By Toshizou and Kuro Shina. Released in Japan as “Yuri no Ma ni Hasamareta Watashi ga, Ikioi de Futamata Shite Shimatta” by Overlap Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Tristan K. Hill.
“Sean,” my readers say to me. “I’m happy that we’ve gotten a lot more yuri titles in the last few years, but what about fans of incest? Is there a book out there that looks closely at younger sisters who love their older sister and tries hard to do a deep analysis about whether it’s OK or not?”. OK, no. My readers never say that to me. That said, if that’s what you want, I have good news, the second volume of Yuri Tama is all about said feelings, and whether Yotsuba will decide to dump her new girlfriends for her sisters, or just have all of them in a giant polycule, or what. So yeah, good news for fans of that. If, on the other hand, you read the above and said “what the actual fuck?”, then you are like me and stared at this volume with dull horror. The author can certainly write. It’s just what they write that’s the problem.
Yotsuba has managed to pass all but one of her exams, despite possessing the worst self-loathing of any light novel protagonist ever. This means she has most of her summer break free, and she plans to spend it dating her two girlfriends (separately). Unfortunately, each date is seen by one of her younger sisters, and now they’re both furious. Yotsuba is sure they’re upset that she’s “two-timing” the girls she’s dating, or they’re upset that she didn’t tell them she was dating at all. They’re not. They’re upset because they’ve been in love with Yotsuba since they were little children, and the idea that two other hussies have snatched her away is appalling. Can a family trip to a hot spring allow Yotsuba to explain? Or will it just make things worse?
So, let’s tick off the things I didn’t hate. 1) The author is somewhat self-aware that they are writing ridiculous shit, and it gets lampshaded a few times. 2) There is an attempt at discussing the differences between sexual attraction, familial love, and close friendship. It’s an attempt that is somewhat steamrollered by the plot, but the attempt is made. OK, I’m done with good things. Yotsuba remains the most annoying narrator ever, not being able to go more than three paragraphs without reminding us how awful and pathetic she is. Her sisters are, not to put too fine a point on it, creepy, and Yotsuba seriously considering loving both of them sexually boggles the mind. And unfortunately, because of this plot, Rinka and Yuna are sidelined. The dates may be the best part of the book, both because they’re not incestuous and also because Yotsuba shows an odd confidence that she doesn’t seem to be aware of herself. I want to explore that, not whether incest is OK.
I wish I could say that the series ended here, but a third volume of this came out last month in Japan. If you are really really desperate for yuri… please read something else anyway. Also, please use the word “two-timing” correctly! It’s consensual! They both know! Explain that!