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28131The Yuri Gap

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  • EricaF
    Apr 1, 2010
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      So I'm reading through the piles and piles of stuff I've got sitting here and I can't but help notice a gap.

      1) There's Yuri in which a character is perceived to have a one-sided crush. (There's TONS of "Yuri" in which there is no one-sided crush, but fans decide there is and interpret everything to fit their idée fixe.)

      2) There's first love Yuri in which two girls/women realize - to their shock - that they love one another.

      3) There's PWP Yuri in which two girls/women, for virtually no reason whatsoever, suddenly have a physical relationship.

      4) And there's relationship Yuri in which two women are a priori living together as a couple.

      There are *of course* exceptions to these. But in my opinion, there's a distinct gap here. The gap is that bit that interests me most, to be honest.

      It's obviously easy to sell 1) one-sided and crushy Yuri - no commitment is needed from the reader to make the relationship work. And it's pretty easy to sell 4) a pre-existing relationship to a reader because, duh, it's pre-existing so you either accept it or you don't read the manga.

      Most of "Yuri" fits neatly in 2) and 3). First love stories are titillating in an emotional way, and sex in a physical way and sometimes either kind of story can be titillating in either, or both ways. Especially 2) First-love stories. They are often titillating in emotional and physical ways, but still contain the essential opt-out - the implicit understanding that this relationship is impermanent. It's a "school days" thing, it'll go away and the characters will move on and find real meaning and real life in a society-approved relationship with a guy. (Although to be fair, I see a lot less of this now. Yuri fans - even the male Japanese Yuri audience appears to be more willing to accept that these girls are together, the end.)

      And yet...I can't help but notice a gap.

      The gap is that bit after "we're together as a couple" and before "we living together."

      This is the kind of story I covered in "Playing House" in Yuri Monogatari 4 and what "Fufu" is doing in Yuri Hime S. This space when two women are past building a physical relationship out of an emotional one and trying to translate that into real life. Moving in, getting furniture - dealing with bills and budgets and family and food and...stuff.

      So here's the question I have for you all - why do you think this space is the most frequently left empty in Yuri? Have we not gotten there yet, or is this too much like admitting that lesbian couples exist or is it not as interesting to other people as I think it is? Why do *you* think that we can have "fall in love" and "live together" but not the bits in between?

      Interesting answers might possibly become bits of a future Okazu post, so be warned if you plan on being intelligent and/or witty. :-)

      Cheers,

      Erica

      Yuricon - "For real women who like their women...animated."
      http://www.yuricon.org
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