Now I'm sure some of you have read or heard about Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo, Girls Bravo, and Shuffle. They have been called harem shows because there's only one male character and gaggles of female characters of all types of moe! Now let's replace that male character with a female one and you get one of funny yuri romance story! This is Iono-sama Fanatics!
Iono-sama Fanatics is created by Miyabi Fujieda and runs for only 14 chapters; a very short and sweet story. It is sometimes called Iono the Fanatics because the author wrote it in English that way. Instead of the lovable loser male character as the main character, whom the women "throw" themselves onto, we have a lovable queen who's got THOUSANDS of girls surrounding her in her own (fictional) kingdom in Europe. Unfortunately she's left most of them behind so she can look for a black haired beauty in Japan... Plus it really cuts down the cost of ink drawing all these girls in the manga.
So the queen, Iono Mito Arshrain (my own romanization translation on the last name), has arrived in Japan for diplomatic relations visit but also in search of sobame (Japanese word for lady-in-waiting and/or concubine). During her search she finds Eto Hachibe, a clumsy, careless girl with glasses. Eto was dumped by a girl back in high school which developed a complex to her clumsiness. Yes, they make it sound like this is a common occurrence and yes, the queen just happened to coincidentally find the one girl who actually likes girls. Convenient plot device aside, it's obvious who Iono has picked for her new sobame. Eto resists at first but eventually accepts Iono's offer and even craves for the queen's attention.
Aside from the queen and the new sobame, Iono also brought her entourage. Aida Brummel is Iono's beautician and sometimes accomplice. Even though she is one of Iono's sobame, she isn't very attached to the queen, in fact she even helps her find locations to find new sobames and where to treat them. The other side of the spectrum is the jealous Kass Lusence. She is pretty much like Iono's personal secretary. She is strict and always gets mad when Iono goes after more girls to become her sobame. I think she fills in the tsundere position well, sorta...
Iono-sama is an important leader of a kingdom, so we can't have a queen running around without bodyguards, right? Iono's Special Police force are so good they only consist of two members, and to top it off, they're mother and daughter! Freshé Vincent is the mother who's always clad in black and wears a shade. Freshé is very capable, especially with a gun. Her daughter, Argent Ephemeral (don't ask me why she has a different last name) or Aru for short, is always clad in some kind of gothic lolita dress. She is also a lolita... Her black decorated hair buns makes her look a panda. Armed with a katana sword, she is one force to be reckoned with if you mess with Iono. She also likes to call Iono, "the horny queen". ^^;
With so many girls in a harem-like situation, you'd think there are a lot of fan service, right? Well... unfortunately a lot of the hanky-panky is off-panel. But you do get the occasional Iono trying to get it on with the girls around her (mostly Eto). It's not explicit, but very suggestive. I got a reaction out of reading some of the ecchi parts >.>
The girl pairings aren't limited to the Queen and her harem either. Eventually you'll see that Iono also allow and approve her girls to have their own girlfriends. Ah, what a country...
The art is very beautiful and cute at the same time. The art jumps back and forth from normal-sized, beautiful girls to chibi-sized, cute forms. It's a very good balance between dramatic, romantic and comedic chibi art. The first thing I noticed when I saw the cover is that Iono looks like Mahoro from Mahoromatic. I'm pretty sure Mahoro would not be happy to be associated with this ecchi queen though ^^;Another thing about this manga, it was licensed by Infinity Studios, which is how I found out about this title when I picked up the hard copy in my hand. I loved it very much... unfortunately they've never released the second volume. I've emailed them about it and unfortunately there weren't enough interest for them to release the second volume. I think Infinity Studios is defunct as well since their front page has been hacked and have no release dates for 2009.
So when I found out it was on OneManga.com, I jumped the chance to finally finish the story. The difference between the translations was a bit off that I was off-balanced when I read it again. But yes, you can read it there. I recommend to read chapter 1 first and leave chapter 0 til you finish the last chapter. The pictures are also from there... I would have scanned my copy, but I can't seem to find it. Most likely I've separated it where I can find it in the future to make this post, but that didn't work -_-
To this day Iono-sama Fanatics is still one of my favourite yuri manga and it's a quick read; so safe to say I highly recommend this. You can't go wrong with yuri harem!