Mangasaurs is kind of annoying. I really like the reader, in general. There aren’t any of annoying pop-up ads you find on sites like MangaPanda, but once you start reading something it stays in your ‘library’ until you down vote it. I’m sure that works fine for a lot of readers because then they can keep track of what they started and stopped, but I…
I just feel guilty.
I started Ruriiro no Yume and then kind of thought ‘meh, I don’t want to deal with a collection of one-shots’ and stopped. But, when I went back to Mangasaurs, the site reminded me, HEY, YOU NEVER FINISHED THIS, YOU LOSER.
So what’s a nice Midwestern girl to do? I dutifully finished all 7.2 chapters of the complete volume. Now Mangasaurs can’t yell at me any more. I will confess I skimmed some of these.
The first story “A Lapis-Lazuli Blue Dream,” which the collection is named after, follows 28 year old Rokujou Ruri. Rokujou tells us she has one dream: to marry before 30, if possible, and have a child so she can name it after a precious stone, like herself. This would be an excellent dream, except for the fact that she’s woken up in bed with a woman, Mikuni. It was a drunken fumble in the night, but, turns out, for Mikuni, it was serious.
Now the question becomes: how serious is Rokujou about Mikuni? Especially if she has to give up her dream of a husband and kids? (Spoiler: it works out.) I ended up liking this story okay. The art style is a bit childish, but the themes are fairly mature, which is what worked for me. The sex is mildly explicit (read: nakedness, but mostly cuddles,) but there’s a lot of blushes and handholding and kisses. Not actually my favorite in the collection, which might explain why I set it down before being guilted into continuing.
The second story is “Princess of the Stars” and follows Yui and Tsumugi, who were the ‘princess’ and the ‘prince’ of their high school (a phenomenon I may NEVER truly understand), are now in college and the shine of their romance has worn off with time.
Now it’s all bra washing at midnight in the dorm room sink and ‘why are you sleeping on the floor?!’
Luckily, it turns out that sex is the cure to what ails them. (Again, very soft focus on the sexy bits.)
I dunno, this one left me a little *shrug* ‘WTF’ I mean, yeah, this could have been a nice Very Special Episode about how it’s maybe not such a good idea to hang all your dreams on your high school sweetheart, but I guess that wouldn’t make for a good romance, then would it?
The next story “Honey & Mustard” was probably my favorite in this collection. This story follows two ex-lovers who have remained friends: Karashina Kaori (the mustard homonym) and Amai Mitsuki (the honey homonym) and their weird little competition to see which of the two of them can seduce the cute food truck server girl, Mai.
Initially, Mai’s colleague in the food truck is VERY AGAINST THIS WHOLE HOMO THING. Until, of course, she realizes that ‘the lady doth protest too much’ and the whole reason she’s super cranky about all the female attention Mai gets is because she’s in to Mai.
I think my favorite thing about this particular story is that the two exes are all, “D’aw, look! Young love. Kind of reminds us of us…” Meaningful look, followed by, “Yeah, good thing we’re over that.”
Honestly, that made me super happy.
I skipped “Nostalgia” because it was about an adopted daughter who falls for the woman who raised her as her mother. I just… yeah, sorry NOPE. Not for me.
“The Season of the 20-Year Old Virgin”/”On a Night when the Moon was Full” was okay. It was about Emi (the aforementioned 20-year old) and her decade older lover, Keiko. The majority of the story is about Emi feeling inadequate for a number of reasons, but not the least of which is that Keiko is more experienced and Emi hasn’t done it with anyone, much less Keiko.
Not to worry, Emi and Keiko get it done.
Sorry I killed the suspense there, but this is yuri. Getting it done is kind of the point, after all.
The last one was another incest one that I skipped, “Soft-Boiled Fujoshi” about college-studen Hayami Che a doujinshi mangaka who has fantasies about her high school age sister. Yep, okay… you kids have fun, but you can leave me out, k?
But, all and all, I would rate this collection ‘meh.’ I could easily have read an entire volume about Honey & Mustard, but nobody asked me.