"Yuri Needs" List for 2013 / 2013の 「百合が必要」のリスト

February 18th, 2013

日本語で

Since I started this blog in 2002, we’ve come pretty far in Yuri.  There was a time when we had to be content with a tertiary character in a series with a probably tragic backstory, or a predatory lesbian implied with vague hints and innuendo.

Now, we’ve got 2 steady print Yuri anthologies, another in webcomic form, and various on-again, off-again anthology collections. Some of our best and most popular Yuri runs in mixed-gender “5th column” magazines, and as I look at my shelves, I’m very impressed at the quantity AND quality of Yuri manga these days.

Originally, I had added a fifth request to this list: “A Long-running Series.” And then my eye lit upon Aoi Hana, the 8th volume of which should be out soon. 8 volumes. So check off that one. We have a long-running Yuri series (with a lot of real-life lesbian issues in it.)

After some thought, here are the 4 things I’d like to see in Yuri in the near future. Yuri Needs:

4) Yuri Needs a Good Middle-aged/Senior Yuri Story: There are a few doujinshi stories with older or elderly characters and Fujieda-sensei included an older couple in Ameiro Kouchakan Kandan, but both readers and creators are going to hit a moment when we’d like to see someone like ourselves in the pages of Comic Yuri Hime. This year will be my 30th high school graduation. I’d like to see someone older than 16 now, thanks. ^_^

3) Yuri Needs a Non-ero, Non-childish Sci-fi/Fantasy Series: We’ve had sci-fi Yuri, of course, and fantasy Yuri, but remarkably none about not-children who do not have big breasts and/or have sex a lot. In early western lesbian fiction, sci-fi was a popular genre, but we just haven’t seen much in Yuri without tentacles or something else. Mouretsu Space Pirates was a good start. Now some of that with grown ups would be terrific, thanks.

2) Yuri Needs Decent Yuri Novels: This makes me weep with frustration. There are many good authors in the world. Where are you dragging these indifferent, mediocre-at-best novelists up from Ichijinsha and Tiara Bunko? A Yuri novel ought, at minimum, to be a novel, not a series of short stories, with two females who are in love with one another. I’m even okay if one is an alien or android or other non-human. Two women who share the pages of a book with not a single moment of attraction or affection does not a Yuri novel make.

1) Yuri Needs a Sports Yuri Series!!!

This is our number one need right now. Sports is the perfect hothouse for an intense love-rivalry and a genre in which there is very, very little Yuri. My suggestions for suitable sports: Gymnastics, swimming, tennis and my #1 suggestion – motocross/BMX.  Table tennis has been done, Volleyball or soccer would be acceptable as nods to early shoujo sport manga. But really, in honor of Haruka, Yuri Needs a Motocross or BMX series.

Dear Yuri creators, if you give me a Yuri sports manga this year, I’ll be your best friend forever. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Erica

***
わたしがこのブログを始めたのは2002年のことになるんですが、それから百合というジャンルも 発展を遂げてきたと思います。作品の中で脇役に過ぎなかったり、大抵は悲劇的な背景を 背負っているか、曖昧なヒントや皮肉でほのめかされる好色なレズビアン、といったキャラクターで 我慢しなくてはならない時代もありました。

それが今では、定期的に刊行されている百合アンソロジー誌は2種類存在していますし、 ウェブコミックの形で続いているものもひとつあります。さらに、現れては消え、また復活するようなアンソロジーも色々ありますよね。私達にとって最高の内容で、最も人気のあるような百合作品がいくつか、ジャンルを特定せず、読者層のジェンダーも混在しているような雑誌に掲載されていたりもします。あらためて本棚を見渡してみると、近年の百合漫画の量だけでなくその質にも、とても感動してしまいます。

当初は、以下のリストに5番目のリクエストとして、「長期連載されている作品」という項目を 加えていたんですけれど、第8巻がそろそろ刊行される筈の「青い花」に目が留まりました。 「8巻」ですよ。なので、既に長期連載されている百合作品がありますから(レズビアンにとっての現実生活における問題も、たくさん描かれていますし)、そのリクエストは外しておきました。

というわけで、これがちょっと考えてみた、これからの百合というジャンルで、わたしが見てみたいと思うもの4つのリストです。百合が必要とすべきなのは…。

4.「百合には中年や、年長者についての優れた作品が必要」
同人誌では、年長者あるいは高齢者を扱った作品がいくつかありますし、藤枝雅先生は 「飴色紅茶館歓談」に年齢の高いカップルを登場させていますよね。けれど読者も作り手もいずれ、「コミック百合姫」の誌上で、自分達自身と同じようなキャラクターに触れてみたいと思う時に、行き当たることになるでしょう。今年でわたしは高校を卒業してから20周年になるんですけど、今は16歳以上のキャラクターのお話を読んでみたいんですね (^_^)

