Note: Review copy supplied by Seven Seas Entertainment
Title: Syrup: A Yuri Anthology 1
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
A collection of short yuri manga about adult women in love by some of the hottest names in the industry!
Beyond the tales of high school girls in the first bloom of love, stories of grown women yearn to be told. The Syrup collection focuses on women navigating love for other women amidst the ups and downs of a working life. Featuring short manga stories by a star-studded line-up—including Milk Morinaga (Girl Friends), Kodama Naoko (I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up), and Yoshimurakana (Murciélago)—this fascinating collection is the perfect addition to any yuri library.
Syrup Volume 1 is an interesting collection. As you might expect from a multi-author anthology, the length and style of each story varies a fair bit. In fact, we can see everything from modern feeling pieces, to stories with an old style shoujo feel, and even some more simplistic art. It all fits together well thematically, so providing you don’t find aesthetic jumps like this jarring, you shouldn’t have any issue moving from story to story.
I love that the stories deal with adult characters too. A good high school romance is usually enjoyable, but I’m always on the lookout for releases featuring older protagonists. Here, the brunt of the stories are decent examples of this. We have both chance meetings and pre-established couples, meaning the romance is nice and varied.
My personal favourite was probably The Cram School Teachers by Mocchi_au_Lait which, bar a single moment of clumsy wording, did a fantastic job of showing how easy it is to explain LGBTQ matters to kids. Others, such as Kurogane Kenn’s Rose Quartz and First Grown-up Love by It Hachi, also shine, but in different ways. Also worth noting is that the cover art by Fly is very good and captures the feel of the anthology well.
One of the strongest parts of the collection is also one of its weaknesses. The book runs to 180 pages, which means that each tale has only a few pages. This means that they can be devoured in bite size chunks without feeling like you’re leaving anything unfinished. At the same time though, you won’t be seeing epic, slow-burn romance stories. So, if that’s more your thing, this won’t be an ideal purchase.
With so many authors involved, it would also be fair to say that the varied styles of storytelling will not always land for readers. For me, while most of the stories were sweet, there were a few that I found more troubling. This ranged from moments where the adults acted more like teens, and others with subject matter that didn’t sit well with me.
So, overall, this is a decent collection. As with any anthology, you may not enjoy everything equally, but the overall quality is strong, and there’s plenty of sweetness to enjoy. I give this a solid 3.75 out of 5.