Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – August 30, 2014

August 30th, 2014

YNN_MariK

Okazu News

Our top news this week is the grand opening of subscriptions to Okazu.

If you love reading weekly news round-ups,  reviews of Yuri manga, anime and related media, special features such as Event Reports,  Interviews with Yuri Creators, Opinion pieces and Articles on the cultural and literary History of Yuri, then please support Okazu and help us maintain the quality and quantity of our content. For an overview of our our goals and rewards, and to subscribe, please visit Okazu on Patreon!

I’ll back off beating this drum now, but you’ll see links at the bottom of most posts going forward and I expect I’ll do awareness -raising again towards the end of the year. Don”t worry if you can’t doing anything now – this is not a race. Subscriptions links will remain live and I plan on doing Okazu for  long, long time. ^_^

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YNN Correspondent Roundup

From YNN Correspondent Ellen K, news that Takarazuka is working on another anime/manga -related character show, this time the infamous thief Lupin the Third.

YNN Senior European Correspondent Grisznak reports that Polish doujinshi company, The Cold Desire, is looking for a authors for the second edition of their Yuri fiction anthology. They have previously released a Yuri manga anthology with Polish authors and a volume of Yuri fiction. Great news that they’ve found enough creators and readers to go a second volume. Good luck to them. ^_^

YNN Correspondent Jin notes that ANN has reported amazing news – Yuri Kuma Arashi, a joint project with Utena and Penguindrun director Ikuhara Kunihiko, with character designs by Morishima Akiko is being made into an anime. This should be interesting, at the very least. ^_^

YNN Senior Correspondent Erin S has a massive pile of lovely queer webcomics that she wanted to share with you all:

Her Wings by Kat Leyh (available as a download for the incredibly low price of $2)

Once Upon A Time There Was A Prince from the Crispy Fish Tumblr

A  little love story about mermaids and tattoos - from the Charmingly Antiquated Tumblr

From The Great  Experiment: The Hand of a Princess. This was fantastic. ^_^

Bethany Parker’s  sobering Day In the Life of  Queer Black Woman and an equally sobering look at how bisexuals are not always welcome at LGBTQ events, from EmpathizeThis.com

Just a note on Tumblr – Tumblr has great mechanics for sharing within Tumblr, but exceedingly poor mechanics to rtain attribution and credit. If you have a Tumblr thing to share, if you can send me the link to the actual real original, that’d be great. Creators – put your damn name on your comics!

To this list of fantastic social commentary in comic form I want to add Karine Charlebois‘  Illustrated Guide to Issues of Harassment, Representation, And Media Criticism, written up on The Mary Sue. This was just a lovely little conversation with readers who still aren’t quite cluing in.  I suggest bookmarking it, it will probably come in handy at some point. ^_^

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That’s a wrap for this week! 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: Game

August 29th, 2014

gametjI’ve been saving this review for a really good day. The weather today is perfect. We took a long walk, enjoyed fresh vegetables from local farms for our meals and it seemed awfully like today was pretty perfect. And so, it seems the right time to review game by Takemiya Jin-sensei, a lovely collection of her stories from Comic Yuri Hime. (Also available on Kindle in Japan.)

In the first half of this volume, we return to Mayu and Saki’s school from Omoi no Kakera. (Saki even makes a brief, uncredited cameo.) Moriko is facinated by the foreign student in class, Becky. Becky’s smart, attractive…she’s shiny. And when she really gets a good long look at Moriko, she sees a strong resemblance to a character she really likes in a series of h-games. Becky adapts some pretty underhanded tactics, moves past Moriko’s boundaries and seduces her.

But Moriko can’t shake the idea that it’s not Moriko, Becky sees, but Mako-nyan. Making things worse, Becky seems awfully close – and similar to- Moriko’s gay older sister. Moriko feels like any sincere relationship isn’t possible with Becky not being truthful about her real interest. As Moriko realizes that she herself is interested in Becky, it all becomes intolerable.

Thankfully, some honest discussion solves matters and the two end up as a happy otaku couple. This story plays with the idea of fandom, using doujinshi games, novels, manga and cosplay as tools in Becky’s seduction of Moriko, as well as insight to her/our inner lives. There’s a bit of service of very fannish variety. More implication of things happening than actual explicit scenes.

The second half of the volume ties up Satomi and Nana’s story. Satomi, you may remember, came to understand herself in the “Mekakushi no Koi” story arc in steps. We originally met Nana back in Kila Kila, when she had a crush on her best friend Youko’s sister, Tsukiko.  Now, finally, circumstances forces  Nana to be honest about her feelings for Satomi and to see that Satomi has always been honest with her. I very much like how Satomi, who was reserved and frightened when we fist met her, has really become completely comfortable with herself and is now a bit of a tease. ^_^

It’s a wonderful wrap up to stories set in this increasingly populated world that Takemiya-sensei has created for us!

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – 9
Characters – 10
Yuri – 9 / Lesbian – 9
Service  -  6

Overall – 10

I’m always insanely happy to read and review another collection from one of my favorite authors. This was a perfect way to end a perfect day. ^_^

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Rose of Versailles Anime, Part 2, Disk 4 (English)

August 28th, 2014

Rose-of-Versailles2Rose of Versailles, Part 2 continues to be pointedly relevant and prescient right to the very last disk.

