I didn’t think I would have to feature non-Japanese yuri comics as early as my third entry in Manga bites. It’s not like I highlighted any yuri before.
If you’ve been following me on twitter, you should have seen me change my profile description and tweet some photos from the yuri comics I mentioned (and how waiting for the updates has been killing me sloooowlyyyy). And I’d been thinking of talking about them here, just to let you guys know what I’ve been up to these days. Of course, I’m hoping that some of you out there would be interested enough to check them out (links are provided in this post)!
Behind the scenes… the boring stuff
Just how did I get myself into this stuff? It was a mix of coincidence and, well, my own choice–out of curiosity.
You see, I have this cosplayer-senpai whom I’ve always looked up to since 2009 and I have followed her on Facebook as soon as I made an account way back in 2010. Blah blah one day, early in January I saw her share some links and photos of cute digital paintings of two girls. That’s how I ‘discovered’ Tamen di Gushi. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, I happened to stumble upon senpai‘s instagram while I was searching for TdG photos. In one of those pictures, she replied to one of her followers with another yuri comics recommendation! Yep. That was Fluttering Feelings!
Tamen di Gushi / Their Story (Tan Jiu)
Sun Jing always sees this cute girl who waits at the bus station and takes the same bus as her. She has taken a liking to her and always thought of approaching her, wanting to be friends. But Sun Jing always ends up too nervous to say anything, her face blushing in embarrassment. With the help of a friend Sun Jing learns the girl’s name, Qui Tong, and that Qiu Tong’s a senior in a neighboring high school. Will she be more courageous the next time they meet? What if Qui Tong becomes cautious of Sun Jing? Will they even become friends?
Thoughts: I never had prior exposure to manhua or any other form of Chinese web comics, so Tan Jiu’s Tamen de Gushi has that specific, special place in my heart. It’s a fully colored web comic being originally uploaded by the author on his Weibo page (Weibo is the Chinese equivalent to Facebook), which also contains his other works. Apparently, he also does anime fan art, or at least that’s what his cover photo suggests (Ping Pong the Animation, baby).
Their Story is, unlike manga/manhua, presented in comic strips reminiscent of 4-koma style. However, each chapter or update is significantly shorter than the regular length, and so it appears like a single vertical comic strip with about 10 panels. Furthermore, there’s no clear numbering of the chapters, so keeping track of the chapter number is rather done arbitrarily. Thus, it is expected that the updates jump from one event to another in the story’s ambiguous time frame. Readers can freely fill in the details in between these events. I won’t give an example, because that would pretty much give the story away.
Since there has been a considerable amount of material released, it is safe to say that Their Story will remain a very fluffy slice of life and yuri web comic. The characters are very laid-back and feel like real high school students. In this web comic, there is no evident male love rival commonly found in comics with romance tag. It probably won’t become too serious or heavily laden with unnecessary drama, that I’ve already seen in some yuri-containing works. It is very easy to read and its art style is distinctive with its use of thin lines and pastel colors, which effectively create the bright and tender atmosphere. It will surely make a new reader feel warm inside and keep wanting for more fluffiness!
Fluttering Feelings (Ssamba)
Kim No-rae (aka Kim Song) is still sound asleep on the morning of her first day of re-enrollment in the university! Thanks to the wake up call by her good friend, Hye-gyeong, she can barely make it on time! As she makes haste along the stairs, she lands on a poor posture, wobbles and almost falls flat on the ground when a beautiful lady coincidentally catches her. She later finds out that the bewitching beauty belongs to the same department and is the rumored Baek Seol-a, the dream of guys and the enemy of girls.
Seol-a finds No-rae a cute girl. No-rae thinks Seol-a is a beauty. The two of them seem unlikely to get along, but they become friends anyway. Where will the string of coincidences lead them?
Thoughts: Manhwa isn’t as new to me as manhua is, because I’ve read a few manhwa before. I think anyone can automatically guess that Fluttering Feelings must be a Korean comics just from looking at those photos. Based on my personal observation, Korean comics art style has a different character and a somewhat feminine touch that make it relatively easily distinguishable from Japanese comics.
Fluttering Feelings is a Korean mobile webtoon, available for readers through the comico free manga service app. Typical of webtoons, the story is presented in a more continuous manner than Their Story’s. The characters are mature in their overall disposition despite their funny antics, which makes sense since the story is set in college life. It deals with a larger cast than Their Story and tends to have longer and detailed dialogues, which indirectly tell the back stories of the important characters. Some flashbacks do occur in between and within the chapters. At the time of writing, there are 21 chapters available. Apparently, the webtoon will not end any time soon. The two girls’ “love story” progresses very slowly that this webtoon is such as huge tease to readers, especially to those who’ve caught up with the latest release! Flashbacks also hint the possible appearance of more characters, who might stir some drama in the lives of the two girls. That said, Fluttering Feelings has very cute and funny moments that I can’t help but support their budding love from the sidelines.
Eh, since I’ve already confessed my crime, I might as well share this. The senpai* I mentioned actually created a Facebook page**, EuRika 愛, a few weeks ago. Here’s the page description:
We are a group of friends who are here to promote our love for yuri through cosplaying. We hope to give you a guys a good show through our photos/vid
Can you feel their love? Because I do, I’m always on the lookout for their newest Tamen di Gushi cosplay photo shoot releases!
If you don’t like Facebook, you can choose to follow them in World Cosplay.
* Senpai is currently preparing for her Kaneki Ken cosplay for an upcoming cosplay event! I hope I will be free by then to meet her personally after n years since I last saw her up close OTL
** This is just my guess. Is it possible that senpai (and her friends) decided to create this page and do some group cosplay photo shoot because she was inspired by Jin Joson (aka behindinfinity)? Jin Joson and friends have produced high-quality group cosplay of popular works such as Rurouni Kenshin Tsuioku-hen, Noragami, Rurouni Kenshin live-action (which was commented on by Japanese media as a work eerily similar to the live action), and Big Hero (which was noticed by BH6’s director Chris Williams). :3