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Manga / Gunjo

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All I had to do was say "I love you..." and she killed my piece of shit husband for me. Stupid lesbian.
The Brunette

The most common Yuri story follows a rather simple formula. Two schoolgirls fall in love, their relationship dynamic is built around being different ages and the worst thing that could happen is being called mean names (at least in modern yuri stories for the most part). Gunjo however, is not the common yuri story at all.

Written and drawn by Nakamura Ching, Gunjo tells the tale of two adult women on the run from the police. They killed a man. To be more specific, the Brunette told her Blonde lesbian friend that she loved her and asked her to kill the Brunette's abusive husband. The Blonde did and, for some reason, the Brunette opted to help her friend avoid the police. Their relationship together is anything from the typical one seen. It is abusive, unstable and obsessive. Gunjo is very blunt about this fact.


Gunjo is certainly not a series for everyone, but it is one to investigate if one is looking for a different sort of yuri.

After years of failed attempts, it received a Broad Strokes Netflix live-action film adaptation called Ride Or Die, which premiered on April 15, 2021.

This manga provides examples of

  • Abusive Parent: Brunette's father was physically and verbally abusive, which might explain why Brunette put up with her husband for so long.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Occasionally we get hints that Brunette might feel something for Blonde, even if it's a very twisted and dysfunctional something.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For as dark as things get, the series ends on a somewhat hopeful note. After a not-quite love confession, the Brunette turns herself in with the Blonde, and they make plans to find each other and live together once they serve their time.
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  • Blind Without 'Em: Brunette admits this after her glasses accidentally get broken.
  • Bungled Suicide:
    • The woman with the urn.
    • Later on, Blonde tries to kill herself, but Brunette gets to her in time.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The Blonde is half Japanese, thus the reason for the blonde hair. She is actually mistaken for a foreigner or questioned on her ethnicity more than once.
  • Death of a Child: In chapter 2, the baby son of the woman dies.
  • Desecrating the Dead: At one point, the two women return to Brunette's old home. She kicks over her father's funeral shrine.
  • Domestic Abuse: Brunette's motivation for wanting her husband dead, with the final straw being him causing her to miscarry.
  • Driven to Suicide:
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Blonde's brother may be a meathead who can't quite wrap his brain around the idea of her being a lesbian, but he makes some very good points when he confronts her about how Brunette has basically ruined her life.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Seeing Blonde topless, but covered in dried blood and with open knife wounds on her arms and breasts.
    • Any nude scenes of Brunette will involve seeing the massive bruises that cover her body.
    • At one point, the two women have sex in the bathroom while Brunette is having her period. We even see Blonde's fingers get all bloody.
    • The woman from ch. 2 is shown in a later chapter bathing with her barely-toddler-age son; the point at which we see her breasts is when she discovers that he's drowned in the bathtub.
  • Femme Fatale: Both women—the Blonde seduced the Brunette's husband before killing him and the Brunette seduced the Blonde into doing it.
  • Forced Miscarriage: The Brunette's abusive husband kicked her in the stomach when she was about midway through a pregnancy, causing her to miscarry. It's especially traumatic for her because she has a medical condition that makes conception very difficult.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The Brunette shows signs of this. There are times when she seems to be completely hollow and many times she lashes out at Blonde for trying to help her.
  • Furo Scene: In chapter 7 with Brunette and Blonde, and in ch. 21 with Brunette and Blonde's heavily-pregnant sister-in-law.
  • Impaled Palm: A variant. At one point, Blonde seemingly attempts to kill Brunette with a razor, but Brunette catches it in her hand, causing a deep cut that has problems healing because she keeps doing things that reopen the wound.
  • Incompatible Orientation: As far as we know the Brunette is straight, which is part of the reason their relationship is so complicated.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Blonde stabbed the husband while they were having sex.
  • Irony: It was Blonde's ultimatum during high school that prompted Brunette to go marry her abusive husband in the first place...and then she wound up getting Blonde to murder him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The Blonde knows what a horrible life Brunette has had and despite the physical and psychological abuse she takes from Brunette, she keeps trying to help her.
  • Japanese Christian: While visiting a temple with her girlfriend in a flashback, Blonde reveals that her family is Christian, which might explain their view on her sexuality, besides general Japanese cultural beliefs. Its not made clear how the Blonde feels about her own faith.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Brunette has a medical condition that prevents her from being able to stay pregnant. The one time that she was able to keep a pregnancy, her husband kicked her in the stomach, causing her to miscarry.
  • Lesbian Jock: The Brunette's rival from their high school track-and-field team.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: The Blonde, in high school.
  • Love Martyr: The Blonde. When Brunette complains that it would have been better for her if her husband and Blonde had just killed each other, Blonde apologizes.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: We don't get to see the act, but the Blonde insists she made certain he was dead. Later on, it's made absolutely clear when his body is found and the police begin looking for Brunette.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Both women like to screw around with each other's heads.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Shows up in chapter 2. Brunette knocks a woman's purse off a table at a restaurant, breaking something inside. Turns out it was the urn holding her son's ashes.
  • Nameless Narrative: So far, neither the Brunette's name nor the Blonde's has been revealed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Blonde's loan to the Brunette and her conditions (they'd have sex in five years if the Brunette couldn't pay it back) led to the Brunette marrying a horribly abusive man in order to pay back the money. What's worse is that the Blonde wasn't serious about the sex; she just wanted to help her friend.
  • Not Good with People: The Brunette, sort of. Her relationships with people tend to be horribly dysfunctional, but dogs adore her.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The murdered husband savagely beat Brunette; also, see Law of Inverse Fertility above.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Blonde's sister-in-law is almost always portrayed with an irritated-looking scowl.
  • Pervert Dad: The Brunette's father had some porn magazines in which some of the models looked like her. Unfortunately, it went beyond that to full Parental Incest and child abuse.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You
  • Signature Style: The artist has a tendency to give her characters prominent, rather unrealistic-looking ears, and this is especially evident with the Brunette, who looks like she has coffee mug handles on the sides of her head.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Brunette and the Blonde (respectively) during their highschool years. The Brunette grew out of it and now is more lady-like.
  • The Unfavorite: The Brunette resembled her father more than her two sisters did. So when her mother finally fled the relationship, she took them with her but left the Brunette behind.
  • Yuri Genre: Of a dark and twisted variety that most yuri will never approach.