Archive for the Magazines Category


Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime April 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年4月号)

March 27th, 2017

Yep…monthly is really pushing my limits. ^_^  But let me tell you, what a problem to have! Ten years ago, I trawled the shelves of used manga stores obsessively, looking for hints of Yuri in this series or that, or an homage anthology that paired up characters in a not-gross way. (Still am appalled at all the Sakaki-san and the creepy cat from Azumanga Daioh doujinshi back in 2003.) Just to find something to blog about. And here I am, with an excess of Yuri. I am not complaining, I assure you. ^_^

So here we are looking a Comic Yuri Hime, April 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年4月号) and I find we have another problem, slight though it might be. We’re 4 issues in and a number of the newer series are starting to fall apart already. No surprise, as they weren’t stories, they were story ideas. Gag concepts only carry you so far. Of these “Holmes-san ga Suiri dekinai” by Nemachi Dorumaru has suffered the largest collapse. It hasn’t really been Yuri, and now that it is, it’s actually become less interesting.

However, there were still a goodly number of fair-to middling series. Of the ones that work best, “Now Loading”, “Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” and 2DK, G Pen, Mezamashitokei” are still my standout three. That they all seem to be about women working is just coincidence, I am absolutely sure.  ^_^ “Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” deserves a special mention, for having added female customers to the Yuri cafe, which I had previously noticed were absent. 

I also liked the go-nowhere “Hakushi no Kanata” by Hamuro Kei. This is pure one-shot stuff, but it was a nice bittersweet “what might have been, if only” tale that could change a life which was quite nice. And “Demi-Lfe” and “Roku + Ichi Sodarashi” are still forced and a little fun, even though they don’t have much substance. 

Ratings:

Overall – 7

So, points off for the complete dissolution of “Holmes-san” but holding steady else wise.  Let’s see how long this can be sustained. I pick up the May issue tonight. ^_^

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime March 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年3月号)

February 13th, 2017

Comic Yuri Hime March 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年3月号) continues with the same variety of Yuri that we’ve come to expect from magazine this year. That said, there’s a definite slant towards the moe….understandably, as it’s easier to drawn simplified faces than it is to draw detailed art.

Which is why I genuinely treasure Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, G Pen, Mezamashitokei”. About to go into a 4th volume (yay!) this series continues to be very much about adults and, in this chapter does something completely unexpected. Well, at least I certainly didn’t expect it. ^_^ As an aside, I wonder if Nanami is at all aware that pretty much every other woman she has ever met has fallen for her.

In “Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” The one stereotype the Yuri cafe doesn’t cover – the best friend with a crush – rears it’s head and the cafe ends up with a new employee. I have no idea if this story will develop into anything particularly, but I’m willing to ride along for however long it stays silly.

Hitoto’s “Shuumatsu nanishini ikou?” sticks with giving us more detail about keeping fish than I, uh, expected it to. Fish it is. Okay then.

“Holmes-san ga Suiri dekinai” by Nemachi Dorumaru continues to be a parody of every mystery series ever and Ohi Pikachi’s “Demi Life” is already getting self-referential. I hope they will both break out of their niches and become real stories soon.

“Roku + Ichi Sodarashi” is still pretty much Hidamari Sketch, by a different artist, with Yuri. That part’s refreshing.

I still love Mikanuji’s “Now Loading” for it’s how-to tutorial on game development and honest look at the hours one pulls working in a small gamedev company. That this story feels “real” to me is the best part about it. That it also is Yuri is just icing on the cake. ^_^

Comic Yuri Hime is advertising pretty hard for editorial assistants right now, so if you’re still young and want to work in the manga world, are located in Japan and looking to get a position with a company that has never been positioned better to grow, take a look at the Comic Yuri Hime‘s advert for people wanting “Yuri Work.”

Ratings:

Overall – 8

This March issue appears to be sold out in print on Amazon JP at the moment, but folks with Japanese IP addresses will be able to get it through Kindle and you can get it digitally outside Japan on Bookwalker Global as a single issue or as a subsciption.

