Yuri News This Week – May 30, 2009

May 30th, 2009

Once again, we are off in a blaze of Yuri!

Yuri Manga

From a conversation on the #lililicious channel on IRC, Erin S is pleased to report two new Yamaji Ebine books, Aoaza Shimi and Ai no Jikan. Be warned however that the second is not Yuri in any way – it’s about a possibly gay girl who falls in love with a definitely gay man after he saves her from being stabbed by a rapist. (It was a really depressing story, I read it for many chapters in Feel Comic.) The first title looks more promising.

Anonymous says that Gunsmith Cats Burst Volume 4 in English is tentatively due out in Autumn 2009 , while Volume 5 is planned for Spring 2010. (Yay!!!!!)

Coming next month from Ichijinsha is Butterfly 69, the collection from Natsuneko. Woot.

And double woot for Hayate x Blade 10 also hitting the shelves next month. The current arc is amazing, btw. :-D

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Yuri Anime

Sean reports back from the Funimation panel at Anime North, where he dutifully asked them about things that I care about. Sadly, they have said that sales for Lyrical Nanoha and Nanoha As have not been very good and so at this time there is no plan for a release of StrikerS. Which makes me wonder, yet again, why the lolicon of Japan are so willing to shell out money and the lolicon of the west so very not. I am not the only person in the industry who is of the opinion that most of the people who screamed bloody murder at the pulling of the Kodomo no Jikan license had no intention of ever buying it. I was discussing why this is with another industry professional at lunch yesterday. I joked that the lolicon here are too busy with their hands down their pants, they didn’t have time to put them in their pockets, but that was only to watch him snort milk. The truth is more complex. The audience in Japan for lolicon is older than it is here, it is less entitled, having not grown up with free downloadable illegal media, but that still isn’t the crux of the issue. In Japan, fans buy to show their love and support for a series and to gain status. They buy official goods and media to be part of the “real fan” club – to show that they are part of the team. In America, fans are mostly just consumers and don’t have any connection with showing loyalty by buying. A hand-made artist’s alley item that clearly is violating IP is *better* than the official item, because it leaves them with more money to buy more and it “supports” fan work – which to western fans is more crucial than supporting companies that make the original.

I can’t answer this, but I wonder if fans here would feel differently if the work was native. If they knew the artists who did the animation, the voices, the production and it was a western company that *made* the work, would they feel more likely to buy official, more expensive goods to support the company? I don’t know. I do know that lolicon here are exactly the demographic least likely to buy anything, media, goods, games, etc – college-ages males.

On to other marginally disappointing news, Funi also says that their agreement with Toei only covers online distribution, so there are no plans for a DVD release of Air Master. However, they said that if online views were really good, it might be considered. So, watch Air Master online. There’s, that’s easy.

Right Stuf announces a Gakuen Alice website launch.

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Yuri Drama CDs

sarcastic weasel wants you to know that the next Maria-sama ga Miteru Drama CD is slated to come out this July. Tears of the Rosary/ Yellow Rose Storm Warning has been added to the Yuricon Shop Drama CD Page along with all the Special CDs and many other great Yuri-themed DCDs.

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Snatches of Yuri

Dan wants to report a blink ‘I think that was Yuri’ moment in Zero no Tsukaima. He says: ‘Main character is Louise, a teenage student witch. A minor character is Agnes who is the captain of the all female guard for the princess. Well, the two are following a possible spy for another country when the spy hears a noise and back tracks. With no where to run, Agnes pulls Louise into a lip to lip kiss. The spy sees them and grins but leaves. Agnes remains all business tracking the spy but Louise blushes. Later, another character mentions that Agnes is scary and likes girls. Louise blushes more. That’s it. Nothing more. During the entire season, Louise is clearly in love with the other main character, Saito. If it had only been the kiss without the later comment, I would not have mentioned it. However, the random, not needed for the plot and not expanded comment about Agnes sounds to me (a huge Fanboy) like an attempt to keep GL fans interested. There is a third season but I would be surprised if the Agnes likes girls idea is explored. The plot would be greatly improved if the Agnes line was explored.”

