i like shiho because she's a bitch and bitches are cool so she's slightly better than everyone else in this meandering melodramatic manga
Reading this story because Shiho is the only part you liked certainly is at least a……different opinion than all I’ve seen so far lol.
I don’t really care about Shiho getting what she wanted so this subplot has been kinda whatever to me, I’d rather they just go back to focusing on the two main characters again. That said points for the big lesbian campfire dance
I laughed out loud when I saw one of the characters wondering what the heck Shiho's deal was in the end anyway. Yes, lot of people do... I ended up taking that as a meta commentary on author's part on how this part took too long. Not necessarily true, but I'll just fool myself to feel better about it. :p
This idea that your love will win through sheer willpower is very toxic, because 99% of the time the thing that prevents your love from happening is the other person, and whether their reasons for saying no are good or not is irrelevant.
Ayaka is forcing Hiroko and whether it's for the best or not is irrelevant too, she should just stop.
I love Ayaka, but I think my love for her comes from romanticizing something that really shouldn't be.
Point here is that Hiroko is also desperately in love with Ayaka as well and has been for a while, and Ayaka is cutting through her self-sabotage and fears by being a charging bull. Hiroko is not that toxic as a potential girlfriend (her being a player is reflection of her yearning for a relationship she never dared to have), she's just destructive towards herself because of all that previous trauma. It's not "you'll learn to love me", or "forced sex to spark love", "I'll make you gay/straight" or any of those other truly deplorable tropes.
As for whether they could stay together, I think it is a completely moot point here, even if 10 year age gap relationships aren't the most stable. Ayaka wants to date Hiroko of today, she's not worried or concerned about few years down the road. Hiroko might be, but she's getting the better side of the deal with a cute and much younger girl literally throwing herself in her arms. Even if it ends at some point, at least she'd finally experienced a proper relationship with someone who wanted to be with her.
I also don't think Ayaka has as many false ideas about Hiroko anymore as she initially had, as she's had few bitter moments with her and made effort to learn about Hiroko and how wlw relationships are in reality through other people who are like her and have observed Hiroko through these years.
"From what I've seen the general Japan audience was really into congratulating Suletta and Miorine on their marriage when the show ended, and now they're pissed off about this company meddling bullshit. Also regardless of what some out of touch company suit says, the show is very clear and matter of fact about the marriage, so fuck'em.
Also with China I've seen Chinese people pissed about this nonsense as well, and Chinese artists that are very into these two."
I think the story copped out by itself even before the statement stuff, by not actually inserting proper romance in before the epilogue. Plus why is the genocide mom free and not in jail[?], but I digress.
This is exactly also the reason why doubt can be inserted, because "marriage" does not mean "romantic relationship", and story actually had more romance pushed on Suletta from male suitors than Miorine. Marriage in the story was always tied to corporate politics, so if you don't actually insert the intended romance on screen, it becomes deniable and people can say "they're just really good friends who are in marriage of convenience". It was utterly unnecessary non-sense. If two characters like each other, they get intimate with each other and make it clear with confessions and more. Relationships like that are not "up to interpretation", and any attempts at that are generally just author trying to be cute, censorship (be it self- or forced variety) or just plain bad writing. It's not a bloody mystery novel.
Natural physical affection in public spaces is kind of rare in yuri, if you compare it to how real world lovers act. Even accounting for cultural differences that put some limits to it in places like Japan.
For example, watch Kanamemo sometimes. There's an adult couple, both women. They do affectionate gestures to each other in public (like touching each other's shoulders in support, etc), and it feels so different and natural than what you normally see. Not just some blushy cheeks and maybe bit of handholding or random hug, if girls feel daring.
at this point I'm pretty sure it's all in Haruki's head, since she's slowly wrapping up everything about Sakura in her life (visiting her parents after so long, tidying up her work corner, finishing the diary), or that's how I see it at least
That's the most logical conclusion, but I can't shake the feeling that now that TWO people have seen Sakura out of the corner of their eye there's something more going on. Yes, it could just be the moment of reminiscence bringing up memories, especially since both were locations they all were together with Sakura. I'm still feeling that something being off. I can't tell what, but it's more than just ghost vs delusion.
