Archive for the Gift Guides Category

Yuri Gift Guide 2013

November 28th, 2013

In honor of the spirit of the season, that is to say, rampant consumerism along with seasonal shifts ^_^, I’ve been putting together a Gift Guide for folks who are Yuri fans for the past few years. (Click the link to see the previous years’ Gift Guides.) Finally, you have a short, simple list with links, that you pass over to your family, and say – “Here, I want this.” ^_^

This year’s list is in no order, just as they come to mind. As usual, feel free to suggest ideas in the comments!

downloadCrunchyroll Subscription

Don’t know what get or what to ask for? This gift is good for anyone, pretty much, especially now that CR has added manga to the mix. There’s bound to be something there for any fan. For as little as the cost of a sandwich per month, you and/or someone you love can access tons of anime, and watch as the selection of manga grows! There’s no real down-side to this gift. ^_^



Kisses, Sighs, Cherry Blossoms Pink by Morinaga Milk

Popular with Yuri fans of all kinds, this high-school love drama is available complete in one volume. Translated by our friend Anastasia Moreno, you can be sure that the girl gets the girl.

This completeset also includes other one-shot stories by Morinaga-sensei that ran in Comic Yuri Hime in the magazine’s early years.



 Whispered Words by Takashi Ikeda

If you or your friend can wait until spring for it, this Volume 1 of 3 will be a great Yuri gift. This silly, then serious, then realistic, then delightful school romance contains every Yuri trope ever…including the one where the girl gets the girl and lives happily ever after. You just gotta wait for it. ^_^

I have every reason to believe that this will be an exceptional addition to every English-reader’s Yuri collection.



Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi (Volumes 1-6) (Volumes 7-12)

Because Sailor Moon changed the world and changed both anime and manga in ways we’re still feeling even now. Because we would not have had Yuri the way we think of it without it, (and you should meet Haruka and Michiru if you have never formally met.)

If you have not yet had a chance to experience the manga (so you can compare it with the upcoming anime) this is a perfect gift to grace your shelves!


Wandering-Son-5Wandering Son by Shimura Takako

This manga is not “Yuri” but has characters that are sexual and/or gender minorities.

This is exactly the kind of book holiday lists are made for. Hardcover, beautiful reproduction. This is a keepsake, the kind of thing you hold on to and re-read over and over.



swbAoi Hana/Sweet Blue Flowers Anime Box Set

I know this was on last year’s gift guide, but just in case you haven’t had the chance to get it yet, this makes a perfect gift for you or a fan close to you who wants to have you over for a watch-a-thon. ^_^

A very slightly idealized story of a girl falling in and out of love and learning to be the person she is.  A terrific story, told be a terrific storyteller.


Rose of Versailles by Riyoko Ikeda (Box Set 1) (Box Set 2)

This classic, containing the second Girl Prince to grace anime, is epic in scope, soapy of story, and shiny and tragic and wonderful. Like too-rich chocolates, it’s best savored in small doses. But is definitely should be savored.

When you’re enjoying any anime with a suave, masculine female character, when Sei is being the consummate Takarazuka Top Star, or Haruka is making Usagi blush, remember it was paragon of honor and nobility Oscar de Jarjeyes who set that benchmark – and she has never been bested. (And thanks to AnimeSols, we can look forward to Oscar’s complete opposite – tortured, depressed Saint Juste from Dear Brother, in days to come.)

I don’t have any real coals to offer this year, so I’ll just go out of the pale and suggest that if you’re looking for something good whether it’s Yuri or not, I suggest Attack on Titan. Giving nothing critical away, this is a not-cute or sweet story with characters who have more than one emotion each, which has hooks into the current zombie craze and an interesting storyline. It’s especially good for teens and adults who don’t find typical Shounen Jump-style fighting series to be compelling.

There you have it – my suggestions for 2013. Please feel free to toss in your own in the comments and if any of them really rock, I’ll move them up into the post. Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating. Once again, I am so very thankful to each one of you for reading Okazu, today and every day. ^_^

Send to Kindle

Okazu Yuri Gift Guide 2012

November 30th, 2012

I know this season is already so chock full of pressure to buy so, I was on the fence about writing this post, but a few folks told me they read it so here we are. ^_^

This guide has little rhyme or reason, it’s not a ranking, just some suggestions for things to ask Santa for. So, here we go….

2013 is going to see a couple of good English anime releases. Whether you’re putting your gift list together for yourself or picking something out for a friend, here’s a short list of couple of things to look for!

Anime Gifts

Penguin Drum – Section 23 is releasing Ikuhara Kuniko’s newest series, Mawaru Penguindrum, in two forms, DVD and Blu-Ray.

For fans of Revolutionary Girl Utena, surrealism and/or Yuri, this series is an exploration of alternate unrealities that exist simultaneously.

This series is not especially suited for younger viewers, there are some adult scenes and childhood abuse and neglect. More importantly, it’s a non-linear story that has an ending, while never actually being resolved, which confuses people. ^_^

Sweet Blue Flowers – Nozomi/RightStuf launches its budget line with this highly anticipated series. This delightful tale of Fumi and her friend Akira and their friend as they enter high school, is quite simply one of the best Yuri stories out there.

I’ve said this many times, and I’ll continue to say it, it would have been life-changing for me if Fumi had been in existence as a role model/media representation of a young woman in love with other women when I was young.

