Women Are Just the Best: Reviewing mk’s “The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love” Vol. 1!

Publisher: mk books

Printing Company: pixivFACTOY

JP/Original Title:
おさななじみの百合夫婦生活 Vol.1

Original Story & Art by:
mk (@mk87692884)

Translator: BPS co., Ltd.

Page Length: 21
Color or B/W: Color

TWs/CWs: N/A

Reader’s Note: I purchased a copy of The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love from mk’s BOOTH store. No review copy was provided. This review contains mild spoilers, but is image-free. Opinions are my own.

One Sentence Summary
Childhood friends Mai and Emi are two twenty-somethings that are still madly in love after ten years of being super lovey-dovey in their domestic life together.

Expanded Summary (Take from the Product Page)
An original girls-love manga about a flirtatious lesbian couple who were childhood friends. These two girls have been friends since childhood, and even now that they’re grown up, they’re still just as close and lovey-dovey.

After looking over my slew of reviews for 25 Days of Manga, I’ve come to realize something: I really want to revise how I review. I love writing loads of words, but honestly… it can be a bit much on me, especially as I start to review more frequently.

I’d like to have that same impactful content, but within a more feesable format, especially in terms of word count. Maybe somewhere in the 1,250 to 1,500 word range. Yeah… that feels good! That being said, let’s get in some practice with a lovely indie title: The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love Vol. 1 by mk.

The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love Vol. 1 (hereafter Yuri Couple) is an original story abotu two lesbians named Mai and Emi. Both are twenty-somethings (specifically, they’re 29) living together in the most charming apartment with their cat, Mii-chan. It’s quite simple, but honestly simple is best. Plus, like… women loving each other is just the greatest thing on Earth!

Mai, our glasses wearing girl from the cover, dreams of being a novelist, but works as a magazine editor. Emi, our brown haired, bun-sporting lead, works as a nurse and loves photography and baking sweets. Together, they make a very, very cute couple who share a very sweet domestic life together.

This first volume gets nostalgic from the start when Mai finds some old pictures of herself and Emi from high school. In many ways, both women look the same and just cute as can be! Still, it leads to a lot of heartwarming interaction between Emi and Mai as they reminiscence on the past, before they started dating.

Emi and Mai are two of the most charming characters I’ve had the delight of reading this year, and I’ve read a lot of doujinshi. I think they’re particularly nice because they feel intensely human, but also remind me of my own sapphic relationship. I see a lot of myself in Mai in particular: she’s quite shy, a bit more sensative, but very earnest. Her love for Emi is so clear and so darn cute!

Their charm is further helped by mk-sensei’s art which is just so incredibly cute. It’s clear that mk-sensei has worked hard to become a quality artist. Additionally, they’ve chosen to do this volume completely in color which really shows off all of the super linework and the really, really lovely designs. Of note is Mai who’s a bit of a plumper character. It’s always nice to see different body types in manga.

One of the most refreshing things about this first volume is how open mk-sensei is with Mai and Emi’s desires. It’s very clear that these are two women who truly love each other. This extends from to Emi getting a bit amorous with Mai, and even a bit handsy.

Although I’m asexual and have no interest in sexual engagement, I find it really, really heartening to see WLW couples being shown -and drawn- wanting to have sex. For many people, sex is a part of their life: it’s something they want and desire and maybe even consider a “need”.

Yet often times, Yuri kind of handwaves away sex and just… seems to forget that women have desires too. And while there’s no sex in this all-ages volumes, it’s still nice to see that Emi and Mai are affectionate to their core. I really love that I’m finding more and more adult-focused Yuri with sex in mind, even if it’s not depicted. It’s really great!

The translation for this is solidL it’s not ground-breaking, but it’s enjoyable enough. Sometimes, the word choice feels a bit… odd, but for the most part, it’s a solid 7 out of 10. It’s readable, not particularly memorable and not what I would say is “great”. It’s good, and that’s enough. Interstingly, there’s no explicit translator for this volume: it looks like the publisher went through a company. I’d be curious to know who handled this lovely title.

My only other complaint in regards to this first volume is the lettering. I’m not sure if mk handled lettering themselves, or had an assistant. From the font choice, I assume it was handled on their own, or perhaps by the same company that did the translation. The font looks more like a Times New Roman-esque serif versus a more “manga-centric” style of lettering. Also, some text bubbles are a bit off center, or poorly balanced.

Truth be told, I’d really love to see mk-sensei get a solid letterer to add that last bit of polish onto a really great doujin. I think that mk-sensie’s work is worth having some high quality lettering, though as it is, it’s perfectly readable and doesn’t take you out of the story too much.

I’d really love to have this volume in print, or better: a nice, chunky mk-sensei manga on my shelf! I’m quite hungry for more of Mai and Emi’s lovey-dovey life together! Hopefully, as mail starts to normalize in 2021, I’ll be able to support mk-sensei by picking up more of their work, especially if there’s physical editions.

As of this review, Yuri Couple is a digital only title. However, you can purchase a copy from mk’s BOOTH store, which a platform sponsored by Pixiv. Even better, you can get a double pack of the original Japanese doujin and the English for 250 yen, which is such a great deal! I highly suggest picking up a copy to add to your digital collection. I know that I treasure my digital copy, and can’t wait for Vol. 2.

TL;DR: The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love Vol. 1 is a cute, quick read about two twenty-somethings who are madly in love. It’s a nice, realistic series that feels very true to the lives of many WLW, and a solid piece of lesbian representation. I highly suggest picking up a copy to enjoy during your lunch or when you have half an hour as readers will want to induldge in mk’s incredibly charming art.

Read If You Like…
* Adult Yuri Couples
* Slice of Life
* Short Stories
* Lesbian / WLW Couples
* Stories about domesticity
* (Childhood) Friends to Lovers Trope

Plot/Story: 9
Art: 9.5
Translation: 7
Lettering: 6
Characters: 8.5

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

If you like what I’ve got to say, want to support my reviews, or just generally want to support my ongoing creative and professional endeavors, please consider buying me a nice cup of Ko-fi or donating to me via PayPal. I’m also currently avaliable for essay commissions via Ko-Fi, which will be hosted via my Medium. You can further support my work and creativity by gifting me research materials from my Japanese Reference Materials wishlist, which is hosted by Amazon JP.

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3 thoughts on “Women Are Just the Best: Reviewing mk’s “The Life of a Yuri Couple in Love” Vol. 1!

  1. The Afictionado December 29, 2020 / 6:21 PM

    This art style looks so cute! And it’s childhood friends to lovers!! I might have to check this one out


    • Mercedez Clewis December 30, 2020 / 2:40 PM

      It’s really, really cute, and honestly, I’d love to have like, a print of the cover. I really liked the shading and the color design as well. Childhood friends to lovers is my favorite thing, so it’s always nice to read even short works like this. I definitely suggest checking it out, especially sincei t’s 250 yen!


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