When anyone reminisces about someone else, they kind of see that person flash by. Especially if they're talking to someone else that also knew that person.
There's nothing in this story to indicate that supernatural would play a serious role. At most, you'll have some kind of ambiguity at the end, as to whether she's a spirit that came to give her beloved a push on her back, or just a long internal process that is finally approaching its end.
Also, that possibly can't be the most interesting thing to think about this series? It's such a trivial thing to focus on, when you have something so characterization-rich as this on the platter.
"Persona's biggest flaw is its terminal heterosexuality, wish it was possible to do something like this in P5"
It's sort of worse. Both Ann's and Yusuke's personal stories contain queer coding in some ways, but it's either a joke (Yusuke) or nothing is done with it after her backstory scenes are over (Ann). Oh, and that stupid "predator okama" scene, that was apparently edited later. That thing would have been at home in some gross 1970's slap-stick comedy.
Persona franchise has gotten kind of worse about these things over the years, not better. P2 was legit for its time, P3 Portable was bland, P4 just had some gay panic and Kanji (who is bit of an oddball character) and P5 is what it is.
Japan also suffers from producers and editors being way too calculating immediately when they think a product might be commercially successful, which kills their stories in some ways.
Heard many people say 2023 is a "year of yuri", but the delivery is often deliberately bad. So much self-censorship. Magical Revolution is more like it should be, characters being open about what and who they like and having physical intimacy like two people who like each other would have, but vast majority of productions set their sights way lower and just reducing quality of their product for romance parts of their story, sometimes radically to a point where you just go "wtf?" and consequently lose suspension of disbelief.
I'm never going to understand how you're supposed to do that trick where you tie a knot on a cherry stem with your tongue. I've only seen it done in manga. I'm thinking it has to be a Japanese urban legend.
No, it's a real trick. There are articles and YT videos if you want to try it. Apparently some guy managed to tie 14 knots a minute for Guiness record. Sounds whacky fast, but ok.
Author has to handle the next few chapters carefully, because I was left with the feeling there simply was not enough story and background context to justify Ruriko just smashing Kurumi across her face in panic, even if she was coming on her while drunk.
This is despite the setup of Ruriko feeling jealous, possessive and inadequate in this chapter and also previously, from time to time. Maybe there's more to it that we haven't yet seen.
I think the relationship was handled kind of poorly where it comes to actual romance.
Not because Suletta and Miorine aren't cool characters or they don't have any chemistry, they are and I kind of liked quite a few of the cast. But where is the sexual tension between them during the series? Not only that, but it's more like guys hitting on Suletta and her being vaguely interested that comes to mind. OG yuri like Sailor Moon, or reboot of She-Ra did this a lot better. Hell, even RWBY managed to do decent job with it after ages of finger-twiddling.
Honestly, if I didn't understand what the writers are intending you to take from it, I'd just call it a platonic relationship coming through arranged marriage (duel stuff is a twisted version of that).
And speaking of writing, is anyone else wondering if this manga's entire plot is AI-created or something? It doesn't feel like a parody at this point, and there's a sort of odd disconnectedness to it all.
AI actually creates much more detailed plots if you ask it.
For fun, try asking Bing Chat for a plot synopsis, but do not use word "yuri". Instead just say "romance between two women in Japanese [location] setting". Why? Because for some reason word definitions of Bing are whacky. As it pulls training data from a lot of sources it is afraid of the word "yuri", because in some internet pages you see claims where "yuri is associated with sexual relationships" and so forth.
I know its not a very complex story so far, but its nice to see a series that not only doesnt use all the standard tropes to stretch the process as long as possible, but activity subverts some of the more annoying tropes. Just the fact that the two characters clealry stated what they were feeling with no contrived misunderstandings or sudden Interruptions that cut the conversation short is such a goddamn breathe of fresh air.
It's definitely a loving parody of high-school yuri at this point. Everything is either over the top whacky, or straightforward when you'd expect more convoluted things to happen.