Archive for the Hirari Category

Yuri Anime: Asagao to Kase-san OVA Release Date and Main Cast Announced

December 7th, 2017

The Asagao to Kase-san official Twitter account had a major announcement today – Asagao to Kase-san OVA has a release date and main cast!

Yamada Yui will be played by Takahashi Minami, who has had roles in Aikatsu! and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

Kase Tomoka will be played by Sakura Ayane, who has had roles in Psycho-Pass, and Land of the Lustrous.

The OVA will be getting a theater release on June 9, 2017 at the Humax theater in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Advanced ticket purchases will come with a special clear file and commemorative ticket.



Here is the promotional video of the new OVA on Youtube. I remind you that the team for the OVA is bilingual, so please take a moment to like the video, and comment!



Based upon Takahashi Hiromi’s manga from the defunct quarterly Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari, the series has a popular 6-minute music video,  Kimi no Hikari on Youtube, which has gained almost 300,000 views.

The Asagao to Kase-san manga is sold by Seven seas in English as Kase-san and Morning Glories.


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Kase-san Manga on LINE Comics, Guest Review by Verso S

April 5th, 2017
Welcome to Guest Review Wednesday here at Okazu! We’ve had more guest reviews than ever this year and they are all so fantastic If you’re enjoying the Guest Reviews, I hope you’ll consider subscribing to Okazu, so we can pay our Guest Reviewers!  
We reported on YNN that the Kase-san manga series was being continued on Japanese phone platform LINEManga (LINE マンガ – ).  Today Verso S. is writing to us from Hiroshima to let us know how it’s working! 
For those of you unfamiliar with LINE, it’s a phone app that began as a communication platform, based in SMS, like the popular BBSs were, but expanded out past person- or group-based communication as a publishing platform. Of course there are also companies with promotions, that almost gos without saying. There is a LINE that can be downloaded in th US, but it is not as fully featured as the JP version. However, even US LINE can be used for SMS communications in Japan, which has been useful to me in the past. 
Please welcome Verso who will give us a walkthrough of the Kase-san manga on LINE!
The Kase-san series started over free of charge from “chapter 1, Asagao to…” on LINEManga, while the “Shinshokan viewer” gives free access to the latest chapter.
LINEmanga: Weekly serialisation. The second chapter, “Jitensha to” was simultaneously hosted and became immediately available to those who share it (LINE, Facebook, Twitter). Without sharing that second chapter becomes accessible after one week, on next Tuesday, when “chapter three, Love song to” will be added on the same conditions. etc. 
Chapters released appear to remain free. Operation is smooth and glorious, on computer and mobile app.  No frills. Flip pages or use of clickable arrows and a zoom function.
The series is tagged: Love story. There is no Yuri tag on the platform. The brief description on the series’ own page does include a tiny Yuri reference since it is mentioned, and also tagged Hirari in addition to tags for the names of the mangaka and the publishing company – so it appears in the lists for those respective categories in the LINEmanga catalogue. eBooks of the first tankoubon will be available for a charge, ¥864, on LINEmanga as well.
“Shinshokan viewer”:  No registration required. Gives free access to the latest chapter for a limited time (Month). As standalone or as part of the web magazine Wings. In addition, however, the publisher’s page for the series also gives free access to previews from the existing three tankoubon as ebooks. With the option to purchase them as full ebooks. They also sell their print editions. Ebook operation is as smooth and glorious, on computer, as reading the chapters. No frills. Flip pages, arrows and zoom. 
Is there a regional block on access to LINEmanga? Have you tried login in to the messaging app via either a LINEme account or with a Facebook ID to set up a LINE account? Provided there is no geo-restriction, that ID will then work with the LINEmanga readers too. The set-up is done by registering a new account within the messaging app on a mobile device. Requiring either Email or sms code verification.Once authenticated the general LINEme ID and Password will then give access to the LINEmanga readers as well.  The same geo restrictions may apply for the Shinshokan reader as well… 

LINEmanga: Kase-san stayed on schedule. “Story 3, Love Song” was posted at midnight, Tuesday. Immediately available for those sharing it or available next week for those who don’t. 