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime January 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年1月号)

December 20th, 2016

As of this issue, Comic Yuri Hime is now the very first monthly Yuri magazine! Congrats to the CYH team at Ichijinsha!

I was really interested to see how this issue was going to land. My philosophy about manga magazines is that the stories don’t all have to appeal to me, but there has to be at least a few stories I like for me to continue reading. And, as there had been a strong tendency towards sexual fetishization of Yuri in 2016 issues, I was understandably a little ambivalent.

Overall, I felt that Comic Yuri Hime, January 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年1月号) was pretty good. ^_^

The cover story they went with got my hopes up. Yes, the story is called  “Hatsukoi” and it’s clearly a first love tale, but the art, while typical school girl stuff is much less blobby-faced than it has been.  That’s always a good sign in my book.

Right off the bat, the first two stories weren’t the same old, same old. In Aoto Hibiki’s “Ashita, Kimi ni Aetara” (subtitled in English, Tomorrow, I will tell you, “I love you.”), what starts as an fairly stilted “Story A” becomes a tale of a time warp, when the lead falls asleep and wakes up 15 years in the future, with a family. Let’s be honest, we all know that’ll it all have been a dream, but at least it’s different.

This is followed by what may turn out to be a new favorite story, “Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” (subtitled in German, Schewestern in Liebe. And how funny would that be if the foreign language subtitles were a running gag, but, sadly, it’s not.) Shiraki Hime is an exceedingly cute girl and, through circumstances ends up at a Yuri cafe, in which every employee has taken on a typical Yuri stereotype. There’s the ojousama type, the bookish girl, the predatory lesbian and she, naturally is the cute little-sister type. The reality is far less rarified and beautiful. This story had me grinning from ear to ear.  I love when manga stories wallow in Yuri tropes without being defined by them.

Also new is a story by Tomonori about a young woman who lives with (and is falling in love with) her sister-in-law. I know, I know, but… Uta-chan came to live with her older brother and his wife when her parents died and while her brother is gone, she and Kaoru are living together. I’ve got hopes for this story, we’ll see.

“Now Loading” seems to be a workplace story about a woman who gets a job at a much admired game design company and finds her work just not meeting her manager’s standards. This one is setting up to be a pretty straightforward office romance with the tough boss, but count me in on that. ^_^

“Roku+Ichikurashi” by Umehara Ume is a cute little tale of women’s dorm life reminiscent of Hidamari Sketch and I don’t think that’s accidental, given the artist’s name.

Comic Yuri Hime is looking for some new staff. Check out the ad in the magazine, if you’re interested. 

“Itsuka Minoreba” by Nishi Asuka has exceptionally moe art but the story appears to be about a hardcore gamer girl finding a protege/rival.

“2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei” finally takes a Yuri turn, as Nanami is forced by Aoi to finally own up to her feelings about Kaede. Now, here’s my hope…that it isn’t just “they get together, the end.” This couple is going to need some time to actually develop and if we can spend a whole volume on a side character, the main couple deserves a few volumes to themselves.

I kind of really have no idea what the story is in “Nanahara Shino ha Futsu ja nai” but the title is accurate. Shino wears a sword and is way too easy about drawing it, ostensibly to protect Tsuruko-sempai.

The Yuri Goddess appears in Minamoto Hisanari’s “Kanaete! Yuri Yosei” She basically appears to fuck with the Shiroyuri Yosei.

Ohi Pikachi’s “Demi Life!” follows the adventures of a human girl in a school for half-gods, half-human magical creatures and other “demis.”

And the volume wraps up with “Sleeping Princess” by Katakura Ako, which is much less cute that it sounds. I’m really starting to like Katakura-sensei’s anti-hero leads.

Of course, there are other series, “Yuri Yuri” inexplicably continues, as does “Citrus” and several unspeakably awful stories which remain unnnamed. But for a premiere issue of the new, monthly Comic Yuri Hime, I was fairly pleased with it!

