Fantasy Sports No. 1 Comic (English)

March 25th, 2015

fantasysports1If you have a family member, friend or neighbor with a tween who loves comics, run right away and order Fantasy Sports No. 1 by Sam Bosma, then sit back and know that you are the coolest aunt/uncle/friend/neighbor ever. Don’t forget to read it first (or buy yourself or your library an extra copy) because it is that good.

In a world with pyramids and magic and viking ships and vaguely medieval cities and all sorts of cool adventure novel trope-y locations, Wiz Kid is an Intern at the United and Ancient Order of Mages. Unfortunately, Wiz and her boss, Mean Mug, are not getting along.  The Archmage is aware that the problem is Mug but, she points, out that Wiz is their most qualified intern, so she sends them both back into the field together.

Their task takes them to a mausoleum filled with puzzles. While Mug contents himself beating up the skeleton guards, Wiz befriends one and gets them into the tomb, where they will face off with an undead conqueror in a battle of wits and basketball skills.

I was fully hooked, lined and sinkered, when Wiz befriended the remaining skeleton guard over a cup of tea and he turned out to be a really nice guy. ^_^

The art is colorful, playful and bold, with an interestingly muted palette – no primary colors here, but the sense of monstery garishness still is clearly communicated.

Wiz Kid is a girl, but her sex is never, not once, a focal point of conversation, either overt or implied. She wears traditional non-gendered “scamp/thief” clothing, and is a person of color. She’s got smarts, strong magic and is an absolutely delightful protagonist. I hope like heck the “No. 1″ of the title is not a tease. I want to see more of Wiz Kid! I am convinced that if you read this book you will too. It’s just that much fun. The book has a July 2015 release date.

Ratings:

Art – 10 Fits the story so well
Character – 10
Story – 10

Overall – 10

Giant robot evil undead conquerors, wizards, treasure, skelton hordes, tea, adventure, puzzles, and basketball. Gosh, this book was so wonderful.

Thanks Nobrow for thinking of me and sending me this review copy. It’s like you saw into my heart. <3



Yuri Manga: Kono Yo ni tada Hitori (この世にただひとり)

March 24th, 2015

KYnTH-275x390 Fuji Tamaki’s Kono Yo ni tada Hitori (この世にただひとり) was an interestingly retro book. It reminded me very much of art from long ago in the 1990s. As almost all her main character types followed the same pattern after the first story, I initially thought the book was about the same two women, growing older together, but…no. It was just a stylistic tic.

In the first story a new girl throws a group of friends into chaos, as she breaks up the old crowd with her new games.

There are a few school friends stories, including “Aoimidoro,” in which an athletic girl wishes she too could just look pretty and feminine for a bit. (We really have to change the prince/princess dynamic of girl-girl stories so even the tall, dashing girls get to be girly if they want.)

A story about a woman working on a photoshoot with naked models stands out by not being prurient and kind of sweet, and the boos ends with a short mini-series about sweets, a baker and a rich girl, dusted lightly with a little magic.

There was something comforting about the art, a turn of the 21st century women’s magazine and/or doujinshi feel to it that I liked very much, although none of the stories grabbed me by the throat. (The soy ink did, however. For whatever reason, the pages of this book were practically choking me.)

Ratings:

Art – 8 YMMV, but I liked it.
Story – Variable, let’s say 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – 6, tops
Service – 6 for “Akame no Adrian”

Overall – 7

For a retro feel and nice stories, this is a good change of pace from purely moe work.



New Edition of Iono-sama Fanatics to be Released in Japan

March 23rd, 2015

Ionothumb According to Comic Natalie, Fujieda Miyabi’s Iono-sama Fanatics has been picked up by Ichijinsha for a new edition release, slated for June 2015.

Additionally, a spin-off story will run in  Comic Yuri Hime. A Special Edition of the manga will also include a Drama CD.

Before you get too excited, Seven Seas made it very plain on Twitter that they do not intend to license this. The conversation was interesting, because it was made plain that when they say they “orders” they do not mean sales of individual copies to people like you, they mean bulk pre-orders from chain stores. So, despite the absurdity of relying on the old comics model for sales viability, it’s clear that the industry is still hoist by that particular petard.