The next installment will be interesting. If the pattern from other series is followed, these first three chapters will remain free, as preview chapters. The fourth chapter and subsequent releases will eventually slip behind an individual chapter paywall, usually after one month. For that one month period the later chapters can be read free of charge, but after that first month a small fee, ¥30~50 will be charged per chapter to gain access.

This is turning into running LINEmanga software commentary rather than a readers first impression of the Kase-san series on that platform. Which has been positive for us in every regard.

The series are all well behind the actual release schedules in the official magazines, print or web, for ongoing series but for titles re-serialised on LINEmanga the last four installments will thus be free at any given time throughout the re-release period on that platform.

Each tankoubon will be made available on that platform’s schedule as well. Usually the first chapter of each volume will be offered free within that tankoboun, as a preview. For other titles the entire first volume may remain free, as a preview. Kodansha’s Chihayafuru is such a title. Currently the first three volumes are listed ¥0 and they can be downloaded or added to a cloud-like bookshelf in their entirety. Though ongoing that series is not serialised on LINEmanga, however. Just the books are offered.

A lot of different publishers are present on LINEmanga and their titles are all offered on the same software without the necessity to hunt down each publisher’s own site. Without the necessity to switch apps when you want to continue reading the “next” chapter of a different series from a different magazine or publishing company, though it won’t be the “very latest” chapter. Each company comes with their own pricing arrangement and slight variations in their conditions for access. Minor variations like any other one-stop book store before eTexts.

Kase-san and all the other series do look very good, picture wise, on our systems, crisp images, nice and easily readable text, and they all function to our satisfaction but there are slightly different experiences with the operation that I should be careful not to conflate. Some titles which are accessible on our iPad but can’t be opened on our Mac, for example, though they’re accessed from the same LINE account. As noted before, someone with a Phone Number based LINE account seems to have the smoothest experience with its operation. Which seems to have more to do with the Phone Number based set up than with the OS, based on the “error” messages … though that’s out of my league to assess more broadly.

The same is true for Kuzu no Honkai, a currently ongoing manga series with a currently airing anime and Live Action drama adaptations.

All six volumes of Octave are also available as tankoubon on LINEManga for  ¥540 per volume. One other Akiyama title is also offered.

Fx’s Aoi Hana is here too, while Shimura’s Koiiji is being re-serialzied from Kiss magazine.

A lot of Hirari titles are here as well. So are some of the Tsubomi titles, though not tagged as such. Mizutani Fuuka’s series for example. Tagged with the mangaka’s name, with Hakusensha and with TL. And so is  Takemiya Jin, represented with 12 titles, with the same tagging system, but with different pricing. Some of her tankoubon are tagged Comic Yuri Hime, publisher and TL.Steps is priced ¥648 p/volume, Omoi no Kakera ¥802, Seasons ¥864.

There is a TL tag and a BL tag but there are no Yuri or GL tags on LINEmanga, for the moment.

It seems petty to complain when confronted with such luxury but there are also the Geo-location barriers. Which place me on the other side of the wall compared to you. I can get access to previews of Kodansha USA’s recent Chihayafuru eBook release in English, for example, but I can’t buy that book nor their other English titles because of my location. I can stroll into a bookstore, brick and virtual, minutes after the latest Japanese edition in that series becomes available.

Erica here: Well, wow. That was an amazingly comprehensive review. Based on all of this, I still think Kadokawa’s Bookwlaker might have an advantage, since there appear to be no geographic restrictions, but LINEManga has made pretty fast progress in that area!

Thank you again Verso for this  detailed review of the LINEManga system!

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Yuri Manga: Seijun Shoujo Paradigm (聖純少女パラダイム)

June 16th, 2015

downloadIn Seijun Shoujo Paradigm (聖純少女パラダイム), Morishima Akiko gave Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari readers her take on the most common private Catholic girl’s school tropes. And typically, she has a lot of fun with it. ^_^

At Saint Paradigm Girl’s School (one of a long line of nonsense Saint names in Yuri literature, but sometimes it’s hard to tell, I’m looking at you Saint Scholastica,) Aoi is all excited to get her elite high school experience started. Even the sight of a girl confessing to an upperclassman (and being rejected) makes her feel like she’s in the middle of a novel. And when the teacher leaves the room and the girls all drop their proper facades to pick up their phones and play games, or text their boyfriends, it depresses her.

