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Manga / Octave

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Octave by Haru Akiyama is a yuri manga published by Kodansha in 2008.

Constant target of vicious rumors and social unacceptance in her hometown, 18 year-old Yukino Miyashita moves to Tokyo to flee from her former life fronting a minor idol group. Her teenage dreams dashed to pieces, she tries to deal with life while working as an assistant manager for a modeling company under a lecherous boss. Yukino's loneliness is shattered by a chance meeting with the gorgeous Setsuko Iwai, a 22 year-old composer, who quickly takes a liking to the depressive girl. In a flurry of raw emotions, they have sex and work out their feelings for each other afterwards.

Vicious memories, former trysts, self-esteem issues and lukewarm friends make navigating this dramatic lesbian romance intense. This manga is mature — a serious take on the Yuri Genre as well as sexually-charged and realistic.


Octave contains examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts:
  • Cliffhanger: Yukino sleeping with a male stranger at the end of volume two.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Yukino has severe trust issues in regards to Setsuko's friendships and past relationships, and the possibility Setsuko might someday leave her. Yukino's usually too passive to act on her fears, but they have some rough patches because of it. Largely abated towards the end of volume 3.
  • Closet Key: Setsuko.
  • Covert Pervert: While she would never admit it, Yukino is a little obsessed with sex.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • Yukino's sexual frustration seem to culminate towards moments like these. Even after she started dating Setsuko.
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    • It also appears that Setsuko seems to keep herself busy this way whenever Yukino isn't around.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A lot of Yukino's angst comes from the fact that since she already lived her dream, and because she failed it, she has no idea what she should do now, by the end she begins to find purpose in being a manager for Idols and being with Setsuko.
  • Does Not Like Men: Yukino, primarily, and Setsuko. Mari, Setsuko's brother, is an exception.
  • Furo Scene: A few, actually. Especially since Setsuko's new apartment has a bathtub.
  • Gayngst:
    • Yukino does quite a bit of this in volume two.
    • Shiori opens up a big ole can of angst when she gives her own little Coming-Out Story to Yukino, revealing a messy breakup and future intentions.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: While fairly tame, Octave is rather explicit by comparison to most others.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Yukino often shows a lot of jealousy towards idols, particularly her childhood friend Mika.
    • Setsuko is bit of this herself, but under the pressure of not trying to scare Yukino out of their relationship because of possessiveness, she keeps that monster tamed - most of the time, at least.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Setsuko and Mari.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Yukino is painfully obvious about this.
  • Idiot Ball: A lot of the drama derives from Setsuko and Yukino taking turns behaving like idiots toward each other.
  • Idol Singer: Yukino, in the backstory, and Mika now. The latter serving as a sort of foil for Yukino, as she managed to get the career and reputation Yukino never could.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Kamo-chan at the railway station. Friendship or something more? You decide.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Mari’s friend Oozawa has a very obvious crush on Yukino, and she is aware of it, but can’t reciprocate. It’s unlikely she’d fall for any other man either.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Yukino. Big time.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Setsuko, Yukino, and Shiori.
  • Love Triangle: Type 4 withi Setsuko, Yukino, and Shiori. note 
  • Nice Guy: Mari first, and then Oozawa. Considering that Yukino Does Not Like Men, it's a good thing to have such unaffected, nice boys around for her to get over her disdain.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Yukino and Setsuko go on one. Since they're both girls, they janken to decide who rows.
  • One Head Taller: Setsuko to Yukino.
  • Public Exposure: Yukino's friend Nao, from her old idol group, is now a porn actress.
  • Secret Relationship:
    • Yukino and Setsuko.
      • Actually, Yukino just thinks it's supposed to be a secret. Setsuko keeps their relationship low key, but she's not actively trying keep people from finding out. This misunderstanding leads to a little bit of drama (natch).
    • Shiori tries to convince Yukino to have one as well.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Oozawa and Mari. Well, Mari may not be a total manly man, but he does walk around wearing shades, a wife-beater and isn't afraid to pee in public, so he's about the most testosterone-filled thing in the series.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: A female version.
  • Sex for Solace: Yukino is an incredibly lonely and often depressed girl, whose sole bright spot in life is her relationship with Setsuko, so for her sex is sometimes more about letting go of her feelings then anything else.
  • Sex Sells: A recurring theme is the in fiction example of this trope.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Shiori suggests that Yukino is this way to Setsuko.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Not Setsuko and Yukino. This trope applies to Yukino's friend Kamota and Yukino.
  • Transparent Closet:
    • Yukino seems to be in one, considering that anyone with a pair of Yuri Goggles seems to figure her out. Quite literally. It doesn't stop her from trying to claim that she's simply Mistaken for Gay.
    • For the more goggle-inclined, there's Kamo-chan. An If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... speech is a bit much for just friendship.
  • True Art Is Angsty: In-Universe, Setsuko gains some praise for a song she composed during a rough patch of her relationship with Yukino.