Carmilla, Issue 5

December 14th, 2004

It’s lesbian, its Yuri, but I still don’t get it.

Carmilla magazine took up the slack in Japan’s lesbian community, even as Anise was failing.

Where Anise was a sort of light-hearted look at the lesbian and bisexual community in Japan, there’s an edge to Carmilla that I just don’t really “get.” In my opinion, it reads like a parody of a lesbian magazine written by gay men.

Like its predecessor (and the lesbian mag before that, Phryne,) Carmilla runs reviews of lesbian/gay/bi/trans hotspots, parties, movies, books, etc. There’s some short manga series – all of which seem to be BDSM-heavy, with lots of bondage, rape and animals – and a few short stories, which I’ve never had the fortitude to try and read. And there’s always, as seems inevitable in Japanese lesbian magazines, interviews with various couples. I cannot, for the life of me understand why people give a rat’s ass about two other people who are not them, but it’s a thing. I get over it.

Overall, there’s an, I don’t know exactly, hardcore drag queen-type sensibility to the magazine that kind of puts me off.

Now, to be fair, I do not regularly read *any* lesbian/gay/bi/trans magazines, not since my free subscriptions at my last job dried up. But while I may be bored by one of the major English-language lesbian mags, Carmilla leaves me feeling…icky. I had read Issue 2 way back when Rica Takashima had brought me an issue as a present, and it hasn’t changed much by Issue 5, which I read last week. So clearly, this is what the mag is, and any problems I have with it are my own. Deep in my heart, I wish for a magazine that reviews art/music/books/films without the usual “Oh look! It has a lesbian in it! We must all rush and support it, even though it bites!” attitude. Interviews with people are usually, tedious. Skip ’em. Give me stuff to watch and read and drop the rest. You know…like this blog! ^_^;

I can’t really rate this, as everything in the mag is variable, but overall, I don’t care for it too much. It makes me long for Anise.

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