Now is a great time to start leaning Japanese. ^_^ There is a huge pile of new Yuri manga to tell you about, but above them all, tucked away in a little tweet I saw this week is something that made me realize that something critical and important is happening. First, the news…then I’ll tell you what I think about it.
Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei tweeted that May 19th Shuiesha’s Young Jump Comics imprint is publishing Strawberry Shake. (ストロベリーシェイク). I have no doubt that this is a re-publishing of her Yuri Hime series Strawberry Shake Sweet, which came out in two volumes (Volume 1 | Volume 2) in 2006 and 2009.
Fujieda Miyabi-sensei’s series Iono-sama Fanatics, originally published by Mediaworks in 2005-2007, is also getting a new edition, this time from Yuri Hime Comics in a 2 Volume-set; with Drama CD (Volume 1 | Volume 2) and manga only (Volume 1 | Volume 2) .
We already can see that Yuri Hime has re-released a number of volumes that originally ran in the defunct Yuri magazines Tsubomi and Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari and, we’ve seen a few other companies scrambling to pick up artists known for Yuri (such as Morinaga Milk-sensei at Hobunsha and Morishima Akiko-sensei at Gentosha,) I think we can do a little conjecturing on what we’re seeing right now.
Yuri was effectively born as a genre of its own in 2003. Yuri Hime magazine launched in 2005 with a roster of top names creating original Yuri manga they thought would sell. And they sort of sold. Because “Yuri” was still so new, a lot of people didn’t know or care. They knew these folks from doujinshi, but didn’t necessarily want to think of themselves as a “Yuri” fan.
In 2010-2013, Yuri had a growth spurt and since it now existed as a genre, a few new magazines joined the fray. Yuri sections started, tentatively, to exist in Japanese bookstores. Publishing priorities changed, and some magazines were closed up, but the audience and the existence of Yuri as a genre was firmed up. Now in 2015 when “Yuri” is a new, but established genre, we’re seeing an interesting retro wave – just over a decade into this evolution, current publishers are looking back at the top-notch stuff that sort of just slid under the radar in the mid-2000s.
There’s more of an audience now for original, non-trope-y Yuri than there was in the mid-2000s. There are more publishers who will publish Yuri and more artists who are creating Yuri series. It makes sense for publishers to look at their established, successful artists and revisit older, completed works that just need some tweaking. It makes sense for the artists, too.
Those of you who missed Strawberry Shake Sweet the first time around will get a chance to see it for the first time (and hopefully, Hayashiya-sensei will get a chance to fix the things she didn’t feel worked.) And for those of us who loved the series the first time around, we’ll be enticed by the new content that is sure to be included (and Drama CDs.)
Don’t hold your breath on either of these titles being licensed. Seven Seas has already flatly stated that they will not license Iono-sama, and they do not have a working relationship with Shueisha. By all means feel free to write them and ask them to change their minds, but don’t expect it to work. You know how emotional men are, they just get all sulky. ^_^
In other upcoming Yuri news…
Yuri Hime Comics is releasing Sukoyaka’s collection Yometori (よめとり), a collection of Morinaga Milk-sensei’s Tsubomi shorts, Ohime-sama no Himitsu (お姫さまのひみつ) and do not forget Kuzushiro’s Love Desu ~Short Story Collection~ (ラブデス。~短期集中連載集~).
One more for Hayashiya-sensei. The second volume of Hayate x Blade 2 (はやて×ブレード2 2 ) hits shelves this month. Whee!
Volume 3 of Akili’s Stretch (ストレッチ) also has a May release date.
No title as of yet, but according to this tweet, Hirao Auri-sensei is starting up a new Yuri series in Comic Ryuu magazine about an idol and a fan. The series will start in the August issue (which is released in June, for reasons that make sense only to magazine publishers.)
A new light novel series in the wake of Maria-sama ga Miteru, Yonin Seishimai Yurimonochou (四人制姉妹百合物帳) tells of an exclusive club in an exclusive school, “The Salon” where the girls are as close as sisters.
And Yuri-iro Coordinate Futari no Kiss Moyou (百合色コーディネート ふたりのキス模様) is a romance novel about a girl with a dream to become a fashion designer and model she meets at school. It’s so cute and “girl’s romance comics” sounding, I think I’m going to have to get it. Of course it also looks servicey as hell. ^_^;
If you can’t make this week’s Queer & Comics, you can still be a part of this historic event. Help fund an artist so they can make the event themselves. The perks are great and you’ll help make history!
The next Comitia is being held on May 5th at Big Sight in Tokyo. Takemiya Jin-sensei will be selling a Chou Chou Nan Nan sequel. And Circle UKOZ has put some teasers up on Pixiv for their original releases. If anyone is going, can you pick me up a copy of these? ^_^
Lauren Orsini has published a new book that might be of interest to some: Build Your Anime Blog: How to Get Started, Stand Out, and Make Money Writing About What You Love. I’m quoted in it, but in my standard “stream of consciousness” style of talking, since it was a phone interview. So expect me to sound breathless. ^_^
YNN Correspondent James W. thought the researchers among us might be interested in a new Girls Novel Encyclopedia in Japanese, (少女小説事典) that traces the history of shoujo shousetsu and the various booms that they have undergone with encyclopedia entries for series of note.
Translator friend Jocelyne Allen is promoting her newest effort, Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas by Kazuki Sakuraba. It’s a scifi-fantasy about several generations of women in a family, with forays into the occult, girl gangs and more. It sounds like beach-reading to me and is now on my summer-book list.
Let’s end up on a squee note: Check out this fantastically creative Sailor Moon Battle armor cosplay!
Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? 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!