Geishas are an icon of Japanese culture that, although their heyday is long post, continues to fascinate Westerners to this day. If you’ve wondered about the lives of these flowers of Japan’s bygone pleasure districts, you may want to consider Chika Shiomi’s historical/time slip manga, Yukarism. Read on for my review of Volume 3. (For my review of previous volumes, click here.)
Back cover Blurb
Yukari, Satomi and Mahoro are all influenced by their past life personalities and begin to lose control over their present-day behavior. While Mahoro wonders about Yukari’s true feelings for her, Yukari realizes exactly who Mahoro and Satomi were in the past! Meanwhile, Yukari’s journeys to the old days are becoming more and more dangerous…
Yukari’s a pretty self-absorbed character. It wasn’t for his writing skills, he’d probably be dismissed as a narcissistic jerk. However, in Volume 3, that aspect of him gradually changes. Much the way Mahoro and Satomi get “possessed” by their previous incarnations, Yumurasaki’s mannerisms and skills manifest in Yukari. Shiomi-sensei get some laughs out of it with Yukari’s male schoolmates suddenly falling for him the way Yumurasaki’s Edo era clientele did (though oddly, none of the boys question their attraction the way Satomi does). More importantly, Yukari finds himself wanting to know Satomi and Mahoro better, beyond the novelty of seeing their past and present lives overlap.
As such, we get more back story on Takamura and Kazuma. Although the reasons behind their devotion to Yumurasaki are very different, the intensity of their feelings are similar, and it becomes clear why their jealousy has endured to the present, even if Mahoro and Satomi don’t understand it. As in Volume 2, the two continue lapsing back to their previous selves with the effect alternating between comic and disturbing.
Then the situation gets completely chaotic when the past overlaps with the present. Yukari can’t be the aloof observer anymore, not when he’s actually experiencing Yukari’s sickness in his own body. With his own well-being threatened, his need to know what happened in the past becomes that much more critical, and the story becomes that much more exciting.
Extras include a bonus one-page manga, translation notes, and author bio.
Up till now, Yukari has been observing people and the bizarre string of events with a kind of detached amusement. Now he gets dragged out of his ivory tower and into the chaos that is increasingly affecting Mahoro and Satomi. With Yukari getting swept into his past self’s emotions, the story is becoming a much more compelling read.
First published at The Fandom Post.