Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – November 19, 2016

November 19th, 2016

ynn_lissa“Yuri” Anime

Top story this week is Ichijinsha’s announcement of not one, but two, new anime.  Saburouta’s Citrus and Kodama Naoko’s NTR: Netsuzo Trap are both getting an anime in 2017. 

The problem for me is that neither of them are Yuri. Sure, they both have lesbian content, but calling these two series Yuri would be like labeling Basic Instinct a “bisexual” story. It’s not. It’s a movie that uses bisexuality as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver. 

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Citrus has a significant problem. Mei’s behavior makes sense only in two contexts. One, she suffered sexual abuse as a child.  Everything she does makes perfect sense if viewed in this context. And in this context, we can see that this is not a Yuri story, Yuzu is her victim as she replays the cycle. The story does not bear this out, claiming Mei was merely “neglected.” (But. In Strawberry Panic! Yaya was likewise a sexual predator and likewise the reason we are given was that she was “neglected.” I am beginning to think that “neglected” is the crappy-manga shorthand for “sexually abused.”)

In the second context, and the one I think makes the most sense, Mei has Borderline Personality Disorder. Manipulation and instability are the drivers for the entire scenario. (I’ve known people with BPD. Mei is spot on.) In either case, the Yuri is attached to mental instability, as it was back in the 1980s. 

In an interview on Comic Natalie, Saburouta discusses how Citrus does not use a seme/uke (or tachi/neko) dynamic. I posit that that is because it is not a Yuri narrative at all, but a story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.

NTR is far more troubling as a story. It is quite literally one chapter after another of two horribly-undeveloped-as-characters girls having sex while their unwitting and even-less-developed-as-characters boyfriends are nearby. UGH, a million times over. This story makes my skin crawl.  None of the relationships are healthy. I understand that cuckolding is all the rage as a fetish, but I’m thoroughly repulsed by it in every possible way and this is yet another story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.

I am not telling you to not enjoy these stories or to avoid these anime. I am telling you my opinions on them. These are not Yuri. They use lesbianism as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver. 

If you enjoy either or both these stories then I am very happy for you. I am not at all happy for those of us who hoped we’d see positive representation of lesbian romance and relationships in our Yuri.

 

Yuri Manga

While we’re talking negative portrayals of Yuri, creator of Anoko no Kiss to Shirayuri wo has done an illustration and blurb for a  collection of stories by an artist named Nega, Nega and Canno belong to the same circle, through which most (if not all) of the stories in the collection were originally published. Comic Natalie has the news. Thanks to J for the correction.

The first issue of the monthly Comic Yuri Hime (!!) is now on sale and the cover, while rooted firmly in schoolgirl stereotypes is refreshingly not grotesquely infantilized.

 

Live Action

A lesbian kiss has been inserted in the Ghost in the Shell live action movie which will certainly make some folks happy. 

 

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22 Responses

  1. superokamifan says:

    Citrus may have had a rough start but the more recent chapters have the story and relationship going in a much more positive direction, Mei herself has become more open and accepting of Yuzu. it is most definitely Yuri. NTR I admit is a worrying series but its still something and hopefully ends in a positive note for the girls.

    • I’m glad to hear it, but 5 volumes of an abusive situation does not make me want a happy ending for them. Happy would be them staying well away until Mei gets help.

      • Stu says:

        I’m totally with you, i don’t know how Citrus is so loved, i respect the opinions of all people, but yes Mei it’s a sick person and she likes to treat her “beloved” like shit, don’t find the sense in that i like relationships with respect, love and loyalty, maybe too old school for new people. Yuzu it’s a kind teenager a good girl with low self-esteem, i don’t like she doesn’t respect herself, i could like she find someone who loves her, respect her and be a real partner to her.

  2. Eric P. says:

    Your reaction to the Citrus/NTR news was about what I’d expected!

  3. Emily says:

    More good news about the (now monthly) Yuri Hime. It’s now also available in a digital format. Just got my copy from Bookwalker yesterday and am looking forward to reading the new series.

  4. Will says:

    I’m happy they aren’t getting out of the queerness (which was kinda dropped in later installments) of GITS but I’m still pissed about the casting.

  5. Will says:

    I’d never heard of citrus but as soon as I clicked the link in the article and saw “After her new step-sister comes to live with them” I noped the hell out.

    I cannot tell you how much I hate this trope in works that are centered on a romance or relationship.

    • “I noped the hell out.” I’m so stealing that.^_^

      I agree so very much with you. When I first mentioned Citrus back a few years ago, the subsequent wave of “It’s not incest because…” just had me making gagging gestures at my screen. It’s an incest trope and my thought is…nope.

  6. Day says:

    I find it *very* telling that the NTR announcement gave us the casting for the boyfriends but not for the female leads.

