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Yuri Is My Job! Vol. 4 Review

Sumika tells a cautionary tale from Liebe Girls Academy’s past.

Miman’s Yuri Is My Job! has thus far impressed me with its successful mix of earnest character drama and an over-the-top setting and tropes. Last time around Sumika confronted Kanoko about her feelings for Hime, and Vol. 6 picks up with the fallout as well as the results of the Blume selection. Tensions are higher than ever at Liebe Girls Academy, but is this volume good?

This volume’s strongest asset is definitely its character development. Sumika in particularly seems like a much more dynamic character by the book’s end, though Kanoko is perhaps the manga’s true shining star. Through telling a cautionary story about past lovers upsetting group dynamics at the cafe, Sumika reveals more about her motivations and we see a meaner side to her character than has come up previously. This facet of her is balanced by some unexpected compassion, however. Meanwhile, Kanoko shows a level of inner strength and determination that really adds depth and helps her stand out as more than just the timid member of the cast. Both characters’ relationships with their fellow co-workers (including each other) take unexpected turns, and all in all this volume has some of the most satisfying character drama in the series. Watching events unfold differently than expected helps keep the reading experience interesting, and by the volume’s end we get enough fleshing out of the characters to understand why they act the way they do.

This volume also succeeds in the art department. There’s an air of decadence to the imagery that’s befitting of all the emotional intensity and genre tropes while never coming across as discrediting them. The most memorable shot in the volume is one of a new character from Sumika’s story surrounded by dark roses, signaling both her beauty and the danger she poses to the Academy’s status quo. The patterns and shading throughout are also well-done, as are the facial expressions. Kanoko in particular is the subject of some quite affecting panels.

The book stays consistently strong throughout, with its only major weak spot being the last chapter. The cafe employees get new uniforms for the summer, and they’re a nice change of pace from the previous designs we’d seen consistently up until that point. Unfortunately, Miman also uses this as a chance to lean into the trope of a well-endowed female character receiving way more attention while wearing the outfit than her co-workers do. The chapter largely consists of the other characters trying to find ways to make the other girl cover up more without making her feel like they’re shaming her for looking salacious. It’s just a tired sort of humor that not even Miman manages to imbue with charm, and it’s all the more tedious since the character in question receives no other significant page-time in this volume.

Overall, Yuri Is My Job! Vol. 4 succeeds thanks to its character drama filled with unexpected but sensible twists. The visuals also match the over-the-top nature of the setting, and by the time the book’s finished the manga’s whole world feels a bit more fleshed out. Unfortunately the last chapter is rather tedious, but the book is still good as a whole.

Is it good?
An enjoyable, character-driven volume.
The twists are enjoyable and unexpected while still feeling earned
Several characters are effectively fleshed out by the book's end
The artwork's sense of decadence matches the over-the-top setting well
The final chapter is a lame retread of familiar breast humor

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