Back closer to my world, Kanojo ha Megane-HOLIC brings together an agent, a high school, two girls and eyeglasses. It’s Light Novel that I’m tempted to read, just because it sounds absolutely idiotic. lol

Ame no Tou is a classic girl’s shousetsu about four girls and the love, hate and jealousy between them.

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Other Yuri News

In other Yuri News, there still no second season of Strawberry Panic planned and the live-action movie you thought you heard about is still actually Yoshida Akimi’s The Cherry Orchard.

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Which brings me to the end of another Yuri News Report.

I want to thank George for his lovely comment yesterday, about this being a real life version of Manako’s “Yuri Network.” That was quite touching. In reality, you wonderful people are the network – I’m just reporting the pieces. So, please write in with any tidbits of Yuri you would like people to know! It’s my pleasure to tell the world.

Have a great week next week – and here’s to even more fabulous Yuri news!

 

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16 Responses

  1. I just bought Nanoha 1 and A’s this week from Right Stuf so hearing that the sets are not selling well is a bit of a disappointment to me. I’m not so sure it’s a Lolicon issue here… well it could be but I feel like it’s more of how an anime needs to be presented here versus what it is and how it’s viewed in Japan. I delayed watching the Nanoha franchise because, 1. I don’t care for Magical Girl shows 2. I’m not a fan of Yuri subtext when there is the real deal is so many other shows and 3. The synopsis on the first DVD for Nanoha 1 sounded like every other “collect ‘em all”, magical powers, kiddie anime I’ve had the displeasure to watch. Now I know Genon/Funimation couldn’t actually put, “9 year old school girl turned magical girl, Nanoha Takamachi kicks good girl gone bad Fate Testarossa’s ass all over Time-Space while trying to become her most special friend!” but, darn it, THAT really is a more accurate description of the first season!

    Nanoha was a cross genre revelation to me! It’s so not your typical magical girl show and the subtext is so thick you find yourself questioning if it’s really subtext at all or subtle canon. Plus the best part of the franchise for me is that they grow up!!!! They freaking age! Who does that in anime? StrikerS IMO was the best of the three seasons and for Funimation to not put it out would sadden me greatly. I think here in the West Nanoha hasn’t really gotten out to the masses because of how it is initially perceived by the average person. I have a feeling sales will pick up for this franchise but if it’s not performing as well as expected now I doubt (sadly) it will ever sell at a pace Funi can live with.

    This makes me wonder… of the Nanoha stuff I bought this week from both here and Japan which items best support the franchise? The Funimation DVD sets or the CompAce with the first chapter of Vivid?

  2. If you want to support the Japanese franchise, then clearly CompAce. If you mean to bring about a release of StrikerS here, the the DVDs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m a college student from Taiwan, and I really enjoy reading your website. Taiwan already has a large crowd of Yuri fans, but sadly, not many products or works are licensed here. We mostly get our info from the Internet.
    Many Yuri works you’ve introduced are favorites of mine. Including Mariasama ga Miteru and Sasamekikoto, both of which I have bought the Taiwanese release (light novel and manga).
    I’ve recently watched a 2008 autumn anime called Ga-Rei-Zero. I don’t know if you have heard of it, it’s a prequel to its not-so-good-manga-version. Many people implicate that there is Yuri in there, between the two main girl protagonists, Yomi and Kagura. I’ve seen the anime, and I think that…yes, there is Yuri, especially in the eyes of LFBs (by the way, I love this term that you use). In my opinion, their relationship is of one that exceeds friendship and possibly love. I wish for them to be together, as a fan, and I know it won’t happen. lol
    Well, I am just here to say hello for the first time after reading your blog for some months. lol
    It’s great, what you do here.
    I love Yuri, for I love to see the emotions and feelings between two women. It’s really touching. I also despise those works that ruin this interaction.
    As a Taiwanese fan, I’m glad to have found your website.

  4. shanejayell says:

    Aww, I’ve been hoping for Strikers. Bought Nanoha and A’s, really enjoyed them both.

