Yuri Manga: Azuma-san to Itakura-san ha Koi wo Suru. (吾妻さんと板倉先輩は恋をする。)

August 23rd, 2017

Being the manager of the Chorus club is a lot of work. Itakura-san is in charge of new members, keeping the chorus together during practice and keeping the energy high as they get close to competition time. In Azuma-san to Itakura-san ha Koi wo Suru. (吾妻さんと板倉先輩は恋をする。), what Itakura-sa has no time for is Azuma-san, who wants to join the club late in the game, with really mediocre singing. She just doesn’t have time for this! So, then, why can’t she get the underclassman out of her mind?

Itakura-san reluctantly allows Azuma-san to join the chorus and, after a little tutoring, gets the young woman to fit in seamlessly. And only then is Itakura-san able to see just why Azuma-san is on her mind all the time. Luckily for her, Azuma-san feels the same way. It’s  a nice little Yuri story.

Unlike the previous story, “Yuujyou Shiraben” is not a nice story. When Aizawa Yuuka’s class gets a transfer student with the same exact name, Yuuka thinks it’s pretty funny. Aizawa Yuuka and Aizawa Yuuka become friends, naturally. But Yuuka sees the other Yuuka beating her academically, and in sports and even taking her friends, and starts to fantasize about killing the girl with the same name. In fact, she’s pretty sure she actually did kill her, but there she is, day after day. And day after day, there’s the other Aizawa Yuuka, still thinking they are friends. It all comes to a crisis when Yuuka realizes her jealousy about Yuuka is because she’s in love with her. Oh, okay, that makes perfect sense. Not. We’ve all had serial fantasies about killing the people we love. Not.

So as cute as the first story is, the second story is pretty much the opposite. ^_^ Whether this collection is worth reading will be entirely a personal decision on your part. I think Itakura and Azuma, whose story is more than half the book, were worth spending at least a little time on.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7 for “Itakura,” 5 for “Yuujyou”
Characters – 8 for “Itakura,” 5 for “Yuujyou”
Service – 1 on principle for “Itakura,” 3 for the violence in “Yuujyou”
Yuri – 5 “Itakura,” 2 for “Yuujyou”

Overall – 6

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Discovering New Yuri 2017 Presentation

August 21st, 2017

At Yurithon 2017 I did a presentation called Must-Read/Must-Watch Yuri.  At Flamecon 2017, the same presentation was presented as Discovering The Best New Yuri Anime and Manga.

I promised to put the entire presentation up here, so folks could draw on the links, rather than taking photos of the screen. Not that I didn’t want them to do that, but this is SO much easier, I hope! For reasons, the videos were making it impossible to upload as a Powerpoint (and not everyone has that, so I’ve taken out the videos and converted the presentation to PDF. The links should work for you. Only the Utena Blu-Ray and Citrus anime have no links, as they currently have no ETA. 

 

 

 

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – August 19, 2017

August 19th, 2017

LGBTQ Comics Event

August 19 and 20 (today and tomorrow) is Flamecon, NYC’s only all-LGBTQ comic event! I’ll be presenting the Discovering Yuri Manga (which they have inexplicably named “Into the Depths“) at 1:00 on Sunday. See you there! Sunday, they are doing a Youth Day promotion. All attendees under 21 can enter for free! What a lovely idea. So bring a young friend who loves Yuri !

 

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Yuri Manga

YNN Correspondent Rob has written in from Italy to let us know that Girl Friends by Milk Morinaga is being published in 5 volumes in Italy!

Sakura Trick wraps up in the October issue of Mangatime Kirara magazine on sale September 27th. Comic Natalie reports.

Also from Comic Natalie, Ours magazine, (home of After Hours manga) is starting up a high school Yuri drama called Atashi no Sempai.

Awajima Hyakkei, (淡島百景) Shimura Takako’s webcomic about an all-female performing troupe that in no way is anything like Takarazuka, has made it to Volume 2.

Oh oh! And! Konno Kita has a new Yuri manga collection called Lily Lily Rose from Birz Comics, which I think is a great publisher for her slightly off-beat creeptastic, but beautiful, Yuri.

Hakusensha is putting all of Shimizu Reiko’s Kaguya-hime on e-book, with the first three volumes free and the rest 30% off on their e-book site (in Japanese, there is no licensed translation.). This series has it all, Yuri, BL, incest, clones, alien mold, survival on an island, an ancient feudal Chinese kingdom and utter craziness. I recommend it highly!

Fujeida Miyabi’s Colorful End Contents are available on Comic Walker for free. This is just one chapter for his Comic Cune entry, but it’s nice to see his work again. And, while I was searching Fujieda-sensei’s work, I see that his “headphone girl” doujinshi collection Aamairo Crossover is available on US Kindle!

 

Anime News

Crunchyroll is doing a spotlight on Aria the Animation, which they have added to their streaming catalog, just as Nozomi/RightStuf is running a Kickstarter for an Aria dub release! AND Komatsu-san at Crunchyroll reports on the special long promotional video for Aria the Avennire – which is headed to Blu-Ray, He notes that “all three episodes in one 60-minute disc was announced in May. The set also comes with a bonus DVD that includes two stage reading parts by the voice actresses from the events in June 2016 and April 2017.”

