The Yin and Yang of Yuri Couples

So, has anybody else noticed a LOT of yuri couples tend to be a blonde and a brunette? I asked that to myself, so I ended up going on a long train of thought again and ended up with this post about Taoism in Japanese girls’ love manga.

Hey, whatever gets my brain jogged this week.

The Yin and Yang aspect comes from the usual trope in these stories that firmly believes in the saying of “opposites attract”. Of course, you can say that about a lot of romance stories, but shoujo ai takes it a step further by having almost every memorable story they have center around this concept, from the appearances to personalities of their characters.

Notice how there is a girl with long, proper, pale hair and another with shorter, unkempt dark hair in all of these couples. See how their expressions are inverse of the other, ranging from the obvious aggressive, short-haired brunette contrasting with the passive, long-haired blonde-

-or the more subtle determined gaze of the blonde to the nervous one of the brunette here.

This is a very common trope in all of shoujo ai. It not only shows us the Yin and Yang from a visual standpoint, but also serves to tell the reader about the difficulties of the whole “forbidden fruit” aspect of girls’ love by making their differences even more pronounced. To them, these differences only amplify just how strange their romance is compared to the “norms” set by Japanese society.

This is not only to show that there are more things to worry about besides the whole same-sex issue, but also to provide conflict for the characters whose differences might lead them to believe that their feelings are unnatural, and Shoujo ai revels in the acceptance of these “unnatural” feelings through the power of pure love. Yin and Yang, contrary to what some people believe, actually complement each other, not work against,and it’s very clearly seen in these stories.

The Yin is described to be an inward energy that is dark, still and most importantly, feminine. This does not mean that they are gloomy or unfriendly, though that is more likely, but that they usually tend to be the ones to think negatively in the relationship.

They are the ones who are unsure of what they feel at first, are introverted, or generally just shy in comparison to their significant other. They tend to be the more submissive one in the relationship, and quite a lot of conflict is caused by their insecurity. They also go about their hobbies also go towards more peacefully, such as reading or gardening, or if they do sports, play cold and calculated.

Now, the Yang-

No, not that one.

– on the other hand, is the one who is more outgoing, confident, and described to be more “masculine”,which in this case just means more aggressive. They tend to be very confident but at times, insensitive to the feelings of the Yin because they believe that she is as confident as they are. They tend to be the dominant ones in any relationship.

Maybe it is this Yang.

They also tend to be very sporty and excel at the things they like doing, and this is usually why the Yin ends up falling for them.

Manga like Girl Friends and Hana to Hoshi play this trope very straight, and can be considered great gateways to shoujo ai manga, although the story is very typical and more prone to melodrama.

What I like about the Yin-Yang relationship though, is that it is not absolute, because every Yin has a little bit of Yang, and vice versa. That’s why those dots are on them.

This is best seen in shoujo ai such as Fragtime, where both girls switch on the dynamic at certain points of the story. I like these stories for exploring the characters’ motivations and thoughts more rather than just focusing on the romance.

I might be reaching, but I like how they’re also curled like a yin and yang.

Conclusion

You know, I’m not gonna lie. I started reading Shoujo Ai expecting more fluff and smut than substance, and while that happened with some of the manga I’ve read, I actually found a lot of stories I really liked for the good writing and character development. I highly recommend Fragtime for this reason. By the way, the MC has time stop powers-

– and uses it to do stuff like this. So, that’s a hook.

Yamade to Kase-san is what I read for fluff, and it was some damn good fluff with enough good character moments to keep me invested in this couple.

Shoujo ai was certainly unexpected in a lot of ways for me, but I like the genre a lot now. It’s not exactly action-packed or thrilling, but sometimes, all I want is a wholesome romance to finish off the day.

TLM

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