Yuri Manga: After Hours, Volume 2 (アフターアワーズ)

July 27th, 2017

In Volume 1 of Nishio Yuhta’s adult life series, After Hours (アフターアワーズ), office worker Emi and DJ Kei meet at a concert. Kei’s freewheeling life sucks Emi in and the next thing she knows, she’s part of Kei’s team…and life. But what, exactly, she is to Kei, Emi has no idea.

In Volume 2, Kei decides to throw a rave event. The bulk of Volume 2 is given over to surprisingly technical details of how to run a musical event. Kei and Emi have to secure a space and a team, and equipment…exactly the kind of content that inspired me to start Okazu 15 years ago, as I was starting up an event of my very own. ^_^

But behind the energy and the excitement, Emi is feeling the strain of not knowing what, exactly, she is to Kei. This isn’t just an emotional issue to her, as she’s neglected to tell Kei she has no money, can’t afford her apartment, and has kind-of-moved-in under false pretenses. The strain is killing their relationship and Kei can tell something is wrong, of course. Both women spend as much time blaming themselves as they do wondering what’s going on until, finally, the dam breaks.

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When Emi admits that she needs to stay with Kei, but isn’t sure what they are to each other, Kei convinces her the old fashioned way, while also plainly saying that they are lovers and of course lovers can live together. The sex scene that follows is extended, but never really explicit or grossly immature. It was, I thought, a well-deserved bit of adult service for readers who now knew more about speaker set-ups than they ever expected to. ^_^ And I thought it a realistic way to resolve the “are they on-again, off-again, or an actual couple?” question we ended the first volume with. Which ws pretty much Emi’s perspective, as well.

Kei and Emi, having come to an agreement about their relationship, face squarely into the future together as the night of the rave arrives. ^_^

To celebrate the publication of the second volume, applicants are submitting comics for a special present booklet, called After Hours bonus track, sneak peaksoft which are available on the After Hours Twitter account. New chapters of the manga are available on Pixiv for preview.

I like everything about this series, except the character design. Kei is 30 and Emi 24, but because moe art prevails, they look 12. I know I’m mostly alone in this, but I would pay more to see them look 24 and 30. That aside, the actual story is great and I love both the pacing and the world building for it. Nothing feels “off” about the story itself. I’m very thankful to those of you who told me to give it a try. ^_^

Ratings: 

Art – 5
Story – 8 
Characters – 9 
Service – 2 The sex still reads/looks adult and sincere, rather than creepy leering.
Yuri – 9

Overall – 8

Volume 2 has no English language release date yet, but believe me, as soon as there is one, I’ll let you know. Volume 1 (which I reviewed in June 2017) is available and a free preview of Volume 1 can be read on the Viz Media website.

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Comic Yuri Hime, August 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年8月号)

July 23rd, 2017

HAH! I’m almost current.

The August issue of Comic Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫2017年8月号) had much to recommend including an amazing opening, climactic chapter of “2DK, GPen, Mesameshitokei.” (A climactic chapter, but, one hopes, not the climactic chapter.)

Up until now in Ohsawa Yayoi’s adult life story, we’ve been fully invested in Nanami. Her interactions, he inner life has been 95% of what we’ve been watching. And, now, suddenly, after 5 volumes, we realize we know next to nothing about Kaede. Hopefully, we will now.

Of course, continuing series continue. But more importantly, there are several stories by new creators that are reasonably good, I particularly liked “Otona to Kodomo to Koi to Melty Black” which felt like every doujinshi I bought in 2005. ^_^.

Beginning in August, several new stories are starting on Pixiv including a new series by Mimoto.

Ratings: 

Overall – 7

Overall, a solid collection, even if the stories the editorial staff like best and the one’s I don’t like the most seem to be the same ones. ^_^;

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – July 22, 2017

July 22nd, 2017

LGBT Comics/Manga News

I’ve been all about Legend of Korra: Turf Wars this week, and this Tumblr post by creator Bryan Konietzko has stoked the flames considerably….we’re getting this beautiful Korrasami figurine! (Bryan, adorably, uses the fan term.) Keep your eyes peeled for pre-order links. (And check out the Nerdist article he links to. There is is again.. “as a couple.” /qvell/)

 

Via YNN Correspondent Richardson Kilis on Twitter, come news of Bokutachi LGBT (ぼくたちLGBT), a new manga essay collection created by self-identified bisexual creator, Tomimura Kota. You can read chapters here (in Japanese) for free.

