Archive for the Kase-san Series Category


Yuri Manga: Kase-san and an Apron (English)

February 18th, 2018

Yamada’s life has changed radically since she’s started to go out with Kase-san. She’s always been kind of average and had no confidence in herself, except in relation to the greenery committee at school. But being with Kase-san has taught her some important things. 

In Kase-san and an Apron, the 4th volume of Takashima Hiromi’s high school Yuri romance, during the school festival a tired trope about jealousy is turned into a lesson is about speaking your mind.

Yamada has always been jealous of Kase-san’s talent, her athleticism, her popularity. But when she learns that Kase-san has felt the same way, something important takes root in her, a germ of self-confidence that will continue to grow through the volume. Kase-san has been teaching her to value her own strengths – her persistence, her desire to do things for the joy of it. Guilelessly, Kase-san is also teaching Yamada that she’s attractive just the way she is.

Yamada’s best friend Miwacchi has also started noticing the changes. In her own offhand way, she praises Yamada for deciding on a college in Tokyo, rather than shooting for a local school and a less interesting life. 

The chapters that comprise this volume were originally distributed variably online and in print,  and the collected volume itself came out in Japan just after the official animation clip was released. (I reviewed the deluxe edition which included the Blu-ray of the clip here on Okazu last autumn.)

This series, which got it’s start in a quarterly, now defunct, Yuri magazine, has continued to chug along with surprising strength. This summer that little animation clip will get a theatrical release as a OVA movie and  we’ll be getting more Yamada and Kase-san in days to come! The Kase-san series is the little Yuri series that could. ^_^ It is everything I have looked for in a high school Yuri romance. It’s got honesty and growth and humor and a likable couple who have friends and teachers and family and interests outside the romance. And in the meantime, the artist’s skill has grown considerably. Her panels are tight, her lines are deft and her use of body language (which has always been good) and expression have gotten stronger.

It’s gonna be hard to beat this for best of the year, I think.

Ratings: 

Art – 8
Character – 9
Story – 8
Service – 2 It’s dropped considerably since moving to Wings.
Yuri – 9

Overall – 8

Thanks very much to the folks at Seven Seas for the review copy! This is hitting shelves here in the west this week, so get out there and get yourself a copy!. I’m hoping to take a physical copy of the book with me to Japan and get it signed by Takashima-sensei. ^_^ Fingers crossed.

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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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Yuri Manga: Kase-San and Shortcake (English)

October 9th, 2017

Kase-san and Shortcake, by Hiromi Takashima is awkward and painful and wonderful and sexy and excruciating and delightful. In other words, it’s a bit like adolescence itself, except that I’m perfectly willing to re-read this volume and not at all willing to relive adolescence. ^_^

Yamada and Kase-san are facing their final summer in high school and, with it, the blank slate of their future. Kase-san is, of course, busy with track and she’s being scouted by a big Tokyo college. Yamada’s aspirations are much more local. But if Yamada stays and Kase-san goes what will become of them? 

However, the one thing Yamada has going for her is resolve. And no matter what obstacles are put in her way, when she’s made a decision, she goes for it. In a fit of passion, she jumps on the train to go to Tokyo with Kase-san. And comes face to face with her next obstacle.

Is it true that Kase-san was dating her old sempai  on the track team? If so, how will Yamada deal with the jealousy…and how far can she let jealousy build before it becomes toxic? The answer, as it usually is in this series, is just to the breaking point. And almost always, it’s Kase-san who snaps first.

What Yamada hasn’t quite figured out is that for every reason she’s jealous or worried or low self-esteemy, Kase-san is, too. But in every case, they work it out together and we’re more and more convinced that they might make it.

Takshima-sensei’s art has settled down in to a distinctive style now, and her facial expressions are quite wonderful. More importantly, she less reliant on gimmick.

As usual, Seven Seas provides us with an authentic reading experience. No eye-rolling weirdness in the translations, clean reproduction makes the book easy to read psychically and the technicals never drop you out of the story. This is a fun Yuri series, and deserves the kind of handling that doesn’t get in the way of just enjoying it. Great work, team Seven Seas! Thank you for the fine job. 

Ratings:

Art – 8 
Story – 8
Character – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 5 They are still working through what it means to be sexually attracted to one another.

