Yuri Game: Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san / Kindred Spirits is coming to Steam

September 2nd, 2015

kindred-spiritsGood News Everyone!

In July we reported that Manga Gamers was bringing the massively popular Yuri game Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san to the west as Kindred Spirits.

Now, Kotaku (with excessive vulgarity) has announced that Kindred Spirits is going to be available on Steam! Not surprisingly this is a really big deal. For a number of reasons.

First, the fact that we’re getting such a popular Yuri Game localized is big news on its own. Secondly, it’s getting distribution on Steam, which will make it available to a much wider audience than a straight-up download or hard copy distribution stream would otherwise garner.

Thirdly, Kotaku reports that it will remain uncensored. Since Valve is known for censoring explicit games, this may either indicate a change of policy, or it may be that this game gets an exception. There’s also a case for since it has no penile penetration, someone is relying on archaic definitions of “sex.” Or, that precisely because it is two girls, that Steam expects the always-presumed-male audience will be enthusiastic about it in a way that they definitely would not for an Otome game. We don’t know what the actual justifications for it are. We may never know.

I was asked by someone sane how it could be a high school girl sex game and in good taste at the same time and the answer is that I have no idea. I can tell you that for the past few years this game has been a major obsession of some Yuri mangaka, and I haven’t seen any really explicit fanart (but, too, I was not looking for it.) The two manga volumes based on the game (Side A and Side B) were surprisingly and pleasantly free of service of any kind. I frankly had no idea the game even has sex scenes. Apparently, the Yuri manga artists I followed were more interested in the relationships. ^_^

In any case, this is big news for Yuri fans!

Open comments. Discuss!



Yuri Manga: Ryuuzaki-san to Torao-san ~ Yuri Hime Short Story Collection (龍崎さんと虎生さん ~百合姫短編集~)

September 1st, 2015

RyuutoTora-275x388Well now, Kuzushiro’s Yuri Manga: Ryuuzaki-san to Torao-san ~ Yuri Hime Short Story Collection (龍崎さんと虎生さん ~百合姫短編集~) was a bit of a surprise.

It begins with a spin-off from Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san, following the alpha predators of the zodiac and the Student Council, Ryuuzaki Inori and Torao Mari. You may remember that Mari is a foul-mouthed broad and, to be fair, Ryuuzaki isn’t much better. Almost unbelievably, they bond over their love of baseball and eventually fall in lust…and love. In the Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san series they are the most incontrovertibly couple-y couple there is.

Almost all of the stories that follow pair mismatched girls, one of whom is manipulative, the other manipulable. In some cases the manipulable one turns out to be not what she seems at all, sometime the manipulator becomes the manipulated. There is a some not-fully-consensual sex, and a lot of not-nice characters, which in some way is a pleasant departure from Kuzushiro-sensei’s stock of “earnest but crazy” comedy. But for all that this is a decidedly darker book (darker even than Love Desu, with all it’s violence) it was still a good read.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – Variable, let’s say 7
Character – 7, but often quite dark and/or unpleasant
Service – 8
Yuri – 8

Overall – 8

I would be glad to spend more time with Ryuuzaki-san and Torao-san. Their burning passion and blazing anger is far more appealing to me than the cute, fuzzy, yet ephermeral crushy gags of Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san.



LGBTQ Comic: The Complete Wendel

August 30th, 2015

TCWen Back in May, I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural Queers & Comics conference in NYC. At the very end, as a panelist, I was given a copy of the definitive collected edition of Keynote Speaker Howard Cruse’s serial Wendel. Originally begun back when The Advocate was a tabloid, Wendel ran in the pages of the magazine through the 1980s (a decade that I spent mostly without a TV or car, working 2 or 3 jobs at a time and therefore somewhat limited in my participation in the world.)

I have just finished The Complete Wendel and both liked and disliked it in equal measure. It’s important to remember that while this was the Gay Community of the 1980s, I was not ever part of this community, so reading it is as alien to me as reading a book on being a mother of 5 children.