3.「百合にはエッチ系ではなく、幼稚でもないSF/ファンタジー作品が必要」
もちろん百合を扱ったSF/ファンタジー作品というものは存在していますが、注目すべきなのは、 巨乳や性的要素を備えていない大人の女性を描いた作品は全くないということです。 欧米における初期のレズビアン・フィクションでは、SFはとても人気のあるジャンルでしたけれど、 現在の百合では、触手やそういったものが登場しない作品はあまりないですよね。「モーレツ宇宙海賊」はよいきっかけになったと思っていますし、今後は大人の女性を描いてくれるSF/ファンタジー百合作品が増えればいいと願っています。

2.「百合には良質の小説が必要」
この件については、欲求不満で泣きそうにもなります。世界にはたくさんの優れた作家がいますよね。でも、どうして一迅社やティアラ文庫では、平凡で、せいぜいが平均的レベルでしかない小説家達に百合小説を書かせているんでしょうか? 百合小説というものは最低でも、お互いに恋に落ちる二人の女性を描いた、短編集ではなく、ひとつの長い物語であるべきです。この際、片方が異星人やアンドロイド、あるいは他の非人間的な存在であっても、わたしは構いません。作品のページの中に登場する2人の女性が、魅力や愛情を感じ合う場面が全く描かれないようであれば、それは百合小説になり得ません。

1.「百合にはスポーツ百合作品が必要」!!
これがわたし達にとって、現在最も必要なものですね。スポーツは、激しい愛憎感情を描くためには完璧な舞台ですが、ほとんど百合が描かれたことのないジャンルでもあります。 百合を描くのにふさわしい種目には、体操、水泳、テニスなどがあると思いますけれど、わたしの一番のお薦めはモトクロス・BMXです。卓球は既に題材にされたことがありますし、バレーボールやサッカーも、初期のスポーツ少女漫画で描かれたように、使えるかもしれません。でも本当に、「美少女戦士セーラームーン」の天王はるかに敬意を表して、百合にはモトクロスかBMXを描いた作品が必要だと思います。<

敬愛する百合作家のみなさん、もし今年、百合スポーツ漫画を描いてくれたなら、 わたしはあなたの永遠の親友になりますよ。(*_*)

よろしくお願いします。

エリカより

(小松さんによる翻訳 Many thanks to Komatsu-san for translating my whimsical idea!)

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15 Responses

  1. Kimichi says:

    Hi, Erica! I’m a new fan of your blog and a fairly new fan of anime and manga in general. Yuri has captured my interest in a big way! I watched Simoun for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. When I was looking up information about the series I ended up finding your blog through a Wikipedia reference. It’s great to have someone like you so deeply involved with promoting the genre! I hope to see the same changes as you, especially as far as age goes. I ache for a story that isn’t set in high school and I’m only 24. Right now the only alternatives I have are mostly one-shots that are heavy on sex and short on plot. The predictability makes it stale to me.

    Anyways I’ve said more than I intended to. Thanks for giving a newbie like myself a good place to find something new to read or watch. Keep up the good work!

  2. Lady_Rufus says:

    Have you come across Tie Breaker? It’s a baseball Yuri manga.

  3. @Lady_rufus- You mean Takemiya Jin’s doujinshi series? Yes, I own all of it, I was lucky to get it all before she stopped doing doujinshi. But it is not truly a “sports manga” in the genre sense, nor is it a professionally published manga.

    And, yet again, I’d like to remind you and anyone else that Okazu readers are looking for manga that is legitimately sold so they may contribute to the artists and the industries.

  4. Anonymous says:

    4) YES.

    3) As you know, she’s a side character, but Yayoi’s past feelings for Rina and present involvement with Shion in Psycho-Pass seem like they would count towards that. But yes, I want more non-pornograffic Yuri in sci-fi and fantasy starring grown ups too.

    2) YES.

    1) YES again.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh my! Miss Erica, you totally speak out the desires that I want for in a Yuri manga (ha ha ha) except the sports element though. I know it will be very interesting if sports is added but to me, as long as the Yuri stories and characters are very interesting, I don’t mind at all (ho ho ho).

    p.s I would like to see some Yuri mangas that talk about long-distance relationship and how they struggle about their relationship (hmm..) or perhaps some other forms (*cough* I don’t mean incest though but I do know some Yuri mangas contain incest <__>) that make their relationship more intrigued and interesting

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cool to see this post be bilingual! :D

    “4) Yuri Needs a Good Middle-aged/Senior Yuri Story”

    No. The genre needs a WHOLE BUNCH OF Good Middle-aged/Senior Yuri StorIES. ;D

    “3) Yuri Needs a Non-ero, Non-childish Sci-fi/Fantasy Series”

    Indeed.

