossed around anime series where it's just a matter of "no boys in sight" can seem a little over-eager or overdone to me, I could at least begin to sense things felt a bit different than I could imagine them being presented in a "shoujo romance" (or even a "joisei romance" aimed at adult women), to say nothing of some of the accusations tossed at "male-targeted titles" (with mixed-sex hookups in them, anyway). I do remember seeing a comment once of the wide reach "girls' love" and "yuri manga" can manage. There does seem to be another volume implied by the end of the second, anyway, although I've seen similar series wrap up in three if not two volumes.

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