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Yukarism vol. 1&2 – Chika Shiomi

Yukarism by Chika Shiomi originally ran in Bessatsu Hana to Yume manga magazine from 2010-2014. It was licensed by Viz Shojo Beat and the first two volumes have been published as of this post. It is expected to run a total of 4 volumes.


Yukarism vol. 1 cover

Yukarism vol. 1 cover



The Gist: When Yukari meets classmate Mahoro Tachibana for the first time, the two of them can’t help but feel like they know each other. Yukari senses that they had a major connection in the past, but was their relationship friendly or deadly?



The Review: I anticipated another interesting supernatural story from Chika Shiomi, and Yukarism left me highly satisfied. The characters are all very fascinating, from our male protagonist who times slips as a woman, to the side characters that play classmates and past life acquaintances. I was hooked from volume one and couldn’t put down volume two until completion.



Seeing Yukari, a young high school guy, become an popular Oiran in the Edo period is funny and entertaining. Becoming an Oiran is challenging, because it requires certain skills that a high school guy wouldn’t have. He’s often trying to dodge the clients when he’s the Oiran because he remembers he’s really a guy…and that would be kind of awkward, right? Then there are the modern day counterparts that he encounters when he’s not in the past. People that are most likely the reincarnation of people he’s met in the Edo period. Shiomi does a good job of keeping you guessing who is who, and trying to put pieces of the puzzle together. It’s a tightly woven story, and I’m glad to see that it’s only 4 volumes because that means that it will not get dragged out.




One of my favorite scenes from vol. 1 where Yukari has to try and walk in an Oiran procession.

One of my favorite scenes from vol. 1 where Yukari has to try and walk in an Oiran procession.



The Art: Shiomi’s line art for Yukarism is as excellent as always. I really like the period-style clothing and the characters are distinctive looking enough that I’m not having flashbacks to earlier series. The paneling is pretty dynamic but not a lot of two page spreads. I like how there’s not an overabundance of tonal patterns in this series, but the toning does add a lot to the darker scenes. I don’t really care for the cover designs of this series, but the spreads from Bessatsu Hana to Yume are really gorgeous. I wish we could have gotten some of those in these volumes.




The first frontis page for Yukarism. The colors are so pretty compared to the designs of the covers.

The first frontis page for Yukarism. The colors are so pretty compared to the designs of the covers.





The Audience: Yukarism is a time travel fantasy, and would be enjoyed by Chika Shiomi fans as well as those who like historical fantasy. The Oiran is a prostitute, so that content makes this suitable for older teens and up.



The Media: Yukarism is available in 4 tankobans in Japan. We will be getting the rest of the series from Shojo Beat this year.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥♥


Highly Recommend if you like historical fantasy.





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Laura

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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