Nozomi also announced a definitive Blu-Ray edition of the complete Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series and movie at their Otakon panel last weekend. (I’m sure it will be amazing…and just I can’t get past the screwed up dimensions of the model images on their press release. It’s stupid, but the boxes are just so out of proportion…)

Crunchyroll also has a spotlight on Yoshitomi Abe’s series Haibane Renmei, which is on my “to rewatch” list.

One more from Crunchyroll News. Anime Studio Mappa listed a new anime spearheaded by Utena director, Ikuhara Kunihiko. No more details available at this time, but I’m sure we’ll hear more as time goes on. Scott Green also reports on an issue of Eureka magazine that focuses on Ikuhara and his work. (Some of you may remember that Eureka magazine ran the Current State of Yuri Culture issue from December 2014, as well.)

 

Other News

Gyan28-san has put together a really huge, comprehensive list of Japanese LGBTQ groups online if that interests you. It interests me, so I have a smaller, still-growing Twitter list of JP LGBTQ resources to follow.

The Guardian has a lovely photo set called Love Island! LGBTQ Japan – in pictures.

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!

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime September 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年9月号)

August 18th, 2017

While the management of Comic Yuri Hime focuses on their blitz of creepy Yuri anime this summer, the rest of the reading audience might be expected to just suck it up in front of the promotional wave.

Oddly, this does not happen. Of course there is a focus on series I’m not interested in covering here, but once we move past those, there’s actually some really good stuff in Comic Yuri Hime September 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年9月号).

“Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” by miman has gone somewhere unexpected and typical, but what it will do there and why are still unpredictable enough that I’m still reading. 

Tokuwotsumu’s “Tsume no iro” was pleasant, as as Hisona’s “Ha no Hanabatake to Hakashirube.”

In Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei” Nanami’s confession has thrown everyone – Nanami, Kaede and Koyuki – into a tizzy. Koyuki tells Nanami that’s she’s confessed to Kaede which officially puts this series into love triangle mode.

As usual there are any number of other entries, both ongoing and one-shots that are worth reading. Overall I felt like, yes, this issue still has a metric ton of schoolgirls, but the stories themselves felt a little more varied. I am a bit concerned about the shift into gimmick (schoolgirls with animal ears or who are game prodigies or are half-human) but I still found this issue to be readable.

Ratings:

Overall – 8  

For “2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei,” alone, this issue would have been good.

 

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Yuri Anime: Yurikuma Arashi The Complete Series, Disk 1 (English)

August 17th, 2017

In early 2015. Yuri fans were treated to a dream collaboration – Morishima Akiko and Kunihiko Ikuhara were working on a blatantly Yuri anime and manga series, Yuri Kuma Arashi. I reviewed the anime in Spring 2015, and the manga (Volume 1Volume 2 | Volume 3) between 2015-17.

As we were watching the anime I came to the conclusion that we were watching a “Cards for Humanity” Yuri edition. The word Yuri was repeated so often, with such little context, that it quickly ceased to have meaning. I quite like non-linear, multiple perspective stories. Ikuhara’s Mawaru Penguindrum kept me riveted right through the end.  But the service, the repeated footage of an uneeded naked transformation with use of both lily and phallic imagery, as well as the Court scenes that established little, made for tough going in this series. It was a relief, in fact, to be able to read the manga, in which a coherent story was built up, even if it did end symbolically. There was no such story here in Yurikuma Arashi: The Complete Series,Disk 1.

Which gives us time to ponder things, like why are bears considered so ferocious in Japanese folklore?

It’s not hard to grasp the place that, in every culture, the apex predators own in stories through the ages. Wolves, bears, lions, tigers. No one has to “explain” why Robin Riding Hood is threatened by the Big Bad Wolf or why Shere Khan ruled the Jungle.

It might be heard for someone looking at this to really think about the ferocity and power of a bear. 

We’re just forced to remember Colbert’s warning that bears are not our friends.

And we are reminded, repeatedly, that bears eat humans.

BUT. We’re also told that bears are only allowed to eat invisible girls – girls that have been “excluded.”

And maybe in that oft-repeated footage of the court that makes little sense, except to provide us with boy bears (there are no male humans in this world, only mothers and female teachers)…maybe…we can see a parable of bullying, of ostracization, of the kind of othering that homogeneous groups are prone to.

Or maybe it’s all a really sloppily-conceived series of fairytales that uses concepts like “bears,” “Yuri” and Stalingrad Fuyu Keshiki all mushed together.

Ratings:

Art – 8 Two great tastes that tasted deeply odd together
Story – 7 Once upon a time…oh fuck it.
Characters – 7 Bears all the way down
Yuri – 14 million
Service – 7

Overall – 7 

Ultimately the two things about this series worth seeing are Morishima-sensei’s art animated and the obviously Evil Psycho Lesbian bear (Spoilers. But surely it was the most obvious thing ever.) Yurika.

Many thanks to Okazu Superhero Dan P, for sponsoring today’s review and the fetching gift bag in which it arrived!

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