Wendle is a young guy, with a supportive family, working at a small tabloid magazine. He meets Ollie, an aspiring actor and, through the pages of the story, their relationship develops through years of political crisis, AIDS, and regular family and friend nuttiness.

The early stories were the hardest for me to enjoy. They are supposed to be funny, but there are not my sense of humor and so left me sort of “meh.” Wendel is earnest and openly feminist and progressive, but the actual female characters we meet are abrasive and irritating.  Particularly Tina, the butch lesbian girlfriend of Deb, one of Wendel’s coworkers who, as the comic pointed out, if you didn’t hope she was being ironic, was a horrible person. Ollie’s ex-wife, father of his child Farley, is pretty much a one-note  neurotic rant from the beginning to the very final page.

It’s not just the women who are irritating. Ollie’s best friend Sterno, an out-of-control hedonist is tedious. So, here we have Wendel and Ollie, whose main schtick is to be neurotic out loud and adorably in love and their terrible friends. ^_^ It took me a while to warm up to them. But…I did warm up to them.

They lived through the Reagan years, during which I came into being. Had I been 5 years older, I might well have been a lesbian Wendel. In a moment of complete irony, the book ends with some promotional posters featuring Wendel after the comic had ended, one of which was the March on Washington in 1993, which I attended (and wow, what a day that was). So Wendel ends as I began, in a sense. And that, in a nutshell describes my feelings about it.

Lesbian and gay comics have been with us since the beginning. Queer & Comics was about those comics and about the people who drew them. We’re incredibly lucky to have so many of them still alive and willing and able to tell their tales. It’s up to us to read them and remember them and pass them along.

The world of the bathhouses and the early Gay Liberation marches, are the history I read about, the shoulders that I stood upon. Wendel is my fictitious older brother’s age, never my own. But once I  got to know him and Ollie and his friends, they came to have meaning to me.

Ratings:

Art – 8 (It’s a style that is so wholly unlike manga, it’s fascinating to delve into. Every background, every cross-hatched shadow was done by hand.)
Story – 7 Slice of life with “silly” filter
Characters – 8
Service – Lots of male nudity and sexual situations, no explicit sex shown
LGBTQ – 10

Overall – 8

I’d never have Sterno stay the night and would probably have told Tina to shut the fuck up, but I could see myself sitting and listening to their stories and understand that without them, I might not have been here.



Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – August 29, 2015

August 29th, 2015

YNN_MariK

Yuri Manga

Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari Magazine is alive! According to the Shinsokan website, Hirari is beginning distribution as an e-book, with a free issue, Volume 0, available on practically every e-book retailer in Japan. I had no problems signing in and getting the issue to open in the reader on E-bookJapan, for what it’s worth. Volume 0 is composed of first chapters from some of their most popular series.

Competition is good for Yuri artists. ^_^

Hirari titles available on E-bookJapan are listed here. The prices are very reasonable for e-books.

***

Get More Yuri News and Reviews –  Subscribe to Okazu!Subcribe with Patreon

***

Last week, the Seven Seas translated edition of Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace Vol. 1 hit shelves, and now Volume 2 is up for pre-order! This is the manga for the movie, which has not been licensed here in the US.

Kumicho has a new online Yuri series, Idol Green Rhapsody (アイドれ!グリーン♥ラプソディ), available on Yawara Spirits online site. No online reader needed, which I quite like. As you might imagine from the title, it follows two members of an idol group.

Ichijinsha is up to Volume 3 of Saburouta’s Citrus in a new Special Edition format.

And they are also re-releasing Mikuni Hajime’s “ecchi comedy”(which you may remember from JManga, when they were funct,) Gokujou Drops. Volume 1 is now available!

Meno’s Yuri stories from Comic Yuri Hime have been collected into a new volume, Kawaisa Amatte Sukisa 100-bai!! (かわいさ余って好きさ100倍!!)

Canno’s adorable private school Yuri series, Anoko ni Kiss to Shiroyuri wo  (あの娘にキスと白百合を) returns for a third volume.

