Hanjuku Joshi: When We Rock The Moe, We Rock The Moe Right

The last post I made, I railed against the Maria Holic manga for its storyline, and its treatment of one of its main characters, the (supposedly) young lesbian Kanako, as a hard line rail against not only the trappings of Yuri manga, but also lesbian characters in general, and there in the comments I was asked about what should get the attention of yuri fans.

Well, since you asked…

Hanjuku Joshi (“soft-boiled girls”, apparently) is a two volume Yuri manga that ran in Comic Yuri Hime, and has been scanlated in full by Wings of Yuri. It begins as your basic school girl love story, where cute and girly Yae arrives at an all-girls’ school, and finds herself falling in love with the athletic and cool Chitose, and finds herself falling in love with her, with sex and cuteness ensuing.

At first glance, especially in the first volume, it sticks to the tried and true formulas that have gone through the growing Yuri manga genre for quite a while: an all-girls school, a cute young girl, and a cool tomboyish girl, and a sweet romance. But the manga also makes inroads beyond just the thing about these two finding out about their feelings and sharing their love. The manga also deals, however so much obliquely, with these characters trying to deal with whether it’s okay for two girls to love each other. There’s a lot of awkwardness as the two try and sort out their feelings between each other, and the manga gets into how the characters feel about actually being in love with a girl, and how the two characters try and deal with each other’s feelings…

The manga also follows the relationship between Mari, a fashionable high school girl, and Ran, her teacher. Like Chitose and Yae is about two girls trying to find their feelings, Mari and Ran are hardly each other’s first loves, but they are falling in love with each other. Their story could be about two girls who find themselves in a relationship that becomes more fulfilling than they expected, and which slowly turns to love. Like Chitose and Yae, Mari and Ran try to accept that they’re falling in love with each other, and try and have to deal with it.

There’s also a whole lot a shagging going on for all the guys who picked this up expected hot lesbian sex. That’s to be expected of the Yuri genre, especially with it’s high male fanbase. Thankfully, it never really gets in the way, and doesn’t feel like fanservice as it is just a kind of climax for the pairings involved (in more ways than one, har har). Pass Maria holic on the shelf, and go seek out Hanjuku Joshi instead. You’ll be glad you did.

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