Milk Morinaga is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular yuri mangaka of all time. She already released numerous manga, doujinshi and even one-shots for many different yuri magazines. Furthermore, since she is so popular in this genre and since she already published so many yuri works within the last 10 years, some people even call her “The Queen of Yuri”.
Without doubt, her most popular work is “Girl Friends”, her 5 volume-long yuri manga about the sweet love story between Mari and Akko. Besides Girl Friends she has also released a number of other yuri manga, her most recent ones being “The Secret Recipe” and “Gakuen Police”.
In addition to that she has published numerous one-shots, as well as doujinshi about anime such as Sailor Moon, Utena, Pretty Cure and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Her works vary from cute and innocent to stories with horror, rape and gore elements involved. And even though almost all of her manga have yuri as a main or a sub-theme, it’s mostly her more innocent and cute works that are really popular among us yuri fans.
Well, does that come as a surprise? Not for me.
I’m pretty sure many people don’t even know about Milk Morinaga’s “Mare” or “Milk Shell” and that’s probably a good thing.
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My personal favorite is definitely Girl Friends, closely followed by Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry-Blossom Pink. These are such cute and lovely stories, that I think every yuri fan should have at least taken a look at them.
Also, for those of you who are interested, I’m going to leave some words on her two most recent works as well:
First we have The Secret Recipe, a yuri love story between two quite different high school girls. The setting for this one is a school cooking club and the genre is mostly comedy.
In the beginning of the manga, the yuri is quite heavy, but as the series continues, the comedy starts to dominate this manga, leaving not much room for some actual romance.
Secondly we have Gakuen Police, yet another yuri love story between high school girls. This time however, they are not really high school girls, but rather undercover police officers, stationed in the same school. There are not that many translated chapters out yet, so it’s hard to judge it right now, but just like The Secret Recipe, I just feel like the romance is missing.
Mostly you can call Milk Morinaga’s art style cute, with characters with big round eyes and in general with a rather childishly cute outward appearance. Furthermore, most of the characters she draws, are school girls, which she herself states, she likes drawing the most and I have to agree, she’s damn good at that~
However there’s one thing that bothers me a little, even though it might not be a big deal for most of you.
The number one aspect that makes us readers recognize her art style, is the fact that many of her characters look like exact copies of Akko and Mari (Girl Friends); one with short dark hair and one with long blond hair. It is mostly recognizable in her more recent works, but in general I think that the way she draws her characters, partly make them look very similar, which I’m personally not very fond of.
I mean even though I loved Akko and Mari, I constantly had to remind myself that the stories in Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry-Blossom Pink were not a continuation of Girl Friends…
As already mentioned above, most of her works come with yuri as the main theme, while some of them only feature a yuri couple as side characters and I think there are even some works with no yuri at all, but those are quite rare.
Completely disregarding her older works such as “Mare”, “Bunny’s Road” or “Milk Shell”, we mostly have high school love stories with a cute and innocent romance slowly building up.
However, Milk Morinaga’s stories are not always as cute and innocent as I just stated. In Girl Friends for example we experience the relationship from the point in which both girls are still strangers, to the point the two of them have their first time with each other.
So in many cases, the sex is displayed in a rather innocent and non-explicit manner, just like it was in Girl Friends. However there are also some more explicit works, but none of them are really extreme or over the top, at least not in my opinion.
All in all I can say that I for one really enjoyed both her SFW and NSWF manga/doujinshi.
Total Enjoyment 8/10:
Milk Morinaga is not my favorite yuri mangaka, but I still think she deserves to be called “The Queen of Yuri”, especially if we take into account for just how long she’s already been publishing yuri stories and how successful she is with it.
Also she’s the author of the most famous yuri manga “Girl Friends” which has already been licensed in numerous countries, even in Germany, which made me really happy~
Find her on the Dynasty Reader: http://dynasty-scans.com/authors/morinaga_milk