Yuri Light Novel

Yuri no Kishi to Bara no Hime (百合の騎士と薔薇の姫) is a a new novel with a really old, tired plot. Can you guess? Yes, it’s another Princess being married off who falls in love with her female knight. Gee, we’ve never seen that before. ^_^

Other News

If you’ve ever wondered what Comiket really looks like, here is a short, enthusiastic and not creepy NHK documentary, in English. While it shows the amazing line management, it doesn’t really talk about it. Shame, because that’s one of the most amazing things about Comiket.

You know you wanted an AKB48 music video with post-apocalytpic Mad Max-ian combat. I spent the entire video analyzing the fight choreography and I have to say, it was pretty, but annoyingly bereft of good tactics. ^_^ Also fighting with feather costumes.

Here’s Three Indian Comics Artists You Should Know About from Panels.net

Comic artist Kelly Sue DeConnick spoke at 99u, and her talk, How To Make People Uncomfortable (And Still Make a Living),  is well worth listening to all the way through. It’s not aspirational or inspirational, so much as how to function in the world as it is. Let’s call it Realspirational.

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!



Flamecon 2 is coming to Brooklyn, NY in August 2016

August 27th, 2015

tumblr_ntm0k5JscF1qllhdno4_500I normally don’t do event announcements this far out, but I want to give you lots of time to make your plans.  I certainly intend to be there. ^_^

Geeks OUT Announces the Return of Flame Con to Brooklyn, NY For August 2016

The Second Annual LGBTQ+ Comic Con Promises A Bigger, Expanded Celebration of Queer Pop Culture

New York – August 25, 2015 – Geeks OUT is excited to announce the return of FLAME CON, New York City’s premier LGBTQ+ Comic Con!  FLAME CON 2: 2 FIERCE 2 FABULOUS will heat up Brooklyn again in 2016, expanding to two days — Saturday, August 20th and Sunday, August 21st at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott.

First held in June of 2015, FLAME CON brought together the queer fan community on an unprecedented scale. Drawing over 2,200 visitors to the one-day convention, FLAME CON was the largest queer-focused pop culture expo ever held in New York. Over one hundred creators and media favorites exhibited their talents, while fans and attendees brought fantastic energy to the event, all eager to be part of a comic convention catering especially to queer tastes in comics, games, books, art, and entertainment.  In New York City, #FlameCon trended on Twitter for five solid hours, and the event received glowing reviews from io9, The Mary Sue, Comic Book Resources, and more, all applauding the tremendous convergence of diversity, positivity and creativity.

FLAME CON 2 will expand to a larger venue, adding a second day to accommodate more exciting guests, more outrageous performances, more engaging panel discussions, and of course, more fantastic cosplay!

Special guests already on the FLAME CON 2 roster include:

Cecil Baldwin, voice of the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale

Marguerite Bennett, writer of A-Force, Years of Future Past, Bombshells, Batgirl, and Batman and more

Terry Blas, creator of the You Say Latino mini comic, the Briar Hollow webcomic, and cover artist on Bravest Warriors, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and Adventure Time

Aimee Fleck, Lumberjanes artist, Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy cover artist, and creator of the fashion comic Damn, Girl That Style Is Fat

Phil Jimenez, superstar writer-artist on Wonder Woman, Justice League, New X-Men, Fairest, The Invisibles, and numerous other comics

Jay Justice, costumer, cosplayer, gamer, writer, actress and activist

James Tynion IV, writer of Constantine: The Hellblazer, The Woods, and Mimetic

Kevin Wada, comics couture sensation and cover illustrator on She-Hulk and Catwoman

Max Wittert, fashion illustrator and creator of the comic Skinny Girls, as well as the hit webcomic Jean & Scott featured in All-New X-Men

Jennie Wood, creator of the graphic novel series Flutter and the YA novel A Boy Like Me

FLAME CON 2 is also proud to announce the return of Presenting Sponsor: Atari® featuring their first LGBTQ themed mobile game, Pridefest™!

FLAME CON 2 tickets are now available at https://geeks-out.ticketbud.com/flamecon. Additional exhibitor information will be announced later this year, with special guests, exclusive content offerings and fun updates available by following @flamecon on Twitter, and on Facebook at facebook.com/flamecon.