Depressed as she is, she’s still more cheerful than Lily, the girl who had been rejected.  Lily actually likes girls, but is rejected regularly. Aoi, who has no interest in a boyfriend, agrees to be Lily’s best friend. Until Lily gets a girlfriend, she and Lily will love each other best.

The story splits off a bit to deal with some other couples among the student body – the president of the literature club and a member who have been lovers for years, but still have some issues. and the President and Vice President of the Student Council who are a perfect Takarazuka couple and, despite the fact that they live together and know they love each other, have not gone beyond a kiss on the cheek. Lily’s lack of tact is the key development that allows them to close that final gap between them.

After the school festival, Lily confesses seriously once more…to Aoi. Aoi knows they’ve agreed to love each other best, but this seemed different. As their second term begins, Aoi comes to realize she has deeper feelings for Lily, and the book and the story draw to a close with an “awww.”


Art – 8 Morishima’s usual cute faces and cheerful style
Story – 8 A sweet series for a Yuri-themed magazine
Characters – I liked them all, but sympathized with the literature club’s Midori most, who just wanted to hear “I love you” more often
Yuri – 9
Service – 3 Some underwear scenes, Morishima does underwear nicely

Overall – 8

Morishima-sensei says that this is her first Yuri set “among the sakura” and I immediately thought of a tagline for this kind of Yuri. Not “strawberry” at all – they had the wrong fruit. This is Yuri with “The scent of lilies and the flavor of cherries.”

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Yuri Manga: Obentou to Kase-san (おべんとうと加瀬さん)

September 23rd, 2014

bentouIn Asagao to Kase-san (あさがおと加瀬さん), we met Yamada, a pleasant, average and friendly young lady who is very dedicated to the school’s Environmental Committee. She finds herself interested in the track star of the school, Kase. And, almost unbelievably, Kase returns her feelings.

Volume 1 is a slow, gentle story, as the two of them start going out, growing closer as they struggle with just exactly what “going out” means.

In Volume 2, Obentou to Kase-san (おべんとうと加瀬さん), they gently, cutely and realistically figure out who they are and what they mean to each other. Yamada has the higher hurdles, as Kase-san is super popular and Yamada doesn’t have the confidence to stand by her side. But Kase’s feelings are sincere and together they work it all out.

The drama here is small, the resolutions are equally as small, and I find myself wanting desperately to hug both of them and invite them over for tea, so they can see that sometimes we do get a happily after, after all. ^_^


Art – 8 It grew on me
Story – 8
Character – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 2

Overall – 8

As “first love” stories go, this is definitely one of my favorites. It’s a strong candidate for this year’s Top Ten. I hope we’ll see more of Takashima Hiromi’s art in the future.

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Yuri Manga: Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari, Volume 14 (ピュア百合アンソロジー ひらり)

September 8th, 2014

pyah14It was a complete surprise to me that Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari, Volume 14 was the final issue. Reading this volume, I had the distinct feeling that it came as a surprise to the artists, too.

And it’s a shame, as this volume, the last we’ll ever get, may well have been the overall strongest volume they ever had. But, with the example of Tsubomi already establishing that the Yuri audience, while demanding, is just not really all that big and self-supporting and not willing to support an online commercial venture, I guess Hirari just had nowhere to go.

Especially excellent was Amakure Gido’s opening story, “Watashi Baka”, about a post-high school meeting, and pretty much the entire first half of the volume (with one notable exception of Kurogane Kenn’s really creepy no-context sex scene story) were lovely.

I will look forward to the final wrap-up volumes of a few of these series, and hope that someone develops a valid online alternative for Yuri, as paper is just too damn expensive to be supported by this small audience.


Overall – 8

I admit to being concerned at the contraction of the Yuri market. A number of pro Yuri artists are having their gigs pulled out from under them and are returning to doujinshi. I desperately hope new opportunities open up for them soon, but I’m realistic enough to know my hopes aren’t meaningful in any real sense.

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