Archive for the Galette Category


Yuri Manga: Galette No. 4 (ガレット)

December 19th, 2017

Creator-owned and crowdfunded, quarterly Yuri anthology magazine Galette (ガレット) is a success. How can I say that with such confidence? Keep reading and find out. ^_^

This is the 4th volume of this Yuri quarterly, rounding out their yearswith the addition of Morishima Akiko-sensei to their already star lineup. Stories range from first loves to failed loves and lots of school stries, with room for adult life narrative…and now the magazine is allowing room for more complicated and sometimes unpleasant or unhappy stories. I like that some of the work here is emotionally challenging. I want more from Yuri than Story A.

But above all other things, what I actually love best about the magazine is the design. The cover art for this issue is sublime. It’s not just that the art isn’t moe, it’s that the design elements are design elements. The magazine looks professional, and not just slickly printed. This is a magazine for adults who love Yuri, made by adults who love Yuri…even when the stories are set in school. 

I bought this issue at Comitia, (where I also picked up a couple of extra copies for the New Year Lucky Boxes. ^_^) and was able to get a Galette 2018 calendar, with the cover images and other color interior art. The other pictures are nice, but sign me up as a fan of Pen’s cover work.

This issu is available in print, as a Kindle release in the USA (in Japanese, coming in at #79 in the Foreign Language>Japanese>Comics & Manga category) or in Japan (where it comes in at #43 for the Comic>Light Novel -BL>Comic category*, and at fine manga bookstores across Japan and at selected events. Which brings me to why I said it’s successful. With crowdfunding patronage through Enty, the book is bring in more then $5000/month, which puts $15,000 into every issue before a single sale. Japanese manga is able to sell through more than one stream, as I’ve previously noted, like making the book available on non-JP Kindle.The price point of $23/print issue seems like a lot, but when you remember that people are being paid for their work at every level, as opposed to manga artists subsidizing the work until collected volumes and ,for 300 pages of top-notch work beautifully put together, it seems value for the money.

Ratings:

Overall – 9 (and only because I’m holding out for two artists to join the team.)

I’ve been on the publishing teams of magazines and manga anthologies. Quarterly publishing takes a lot of resources and Galette seems well-positioned to continue if they keep on as they started. That’s why I call it a success.

*Amazon has no Yuri category in either Japanese or English. Please feel free free to contact them to ask them to add it. I have done so more than once.

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Yuri Manga: Galette, Issue 3 (ガレット )

September 18th, 2017

…and we have a winner!

Galette, Issue 3 is the third volume of the quarterly Galette Yuri Anthology created by a bunch of folks whose love for Yuri equals or exceeds my own. It is the first Yuri anthology you can get on US Kindle (albeit still in Japanese language) as well as on JP Kindle and in print from Amazon and in print from another system, Booth, that will ship overseas. (People in Japan also have options of buying it at Comic Zin, Animate, Shosen Book Tower, Gamers, Melon Books and more.)  And you can support it on Patreon-like crowdfunding platform Enty and get – depending on what level you support the work at – early copies of the magazine digitally and various extras. In every way, other than in content, Galette is ground-breaking. So let’s talk about the content.

Galette still has a lot of school-girl stories, from Amano Shuninta’s emotional look at a one-sided love in “Fuma-kun” to Hiyori Otsu’s interesting take on the girl wearing earphones in “Nutmeg”. When you remember how much of Japanese kids’ life is tied up in school activities (teams and clubs, which in the USA can also be community-based are largely school-based in Japan) it makes sense that this is where one might also find friendship, love and lust.

But lesbians don’t die when they graduate and many of us end up in college or careers, still trying to find ourselves. Gotou’s “Takaramono” (which I dubbed “Dude, what do I have to do to get you to notice I want to kiss you” ) was a decent example of that. Ringo Hamano’s “Cotton Candy” took a bit of a twist to show us just how important having adult role models can be to a young woman. And Yatosaki Haru’s “Futari no Arcadia” took a tired trope and turned it into a tale of human frailty.

Fantasy gets played with a lot in Galette. Hakamada Mera takes the innate love of uniforms and Rose of Versailles so many of us have (^_^;) and turned it into a nice little story about two very likable young ladies in “Fuwafuwa Futashika Yumemitai.” Takemiya Jin gets to play around in the darker desires of some humans in the creepy-sexy “Marionette.” I like that Takemiya-sensei is looking at more manipulative characters. She’s established her lesbian cred with her audience, and gets to talk about how not all love is healthy. It’s one thing to be pathologized by straight artists, and another to have one of us note that some people are just not good people.

