Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime, September 2015 (コミック百合姫 2015年 09 月号)

October 7th, 2015

CYH0915-275x392Comic Yuri Hime‘s September 2015 (コミック百合姫 2015年 09 月号) issue marks a major milestone in Yuri manga history – Comic Yuri Hime turns 10 years old!

I can think of a number amazing ways to celebrate this occasion, (cover art of older issues as color pages, the return of popular previous artists for one-shots, a history of the magazine, a timeline….) something, really anything, but the editorial staff chose, for whatever reason, to do pretty much nothing. So the issue is just another issue. Okay, Happy major milestone anniversary, whatevs.

The magazine does start off with a single reprinted chapter, a story that originally ran in Comic Yuri Hime S,  Konohanatei Kitan, (此花亭奇譚) about fox-eared girls running around, sort of old-fashioned and Taisho-esque. It was re-released by Birz comics last spring. Of all the possible old series to reprint, I found it almost predictable that they managed to pick one I couldn’t stand to read when it ran in the magazine. Figures, right? ^_^

Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, GPen, Mezamashitokei” takes a tremendous leap away from hedging it’s bets on what kind of story it wants to be when it grows up, to being a grown up story. I take back my complaints from the first volume. This chapter was terrific.

Minamoto Hisanari’s absurdly amusing “Kanate! Yuri Yousei”  still manages to be absurd and amusing as it explores yet another Yuri trope, with love.

There are still students alive in “Shoujo Shikaku” by Kawai Roh. You’d think there’d be way fewer, though. If the student body is halved with every round, we should be down a lot more students. Also, I can’t help wonder where do the dead bodies go? I know, it’s bizarre to think about stuff like that, but it’s a massacre manga, what else is there to think about?

“Seeesaw Game” by Takemiya Jin wraps up with the tall girl and the short girl getting together and it’s all rather sweet and typical.

“Ore to Yuri”, the second “Yuri Danshi” series, is slighly more interesting as it folds in female fans to the mix. So the Yuri doujinshi festival now isn’t all male fans or creators. The way-over-the-top tone of voice hasn’t changed at all, but it’s not just Yuusuke screaming. Now we have a half dozen female otaku (and what they hope to get out of Yuri) to match the half dozen guy screaming about purity and love. I’m not convinced that the girls are actually representative of actual fandom any more than the guys are, but at least they have a place in the narrative as fans, not just objects of fantasy.


Overall – 7

Paging through this 10th anniversary issue, I don’t want to say I’m unimpressed, because 10 years is an amazing accomplishment, but a postcard set with cover art for the 4 #1 issues so far (original Yuri Hime, relaunched Yuri Hime and Yuri Hime S and re-relaunched Comic Yuri Hime) would have been swell. There’s nothing in this issue that gives any sense of it having been 10 years other than it having been 10 years and saying so on the cover. I can remember vividly, the editor of the not-yet-launched Yuri Hime at our 2005 Yuricon in Tokyo event asking the attendees what they wanted to see in the new magazine. I guess he doesn’t remember it as vividly. ^_^; But this magazine making 10 years is an important moment in the history of Yuri.

Having said that, Happy Anniversary Comic Yuri Hime magazine! Here’s to another 10.

Monthly Comic Cune Magazine, Volume 1 (月刊コミックキューン)

October 5th, 2015

CuneOne of the best parts of this gig are when I get to witness the birth of a new magazine. One of the strangest parts of this gig is witnessing the birth of a new magazine.

I became an anime fan back in the day when characters were drawn to be look more mature than their age. So, the slide into extreme moe has not favored my tastes at all. I keep thinking that, at some point, there has to be a swing back to grown-up looking characters, right? The existence of Monthly Comic Cune says, flat out no, Erica, you are wrong, bzzt, fuggedaboufit, there is no end point to the round, featureless, infantile blobbiness of this art style and it will never go away. Even more poignant is the magazine’s tagline, which couldn’t be wronger in my case, “Made for you, a new 4-koma comic.” ^_^;

This is the land of giant heads on baby bodies, characters labeled specifically 15, 16, 17 years old who unremittingly look 4 years old. Not for me, no, thank you.

So, why, you must be thinking, am I even bothering? I don’t write posts to whine (hardly ever anymore, it’s boring saying “this sucked.”) so clearly there must be a point. Right? RIGHT?

Yes. The point  of all this is that I really enjoyed the inaugural volume of Comic Cune. I mean honestly. It was fun.

