Translation/Adaptation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Alexis Eckerman
What They Say
Cohabitating can make or break any relationship, but with a little luck, a lot of love, and a healthy dose of patience, living together can bring out the best in a couple! There’s a lot to navigate—clashing personalities, age gaps, business trips, conflicting feelings, jealousy, sex, and even the supernatural—but these women in love find a way to make it work!”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yuri Life is a collection of short shorts that take quick hit looks at the daily lives of a series of lesbian couples. The volume contains eleven different “stories,” each getting about seven or so comic strips, similar to 4koma style, though they are not necessarily married exactly to four panels. Still, the effect is much the same as each page gives us a quick concept, setup, and punchline before moving on, just like any comic strip.
It’s an interesting approach, one that allows for the setup of many different situations and fun moments, but one which also does not allow for any real in-depth exploration of any of the subjects. Both of these things are felt keenly in this book. For example, this approach works perfectly for the first series about Manami and Yuuna, called “A Laid-Back Life Together.”. They are at a comfortable place in their relationship, where their love for each other has matured, and they are just enjoying their daily lives together. Everything is about the little moments and connections they have with one another. So, the quick-hit, moment-to-moment approach that shows us what they are like in their quieter moments, and just how adorable they can be together, is perfect. We don’t need anything more in-depth.
But then contrast this with a series like “Life with Little Miss Vixen,” where Masako is trying to come to grips both with her own newly found feelings for Marin as well as Marin’s apparent promiscuity and suddenly we are diving into territory that a few quick-hits cannot adequately explore. Marin’s answer to everything is sex, while Masako is far more conservative, and Marin’s inability to take anything seriously drives Masako insane. Like “A Laid-Back Life Together,” there are a lot of adorable little moments in this, but Masako’s reactions to certain things suggest that there is a much deeper pathology at work, and because of the format, we aren’t really given the opportunity to explore that pathology, leaving the whole experience a little shallow.
And that’s the way the whole volume goes. It careens from pleasant little tales about the calm lives of some couples to unsatisfactory stories that involve more serious complications and conflicts. “Life with a Writer” is a sweet look at a relationship between a writer and one of her (adult) fans, and the format works, but then “Life with Sensei” explores a similar relationship between a high school teacher and one of her sixteen-year-old students, and we are supposed to just accept it in the same way and not give any more thought to it. And honestly, I don’t really know what to do with “Life with a Grim Reaper.” It really is quite an eclectic collection.
Yuri Life is a fun read that will help you pass a little bit of time, but probably not any more than that. It’s an interesting idea that works half the time and falls on its face the other half. The parts that I liked, I loved. The rest just really frustrated me, because I wanted to love all of it. If you can just accept it for what it is, just pay attention to what’s happening on the surface, and not think of the larger implications of some of the stories in it, then you will probably get a lot more enjoyment out of it than I ultimately did. Either way, I would still call it worth a read. Just don’t be surprised if it isn’t everything you want it to be. Mildly recommended.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 13, 2019