Failed Princesses Vol. 5 Review

So, how many more ways can this series find to keep spinning its wheels rather than actually resolving the romantic tension?

I have not and am not going to review volume four, as I read it a while ago and am not much interested in bothering to go back, but – suffice to say, while that volume resolved the matter of Izumi’s crush on Fujishiro, the latter continued to squirm and deny that her interest in Kurokawa is romantic. So, volume five, here we go – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Fujishiro’s feelings continue to burble in a direction one figures even a gal like her would have to take note of at some point, and the appearance of a boy Kurokawa used to be classmates with – and who has a crush on Kurokawa – seems like it might be the final straw. For her own part, Kurokawa’s developed her own case of cluelessness, as she can’t manage to work out that she’s even on a date with the aforementioned boy… even after she accepted the invitation and also asked Fujishiro to help her shop for an outfit.

While this volume isn’t wholly without merit, at this point I’m weary of the sheer amount of fluffing out of a not particularly complicated story is going on. The degree to which characters have to be incapable of seeing what is right in front of their faces is truly astonishing; yeah, okay, I get it, it can be a bit hard to work out queer attraction when you’re living in an aggressively heteronormative society, but, like, damn, girls, c’mon. Something happens at the very end of the volume that should pretty much settle any mystery that’s going on but given how this story’s been written so far, it seems almost certain that a resolution will be held until the very, very end of the final volume (which is the next one at least, thank goodness).

The better material is confined to B storylines, in particular that of the matter of Fujishiro’s unresolved tension with her former friends Maho and Miki. This hasn’t gotten a whole lot of page count since the second volume, but, when compared with the primary storyline’s ability to make good use of time, that’s probably a plus. Here, we get a different spin on Fujishiro’s actions in earlier volumes, as a run-in with Maho forces us to consider that Fujishiro’s treatment of Miki was a bit unfair – Fujishiro flipping her lid for Miki just continuing to talk shit about Kurokawa when Fujishiro herself had only ever talked shit about the girl was totally out of left field and fairly uncharitable to Miki. We’re clearly not supposed to see Miki’s behavior as good but we are forced to consider that Fujishiro didn’t exactly cover herself in glory.

As frustrated as I am with the waffling around this series has tended toward, its not enough to get me to not read volume six when it comes out in English, although I can’t see myself picking it up right away unless I really am wickedly in the mood for schoolgirl yuri. (I’m a little bit surprised I read this so soon after it came out, and I blame Chasing After Aoi Koshiba for that – just put me in the mood for some schoolgirl stuff, and this at least is a known quantity.) Ho hum, I do wish this series was better.

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