Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫) September 2011

October 26th, 2011

The September 2011 issue of Comic Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫) is filled with many interesting things. And I’ve read about 5/6ths of them, so I’m going to punt on some of the stories, particularly the novels…it’s just been crazy and I really haven’t had time to read them.

In terms of the manga, I’m actally going to begin at the back of the book with a chapter of Uso Kurata’s Yuri Danshi. Hanadera-kun is in ecstasy – he’s going to a Yuri-only doujinshi event! Surely there he will see the Yuri behavior he so desires to see, the beautiful and pure love between girls that is Yuri!

(Quick digression: I have NO IDEA AT ALL what you guys mean when you write me and tell me you love the “pure love” between girls. I never have and frankly, I don’t delve into it too deeply. Love between girls is pretty much just as messy and complicated as love between a girl and a boy or two boys. No clue what you’re thinking it’s like…)

So, imagine his shock when Hanadera-kun realizes that the girls on the train are all headed to a Tiger & Bunny event on the other side of the space…and the only ones at the Yuri event are guys. He’s creeped out and falls into despair because…and then he’s spotted by a bunch of Yuri Danshi who invite him out to dinner, where they delve very deeply into why, despite Comic Yuri Hime‘s stated readership of 70% women, the only women at the Yuri event were artists. The conversation is one that I myself have had with so many, many people.This particular iteration of it is made more amusing by Kurata’s choices of names: Sakuragaoka-kun,  Musahino-kun, Kamakura-kun, Kagome-kun.

I had to laugh out loud at those at the confusion of these Yuri Danshi between that Yuri world of girls’ private schools and actual real women. And their analysis of whether Yuri is “for girls” or “for boys.”

Sorry guys. Yuri=fantasy, honestly. Nothing real about it. Poor Hanadera-kun has to come to that conclusion on his own…by himself…in the rain.  Really, I’m trying not to laugh at his/our pain.

Back at the front of the mag, Tanaka Minoru starts off what looks to be a off-beat story called “Rock it, girl!” in which a singer is told off for sucking, then invited to talk to an agent…about her guitar playing.

In Kowo Kazuma’s “ulacoi” (which I would have suggested transliterating “urakoi”) a girl quite literally falls for the back she stares at all day.

“Fu-fu” takes a step back to detail the everyday kisses and acts of affection in a “married” life. This series is so cute it makes me teeth ache. ^_^

Hiyori Otsu’s “Roundabout” had a pretty damn big handwave – Chiharu’s somehow forgotten the girl she went out with in high school, and now that they’ve been together for a few years…still hasn’t remembered. Asami’s angry enough that she feels it’s time to walk away from this otherwise perfect relationship.  Kids – this is how not to do it, okay? Just *talk* about things first. Hissy fits are never the answer.

Amano Syuninta’s “Otona no Onna ha Muri o Shinai” is also a pretty silly handwave-driven story, but the idea of challenging ones’ self in life by eating *really spicy ramen* and the ensuing swollen lips jokes were so goofy, that I enjoyed it anyway.

“Koigo Interactive” is a slightly too-intimate look at the affect of writing erotica on two members of a literature club. No sex, but, some overheating and blunt emotions.

In “Love Gene DNA” we once again deal with the ever-amusing mystery of “why do girls go to the bathroom together”…and we (and Matsuri) can see that there’s something to be worried about in Sakura and Aoi’s relationship. During a mixer of the Adam and Eve Top Stars, Aoi is confronted with what, in a more visceral way, Sakura being “engaged to” Erika means. She does not take it well at all…

Crisis looms in “Renai Joshikka.” Saki’s ex has inexplicably returned, just as she and Arisu were settling in together. What does that mean for them?!?

There’s other stories, very few of which I didn’t like and, of course, there’s “Girl’s Uprising,” the cover story, in which Tatsuki catches up with her lover Hyouko’s beloved sister, Chisato, and short stories “Aoi Yubisaki” and “Mahou ha Kotono o Kagesuteru: as short story chapters, none of which I have had a chance to read yet.

Overall, an excellent issue of Comic Yuri Hime, with more women in love with women (as opposed to school crushes, proto-Yuri or first loves)  per volume than ever before.

Overall – 9

Send to Kindle

12 Responses

  1. Arkadi says:

    I must plead guilty to the whole “pure love” fantasy syndrome ^^ I suppose it’s the kind of thing that comes with growing up at a time when homosexuality was still a big taboo and hardly even spoken about in everyday life. In my case, it came from reading Virginia Woolf’s diaries as a teenager: the way she describes her early infatuation with her cousin, for example; she does make it sound like something really sublime is going on, something far beyond the reach of mere human males. I recall reading it and thinking “Gee, how come *I* never get to feel anything like that?” XD My fantasies were shattered when I actually met a lesbian for the first time. It was like, “Wtf -she’s just a regular girl, only with girlfriend instead of a boyfriend!! Well, wait… of course, what else.” XD

  2. @Arkadi – Hahah. I sympathize a little. ^_^

  3. Anon-kun says:

    To me, “pure love” is a relationship where worldly concerns such as social status, societal definitions of gender roles (in which I mean how a male or female should act as dictated by societal norms) etc. are discarded or rendered irrelevant in a relationship.