Comic Natalie reports on a comic which I think of hitting as some kind of self-referential queerish manga event horizon, Yurizuki-kun to Yurizikizuki-kun, (百合好きくんと百合好き好きくん), about a boy who is a Yuri fanboy and the boy who falls for him. Okay, we’re done now, just give me more lesbian stories please. ^_^;

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Comics News

JK Parkin on Smashpages has news out of San Diego Comic-Con that IDW will be publishing a Jem & The Holograms comic anthology. Comics anthologies are a great way to become familiar with a series. It’s true one sacrifices continuity and story a lot of the time, but anthologies are a great way to get to know the characters’ inner lives (and often fanon tropes about them!)

Speaking of SDCC, Heidi MacDonald has a excellent piece on Comics Beat about how although comics sales are rising, this isn’t translating into comic store sales. In This week’s Bookscan chart is a wake-up call for the comics industry, she  reports the top five bestselling comics in bookstores are as follows:

Anyhow, here are the top five books on the chart for last week:

1. BITCH PLANET, VOLUME 2: PRESIDENT BITCH
2. MY LESBIAN EXPERIENCE WITH LONELINESS
3. WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1: THE LIES
4. WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2: YEAR ONE
5. MARCH: BOOK ONE

and she notes:

…for one thing, it means that Marvel–and DC too! – had better start paying attention to new readers instead of pandering to the dwindling ranks of AARP-card carrying pap-pap Bronze Agers. I mean, I know it’s hard to move beyond  your own viewpoint, but business is business.

So, wow for My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, Kabi Nagata-sensei and Seven Seas…and look at that, stuff for and by adult women are ruling the sales chart.

 

Other People’s Opinions

Coupla interesting takes on “our” material these days:

Over at Crunchyroll, Paul Chapman take a slightly precious look at Sweet Blue Flowers, which is back on the Crunchyroll streaming catalog in Delicate Emotions Blossom in “Sweet Blue Flowers”.

And from Autostraddle, Mey offers up a completely different perspective to my own in Drawn to Comics: “My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness” Is an Incredible Examinations of Mental Illness, Sexuality and Shame.

Andy Lee Chaisiri is a Quora-friend of mine. I’ve been sharing around this fun essay all week: 3 timeless lessons from Pokémon on designing enduring worlds from Andy and his brother Richard’s excellent art and pop culture blog, Art-Eater

 

Other News

Crunchyroll is holding their own expo show and, I thought this a fun thing – very out, gay, ice skater Johnny Weir is going to be there, speaking about Yuri on Ice!

Ogata Megumi-san posted a squee-worthy series of tweets this week, in which she showed herself and Katsuki Masako (Michiru’s original voice actress) recording Moon Revenge for the Sailor Moon 25th anniversary. Moon Revenge is from the Sailor Moon R movie and the original recording was by the voice actresses of the 5 Inner Senshi. Having Ogata-san and Katsuki-san  as part of a new recording has me fangirling. It’s a great song, I can’t wait to hear this version!

 

Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? Become a Yuri Network Correspondent by sending me any Yuri-related news you find.Emails go to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com. Not to the comments here, please, or they might be forgotten or missed. There’s a reason for this madness. This way I know you are a real human, not Anonymous (which I do not encourage – stand by your words with your name!) and I can send you a YNN correspondent’s badge.

Thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network!

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Marine Corps Yumi Manga, Volume 6 (まりんこゆみ)

July 21st, 2017

In Volume 6  of Marine Corps Yumi Manga,  (まりんこゆみ) jokes are made, and no one is made to look even a little worse for it. ^_^

Yumi has a successful time at a training exercise that includes the Marines and the Japanese Self-Defense Force. The JDSF guys are blown away at Yumi being 1) a woman and 2) a Marine and 3) fluent in Japanese. So impressed are they, they ask for her to being assigned to the JSDF as part of an exchange. So while her friends are elsewhere, Yumi  heads up to Hokkaido, in order to spend time with the JSDF. 

