Yuri Manga: Love Desu. ~Short Story Collection~ (ラブデス ラブデス。~短期集中連載集~)

July 27th, 2015

lovedesuAt last, a Yuri manga that was written for me! I do not care if nobody else on the whole planet enjoyed this book, because I loved it.

Love Desu. ~Short Story Collection ~ (ラブデス ラブデス。~短期集中連載集~) by Kuzushiro follows the bad kids in school. Bad girls, who are passionately in love with each other and beat the crap out of each other to prove it. This is not a manga about abusive relationships; in this manga, the violence is a form of affection.

We’ve talked about this before, but I’ll remind readers that I am not opposed to violence between equals. And, in “Love Desu,” – which I would translate it as “It’s Love (Death).” –  Shouko and A-ki are equals, alright. Each with murderous intent and a fondness for violence, they hash out the details of their relationship through such heart-warming tactics as a needle in the eye, or a knife through a hand. But it’s only because they both want to be the neko in bed. ^_^

In “Nikochuu,” Mai-sempai smokes and Aika has picked up her bad habit. Ultimately, what she really wants is to capture what Mai tastes like when they kiss. Yanki girls smoking on school property and being rude to the classmates around them, but  ridiculously cute in private is utter squee for me. I adore nasty women.

So, yeah, I know that this book isn’t going to appeal to everyone (maybe, anyone). But I love this manga with all my love.

Thank you, thank you Takemiya-sensei for this manga! It’s just about perfect. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – 10
Characters – 10
Yuri – 8
Service – For me, 10. YMMV

Overall – 10

Yuri needs more yankis.



Summer Reading – Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas

July 26th, 2015

81GCH6FO7nLFirst, the good news. My bathroom renovation is finally, after 9 weeks of crazy, finished.  I hope that means my life will return to normal and I’ll get back to regular reviews. (If not…oh well. ^_^)

Today I want to rave about the book that sustained me through the last few weeks, Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas, by Kazuki Sakuraba, translated by Jocelyne Allen.

The novel follows three generations of a rich manufacturing family in remote western Japan: Illiterate, clairvoyant, Manyo, a daughter of the mountain people who was abandoned as a child, her daughter Kemari, who ruled the girl motorcycle gangs of western Japan, then left it to become a famous manga artist, and her daughter Toko, the narrator of the book.

The synopsis had me intrigued. But you know I keep my expectations low, and I’ve read a lot of Japanese novels, so I’m aware of the slow-to-fast pacing that dominates their writing style. I did not expect to love this book.

I loved this book.

I enjoyed reading it so much, I did something that is unheard of for me – I stopped reading quickly. I started parsing out chapters, then half chapters, slowly, night after night, so I wouldn’t finish too soon.

The language in the book is quirky and strange. My first thought when I started reading was that the translator was a genius – how exciting for me, then to find that the translator was my friend Jocelyne Allen! What a fabulous job she did, communicating the richness of the words, the tones of the speech, and the all-out strangeness of the book. Did I forget to mention that it’s strange? It is. It’s really, really strange. Captivatingly so.

The isolated location, the overview of Japanese 20th century history as seen through the eyes of utterly unaverage, but completely sane, people, coupled with the fantastical visions, and fictionality of their lives, tied together with unnerving precision of description of humanity makes for a fascinating read. This is a super, dark, super, rich, super bitter dark chocolate of a book. The flavor is complex and delightful, but it requires an adult palate to appreciate it.

That said, I found the book especially delightful when it wandered directly into my own playground full of girl gang manga. I’m not going to lie  – those bits were extra specially tail-wagging for me. ^_^ Kemari’s manga, Iron Angels! bore a striking resemblance to Hana no Asuka-gumi, which put a smile on my face through that whole section.

But what surprised me most was how good (strange, but good) the ending was. It had been such a delightful read that I had no hope at all that the ending would be good. It was perfect. Strange, but perfect.

This is the first Haikasoru book out of Viz Media that I had ever read. If this is the kind of stuff they are putting out, I’m going to have to go browse through their catalog. This was an  amazing bit of summer reading, a great translation and a damn fine novel.

Ratings:

Overall – 10

I couldn’t have imagined a book this perfect for me to read this summer.



Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – July 25, 2015

July 25th, 2015

YNN_MariK Crowdfunding News

Our friends at Sparkler Monthly are setting up for their 3rd year, and would like your help to continue publishing fantastic female-creator and female-focused comics, prose and audio dramas! Support their Kickstarter to support Josei for the English-speaking world. The price of one manga will get you an ebook, the digital desktop set and their thanks. There’s even special creator levels that focus on Yuri creators KAIJU and Denise Schroeder.

This has nothing at all to do with manga, but I’m enamored with the iBackpack, a portable comunications hub, with enough charge for you and a bunch of friends to recharge your phones,  have wifi hotspot and a number of other features that will make it invaluable on the con circuit. The Indiegogo campaign launches August 15th. Stay tuned. I think this one might be a game changer for those of us who travel and con.

 

Other News

We knew this, but here’s the confirmation doubters won’t accept anyway – creators of Steven Universe agree that the Ruby and Sapphire are a lesbian couple.