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way – there are a handful of Yuri artists  in this magazine – Fujieda Miyabi, Kuzushiro, Hisanari Minamoto, Namori, all have contributed. And for them alone, it was worth getting this volume. Both Fujieda-sensei and Minamoto-sensei had Yuri in their stories, and Minamoto-sensei’s actually talked about Yuri, and their’s were not the only stories that had girls embracing each other. There’s lot of squeezing and love-love going on between girls here.

But the two stories I enjoyed the most were both comedies based on paranormal creatures (of which there were quite a number of in the issue.) I particularly enjoyed “Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san” (The Vampire Next Door) and “Dokuro-san ga Miteriru” (Skeleton is Looking), which stars the famous giant skeleton from this picture, living with a young girl, and looming distressingly large over her.


Yes, it’s one joke, but it is a very funny joke.

download (1)

But wait, there’s also “Goshuujin-sama ha Ningen ja nai” starring a maid for a super-creepy alien mistress.  I mean who wouldn’t want to read that? ^_^

So, yeah, the Yuri’s great, and it’s nice to see artists I know and love in another magazine…and I’ll just ignore the big blobby heads and “zOMG so cute, aren’t they so cute being cute?” moe art. But what’s going to keep me reading this is the utterly weird monster comedy that made me laugh out loud.

This is a Kadokawa publication, so maybe, if we ask nice, they’ll put this on BookWalker.


Overall – 8 I enjoyed it way more than expected.

You see, it’s giant skeleton and it looms, staring with big blank eyes, but it’s really a nice guy…but it’s so big and loomy…. Trust me, it’s funny.

Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – October 3, 2015

October 3rd, 2015


Yuri Anime

If you’re an American anime fan from the 2000s, you may remember the close miss we all had when we learned that children’s TV company Saban was looking to license Sailor Moon and turn it into a live-action/animation hybrid.

ANN reports that Saban has just announced a license for Smile! Precure, which they are repackaging as Glitter Force. Saban is best known in North America for being the licensor of the multiple Power Ranger series. It remains to be seen if they can manage this into another successful franchise here. Netflix is now listing the series for 2016.

We turn to ANN again for the Yuru Yuri San Hai series preview commercial. The third series will begin this week on Japanese TV.

And again, ANN has the scoop on Funimation’s English dub cast for Riddle Story of a Devil (announcement one and two.) Funimation announced a home video license for the series this summer.


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Yuri Manga

Yuri Hime comics have a number of releases lined up for this month: The November issue of Comic Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫 2015年 11 月号) leads the pack.

Kawai Roh’s horror action manga Shoujo Shikaku  (少女失格 ) has made it to a first volume.

Yoshitomi Akihito ‘s (best known for Blue Drop) series from defunct Yuri magazine Tsubomi, following two sisters in lust with each other’s younger sister, Futari Futari (ふたりとふたり) is getting a re-release from Yuri Hime Comics.

Birz Comics is collecting up their slice-of-life Yuri tale Futaribeya (ふたりべや) and a story that originally ran in Comic Yuri Hime S Konohanatei Kitan, (此花亭奇譚) about fox-eared girls running around for drama, but not plot.

And Kadokawa’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru, (やがて君になる) that YNN Correspondent Chris D. told us about last report, has already made it to Volume 1 – what a great chance to try the relaunched Global Book Walker for Yuri!

Another Yuri doujinshi has popped up on Amazon JP –  Kanojo no Kuchizuke Kansen Libido – ~Sanninme no Libido  (彼女のくちづけ 感染するリビドー~3人目のリビドー~).

And finally, this questionably titled Yuri mook,  Danshi Kinsei! Yuri no Hanazono Manual (男子禁制! 百合の花園マニュアル ), which doesn’t seem to include anyone we’re familiar with.

Yuri Game

A new Yuri VN title has been announced – this time an American creation and set in the American west. Highway Blossoms is tale of a meeting on the road. There is a trailer on Youtube.

You can “pre-register” for school-based Girl’s Love game Hanaemi ni Kuchizuke wo (花笑みにくちづけを) on their Ameba site. Whether you can actually get it overseas is still unknown.

YNN Correspondent Ted the Awesome wants everyone to know about the Yuri Curator on Steam. He writes in to say, “STEAM has a curator system in place where users do all sorts of stuff on Valve’s Steam store. Most use it for basic reviews… but this curator’s sole purpose is to identify games that contain Yuri elements, big or small.” Take a look at it here: Hella Yuri

LGBTQ Events

If you’re in NYC for New York Comic Con, consider hitting up Queercopia on Friday night for queer comic readings! It’ll be a great place to meet comics enthusiasts and creators.

Other News

Foreign Policy has a fascinating article on Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son and trans-friendly manga.