But, for those of you who have taken the opportunity to learn a little Japanese, this will be a wonderful reason to restart that practice, to help support one of our favorite creators and encourage Ichijinsha to continue the series. ^_^



Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – March 21, 2015

March 21st, 2015

YNN_MariK

Yuri Anime

ANN says that the cast and staff of Yuru Yuri‘s 3rd season has been revealed. ANN also notes that Yuru Yuri characters are making an appearance in a new PS Vita game, Miracle Girls Festival . Komatsu-san over at Crunchyroll informs us that the third season’s name has been confirmed as Yuruyuri San☆Hai!  On Twitter, user shinonome_rs shared these pictures of Yuru Yuri-posters at the Anime Japan event.

Still mining ANN for news – here’s a second commercial for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid anime, which is starting up on April 3rd.

ANN reports that Funimation has announced the Yuri Kuma Arashi dub cast for their Funimation channel broadcast.

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Yuri Manga

YNN Correspondent Shannon L wrote in to let us know that Morinaga Milk is starting up a new series in Comic High! called Hana to Hina ha Houkago. Based on the description, the potential for icky service sounds awfully high, but no doubt Seven Seas will get it.

 

Yuri Event

On April 19, Mezase! Yuritopia 2, a Yuri-doujinshi event focusing on Yuri VN Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san (屋上の百合霊さん) will be held in Kawasaki.

 

LGBTQ Kickstarter News

Yuri Monogatari contributor Niki Smith is proud to announce that she is part of  a queer sci fi/fantasy anthology called Beyond! With just under a month to go, they’ve hit their goal, but it’s still on my list to contribute to. The list of contributors is a  queer webcomic Who’s Who. ^_^

 

Other News

Komatsu-san over at  Crunchyroll has an interesting report on the Japanese Government’s ongoing efforts to crack down on piracy. The Manga-Anime Guardians page creators Content Overseas Distributor Association (CODA) releases numbers detailing their efforts.

The creator of Modest Medusa has offered up a sweet little Korra x Asami bit of fanart on his Patreon page.

Denny’s weird-ass commercial series The Grand Slams, gives us…gay sausages. Of course they are.

Someone has created a Strawberry Shake Sweet animated short video with voices. Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei herself was posting it on twitter, so I guess she thought it amusing. ^_^

Win a pair of tickets to see the musical Fun Home, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.

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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!



Yuri Manga: Shoushin (傷心)

March 20th, 2015

ShoushinShoushin (傷心) by Yukimura is a Hirari Comics collection of stories that may well have flown under your radar, but were excellent examples of positive changes happening at Hirari, before it went out of business. (I’m not sure there’s a generalizable lesson these, so don’t project. ^_^)

The first story looks at two adult women,  friends with benefits, who realize that they’d kind of like their relationship to be more. The second story is an uncomfortable thing about a fox and the girl she becomes human for.

The third story follows a girl who is asked out by an admired sempai, only to find out that “out” means a mountain hike.  In a second outing they go shopping together.

“Armet” is a look at a woman and the female knight who protects and adores her. They live happily ever after. ^_^ I particularly enjoyed the art in this story.

Iriya and Hikaru are friends, planning for their school trip to Hawaii. Although Hikaru is on the swimteam, she doesn’t have a cute bathing suit. They try on a few suits and each realizes that they have a somewhat more physical interest in each other than they suspected. A sequel finds them in Hawaii together as they figure out this new relationship.

The next to last story is yet another friends become more tale and finally we turn back to the adult women of the first chapter, in the middle of – again – reworking the boundaries of this new relationship borne from the old.

So, there’s a distinct style here – two women already close become closer. And, in a sense, it’s not entirely different “Story A”, as the main drive is redefining boundaries, but I find it a more pleasant place to be. Less prurient, more sincere.

I also want to note the chapters that include a physically strong or athletic woman have exceedingly good art. Hikaru has the broad shoulders and developed back of a swimmer. She absolutely does look like a swimmer in a girl’s school uniform. Armet too, is drawn to look physically capable. She is tall and substantial. This was something I not only found appealing, but refreshing.

Ratings:

Art – 9
Characters – 8 Generally quite likable
Story – 8 I like this stylistic tic
Yuri – 10
Service – 5 A bit here and there

Overall – 9

Yukimura’s other work seems to be largely BL, but I really liked her Yuri debut, and hope to see more of her in the future.