Exploring identity with yuri manga is a delight, only if representation is well made. Yuri manga is a manga and anime genre that involves love between women. It focuses on the sexual or emotional aspects of a relationship while it can depict extraordinary or ordinary events within the story. Some stories are better than others to explore your own identity. However, there’s something crucial: a good representation of the characters.
Today we’ll explore ‘Girl Friends’ by Milk Morinaga, who presents us two young high school girls who start a friendship, and who, little by little get in love with one another. They are average Japanese high school students who enjoy their afternoons like an average Japanese girl would do: they go shopping, study together, go to have some snacks out to a cheap place, hang around with friends, etc. In short, Morinaga presents us with a very realistic love story. Despite its realism, we must take in mind that this is a manga for men, and as such it contains ideals and stereotypes of what average Japanese girls do while in high school: make up, shopping, dressing up…
What’s interesting with this manga is how it presents the questions the characters have about their feelings for each other, and how they confront them. While society tells them to go out with boys, their hearts want to meet one another. Their questions ring real into many people, young and old, and how they come to a solution might be on in real life. This manga is not a dramatic one: it has a happy ending. It is sweet, fresh and very young!
Even though the manga presents us with quite ‘idyllically’ female characters who enjoy what men think all women must enjoy as females, it puts on the table good questions about same gender love and romance. While the manga does not focus on the results but the process, it helps us explore our identities through it. It is fresh in its descriptions, and in a simple way asks the same questions a girl would ask herself if she were to like her friend.
Japan is still a very closed society for the LGBT community. However, manga like this one let’s you discover what youths might feel when confronting themselves to their feelings. It sets a Japanese environment, however the questions that are made inside it transcend its culture.
Girl Friends by Milk Morinaga is a sweet masterpiece, and one of the few realistic Yuri manga out in the market (if not, the most realistic of all). It explores the love between two schoolgirls and how they face it. You will find a manga plenty of emotion, daily situations and questions that a girl or a woman might feel when feeling attracted by another. Sex scenes are minimal, while the whole manga focuses on the emotions of the two main characters, how the relationship takes place, their love journey.
Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com