    From the material I read, I find that the Yuri genre is more likely to avoid these concerns and focus on the ‘love’, compared to the BL and heterosexual romance manga out there. I’m not saying there’re Yuri stuff out there that don’t fit my ‘pure love’ criteria. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    So, Yuri Hime’s main audience are adult males. What happen with the mythical poll of 70% of female readers? Did they leave Yuri? Or does Yuri Hime sells grow THAT much? Anyway, that’s explain why Yuru Yuri is the most popular title in the magazine.

  5. @Anonymous – The readership of Yuri Hime is 70% women. It’s not mythical, it’s from a readership poll they conducted early on and since Uso quotes it, I’d say it remains valid.

    We don;t know Yuru Yuri is the most popular series – we do know it;s the one they put the most money into…precisely because it does appeal to the anime-buying male audience.

  6. Anonymous says:

    @Erica

    Now I’m confused. If Yuri Hime’s readers are mostly females, why Yuri Danshi’s Hanadera only found fanboys in the Yuri convention? Having a male otaku as Yuri Danshi’s MC seems to recognized that Yuri Hime’s average reader is male. Shonen Jump has a large female following but the main audience is still male, for that reason the MC is usually male, to allow the presumably male reader to relate with him.

    I’m sure Yuru Yuri is the most popular title in Yuri Hime, otherwise it wouldn’t occupate tons of pages in every issue while canon Yuri titles are discontinued. Don’t get me wrong, my hate for Yuru Yuri burns with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns but it’s what Japan actually expect in a Yuri manga/anime.

    P.S. Thanks for the quick reply

  7. @Anonymous – That is exactly the same confusion that the Yuri Danshi have. That was the point of the chapter.

    Q: Where are all those girls?

    A: Not at events. Not watching anime. Not in Akihabara.

    Thus, based on LFB mentality, they cannot possibly exist! (Pictures or it’s not true.)

    Where they are is buying Yuri Hime from stores and online then going home, because why would they want to hang around with creepy guys?

    The anime issue is an entirely separate one. Guys watch/buy anime in Japan, in a way that women absolutely do not. So of course YH editors picked the story that most approximates the qualities that those guys like best for an anime. Yuru Yuri is a moe slice of life anime, just like every other massively popular series now. It’s not a surprise that when they decided to make an anime, they went right for the qualities that would *sell well*. Ame-iro Kouchankan Kandan, like Aoi Hana, would be a beautiful well-made anime that sold poorly.

    Ichijinsha isn’t stupid.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Erica

    I heard before that argument of “anime for guys, manga for girls” but I’m not that sure. Female-oriented works are the new hotness in Japan. Tiger & Bunny is a big hit and Uta no Prince-sama sold 20000 discs while Yuru Yuri sold 10000. Fujoshis are a powerful market in Japan, not as big as creepy pedophiles but producers really care about them. As much as I criticize anime misogyny, I admit at least anime give a damn about female viewers, unlike comic books and TV cartoons, mediums that became into a boys club.

    Besides, what other Yuri Hime title could be adapted to anime? Yuri Hime make mostly one-shots and its only long enough on-going is Yuru Yuri. Many Yuri authors left Yuri to make yaoi and moe works or they prefer to stick to one-shots.

    Yuri is sinking, am I wrong?

  9. @Anonymous- You are wrong.

    Yuri is a slow, steady growth genre.

    Comic Yuri Hime is run by smart business people who know exactly what they are doing. They have built their other cross-over franchises, Comic Rex and other magazines, up the same way.

  10. Maria says:

    Yuri isn’t sinking, Yuri is rising, Anonymous. Erica Friedman is 100% right. Six years ago, what was there in the Yuri manga world?

    What is there now? A lot more, Yuri is growing without question.

    I really do not understand the argument that Yuri is sinking. It gets said a lot recently, but if you even give a cursory glance to the japanese market, that argument is completely insane.

    And yes. I’m a Yuri fangirl. I admit this. My friends know this. I have a Himeko/Chikane-embrace figurine proudly displayed in my living room, I have a Utena/Anthy wallscroll (yes, THAT picture – I don’t care, if it offends my guests, they can leave) you can see when you turn around after entering my apartment, and two sailor moon posters where I sleep.

    And yet, I wouldn’t go to a Yuri only event. I get enough creepy guys already in my regular life, I don’t want to go to an event and risk being a walking fetish object. I’ve cosplayed a Yuri character at an anime convention once, and I am not sure if I will ever do it again, considering that the attention I got was largely negative. There were even two creepy self-identified straight female people who just couldn’t get a hint that I wasn’t just a fetish object for stupid photos.

    It’s just not fun. I do go to the yaoi/Yuri con we have over here, because it’s small, and creepy people get pushed out very quickly. A Yuri only event I wouldn’t visit. I’d assume it to be filled by the usual creepy guys (sorry guys, but if you’d have walked in my shoes, you’d know what I was talking about. I have no problem with non-creepy guys, I just wish they were a majority at conventions/events)

  11. Anonymous says:

    My Japanese would not be good enough for an entire Yuri Hime, but I noticed your previous subscription link to JPOP. I try to buy all the Yuri anime and manga I can because I believe Yuri is important. In this case would it be better to just enjoy what one can via Lililicious, etc., or if some of us can afford to go ahead and get what we can out of a non english edition as large as Yuri Hime? Would it be worth it in your opinion? I have many Yuri art books and premium books in the original of course. My meaning is that I try to enjoy all the Yuri I can get because I love it but I also try to be supportive of it.

  12. @Anonymous- Yes, you should pay for a copy. This is how the creators get paid. You reading scans distributed by a group with no rights to do so does nothing to help the Yuri ecosystem.

Leave a Reply