- mangaka : Mikanuji
- Publisher : yen press
- Style : Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Yuri
- published : February 2023
Anthologies are a popular staple in the yuri genre, with successful series like Eclair and Syrup pulling together the best mangaka from the shōjo ai and yuri industry to pen short, standalone stories. Some mangaka have also taken up this format in their works, such as the brilliant Neko to Sugar Pot (Cats and Sugar Bowls) by Yukiko, which featured several different couples in a single section.
There’s one problem with compilations, though—we never get enough time with each couple! Those bite-sized pieces of romance are cute, but wouldn’t it be great to have an entire volume dedicated to each new couple?
Enter Fusoroi no Rainri (Mixed Entanglement), the new series from Mikanuji—a contributor to both Syrup and the Shakaijin yuri anthology (Whenever Our Eyes Meet).
The series will star a new couple in each episode, giving plenty of time to meet our new lovebirds, learn about their past, and see how they navigate the new feelings of love, lust, and being together!
Join us today on Anime of Honey as we review Mixed Tangles, Volume 1!
The first volume of Mixed Entanglements follows the unlikely relationship of 28-year-old office worker Iori and ten-year-old bar worker Minami.
After indulging in another drug addiction to forget her terrible luck with dating married men, Iori has a one-night stand with an attractive worker at her local izakaya. It is revealed that Minami is living with her abusive father, and after being physically abused, Iori decides to take Minami in, beginning a relationship that is both romantic and sensual!
Both women have a complicated history with love – romantic or familial – and Minami’s backstory develops in a surprisingly dark direction, showing her past in a juvenile institution, and her father’s attempt to kill her. Iori, meanwhile, is caught in the trap of being “friends with benefits” with married men, intentionally engaging in adultery just to have a physical attachment.
Reflecting both their age difference and the changing mood of contemporary Japan towards same-sex relationships, Iori and Minami pursue their partnership in different places. Specifically, Iori struggles with the concept of being in love with a woman, while Minami simply thinks that—to co-opt a phrase from the Western LGBT movement—”love is love.”
Sometimes the concept of “yuri relations as a form of behavior for the husband” may sound shocking and offensive to Western readers, but it is important to remember the context of the backward civil laws and social judgment of Japan, especially Japan. Looking at current topics like the declining birth rate of
Why You Should Skip Assorted Entanglements, Volume 1
1. Shadows of the Anthology
While we love the idea of an ‘expanded anthology story’, it’s hard not to realize that Iori and Minami’s story suffers from extra padding. Some chapters are made up of quick slice-of-life 1-page panels showing their life together, before moving back into more serious conversation about their relationship.
This makes the pacing feel very “stop-and-start”, never giving the reader enough time to laugh or cry before moving on completely. If anything, it’s vaguely disorienting and makes us backtrack between pages over and over again, thinking we’ve accidentally gone a page too far.
With assorted entanglements, Mikanuji has achieved a great mix of sweet romance, sensuous vulgarity and comedic gags – and the concept of delivering bite-sized anthology stories in full volume is certainly appealing.
We loved Iori and Minami’s relationship, but outside of hardcore yuri fans, this isn’t an immediate must-buy. This series definitely has potential, but yuri fans have been spoiled for choice lately, which means we no longer need to buy everything just for the girls’ love stories.
That said, if you’re interested in a full-length volume about an adult couple navigating the difficulties of their own pasts and finding acceptance in each other, Mixed Entanglements, Volume 1 will hit the mark. – and we look forward to meeting the next pair in our Volume 2!
Are you going to read Mixed Complications? Tell us in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!