Jokes are gentle, and mostly designed to highlight the supreme awesomeness of the U.S. Marines. Yumi is so much less a doofus now, one finds themselves actually rooting for her to be President one day. ^_^

Both Rita and Linda are now dating seriously – Rita’s still with the JSDF’s  Satoru and Linda with…Rita’s brother. Jose is a hoot and, in a page designed to explain that American’s don’t do that whole “confession of like” thing that whole manga series center on, we just sort of hang out and it develops from there, Jose gives Linda a token of his affection, a bloodstained knife he’s used in battle. She’s thrilled. It’s clearly a match made in heaven. ^_^ Although her brother and father are less enthused. Speaking of father’s Rita’s dad’s reaction to hearing that she’s seeing someone is…to hop in a Zodiac, ride up to the coast to where Rita’s unit is, and visit her wearing a carnival head. Okay then.

When Yumi gets back to Tokyo at last, she and Sawa and the gang take in another Takarazuka show. Linda nudges Yumi to point out that both Rita and Donna are laughing at the spectacle. I had to grin at that. When we went to Takarazuka together, she and Nogami-sensei had plenty of chance to watch me suppress giggles. ^_^

The book ends with Yumi’s renewed dedication to her dream.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9 
Characters – 9
Yuri – 1 As Erica realizes she’ll never have a chance with Linda. 
Service – 3 

Overall – 9

This week marked the second anniversary of Anastasia Moreno’s death. It was a complete coincidence that I was reading this book this week. It was not coincidence, however, the seventh and final volume of the series was released on July 14th, that very day. One more volume to go, but I’ll still be thinking of Ana all the time.

I also want to thank Nogami-sensei very much once again for keeping this series going and finishing it up. It was really important to Ana. Also, thank you Satoru-san for your kind friendship for these years. 

 

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Yuri Manga: 2DK, G Pen, Mezamashitokei, Volume 4 (2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。)

July 19th, 2017

In Volume 4 of 2DK, G Pen, Mezamashitokei (2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。) by Ohsawa Yayoi, we come to realize that Nanami is a chick magnet. ^_^

Kaede has made her manga debut at last, and Koyuki is helping her out. Both Kaede and Nanami are very focused on work, but Nanami is starting to get a better idea of her focus at home. She’s been imagining life without Kaede and it isn’t making her happy. When she and Kaede are going through the kitchen, they find a large cooking vessel and Kaede starts to wax eloquent about her former roommate. Mere days pass, when that roommate shows up to get her pot, and Nanami is face to face with a woman who had flirted with her outrageously in an earlier volume, Aoi.

Volume 4 becomes poke at Nanami’s feeling from this point on. As Aoi plays Nanami, half to get her in bed and half to tease, Nanami is finding it harder and harder to deny that her thoughts go to Kaede’s face when she starts thinking about home. Aoi leaves, but the change in Nanami does not. After Aoi is gone, a former underclassman from Fukuoka arrives and immediately asks if Nanmai’s seeing Kaede. Mahiru doesn’t ask innocently, although Nanami does not know that. She also doesn’t know that Koyuki is in the same cafe and overhears the conversation. As Volume 4 ends, Koyuki joins Nanami in being shocked at the idea.

The final chapter is Kaede having a bachelor night without her roomshare-wife. It’s all fun, until Nanami runs late and Kaede starts to realize she’s lonely.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 3 Some light bathing and Aoi hitting on Nanami (with all the subtlety of a bag of bricks.)

Overall – 8

So far in 4 Volumes, we’ve had Yuuko, Aoi, and now Mahiru macking on Nanami. She’s a chick magnet. And I can see that – she’s fashionable, smart, competent and, apparently completely together.  The biggest question I have at this point, is how shocked will Kaede be at the idea? We’re about to find out….

I’ve started noticing that among the pages are references to Ohsawa-sensei’s other works. Keep your eyes peeled for Black Yagi‘s show on “LIME.” ^_^

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