Review

Whole of Humanity Has Gone Yuri Except for Me GN 1

I must say, the title and initial premise of this two-volume series did have me wondering just how much the story would fall back on gay panic or other stereotypes for the sake of cheap comedy or fanservice. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how seriously the manga took itself, and that the inciting incident wasn’t just an excuse to create an otherworldly comedic situation. Beneath the ridiculousness of The Whole of Humanity Has Gone Yuri‘s premise – waking up one day to suddenly find that all the women of the world have become lesbians since men died off hundreds of years ago – is a genuine attempt at creating a narrative arc for our main characters, complete with a climax which seeks to resolve all loose ends. The question, then, is whether or not said attempt resulted in an engaging story. And I think it has, despite the fact that the manga doesn’t always know the best way to stick the landing.

The Whole of Humanity Has Gone Yuri Except for Me starts off with a surprising amount of self-awareness as it introduces our main character Marika to a far more gay version of her life than she is used to. Predictably, no one believes her when she says that she is from another world, but then a girl named Lily decides to humor her, kickstarting a sci-fi mystery story about parallel worlds and questions about identity. Throw in some romantic drama and you have some pretty standard building blocks that at times mesh together surprisingly well. The story is self-aware about the ridiculousness of its premise; Marika’s claims of being from another world are met with surprisingly realistic reactions from other characters especially since, from their perspective, she’s always been a part of this world and her suddenly talking about men runs right in the face of their own reality. Our two leads are very proactive despite their quirks and the story never really loses momentum throughout the two volumes; it has a very straightforward approach of getting its readers from point A to point B while still managing to work in moments of quiet introspection from our leads.

Themes of feeling out of place, feeling lost, and trying to figure out where your feelings for someone might come from are well-integrated into the story. When Marika goes on about how she never really fit in or how her private life seemed disjointed, it works both as a relatable character moment and a well-foreshadowed plot point. Lilly’s characterization is a bit more standard, but no less genuine, especially since she carries a sense of desperation that only grows as the story progresses. These two have great chemistry together and while their banter can feel a bit cliché, the rest of their character interactions are capable of evoking both humor and emotional pathos.

This is in no small part thanks to the manga’s artwork, which is an absolute highlight. Not only are the designs of our two leads distinct, but they also perfectly contrast with each other to reflect their differing personalities. There are some impressive panel layouts that help carry the emotional weight of certain scenes, and the manga’s use of shading different variations of black or gray do wonders in setting up a scene. While a lot of the side characters do feel a bit lazy comparatively in their design, it’s clear the artist knew what parts needed the most attention in order to convey what a character was feeling at any moment. The result is a manga that’s very immersive; I would almost be tempted to recommend the manga just based on the artwork and fun main character interactions alone. Unfortunately, there are some major hiccups to the plotting that hold the manga back.

The author’s decision to treat their story’s premise with an air of seriousness and urgency means that they couldn’t rely on any superficial or shallow resolutions. While the first third of this massive volume is strong and does a good job of setting up the mystery on top of some nice character moments between our two leads, when it comes time for the narrative to start progressing towards a definitive conclusion, you can feel the author buckling under the weight. There is an attempt to imbue a sense of logic to the circumstances that led to the manga’s inciting incident, and while the theories discussed can be fun (if a little routine), the way in which we are given this information gets lazier as the book goes on, and new characters are introduced simply as plot devices to further the narrative without any real connection to anything else.

I could forgive these contrivances if didn’t start affecting the aforementioned character interactions that I found so enjoyable. The story starts over-explaining where characters are and why they might feel the way that they do, as if every circumstance needed to happen for a reason that relates back to the main plot in some way. It all feels like the author had an intended ending in mind but attempted to prolong the story by adding additional details and revelations along the way, which can be exhausting to read. It genuinely became harder to appreciate some of the manga’s better qualities because its plotting is so ingrained in how we get to those moments. Trying to come up with a plot-related reason for everything would only result in a story that’s less believable overall. If the author just pulled back some of these twists and revelations, it might’ve led to more loose ends, but it would’ve definitely resulted in a more emotionally-fulfilling story.

To sum up, The Whole of Humanity Has Gone Yuri Except for Me was an interesting read that definitely had more to it than I originally thought. However, more doesn’t always necessarily mean better. While the artwork is gorgeous and the character interactions between the leads start out believable, the story is too loaded with ideas and revelations to really appreciate them. To get a complete story in this massive volume is a good deal. However, you may end up walking away scratching your head instead of wanting more. I stand by what I said at the beginning of this review that there is an interesting story buried beneath this premise – I just don’t think the author managed to tell it well.


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