I know RightStuf will treat this series kindly – and I’m told that pre-orders will come with an “exclusive gift” the nature of which I have no more clue to than you. We can all be surprised together. ^_^

Maria Watches Us – Meet the  Student Council of Lillian Girls’ Academy, competent Youko, trickster Sei, pot-stirrer Eriko and their younger “sisters” intense Sachiko, boyish Rei and otherworldly Shimako. The Maria-sama ga Miteru series was a gamble for RightStuf, but they’ve been really happy with the results. Now all four seasons of anime following Yumi and her adventures have gone to discount litebox. There’s never been a better time to make a gift of the Yamyurikai to someone you love. ^_^ Another RightStuf offering.

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4

Bodacious Space Pirates – Section 23 again with DVD or Blu-ray options for what was one of the most amazing dark horse anime I’ve ever seen. Who knew that a space opera anime series would exist with so little fanservice, great writing, terrific characters and Yuri!

The story of high school girl Marika’s transformation into the captain of the space pirate ship Bentenmaru is a bundle of fun.

This will absolutely be on my wish list.

Not sure what you (or your friend) actually wants to watch? Don’t worry, here’s a suggestion for that, too.

Crunchyroll Subscription – For a reasonable price, get a great deal of anime, including premieres, simulcasts, contests and extras. The perfect gift for the animevore you know.

For folks who are more readers than watchers, here’s a few suggestions:

Manga Gifts

Sailor Moon – The first 8 volumes of this manga classic are now out in English.  This is a groundbreaking series in the sense that it changed the way the world viewed girl’s manga forever. With archetypal characters, an epic romance to accompany the epic plot, and the charm of a young woman coming of age in the middle of turmoil, this series has enchanted millions. Now, in a new edition, it’s making a splash all over again. Yuri fans should read it to, at the very least, meet the Queens of Yuri, Haruka and Michiru. ^_^

Volume 1 | Volume 2Volume 3Volume 4 |
Volume 5Volume 6 |Volume 7Volume 8
with more volumes to come.

GIRL FRIENDS – Seven Seas has put out a 2-volume omnibus collection of Morinaga Milk’s series about love between Mariko and Akiko.

Volume 1 and Volume 2 were translated by the very capable Ana Moreno and are still a surprisingly realistic exploration of the first time we fall in love.

And, for a load of really excellent Yuri Manga, here’s my number one gift suggestion:

JManga Subsciption – Check out their Yuri Page to see the series they’ve already released – there is more on the way, including  favorites by Morishima Akiko, Fujieda Miyabi and more! Jmanga will make the perfect gift for any Yuri manga enthusiast.

As a bonus, I offer up one more suggestion for the folks out there who can read Japanese. I know I’m beating the drum hard for this, but really, it’s all that and a bag of chips.

Nishi UKO’s Collectors is the Yuri manga *I* have been waiting for. Life after happily-ever-after looks exactly like this and no one draws or tells it better.

Shinobu, the book collector, Takako, the fashion plate and their long-suffering friend Naomi are the most real characters I’ve ever read. I love them and I hope you will too.

I hope you find something you like on this list. Happy Yuri Holidays!

Send to Kindle

The Great Manga Gift Guide Project

November 25th, 2009

Last week, the New York Times posted their Graphic Novel Gift Guide and to no one’s surprise there wasn’t a single manga on the list. (Seriously, NYT, it’s totally cool that your GN guy doesn’t read manga – no one is saying that it’s not. Can you just PLEASE also hire someone who cares about manga to be the one to write about it? Thanks, we really appreciate it.)

In response, David Welsh of Precocious Curmudgeon came up with the idea of the Great Manga Gift Guide. Reviewers and readers will be posting their suggestions for great manga gifts on Thursday. (That’s Thanksgiving in America, for anyone who doesn’t get the timing. This day is traditionally followed by a day of crazy sales frenzy on consumer goods.) This will give us manga readers some things to be thankful for. :) David is even willing to devote space on his site to folks who would like to participate who don’t have blogs of their own.

Because one of the most amazing things about the Anime/Manga scene on Twitter is that is has allowed many of the bloggers to communicate easily, I and a number of other bloggers jumped on the Great Manga Gift Guide bandwagon. Here is a not-comprehensive list of some of the folks that are participating. Tomorrow and through the next week, drop by their blogs and see what they have to suggest! Also search Twitter for the hashtag #gmgg for others bloggers I’ve missed. I’ll add people as they let me know that they are going to be part of the guide.

David Welsh – Precocious Curmudgeon
Deb Aoki –
Melinda Beasi – Manga Bookshelf
Lori Henderson – Manga Xanadu
Lissa Patillo – Kuriosity
Alexander Hoffman – Eye of the Vortex Onlin
D. Orihuela-Gruber – All About Comics
Sean Gaffney’s Live Journal
Ed Sizemore – Comics Worth Reading
Jason S. Yadao – Otaku Ohana
Mizzelle – Golden Age Girl
Ysabet McFarlane – Cat Named Segue
Brigid Alverson – Mangablog
Emily’s Random Shoujo Page
Linda-animemiz’s scribbling
Scott Green – Ain’t It Cool News Anime
Robin Brenner – No Flying, No Tights
Katherine H – Yuri no Boke
Julie – Manga Maniac Cafe
Satoshi Miwa
Kate Dacey – Manga Critic
Lexi – Poisoned Rationality
Angela – FlowerStorm

Of course, I will be doing a Yuri list, because we should all run out and buy Yuri for at least one friend for the holidays. ;-)

If you’d like to join the Project, just add your link to the Comments and we’ll look forward to reading your guide!

Send to Kindle