  7. onlysaneone says:

    I don’t agree with your definition of yuri re: citrus and netsuzou. In fact I don’t agree with a good deal of what you say on this site – but I still read bc I think I understand where your perspective comes from. Like I’ve thought “hmm, this is pretty fanservice-y” and “these yuri hime covers aren’t very yuri at all” like I’ve had the same ideas I think, but I guess I don’t end up with quite the same conclusion. I’ve actually argued with a friend about whether or not yuru yuri was really yuri or not (we’re both young straight males :l ) and I argued it wasn’t -legit- yuri but inside I would barely consider it yuri with a liberal interpretation. Like a weak yuri , but still a type of yuri. I still like it so w.e

    Damn Where was I going with this? I’m p hype for citrus. Not so much for netsuzou.

    I think we can all agree fuck trump tho XD

  8. Zefiris says:

    I originally thought I would disagree with you here, at least on Citrus (but not on NTR, since that made my skin crawl so bad at chapter one that it was a big reason in stopping to buy Yuri Hime).

    But I see your point. Really gotta examine what exactly I liked in it. Much more conflicted about it getting an anime than I thought I’d be. No, in fact, I really wish they had picked other manga for the adaptation. Lily love, perhaps. Now that’d have been something, particularly if they got to that scene with the father and his homophobia.

    Well, at least I can look forward to Blizzard hopefully having some *properly developed* LBGT characters soon, from what I heard. That could be some good news!

  9. Cryssoberyl says:

    I’ve defended Citrus on this blog before, I guess I must do so again. First I will repost some of my explanation about why I liked it a year and a half ago:

    Amid the laughable amounts of angst and generic drama devices – I really did actually guffaw just now while skimming back through it at the ridiculousness of some of the “twists” – there are moments where the manga manages to convey, in a deeply compelling, empathetic way, the awkward struggling of an intense yet continually frustrated desire between two very different young women.

    I won’t give spoilers, but the end of chapter 8, for example…that scene struck me as one of the most electrifying scenes of that kind I have seen in manga in recent memory. The sudden spark, the mutual welling up of each responding to the other…there have been other moments like that in the manga too, but for now that one continues to stand out for me as the best example of why I am hopelessly hooked.

    Now add to that the fact that in recent chapters, the relationship of Yuzu and Mei has actually made positive progress. Also, quite recently, the manga has begun to address in a serious way the alienation that same-sex attracted people can feel. Certain events have brought Yuzu to really think about, and feel about, what that means to her as a person in the society she lives in.

    As for Mei’s early behavior, I really think you are too heavily psychoanalyzing a fictional character as if she were a real person. Citrus is nothing more or less than a yuri take on the well-worn “broody jerk” shoujo romance formula. Her behavior does not stem from anything but Saburouta’s desire to draw from that playbook to create dramatic and conflicted situations.

    In any case, whether one likes the content or not, I think this could be be said to be the most significant event in yuri anime since Aoi Hana. Citrus has many faults, I agree, but also more strengths than I think people often give it credit for, and I can only hope that its anime adaptation somehow, someway, leads us back out of the wilderness that yuri in anime has been in since 2009.

    As for Netsuzou Trap… In contrast to what I wrote about Citrus, I can’t say much to disagree with you here. Netsuzou Trap makes Citrus look like a thoughtful, soulful narrative. It is pure soap opera with, so far, pretty much no emotional payoff, merely a succession of uncomfortable moments. It is one of those stories in which everyone is, to a greater or lesser extent, a twisted and/or terrible person. That’s not to say that can’t be interesting; believe it or not, I find some of the sexual politics and intrigue reminiscent of Utena – only without the everything else that made Utena the masterpiece that it is.

    I expect the anime to be what the manga is: an unabashedly sleazy, yet possibly morbidly interesting slow-motion trainwreck. The best that I can say about it is that Kodama Naoko appears to be greatly enjoying making it. If nothing else, I’m happy for her to be able to work on something she really enjoys.

    • Thanks for weighing in.

      “I really think you are too heavily psychoanalyzing a fictional character as if she were a real person. ” < --- Well, yes. For approximately 14 years, yes. This is what Okazu is - me analyzing pop culture through my lens, my bias and my perspective. You may sometimes agree and sometimes not, but the basic idea here has not changed. I'm glad you enjoy this story and am happy for you. I am not happy for me. I find Citrus, from the first page to the last, to be an unpleasant story about unpleasant people and recent chapters have not thusfar changed that opinion. ^_^

  10. J says:

    The information about the “Negative Yuri” collection is incorrect. The book is a collection of stories by an artist named Nega, Canno just did a promotional blurb and illustration for the obi. Nega and Canno belong to the same circle, through which most (if not all) of the stories in the collection were originally published.

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