Holy cow, it’s already December and gift giving and getting time! It has never been easier to get good Yuri, so for once you can hand your relatives this list, smile, sit back and get yourself a pile of great Yuri. Or pore over it looking for just the right gift for yourself, your Yuri-loving friends or relative. Some of these items are still to be released, but most will have links, so you can at least order them right now. There’s just *so* much (and this isn’t everything out in English, just some popular items) that I’m splitting the list into two. Today we’re just doing manga and comics. For all the manga available in English, check out English Yuri Manga on the Yuricon Store!
Title: Bloom Into You by Nio Nakatani
What It’s About: This school life drama follows Yuu, a girl who does not have romantic feelings for anyone and Touko, the President of the Student Council, who says she feels the same. But, then Touko develops an romantic interest in Yuu. Yuu admires Touko but, beyond that, is not sure of her feelings.
Who Will Like It: People a little tired of simple girl-meets-girl romance, or who want a little (or more than a little) nuance or difficulty in their schoolgirl Yuri.
Beware: Yuu is presented as aromantic, but the premise is a romance. Expect Yuu to cave.
Title: Hana and Hina Afterschool by Milk Morinaga
What It’s About: Hana meets Hina while working at a part time job after school. They become friends and start working together. They start to think of each other as more than just friends. ^_^
Who Will Like It: Milk Morinaga Fans, folks who like their Yuri cute, sweet, without serious crisis and/or with a tenuous connection to reality.
Beware: Don’t expect anything deep here. Morinaga’s specialty is the space between recognizing feelings and confessing them and this is firmly in that space.
Title: Kase-san Series by Hiromi Takashima
What It’s About: A breathtakingly sweet romance series between Yamada, an average girl who loves flowers and the star of the school track club, Kase.
Who Will Like It: People looking for something a little more realistic than Morinaga’s work. Yuri fans not completely jaded from years of schoolgirl romance.
Beware: Still schoolgirls in love. Does not shy away from fanservice, may not be visually appropriate for the young readers who could use it the most.
Title: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
What It’s About: This manga was serialized on Pixiv, as Nagata details her struggles with depression, an eating disorder and finding friends and companionship as a lesbian.
My Solo Exchange Diary by Kabi Nagata
What It’s About: Kabi Nagata is back with a sequel to her blockbuster, continuing the story of her trials and travails, as she pieces her life together.
Who Will Like It: People craving representation of life with depression and/or adult life issues.
Beware: Despite flashes of self-deprecating humor, this is not a light-hearted series. It is, however, a honest look at chronic, debilitating depression.
Title: Claudine! by Riyoko Ikeda
What It’s About: Claudine is assigned female, but desires male privilege and to be able to love women freely. Claudine struggles with sexuality and gender in this emotional classic Yuri by the creator or Rose of Versailles.
Who Will Like It: Fans of Rose of Versailles, Dear Brother and other Ikeda masterworks. This story can read as trans or butch lesbian (the lack of specificity can be attributed to the creator having written it 40 years ago.) Classic Yuri fans will definitely want to get it.
Beware: This is not going to end well.
Title: Citrus by Saburouta
What It’s About: Mei and Yuzu are sisters by marriage and despite the fact that both have deep, unresolved emotional issues, they are passionately attracted to one another.
Who Will Like It: People who enjoy melodrama and soap operas, and watching train wreck stories full of damaged people.
Beware: It’s full of manipulative behavior, some violence and no one ever looks happy about anything. Ever.
Title: After Hours by Yuhta Nishio
What It’s About: Emi and Kei meet at a nightclub, and spend the night together. Kei is a DJ and draws Emi into her production team, as she sets up as rave. An adult relationship story (although the art is a bit infantilizing.)
Who Will Like It: Adults looking for adult characters whose emotional lives are not stuck in high school…and audiophiles. People looking for a story where the physical relationship isn’t service-y or immature.
Beware: If you don’t like moe art, the character designs could be off-putting. It’s not really a romance, but you will learn a lot about sound equipment.