    “2) Yuri Needs Decent Yuri Novels”

    Yup. Books without pictures are good too.

    “1) Yuri Needs a Sports Yuri Series!!!”

    This one too. Who says jocks and comics can’t mix? ;)

    “…or perhaps some other forms (*cough* I don’t mean incest though but I do know some Yuri mangas contain incest <__>) that make their relationship more intrigued and interesting…”

    OK, that brings a bunch of possibilities to mind:

    – In-law drama! Two women in love already live together. At least one of their parents gets on their case to have a big foofy wedding (even if the govt wouldn’t recognize it), or to have a baby, or something…

    – Parenting drama! Two women in love already live together and are raising a kid. Something happens, and they discover that their previously-unstated assumptions about *how* to raise a kid don’t yet gel…

    – Financial drama! Two women in love already live together and are used to their income. One of them gets laid off from her job, or wins the lottery, or some other drastic change in the numbers rolling in. Maybe they don’t agree at first on things like what to cut back or how to spend the extra…

    – Drama drama! One or both of two women in love and already living together are actresses. What have they decided about competing for the same role? How do they cope if some fans decide one of them really belongs with some *other* actor and accuse her love of “getting in the way”/write and upload in public porn about her and the other actor/etc.? What else…?

    – Real estate drama! Two women in love don’t already live together. They decide to change that, but one lives in a teeny apartment barely big enough for herself and the other still lives with her parents. They go on a quest for a home that’s big enough for the both of them…

    – Geopolitical drama! Two women in love already live together and them war breaks out. Close to home. How do they cope?

  7. @Anonymous – Some good ideas there. I’m guessing, but I think the reason you’re not seeing the parenting and in-law drama is the way family is structured in Japan, but I think time will certainly change that.

    Real Estate Drama – “Collectors” touches on that right at the beginning, as Shinobu and Takako consider “what if” they want to live together. This seems like an obvious candidate for a story soon. ^_^

  8. Anonymous says:

    “@Anonymous – Some good ideas there. I’m guessing, but I think the reason you’re not seeing the parenting and in-law drama is the way family is structured in Japan, but I think time will certainly change that.”

    Yah.

    Hmm…In-law drama II: Electric Boogaloo!

    The way family is structured in Japan, some lesbian couples already live together.

    The way family is structured in Japan, some elderly folks move in with their full-grown sons and daughters.

    Now…what if a manga stars a lesbian couple and the elderly parent who moves in?

    Or what if a manga stars a hetero couple and the elderly no-longer-closeted lesbian mother who moves in (maybe with her long-term girlfriend moving in too, if she already has one and neither can live independently of younger folks anymore)?

    BTW if “girl meets girl, they fall in love” is Story A…

    …then would “woman met woman, stuff happens, they gotta cope”{which includes most or all of the suggestions above!} be Story B?

  9. @Anonymous – What I meant was, it’s probably a rare couple that have or adopt children, or go home as a couple to visit in-laws.

    Fujima Shion is writing a book in chapters about being a lesbian couple having a baby together called “Yurinin.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Fujima Shion is writing a book in chapters about being a lesbian couple having a baby together called “Yurinin.””

    Cool. Too bad it’s not already on the way in English translation (cause if it was you’d have said so!).

  11. 1 Yuri Needs a Sports Yuri Series!!!

    I think in the current broadcast interruptions to “Girls und panzer”, and that trend is seen. Have you seen the other Erica-san?

  12. @Lapis+Crystal – I’m not watching ‘Girls und Panzer,’ no. I’m not really the audience for it. ^_^

  13. Anonymous says:

    One might argue Saki was a Yuri sports anime/manga, it follows the tropes for sports stories. On the other hand given the dominance of psychic mahjong players, maybe it’s really a magical girl story… ;)

  14. @Anonymous – Yes, the traditional games turned into cute and cool games (Hikaru no Go, Saki, Chihayafuru) follow the tropes of sports manga. The exception is Shion no Ou, which was more of a suspense story. This works well and makes the game seem way cool and interesting – which is the point.

    I’m not dissing game manga, but I’d like to see some sports Yuri as well. ^_^

  15. @Lapis+Crystal – ‘Girls und Panzer’ is available on Crunchyroll for people who are interested in it. http://www.crunchyroll.com/girls-und-panzer

    As I say, I am not watching it, nor do I have any plan to. Moe schoolgirls and military fetish isn’t a combination I want to see more of.

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