Posted by: 紺月明 | March 18, 2012

Essay on and「prism」1

If you’ve read about me on my Gravatar profile (which you can access by clicking on the picture of Chikane by my username), I mention a certain paper I wrote.

Well, it has taken me a few years to work up my courage to put it out there, and then it took Yuricon a few months to finally post it, but that paper I wrote in 2009 for my major seminar class during my final undergraduate year is up on their Essays page. I hope you will be able to take a look and let me know what you think! ^_^

There is also a submission I made that hasn’t been uploaded yet for their written history project, “What Yuri Means to Me.” I will bring it to attention this week, just in case it is still in some fuzzy backlog, haha.

Onto blog-related matters, I know that one of the main foci of this blog is the translation of the Himegami no Miko web novel, probably followed by anime song lyric translations (which I haven’t done as of late). I have posted about a few yuri anime/manga series in passing without really reviewing them per se. I really did and do not want this to become (or be) one of those other review blogs. I think I’m aiming to bring my own perspective more to light by highlighting some aspects, I guess. Therefore, I’m going to try it and see how this works out. While I will always have a soft spot for Kannazuki no Miko, Chikane and Himeko in particular, it’s been years since it came out and was my gateway yuri series. Since then, I have read and watched a lot of other works. You can get an idea of what I’ve written in the past here, here, here, here, here, here, here and, most recently, here. Looking back on those posts, except the two most recent ones, makes me feel really nostalgic because I wrote them while I was in Japan for the first time. The U.S. economy was at its worst and I saw the dollar fall from a position of relative strength against the yen to a pitiful low. Nonetheless, I was having the time of my life, going hard at my studies while going all out exploring different cities, museums, restaurants, shops, shrines, temples, etc. Anyway, before I get lost in my precious memories…

Prism. Right. I can’t promise I won’t spoil anything at all about any series or titles I post about from now on. However, I definitely won’t say all there is to say about it, unless further discussion occurs through comments. Please, by all means, comment on these posts because I love to talk about this stuff, lol. Here goes nothing.

「prism」is one of those series that at first may seem easy to overlook. Serialized in Tsubomi (つぼみ) Magazine, it’s about a girl just entering high school named Megumi, or Megu for short. Around the time she was in sixth grade, she had experienced her first love with a boy who she had met and spent half a day with. She had been unable to forget Hikaru and had not experienced any other romance in junior high. Deciding to put her best foot forward and put him behind her, she sets out to find a real love this time. And at the entrance ceremony, Megu is approached by a very pretty girl who suddenly embraces her and whose name is Hikaru…

The concept of a first/old love being mistaken as a boy, but really being a girl, has been done a few times before. It is played for laughs at the beginning, but this is a serious tale about two high school girls in love. It doesn’t show the characters tossing and turning about in figuring out whether they like/love each other, only to finish when they discover that the feeling is mutual. Instead, it focuses on what happens after, like telling their friends about themselves and dealing with the disapproving looks, remarks and actions from strangers who aren’t keen on same-sex relationships. The mangaka, Higashiyama Shou, is known for other works that aren’t for me, but this series brings a fresher spin on the usual yuri plot and setting.

Another thing that strikes me in particular is the art style. It’s just really nice and crisp without the moe or over-exaggerated features. It’s one of the nicer styles compared to what the market is saturated with so much. I’m not an artist, but I definitely think this is something those with a keener eye for art will appreciate. Each panel on every page is used very smartly.

So yeah, if you aren’t too tired of the schoolgirl yuri trope, then this is definitely a series worth checking out!



  1. It sounds like prism is one to keep an eye on. It will be nice to read something that puts a different spin on the normal schoolgirl yuri. There is definitely a lot of traditional story line of “will these two girls actually realise they like each other before it’s too late”. Thanks for telling us about it :) I have only given your essay a glace so far (when things get less busy I will read it) but it looks interesting.

  2. It definitely is! The first volume is available for pre-order online and will be out on April 12th. I will admit that, in the past, I just used to read yuri however I could online. I still do now, the difference being that I actually do want to pay my dues, but I am stubborn in not ordering anything online when my mind rationalizes that I can just go straight to Japan to get it, lol. Well, there are some Japanese chain bookstores in New York City, but that’s several hours away from me, so it’s not like I can go there all the time. It’s a messed up philosophy but shows the type of person I am. XD

  3. I very much enjoyed reading Prism. Thank you. I have to sadly admit I found it online to read. :s I love buying books however from where I am from in England only the really popular manga series (Bleach, Death note, etc) are sold in stores. However at least you are going back to Japan now so you can catch up on your reading. =)

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