Title: Revolutionary Girl Utena Manga Box Set by Chiho Saito and Be-papas
What It’s About: Every year Utena receives a mysterious postcard. This year, the postcard leads her to Ohtori Academy to look for the prince who saved her as a child. Instead she’s put in the position becoming a prince to the Rose Bride. This is the high-quality treatment that this fantasy series deserves.
Who Will Like It: Fans of the surreal, fantasy fans and people who like mind fuckery.
Beware: There is serious sexual manipulation, incest, and sexual abuse.
Title: Sweet Blue Flowers by Takako Shimura
What It’s About: Fumi hasn’t seen Akiko in years, but her friend is back in town and once again they are thick as thieves. When Fumi starts dating an upperclassman at her all-girl’s school, she tells her best friend and gains strength. Shimura drew on classic Yuri tropes for this “S”-style school romance, but with a deft touch and compelling characters, drags the whole genre into the 21st century.
Beware: The ending and beginning are trope-y, with loads of tiresome creepiness at the beginning. The middle is amazing and worth it.
Title: Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl by Canno
What It’s About: This ongoing school serial begins with two girls, Yurine Kurozawa and Ayaka Shiramine, who could not be more opposite if they tried, and the relationship that one of them wants desperately to deny. Later volumes follow other couples at the same school as well as circling back to Ayaka and Yurine.
Who Will Like It: People who’ve been reading Yuri for a while and will enjoy new takes on the old tropes. People who are new to Yuri and aren’t burned out on the old tropes.
Beware: Every girl in this school is paired, seemingly. Makes you want to see the story of the one straight girl in school.
Title: Murciélago by Yoshimura Kana
What It’s About: This extremely adult, extremely gruesome, madcap “violence Yuri” story follows psychopathic killer Koumori Kuroko and her partner Hinako, as they track down and kill other killers for the police. There are no good guys here. Everyone is broken, the stories are gross, sometimes with side of extra creepy and the lesbian sex is weird. ^_^
Who Will Like It: People looking for something not cute or sweet. This series is violent, amoral and has ugly, unrealistic lesbian sex.
Beware: This series is violent, amoral and has ugly unrealistic lesbian sex.
Éclair: Ananta ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology
What It’s About: An anthology of school-life Yuri, headlined by Bloom Into You creator Nio Nakatani and Kiss and White Lily For My Dearest Girl creator Canno.
Who Will Like It: People who like the aforementioned series or those who really like stories about love experienced in school.
Beware: It’s a whole lotta schoolgirl stories and “Story A.”
Legend of Korra: Turf Wars
What It’s About: The Avatar, Korra, and her new love Asami enter the spirit world together. Upon their return to Republic City, they find their world in turmoil – a conflict that will involve the Spirit World, as well.
Who Will Like It: Kids, adults, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, action anime fans. Fans of color looking for representation that isn’t focused on suffering or overcoming obstacles.
Beware: Fast-paced and fragmented, this is definitely a western comic.
Title: Bingo Love by Tee Franklin (Author), Jenn St. Onge (Artist), Joy San (Artist), Genevieve FT (Artist)
What It’s About: When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both marry young men and have families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
Beware: LGBTQ comics about black women are rare – you may find yourselves weeping with joy at finding such a good one.
This manga is not Yuri, but is gay and you definitely want to add it to your orders!
Title: My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
Volume 1| Volume 2
What It’s About: This adult life drama follows Mike Flanagan, a gay man from Canada who visits his late brother’s home in Japan, in order to learn about his childhood. He meets he husband’s estranged brother, Yaichi, who now has to deal with things he never thought he’d have to deal with, like his brother Ryoji’s sexuality.
Who Will Like It: People looking for wholesome, non-sexual gay representation, or a good comic to recommend to a family member with passive homophobia or ignorance about being gay.
Beware: Like Bingo Love, you may be prone to weeping with relief.
There’s a lot on the list and more on the Store, but we’re going to wrap it up here. Next time I’ll drop some anime titles and some of other fun stuff!