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Morinaga Milk tells a story that will resonate with a lot of adult lesbians who fall for the straight women in their lives…who then awkwardly begin to question their sexuality in “Watashi no Kawaii Neko-chan” (a story that I feared based on the title, but has turned out to be more about human mortification than cats.)

And Kita Izumi and Momono Moto’s “Liberty” has continued to be excellent, with a silly twist, but one that keeps the story firmly rooted in adult life. I look forward to this story with every issue, as it hits the right notes of setting, character design, and tension for me.

I love the guest art – Etsuko’s color spread is very nice – and I like the photography by Takahashi Minori. The cover design is just lovely.  Issue 3 came with a copy of Petit Galette, an omake volume with a few short comics and a prose story.

Issue 3 has a pretty all-star lineup, with a few notable omissions. Luckily for us, one of those obvious names – Morishima Akiko – will be joining the lineup next issue. Now all I need is for Nishi UKO and Hojou KOZ (UKOZ) and Hayashiya Shizuru to join them and I’ll have all my faves in one place. ^_^ Still, Galette is turning out to be the Yuri magazine I’d hoped it could be. I now hope to see a bit more lesbian identity and it’ll be perfect. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story- 9
Characters – 8
Service – 6 Nudity 
Yuri – 10

Overall – 9

Way back in 2005 or 2007 or so, I joked that odd-numbered years are always really good for Yuri. That’s switched around here and there, but here we are in 2017 and I think this is the best year we have ever had for Yuri in the almost-20 years I’ve been doing this. May our tribe increase.

Issue 4 will be out at the end of November and available at Comitia (which I am planning on being at, if all goes well.)

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Yuri Manga: Galette, Issue 2 (ガレット 2)

July 10th, 2017

In the comments of my review of Galette, Issue 1, Jim assured us that the next issue was even better. Jim was right. Galette, Issue 2 (ガレット) is very close to the kind of manga anthology I hoped Galette would be. 

The cover illustration by pen is lovely, the construction of the cover, with reflective metallic ink is exceeding pleasant. The inaide cover art is likewise appealing. Interior color pages open up Morinaga Milk’s contribution and include a photo set, something we haven’t seen in many Yuri anthology. and further illustrations.

The opening story by Otsu Hiyori was satisfying (as was seeing her back in a Yuri collection!) There were any number of good to excellent stories. I found way more of them – even those set in school – more complex, less “girl meets girl” thn we’ve come to expect. This issue had a number of stories that looked at regret for what never was or might have been, as well as stories where facing down one’s feelings and putting a name to them is the story. 

It was a strong enough book that, having finished it, I went back and re-read it. I only do that when I want to make sure I caught everything. Of course I loved Takemiya Jin’s ex-Yanki, now-adult comedy, and Morinaga Milk’s story was very solid and not at all childish or school-life. But the standout story for me continues to  be Monomo Moto and Kitta Izumi’s “Liberty” which took off in such a different direction than expected, but was just so good, that I’m really hoping it’ll continue in Volume 3!

As with the first volume, you can get it in print from Amazon JP (until is sells out, which apparently Volume 1 has) and (in Japanese) on digital for the US Kindle from Amazon.com. I’m still so damn excited about that for you. No shipping, and there you go, you have it in your pocket.   Volume 3 will be out in Japan in print at the end of August, so keep an eye out for the Kindle version later this sumer. For a sample of the next volume, visit the Galette Lineup page

And, if you want to support this creator-owned work, take a look at the subscription page for a variety of plans to pay for  the level of support you want to give. There are limitations, so please read the page carefully before you  apply! You’ll get rewards from 100¥/month and up and you’ll get your name on the thanks page! I imagine that shipping to overseas locations has some limitations, so, again, please read carefully. But, look, it’s the writers we want to read, making the manga they want to write. As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth my support (I’ve chosen the “Normal” level of support. Can I just say how amusing I find that?) So whether you’re supporting the work with a subscription, buying the print or the digital, let’s show these creators that the Yuri fandom outside Japan has their back.

Ratings:

Art – 9 
Story- 9 
Characters – 8
Service – 4 A little in “Liberty”
Yuri – 10

Overall – 9

Cannot wait for Volume 3!

 

 

 

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