28139RE: [Yuricon] The Yuri Gap
- Apr 1, 2010
Well, considering that the “gap” you speak of usually only lasts a few days to a few weeks in lesbian relationships I’m not sure what you expect the mangaka to write about… seriously. And there are many one-shots that deal with that tiny gap.
What I see a lack of is two out lesbians that are NOT girlgins falling in love with each other and their relationship. I too, would like to see a manga that is not about first love, the “we’re soul-mates, destined to only be with each other forever,” crap OR the “OMG I totally had no idea I was a big raging dyke until I met you lesbian-san and now we can be super gay together!... just don’t tell anyone!” <rolls eyes>…but alas back to the gap. In all my years I have never seen this gap drag on unless there was a block in the relationship. i.e. one girl (or both) was not out, one girl (or both) was not sure she was really a lesbian or the usual commitment cold feet. None of these scenarios interest me in the least unless you throw in heaps of fetish and HLS to keep me occupied during all the rage inducing moments of self-doubt and indecision. I have enough of that poop in Sasameki Koto, Girl Friends and (insert popular yuri title here) without suffering through “grown” women who should know better go through that.
In my perfect manga, the first chapter would start with one woman getting dumped and the other leaving her long-term partner. The mangaka would show us the slow transition from being in a relationship - to single - to meeting that special someone and starting a new life with them. Sometimes, your second or third relationship can be way more scary and an even grander adventure than your first time falling in love. This time around you (think) you’re wiser, a little jaded and emotionally cautious. The silly little things that once swept you off your feet now make you laugh with an almost contemptuous mirth at how you ever fell for that fluffy stuff in the first place. And once you start to fall again, you know exactly what you’re feeling and you try to fight it not because you do not want it to happen but because you do and you know NOW how fragile a lover’s promises are and painfully short forever can really be! THAT is what I want to see, two women that have been around the park so to speak falling in love again and how their past experiences mold their current relationship… along, of course, with some BDSM and frilly dresses just ‘cause that’s my style! ;)
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. :-)
Yuricon - "For real women who like their women...animated."
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