Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – February 6, 2016

February 6th, 2016

YNN_LissaYuri Visual Novel News

Top story this week is the downloadable demo of  Yuri Visual Novel Kindred Spirits on the Roof, available from Mangagamer. This VN was a blockbuster in Japan, spawning an amazing number of doujinshi by artists we know and love. I’ve started the demo and will have some thoughts about it shortly. ^_^

 

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Yuri Anime

ANN has the report on dates for the Psycho-Pass film showings in the US.

Yuri Manga

ANN also says that there is a “new project” from CLAMP to celebrate Card Captor Sakura‘s 20th anniversary coming in Nakayoshi magazine.

Comic Natalie says that Hirao Auri’s “Oshiga Budokan Itekuretara Shi-ne” a manga about an idol group that includes a Yuri idol-fan love comedy, has been collected into a Volume 1. Let’s take this with the grain of salt it deserves, as we already know Hirao-sensei’s idea of “Yuri” and “comedy” do not necessarily jibe with our own. ^_^;

 

Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? Become a Yuri Network Correspondentby 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 Game: Kindred Spirits on the Roof Demo Available

February 4th, 2016

kindred-spiritsToday’s report comes from YNN Correspondent Alice D. Popular Japanese Yuri game Kindred Spirits on the Roof localized by Mangagamer now has a demo available for download. They are fast to tell us the demo has no adult content. Additionally, if you pre-order the game now, you’ll get a 15% discount. ^_^

Alice also wants you to know that the Steam Community says that the game has a release date of February 12th, so this year we’ll get a Yuri Valentine’s Day.

This is the biggest news in Yuri games ever and I hope you’re all at least gonna give the demo a shot. Heck I’m going to try it…and you know how much I love games…. ^_^

Update: Reader Rob noticed this addition on the MG announcement: “Our (Mangagamer) second-annual licensing survey is now open! Let us know what VNs you want to see in English for a chance to win a copy of Kindred Spirits!

Thank for the eagle-eyes Rob! Send them some suggestions for a chance to win the VN.



Yuri Manga: Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi. Volume 2 (私の無知なわたしの未知 2)

February 2nd, 2016

WMWM2Now here’s a thing we don’t see much any more – a review of a Volume 2 of a series for which Volume 1 was never discussed. Remember this kind of thing from back in the day, where we’d get a side plot in a long series? Like Loveless, or Usotsuki Lily? Only this is not like those at all.

Momono Moto is a Yuri artist who specializes in adult life series. Her Kimi Koi Limit exasperated me and her sequel Rainy Song redeemed her in my eyes.

Well last year, she began a short two-volume series titled Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi. Volume 1 followed Minato, a typical woman in a typical office who is slowly being strangled to death by boredom. Until she meets Asami, a moody coworker. I did not review it, because the story centered mostly on Minato realizing how she was dying a little each day and Asami was more or less the catalyst. I wasn’t sure if this series was going anywhere.

In Volume 2, Minato and Asami are starting to break down walls between them. They become lovers, but almost immediately it becomes apparent that there is a dark secret that involves them both. Asami used to study music with Minato’s father…until he claimed her music as his. When it becomes apparent that Asami knew Minato’s relationship with the man who stole her music, and was trying to “get revenge” of a sort, it splits them up. However, Asami realizes that she’s been a dolt and has actual feelings for Minato.

Having nothing left to care about, Minato leaves work and takes a job doing something menial that she can give a shit about. Three years pass and she never stops looking for Asami. I won’t give away the ending as it’s basically the the most interesting bit of the story.

Momono’s work has visibly matured. The art is assured and in places, even delicate. A professional’s work.

And the story too, has matured. Where Kimi Koi Limit took broad strokes at human nature, this series has finer lines and more subtlety. Where I loathed Sono, because of her unremitting selfishness, I could not dislike Asami. Although – in real life, I would not root for Asami and Minato to get together, I would want Minato to grow beyond the relationship and find herself someone without baggage, but of course in the manga we are supposed to want them together.

Another strong quality of this manga is the fact that everyone has society. As moody as Asami is, she has friends, nor is Minato isolated in her world. They exist outside the role they are given in their relationship. That is part of what, for me defines, this as an “adult life” manga, versus a “romance”, like Yagate Kimi ni Naru.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 8, there is no discussion of their relationship as such at all.
Service – 1

Overall – 7

Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi is a good, if ephemeral, josei Yuri series from Kodansha.



LGBTQ Manga: Torikaebaya (とりかえ・ばや ), Volume 8

February 1st, 2016

TKBY8For the first time ever, I read a volume of Saitou Chiho’s amazing version of the Japanese classic Torikebaya and thought…maybe, just maybe, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you recall, Suiren and Sarasoujuu have switched back, as it were, to take up the roles assigned to the gender they were born with. They are, in effect, masquerading as each other, rather than being themselves.

