A new short-story collection line has started from Tokyopop called Passion Fruit. The first
volume, by Mari Okazaki, is called Sweat and Honey and is very josei. It also has several yuri
stories in it, of varying outcomes.
In the title story, a girl's cousin comes over to visit and gradually her negative views on men
begin to affect the girl, who ends the story by crawling under the covers with her after spurning
her male lover. If it weren't played as totally serious and unromantic, it'd be sweet. But there's
next to no comedy in this entire volume.
The second story is about a shy repressed girl who takes her dog out walking and meets a girl
who is a plant, basically a girl growing out of the ground. They bond, they angst, plant girl
finds a male plant, and it's kinda not so much yuri as weird.
The next story is about a high school girl who is resisting change, and her relationship with the
single, 30-ish woman next door, who she's known since she was a kid. It has some yuri
subtext, but is also the weakest story in the collection.
The longest, best, and yuriest story in the collection is The Land Where Rain Falls, which
takes up nearly half the book. The basic plot is that a shy girl goes to see her friend who is
home 'sick'. The friend is trying to seduce her own brother, unsuccessfully. She decides a
great way to do this is by snuggling with the shy girl and hoping he gets turned on by the
The shy girl goes along with this as she has a crush on the guy, though she gets more and
more weirded out as the friend basically goes all the way with her in an effort to entice her
brother. In the end, the brother asks out the shy girl, but things don't really click. The ending
shows the two girls together, but also talks about this being the sort of thing that's only done
temporarily in high school as a thing. As such, it reminds me of a lot of modern 'yuri'. :D
The final story is short, het, and dull, and involved Yellow Magic Orchestra.
I do recommend this collection, despite my glib retelling of the stories. The art is very good
and 'josei'ish, and the stories are well-told. There's a lack of humor, and the ambiguity
frustrated me a bit, but then it fit the mood. Glad to see Tokyopop putting out something this
shoujo, and devoting a line to it. (the next volume doesn't seem to have yuri by the
description, and features a different author).