On About.com, author Georgia Beers takes a looks at some of the most common lesbian literary tropes.


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!

LGBTQ Anthology: How Much Queer Work!

October 2nd, 2015

HowmuchqueerworkEarlier this year, the Side-by-Side film festival,  focusing on LGBTQ movies, was held in St. Petersburg, Russai. Despite a strongly homophobic climate right now, folks braved 5 bomb threats over ten days to enjoy and discuss LGBTQ films from around the world.

To support their work, they created a comic anthology, starring comics creators from Europe, Russia and America. How Much Queer Work is that comic anthology. I was privileged to obtain a copy at the Queer and Comics conference last spring. The anthology is self-described as having 18 well known authors, including Jennifer Camper (USA), Helene Junecic (Croatia), Ariel Schrag (USA), Tiitu Takalo (Finland) and from Russia Viktoria Lomasko and Lena Hek, have their work presented in the volume. Stories of coming out, first-love, discrimination, gender identity and much more drawn in different comic artistic styles.

Many of the USA creators are well-known to us, Jennifer Camper, co-founder of Queer & Comics, Howard Cruse, one of the pioneers of Gay Comix and creator of Wendel, Ariel Schrag, Justin Hall, Roberta Gregory, are all folks I have had the pleasure of meeting. And in many cases, I’ve read and enjoyed their works. So the content that interested me most were from European creators I was less familiar with.

I very much enjoyed Anna Bas Backer’s tale of two friends, one about to embark upon a transition. Viktoria Lomasko’s illustrated essay on the circumstances of the festival, literally surrounded by threat of violence and hatred, and the internal misogyny and distrust was painful to read, but vital.

And Elke R. Steiner’s work of an awkward youthful relationship in a Christian environment was both excellent and stereotypical…making me long for the day when tales like this go unneeded.

Tiitu Takalo’s art deserves a special call out, as it acts as filler pages between the stories and in and of itself, tells many stories. I loved Takalo’s use of body language in many different styles.

The cover by Helene Janecic recalls to mind the American classic figure Rose the Riveter, and the Soviet glorification of the worker in a pose that indicates to us that while a great deal of work has been done, there is so, so much more to do.

During a summer in which those of us in the USA were celebrating the legitimization of our relationships, it was important to remind ourselves that for LGBTQ communities in Russia and elsewhere, the past few years have seen significant changes for the negative.  There is still so much queer work yet to be done.


Overall – 9

Some of the best the world has to offer, gathered together. I love anthologies for their constant reminder that our stories, told over and over as they are, are still pertinent to someone, somewhere, who believe that they alone feel this way.

Yuri Drama CD: Iono The Fanatics, Ah, Michisuji ni Hikari ari 「ああ道筋に光あり」

October 1st, 2015

IsDCD2Just as Volume 1 of Iono The Fanatics Special Edition was packaged with a Drama CD, so was Volume 2, this time titled Iono The Fanatics, Ah, Michisuji ni Hikari ari 「ああ道筋に光あり」

The cast is the same as in the first CD, with three additional voices:

クラウソラス :内山夕実 さん
Klausoraus : Uchiyama Yumi (Davi in Dokidoki! Precure)

ヤマ・ノヴェラ・ヴァランティアノズ : 高森奈津美
Yama Noveira Varantianos : Takamori Natsumi (Subaru from Houkago no Pleiades)

ここの・ミト・アルシュライン : 小倉唯
Kokono Mito Arceline : Ogura Yui (Sumika from Yuri Kuma Arashi)

The first 8 tracks are all very short, each establishing a fact, more than telling a story. Iono-sama returns home at last and Eto is suddenly face to face with the fact that her lover is truly a Queen…and she is overwhelmed.

We see Klausoraus as part of Iono-sama’s Special Police, under Argent’s command.

Argent and Yama are established as a couple, and I’m gonna say that I was surprised at how cute they were together. ^_^

Iono-sama, now home and settled in, asks Eto to have a child with her. Eto doesn’t take much time to say yes. This is followed by an introduction to Kokono-hime-sama, the star of the new manga chapters in Comic Yuri Hime. Another quick jump forward in time to the set up of the new manga chapters, as Kokono-hime asks to go to school in Japan and some of the staff volunteers to join her as protection.


Characters – 8
Story – 5
Yuri – 5
Service – 0

Overall – 5

While it was all very cute and breathless, it seemed like a long commercial for the new series, rather than a story on it’s own. You couldn’t hand this to anyone who was not already a Iono-sama fan and expect them to make heads or tails of it, the way you could with any of the Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan Drama CDs.