I'm really loving this so far. Since it hasn't really been mentioned yet, I wanted to touch on the fact that Tsucchi is a great audience stand-in character. She's adorable, but her personality is uncomfortably close to my own feelings about yuri. Plus there's like never realistically overweight characters in manga.
What differentiates this series from so many other similar but worse stories is that the lesbian relationship isn't the point. The story is really about the main character and her growth as a person, not only in the maturation of her views on sexuality, but also becoming more self-aware and positive in her outlook towards others. The fact that they don't end up together is a reflection of reality - queer people don't have the luxury of assuming that their attraction will be requited - but it's also not a tragic outcome, since the protagonist knows that she will be able to learn from her experience and become a better person. This is probably one of my all-time favorites for these reasons. I've been constantly rereading it and it gets better every time. I would love an adaptation of some kind, even though that's not very likely.
I see a lot of people complaining about the length of this series, but personally I far prefer a concise story with a satisfying conclusion to the innumerable manga which drag on forever and don't pay off. This isn't an extraordinary manga, but it does defeat a lot of the fatal tropes of yuri by having an explicit, straightforward leadup and confession without an inordinate amount of unnecessary drama. And for that, I think it deserves praise.
Because no women are stupid and barbaric enough to actually enjoy, let alone produce, garbage like plotless sex-only works. If you do, you can't even be considered a woman at all. You're probably just a horny teenage boy. /s
For people who actually claim this (who I know in real life): you obviously haven't read any fanfiction. You would not imagine the amount of rape and other horrible shit that female writers come up with.
At the same time, I do think that overall female readers appreciate more story along with their smut (at least I do). That's not to disparage the existence of porn without plot - I definitely appreciated it a lot more when I was younger.
Maybe the growth will prompt more variety and general audience acceptance to said variety. Yuri needs too step out of the 98% high school setting. What I'm saying is, more manga like Murcielago please.
Well, I was actually thinking of more manga like Yamaji Ebine's work :P A lot of my favorite yuri takes place in high school settings, but overall I'd like to see more adult-oriented yuri about realistic relationships.
I think it's really interesting to get to see how people on the production side of manga view things. That being said, this discussion passed over what I think is probably the most important part of the growing popularity of yuri: society is more accepting.
Now, don't get me wrong. A large part of the appeal still comes from the (male) audience perspective that glorifies pure, innocent schoolgirl flirting; or, obversely, just appreciates lesbian porn. But at the same time, the diversity of the kinds of yuri stories being told has been increasing dramatically. Authors are telling cute, fluffy romance stories, serious adult dramas, and supernatural or sci-fi stories with yuri as a focus.
Moreover, I feel that, in yuri works generally, the fact that the romance is between girls is becoming less and less of a creative conceit or marketing bait, but simply a fact of the stories themselves. I think that, as opposed to previous years, people are able to create characters that feel like they are in genuine relationships. For instance, Bloom Into You could just as easily be a het romance about how Yu has difficulty understanding that she's in love with a guy. But it isn't - and at the same time, the characters' genders inform how they act and feel in a realistic way.
I'm not saying that all yuri stories should be interchangeable with het stories. I'm just saying that I'm glad that yuri stories are becoming more humanized, if that makes sense. That's not due to any particular fandom interests, that's a shift that I think has resulted from society's evolving views on homosexuality.
But seriously though, it's awesome that the mascot of one of the current biggest video game franchises is gay, and not in a sexualized or tokenized way. In my opinion, Blizzard really knocked it out of the park with this one. Even if it means that Widowtracer isn't gonna happen...
However, Pharmercy is far from dead! The guy she's having dinner with is almost certainly her father. He looks like an older guy, and one of the writers confirmed on Twitter that she is not on a date. Also, the TV in the restaurant is showing Canadian hockey, and that plus Pharah's Native skins are leading people to believe that her father is a Canadian Aboriginal. Fun stuff.
The dialogue was great, and really elevated this above mere smut. However, I do wish the artist had drawn their bodies in a more interesting way... Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of boobs, but they really didn't fit the rest of the characters' designs.