Comic Natalie reports on a new Yuri Sci-fi manga series called “Heart of the Girl” beginning in Mangatime Kirara Miracle magazine.

ANN Reports that Otome Teikoku, an “ecchi comedy” by Maka-Maka’s  Kishi Torajirou (by which I mean it’s fairly unreadable,) is getting a “petit anime.” I reviewed Volume 1 in 2011, and never looked at it again.

Sentai Filmworks has released their first Sabagebu anime collection shots. It looks damn good. ^_^

I don’t honestly expect any great licensing news out of Otakon this weekend, but Summer Comiket is coming, and there’s always treasures galore there. The circle Lesbian Erotica, for instance, is going to be selling their BDSM comic, YuriKa, (ゆり母) collected this year, after having been online for YuRibon and on LINE manga.

Transformative Works and Cultures is looking for articles for a special Queer Female Fandom Issue. The Call For Papers can be found on Fanstudies. org.

 

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: Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san SIDE B Nakayoshi Quiz (屋上の百合幽霊さん SIDE B 仲良しクイズ)

July 21st, 2015

In May, I oknyyssbnqreviewed the first of two Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san manga, based on characters from the popular Visual Novel series. In Okujou no Yuri Yurei-san Side B – Nakayoshi Quiz, we stay in the same school, but meet new characters.

We follow Hasechi Haru, who is absolutely massively wowed by the co-presidents of the Quiz Show Research Club, Rika and Natsuki. Not only are they awesome perfomers and full of knowledge, they make a great couple…she thinks. And so does the other newbie in the club, Chiharu. Haru and Chiharu are different types, but it turns out that they share a little Yurijin fetish.

In between training absurdly hard for quiz shows  – by jogging, because exercise stimulates your brain –  (unlike, apparently, writing manga) Haru and Chiharu bond over their mutual desire to be awesome at trivia and see Rika and Natsuki happy together. So, when the co-presidents do not seem happy together, the newbies conspire to make them talk it out…and they all live happily ever after.

As a little cookie for their hard work Haru and Chiharu also live happily ever after.

No, this is not going to be the Yuri manga that changes the world, but it’s cute, it completely, utterly, totally lacks creepy service of any kind and all the characters act like high school girls. Wow, weird, huh? ^_^

The dynamic between Rika and Natsuki is adorable, and I sympathize with the resident Yuri goggle wearers. It would be impossible to not see a vibe between them, and it was comfortable, rather than forced that they felt that way about each other.

Ratings:

Art – 8 Utterly pleasant.
Story – 7 Cute and harmless
Characters – 8 Likable, a little thin in development as one might expect from such a series
Yuri – 8
Service – 1 Really not. A kiss or two. Nothing creeper-gaze. What a relief,

Overall – 8

You go Hirari, giving us service-free, unoffensive, bland schoolgirl Yuri that doesn’t make me want to scratch my eyes out with boredom. This was *just* what I needed this week, as I tried to work to the sound of tile saws.



Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – July 18, 2015

July 18th, 2015

YNN_Lissa

Quick datadump this week, my brain is leaking out my ears. If you follow me on FB, you know why. ^_^

I found this month’s copy of  MdN Design & Graphic magazine that had a Takako Shimura character and a girl on the cover. It turns out to be, as translator Simona Stanzani put it so succintly, “a ‘visual collaboration’ between Shimura Sensei and the idol Rina Ikoma.” Ikoma is a current member of idol group Nogizaka46.

M256_banner

Zac Bertschy of ANN has an interview with Lauren Landa and Erica Mendez, who play Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus in the new Viz dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. He jumps *right* in with the “cousins” fiasco and moves on from there. Interesting read!  And I am motivated for the first time ever to watch a dub. I’m looking forward to Landa and Mendez’ performance.

ANN also follows up on our big question about Sailor Moon Crystal with a look at the “See You Soon!” message at the end of the final “Black Moon” arc episode. Will we get a third season? We don’t yet know, but there’s still hope.

We’re only a few weeks away from the Yuricon Store Grand Opening. We’re going to be doing some contests as part of the celebration. One of them will be for Okazu Patrons only, so if you have *ever* though about subscribing to Okazu, now would be a swell time. You’d be getting us closer to our launch goal and give yourself an extra chance at winning a contest!

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Rica Takashima’s article for Eureka magazine’s “Current State of Yuri Culture”, Japan: Fertile Ground for the Cultivation of Yuri, is live for all on the Yuricon Essays page! It’s thought-provoking and a completely different perspective than we might expect. If you do any writing on Yuri, please let us know the citations, or let us have a copy of the article, so we can keep Yuricon the most  comprehensive site for Yuri research!

Comic Natalie writes that the September issue of Comic Yuri Hime will have a 10th anniversary special “petit” Comic Hime edition application. I find this to be a bit wanky. For the last bunch of years, they’ve sold their “Saiyuri Hime” book at Comiket, and now they are just selling the same thing as a 10th anniversary special. Way to be uncreative, folks. If it were me, I’d do a retrospective of the last ten years with all the artists contributing a comic or a message…but it’s not me.

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!