In Volume 8, the person in Sarasojuu’s role, Suiren, is having a slightly easier time of it, as he is not under a lot of scrutiny, but the person in Suiren’s role, Sarasojuu, has yet *another* problem on her plate which is already fully crammed with problems.

Sarasoujuu, as a Naishogami, a lady in waiting, has come to deeply admire and love Toguu-sama, but of course is not in love with her. She is still drawing the frank and open attention of the Emperor, who used to look at her too longly and deeply as a male courtier and now desires her as a female one. This is complicated for many reasons. Sarasojuu as Naishogami has befriended San-no-hime, the elder sister of her own wife (argh!) and while she wants to support her friend in front of the Emperor, ends up taking his attention away from San-no-hime, thus betraying her. (Argh!) And worst of all, Sarasoujuu-as-Suiren has fallen in love with the Emperor (who is extremely handsome, as one might expect in a Saitou-sensei manga.) (ARGH!)

Toguu-sama I think has figured out the charade  but says nothing until she falls ill and asks to see Suiren-as-high ranking courtier, Udaisho. To get Suiren into the women’s quarters an elaborate scheme is concocted, but as the volume closes, Suiren is discovered and the ruse falls apart. (AUGH!)

Despite my protestations, I managed to read this volume without groaning once, because I thought I saw a way out. It’s an absurd, complex way out. BUT.

If Suiren remains in her place as Naishogami by day, but takes Sarasojuu’s place as Udaisho at night, and vice versa, they could be who they really are by day and also sleep with who they want to at night. It would horrible to have to switch back and forth and undoubtedly complicated and doomed to failure, but it’s a story and maybe could work. Probably not. But there you go, as dim a light as it is, I am fixated with the idea.

Obviously it would be amazing if they just were allowed to be happy as is. I just don’t see that happening ever. Even the Tengu switching them permanently isn’t a fix, because Suiren as Naishogami can’t sleep with Toguu-sama and Sarasojuu as Udaisho can’t sleep with the Emperor. Hrm.

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Service – 1
LGBTQ – 1

Overall – 9

Once again a luscious and lovely and emotionally wringing volume of this Heian classic. I’m enjoying the heck out of every single panel!



Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – January 30, 2016

January 30th, 2016

YNN_MariKSailor Moon News

This week was amazing. On an announcement timed to coincide with Haruka’s birthday, we received the news of just who will be playing the voice actresses on Sailors Uranus and Neptune, and Saturn and the other key roles in the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal! As ANN has excellent reports on all of these (and on Ogata Megumi’s response to the voice choices), I want to confine myself to noting that the seiyuu for Uranus and Neptune are already known to you! They played the roles of Akira and Alicia in Aria. And, as I shipped the heck out of those two in the series, I am 100% on board with the choices. ^_^

ANN also has the first key visual for the series, which shows all the Senshi, at last!

 
Event News

I’ve got a couple of exciting events coming up this year. In April, I’ll be giving a talk at Baruch College in NYC on April 7th as part of an Alt-Manga Symposium. Details to follow.

I have another talk planned in April in Long Island City, NY, and again, details are forthcoming.

And put your hands together that this works – I have been invited to speak about Yuri history at a Rainbow Week event in Tokyo. Squee! Argh! Augh! Again, details to follow.

I hope to have all of this sorted by the beginning of March. ^_^

The 2016 MoCCA Festival has announced guests for their April 2-3 event in NYC, and Heidi MacDonald of Comics Beat has the scoop – Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe is one of the guests!

 
Okazu News

We’re into our 2016 Patreon campaign and we have a new perq! If you are already a subscriber at the $25/month level, when donations reach $150 (so, 6 months), you’re entitled to a one-hour personal Yuri panel with me. Alone or feel free to share with friends! We’ve made this perq retroactive, so it should be an interesting year. ^_^

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Other News

Once more we turn to ANN for the news that the trend of themed pop idol groups is not yet over and we can expect Lilygirl, a group that is specifically Yuri-themed. Carefully calculated for those fans who equate two females in the same frame touching as “Yuri.” Whee. If you saw this report and thought “Oh it’s  T.a.T.u. all over again,” you were not alone. ^_^;

Nicola Scott Art presents this wonderful gif of badass female characters. Click it and discover someone new everytime!

Online harassment does not seem to be going away anytime soon and I thought I would write a bit about my experiences and my takeaways: The Perqs of Online Harassment is over on Medium.

A new visual collaboration between Yuri manga Ano ko ni Kiss to Shiroyuri wo and photographer Hasegawa Keisuke provides some lovely images.

 
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!