    Isn’t there a manga being released ion english too?

  5. Regarding Nanoha and in an ironic twist, one of the most popular threads — in terms of most page views — in the forums of a well-known fansub site is the Nanoha picture gallery.

  6. @shanejayell – There’s two new manga in Japanese, but if one of the manga series is being released in English, I missed the news – or forgot it, my brain is full at the moment and facts slip put of it all the time. :-)

    @soulassassin547 – Exactly the point. The audience for Nanoha here in the west is huge. The market is small.

    @Anonymous – I’m so glad you found us! Please feel free to joing the Yuricon Mailing List too and chat with great people about Yuri! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon

  7. Sean Gaffney says:

    StrikerS was solicited by DMP at one point, back in Summer 2008. It may still be coming out, but it’s no longer on their site, so the license may be on hold while the economy doesn’t suck rocks. DMP’s recent output is in their more profit-generating yaoi division.

  8. Thank you Sean for the reminder!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Still though, even being tops in views of an English-language fansub forum isn’t going to lend itself to awesome U.S. sales I wouldn’t think. It still seems that a large factor is how anime is presented to potential consumers in the U.S.

  10. @Anonymous The reality is that right now all anime is presented – buy this if it sounds good. There’s no enough of a variety of genre/age/gender promotional sites or journals to have a distinction. Fans of a series are assumed to be the target market and marginal sales will hopefully come from other new watchers who find something appealing.

    The fandom of Nanoha is largely Yuri fans and lolicon, guys who like magical girls and then “other.” Not in that order.

    As I have said here repeatedly, audience does not equal market here. There may be a HUGE fandom – and there is – but fandom often doesn’t buy anything.

  11. Anonymous says:

    In as far as news goes – Kaoru Kurimoto, the author of The Sword of Paros, has passed away of pancreatic cancer earlier this week.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Regarding poor sales in the west, you’re right in one of those comments, Erica: there really aren’t too many genre specific forums presented commercially to fuel fan markets. From what I see, the only real exceptions would be Yaoi and to a much lesser extent thus far, your own work with Yuri. Existing fan communities tend to support getting free stuff pretty heavily, so we need to replace that sentiment with community standards of supporting through purchases.

    I disagree with the idea that younger people are less likely to buy due to an innate sense of entitlement to free media though. The majority of kids that age I talk to will buy the stuff they really love, but they just feel too bitter towards most media outlets to feel any sort of loyalty. Between RIAA lawsuits, writer’s strikes, copy protection and the skyrocketing prices of everything, can you really blame them?

  13. @Anonymous – Excellent points. To some extent, no, I cannot blame them. To the other, yes. Entertainment is not a right, and it costs a lot of money to produce. Fansubbers have less and less moral ground to stand upon as streaming anime becomes more prevalant. I’m not doing this in a vacuum – I know that many fans in other countries cannot get the DVDs or streaming releases, many young fans really haven’t the vaguest clue that downloading is stealing, many do, but don’t care, because they have no money and many just don’t care.

    There way, I have learned, to combat this is just to keep talking about it. Over and over. At cons, at panels, to individuals, online on MLs and IRC. It gets harder to say you don’t know when you do.

    And thos fans, I have also learned, when they do have money, finally, tend to buy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    @Erica: As an aside to that last anon post I wrote, I meant that I don’t blame the kids for their bitterness specifically.

    Speaking of the internet side of the equation and along with what you were saying about the few fans unable to support the work, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how well the Ikki site does. If they can pull some decent ad support, it would make some great competition for the scanlation scene and hopefully bring about a lot of what’s been talked about here.

  15. narovlansky says:

    About “Zero no Tsukaima”. Line about Agnes liking women is anime-original, not explored in next instalments of anime. Though the scene of avoiding attention with a kiss is in the novels, it’s quickly rebuffed as “what I had to do, not what I like to do” by Agnes. It’s not something unusual for ZnT anime to add fanservice where there were non. However, novels are to be recommended, as they are quite good. Just have no Yuri.

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