Ratings:

Overall – 8

I can’t tell you how pleased I was at the general lineup. Not just one Story-A after another. The February issue is already out in Japan. 

Don’t forget, you can get Monthly Comic Yuri Hime digitally (in Japanese) on Bookwalker.JP!

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime, November 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年11月号 )

November 20th, 2016

cyh1116-e1477085249711For the fourth time since 2005, we gather here to discuss the end of Comic Yuri Hime as we currently know it. ^_^

The first time was back in 2007, when we saw Yuri Hime and Yuri Hime S establish separate editions “for men” and “for women.” And again in 2011 when they once again joined to become Comic Yuri Hime, no longer a quarterly, but now as a bimonthy. In 2012, the magazine took a sharply moe turn, away from the more adult-oriented content.

Now, here we are in 2016, with the final edition of this iteration ofthe magazine, Comic Yuri Hime, November 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年11月号 ).

Nothing much has changed for us in the past 6 issues. There is a just slightly-unequal mix of stories that appeal to me and those that don’t. The stories I care most about are those I have been following for some time and will suprrise no one. Works by Takemiya Jin, Ohsawa Yayaoi, Kuzushiro, Minamoto Hisanari and Katakura Ako make the magazine worth buying for me, and there’s usually a few stories I have no opinion of either way that I’ll read, plus a handful of nope. ^_^

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I do want to just touch base for a moment of Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, G Pen, Alarm Clock / 2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。” It’s one of two series that features adults in the magazine right now and, as a result, I cling to it a bit. If there is a single criticism I have of it, per se, it is that it’s not really all that Yuri. I mean, sort of-kind of, if you squint, but not really. We’ve seen Nanami’s interactions with a coworker warm up, but nothing  more than something we can imagine.

In this issue, something shifts, when Kaede’s old roommate arrives…and tuns out to be an old friend of Naami’s, as well. How friendly we don’t know, but she is very flirtatious with Nanami. Does our resident career-woman have a history? We’re about to find out. I approve. This series is *finally* being allowed to develop. I hope they give it a few more volumes.

So, overall, as usual, some good, some bad and some okay. Which is fine for a magazine.

Onwards to the ground-breaking monthly version starting January 2017! Congratulations to the creators and staff of Comic Yuri Hime for becoming the first monthly Yuri manga magazine ever.

Ratings: 

Overall – 7

We have exciting news from YNN Correspondent Emily – You can now get Comic Yuri Hime (monthly) digitally on Global Bookwalker! It’s still in Japanese, but now you can get all the content for a very low 700 yen/per issue (about $6.31 right now). That’s less than the print edition, without shipping and actually supports the artists and writers! What an exciting opportunity. You can even subscribe to the magazine, without the messiness of picking up your copy, or having to decide to subscribe for a year or not at all. You can cancel this subscription with a click.

Global Bookwalker is a great resource for Yuri manga, both current and out of print. If you’ve got a tablet, it’s a terrific way to catch up on tons of Yuri and, unlike all other online services, they have a Yuri category you can browse. It’s a perfect, low-cost way to practice your Japanese. ^_^

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime September 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号)

August 31st, 2016

CYH916Comic Yuri Hime September 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号) continues shifting back to fully “sweet, pure love” of the school-life and fantasy variety away from the more realistic, adulter place it inhabited when Kazuaki was doing the cover art. I’ll continue to mope about this until it shifts back, or the artists I like get fed up and start a new magazine for themselves. (Don’t think I haven’t thought about doing this, but publishing has even thinner margins than ever before. If the magazine was online, there’d be so little opportunity to make enough money to pay people, it’s depressing even considering it. Don’t get me started.)

You know by now the stories I follow. Whatever Takemiya Jin, Ohsawa Yayoi, Minamoto Hisanari write, I enjoy. That and “Last Waltz” is about all I read this issue, as the percentage of animal ears is growing, the characters style slips back into blobs, the creepy crotch gazing increases and originality runs down the drain.

Ratings:

Overall – 5

I’ll get over it. I always do.

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