25 Days of Manga, Day 10 of 25 – Éclair Orange (Review)

Publisher: Yen Press

Author/Artist: Various (Anthology)

Translator: Eleanor Summers

Letterer: Erin Hickman

Genre: Yuri

Rating: M (Mature/18+)

Release Date: 11/17/2020

MSRB: US $13.00 / CAN $17.00

Reviewer’s Note: I received a review copy of Éclair Orange from Yen Press in exchange for an honest review of the volume. I was not compensated for my review, nor will I be compensated post-review. All manga reviews are spoiler-free and image-free unless noted in the review. Opinions are my own.

Day 10 is here and today, I’m going to be picking up a manga in one of my favorite genres: that’s right, a Yuri manga. Namely, Éclair Orange, the fifth installement in the Éclair yuri anthology series. I’m really excited about this so…let’s jump in!

Yen Press bills Éclair Orange as an anthology full of “tales from maidens’ hearts”, which is a pretty accurate way to describe a series of one-shots focused on wlw couples. I tried to think of a better summary, but I feel that Yen Press is very spot on, so let’s just stick with that wonderful description.

As this is an anthology, there’s a lot of creators involved. Here’s a rundown: Nio Nakatani, U35, bb Kuroda, Kumiko Takeba, Miyako Miyahara, Iri Arata, Yuriko Hara, Ruka Kobachi, Taki Kitao, Aya Fumio, Kazuno Yuikawa, Canno, Kabocha, Izumi Kawanami, Haruka Kiriyama, and Auri Hirao. Notably, Nio Nakatani handled the cover, which is absolutely the cutest thing ever. 

Some of these creators will be instantly knowable to global audiences: I think Nio Nakatani, Canno, Yuriko Hara, and instantly stand out from that list. However, there’s lots of new mangaka -or, at least, new to non-Japanese audiences- to discover, which is why I was so excited to read Éclair Orange.

Here’s the thing about anthologies: there’s hits, there’s misses, but in general, most stories tend to fall into the middle. However, I honestly think that this entry in the Éclair series might be the best. There were a lot of really good stories: in fact, I think I generally enjoyed almost every one! There were definitely a few that I didn’t like, but it wasn’t because they’re bad: it was more of a personal taste kind of thing.

However, I can soundly say I’ve got quite a few favorites: Nio Nakatani’s “Double Bed”, Miyako Miyahara’s “Unbreakable Distance”, Yuriko Hara’s “52-Hertz Whale”, Ruka Kobachi’s “Wavering Lips”, Ayo Fumio’s “Between Before and After”, Kazuno Yuikawa’s “A New Star”, Kabocha’s “One Point of Intersection”, and . Those are the stories that stood out to me most, and are definitely some of the highlights of this thick anthology volume.

(Can you tell I really liked Éclair Orange? Because I did!) 

Truth be told, I think I liked “Double Bed” the most, but that’s probably because I recently moved in with my own partner, and we also just invested in a king-sized bed so that we can share a bedroom. I know I’ll certainly be glad for her to move from the living room couch: while it’s sweet of her to have me on the bed, I miss her dearly, and look forward to kissing her good night as part of my daily routine.

My final thoughts are this: upon closing this anthology, I realized that for a “mature” rated, there wasn’t a lot of sexual content. In fact, there was more language that was mature than anything else. I kind of found that refreshing, but I think that’s because I tend towards Yuri manga that doesn’t include sex as a central part of the story or content. Still, don’t give this volume to underage readers: this is still an athology for those who are eighteen plus.

As with all the manga I’ve enjoyed for 25 Days of Manga, this was a truly lovely treat. It was quite relaxing to kick back with a bunch of brand new Yuri stories, especially since they’re all self-container Really, all the titles I’ve reviewered here on Backlit Pixels have been enjoyable, at the bare minimum. 

That was really my goal when I decided to actually commit to the read-a-thon: I wanted to make myself sit down and enjoy reading loads of manga, which is a medium I have a true passion for. I look forward to the next thirteen days: I’ve got loads of titles to chew through, especially if I plan to make my goal of 200 books for 2020.

As always… on to the next read!

TL;DR: Éclair Orange is an incredibly pleasant series of one-shots that help make the fifth entry into the Éclair series the best yet. There’s a lot of amazing Yuri mangaka between the covers, as well as a wide range of genres, including fantasy, comedy, fluff, and straight forward romance. While there’s a few stories that are either “just okay” or not to my personal preference, there’s so much that’s really well executed. Truly, there’s something for ever kind of Yurijin and yuri reader.

I highly recommend picking this up for yourself, as well as the Yuri Lover in your life, especially since it’s the holidays. Make sure you don’t miss out on some really heartwarming stories about gals being the best of pals!

Read If You Like…
* Short stories and one-shots
* Anthologies and Story Collections
* Yuri with an adult-audience focus
* Stories about Adult Relationships
* Mature/Sexual Yuri
* Fluff Stories
* Sensual/Softcore Stories
* Realistic Queer Stories

Rating: 🟊🟊🟊🟊½ / 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bingo Card: Mistletoe Worth First Kiss(es)

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