On the eve of the French Revolution, Oscar and Andre’ finally break past the barriers that have been keeping them apart. They “become husband and wife” as the series delicately puts it, while showing us an artistic rendering of them naked.

The events of the the storming of the Bastille and the subsequent days of bloodletting play out after our principles have all been taken off the board, to be relayed by the Greek chorus of Alain, Bernard and Rosalie.

In my ongoing research as I watched this final disk, I learned that the French Guards did indeed side with the people over the royal household and they were a key element at the storming of the Bastille. That was interesting.

The thing that will haunt me, however, is the scene when the Army faces an angry mob and fires into it, killing a child. The scene was chilling in the light of the recent events in Missouri, where a belligerent police department punished protesters and left me feeling quite hollow.

The story draws to a close, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a bitter ending to a story that was too realistic to ever have a happy end.

TRSI did a bangup job on this series, and this was really hammered home on this final volume when I ran into one bit of translation that could have been better. It was such a rare occurrence that it really highlighted the overall quality of the translation. And, the visuals looked damn good for an old anime. I’m impressed and after a rest to recharge my ability to handle emotionally wrecking anime, I’ll get started on Dear Brother! ^_^;

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters 9
Yuri – 0
Service – 1 (on principle)

Overall – 8

There is no doubt in my mind that this series is a classic. There is also no doubt in my mind that it will be another 20 years before I watch it again….phew.





Yuri Manga: Whispered Words, Volume 1 (English)

August 27th, 2014

It’s been an exciting summer for Yuri fans, with series new and old that we love. One of the most exciting titles of the year to be released in English is Ikeda Takashi’s epic dramedy of Yuri tropes, Whispered Words out from One Peace Books. Volume 1 is available on RightStuf or Amazon.

The story follows the life of a high school student, Sumika, who is in the unenviable position of being in love with her best friend and classmate, Ushio. Sumika has everything going for her – classic looks, she’s tall strong, athletic, smart and a competent leader. Unfortunately for Sumi, Ushio dreams, not of being swept away by someone princely, but sweeping away her own petite and cute princess. Although Sumika is always by her side, Ushio never even notices Sumika’s feelings. Complicating this one-sided love, are about a hundred things, all of which are silly tropes of Yuri.

A male classmate who likes Sumika, is a cross dresser and is, in fact, so cute, that Ushio falls for him as a girl.

Aoi, Yuri light novel fan, thinks she’s found a like mind in Sumika…but she hasn’t.

Sumi and Ushio discover that there are, in fact, two lesbians in their class, and through pretense and blackmail are made to join Tomoe’s “Girls Club” for girl-lovers.

An extremely cute foreign student transfers in. Ushio, predictably falls for her, but Lotte wants to be strong like Sumi.

Each plot complication piles on Sumi, who bears the weight of Ushio’s obliviousness. And it’s apparent – especially after the somewhat messy arc with Aoi – that Sumika is a really standup kind of person. Ushio’s cluelessness hurts, and in a vulnerable moment, Sumika lets her mask slip. But will it bring them closer together?

Volume 1 covers the first three volumes of the Japanese edition (here are my reviews of Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3), which includes some emotionally charged reading in places. The story is comedic, but there are places where characters (and, possibly, readers) are found in tears. For a comedy, Volume 1 has a lot of drama. ^_^;

Technically, the book is much better than I expected.  It had only a very few typos in nearly 500 pages and nearly none of the other issues I noticed with the preview copy. The translation is absolutely excellent – I could really hear  the characters’ individual voices in the dialogue.   The story is by turns hilarious, heart-wrenching and lovely. Ikeda’s art is reproduced well and I like both the heft and paper quality of the translated edition. I feel like I’m getting something solid to hold, but not hideously bulky or heavy.

Volume 2 is already up for pre-order, with a release date in November 2014. I know that the typo issues are mostly resolved in the next Volume, and while these three volumes are the hardest to get through (Volume 4, Volume 5 and Volume 6), the finale of this series is well worth hanging in there for, I promise!

Ratings:

Art – 8
Characters – 8
Story – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 1

Overall – 8

If you’re looking for excellent Yuri, definitely get Whispered Words – good sales will translate to more Yuri. ^_^

My sincere thanks to One Peace Books for a review copy of Volume 1! It was great to be able to see this excellent Yuri tale told in English. ^_^





Subscribe to Okazu and Be a Hero !

August 25th, 2014

okazu-idYou love the uniqueness of the Yuri Network News report, you enjoy the comprehensive reviews of Yuri manga, anime and related media. You know that Okazu is your best source of interviews with Yuri manga artists. You love being part of the Yuri Network – now here’s your chance to show your support and subscribe to this unique community.

Okazu has been the Internet’s oldest and most comprehensive source for news, reviews, interviews and articles about lesbian-themed animation and comics since 2002. Help Okazu continue the good work for the next decade and become a subscriber through our Patreon campaign!

Become an Okazu Hero or Okazu Superhero and nab one of our coveted Okazu badges, or be one of the first to get one of our new badges for levels yet unattained. We’ve got a number of goals on tap for Okazu in the next year and we can really use your help to meet them. Our first goal is to make and keep Okazu ad-free for now and ever more.

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