Overall – 8

There’s only one more volume to go. Kase-san and Apron will be out in February and our time with Yamada and Kase-san will be over. (So far, there are as-yet uncollected chapters, and we have no news so far of any future plans.) Let’s enjoy it as much as Yamada and Kase-san enjoyed that final summer at school. ^_^ And we’ll have that Asagao to Kase-san OVA to look forward to. ^_^

 

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Yuri Anime News: Asagao to Kase-san OVA Coming in 2018!

October 3rd, 2017

The news has come from on high – 2018 will see an Asagao to Kase-san OVA!

The official Asagao-Anime twitter feed and website made the announcement this week. According to the announcement, the OVA will be getting a limited-time theater release in Japan. Cast, staff and screenings will are all still to be announced.

Thank you to everyone who watched the Asagao to Kase-san animation clip on Youtube and who commented there and on Twitter that they enjoyed it. You clearly helped the production committee to make a case that there was an audience for this anime. 

In celebration, Comic Natalie is carrying some of the official Asagao to Kase-san merchandise in their store. (You can use a buying service like White Rabbit or Tenso to buy things from Japanese companies that can’t or won’t ship overseas.)

Now we’ll just have to convince Pony Canyon and the Asagao Anime Production Committee to screen the OVA a few locations in North America.  Chances are most likely that if it screens in North America it will be at an anime convention like Anime Expo (where Pony Canyon sold the animation clip DVD) or Anime NYC. I won’t expect or assume theater screenings near me. I’ll hope that a con I can get to has a screening. ^_^

More importantly, I hope that any OVA DVD/BD has subtitles in English. This seems more likely, as the production committee seems to have fluent English speakers on their social media accounts. Fingers crossed.

In the mean time, please feel free to comment on the Kase-san Twitter feed and let them know you’re looking forward to this OVA!

P.S. – Check out the RTs on the announcementPure Yuri Anthology Hirari‘s Twitter feed is still active and sent out a “congrats.” as well as Pony Canyon. ^_^ So cute.

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Yuri Manga: Apron to Kase-san Special Edition with Animation Clip Blu-Ray “Kimi no Hikari” (「エプロンと加瀬さん。」特装版 アニメーションクリップ「キミノヒカリ」Blu-rayつき)

September 4th, 2017

The 4th volume of the Kase-san manga from Hirari Comics, Apron to Kase-san,  is available in two editions. The Regular Edition contains the manga alone, while the Special Edition includes a Blu-Ray of the 6-minute animation Clip, “Kimi no Hikari” (which is still up on Youtube for you to enjoy.) (「エプロンと加瀬さん。」特装版 アニメーションクリップ「キミノヒカリ」Blu-rayつき). I’ve watched the animation clip a dozen or more times this summer working on presentations and at panels, but watching it on Blu-Ray was, for the first time ever for me, a “wow!” moment. This was animated to be seen in high-resolution on a large screen on Blu-Ray. It looks and sounds amazing.

The Special Edition comes in a fetching box with the cover art from the 4th volume. It includes the Blu-Ray and a color pamphlet of the production notes and character designs for the animation clip. It also includes a short doujinshi “An toki no Kase-san” with a few adorable Kase and Yamada moments seen from Kase-san’s side.

Apron to Kase-san, the fourth book in the series, marks a subtle shift in the story. Up until now, Yamada has, to some extent been watching her relationship with Kase-san as if she wasn’t herself involved. In part, because it all seems so…fantastic…and in part, because of her own self-esteem issues. In Volume 4, this has changed and we’re allowed to see to what extent, specifically that has happened. 

Yamada’s still pretty humble and enthusiastic, but she’s started to find her own ground. She’s taking credit for her own hard work…and when she feels that she’s being teased too much by Kase-san’s former track sempai, she finally stands up for herself….and forces the sempai to back down.

For her own part, Kase-san is still trying too much to protect Yamada, leaving her vulnerable in other ways. But what has made this relationship work from the very beginning is the honesty with which Yamada and Kase speak to one another. So, when they speak of living together in Tokyo after graduation, we don’t cringe that they will be bringing a mess of communication baggage with them. Instead, we’re pretty convinced this is going to work. 

I’m thrilled to see the series be so successful even after the magazine it ran in ceased publication. Shinshokan has always been open to trying new things, even back when JManga launched. I think the success of Kase-san post-magazine life, is a significant change in the way manga is going to be read and sold. Online distribution for the chapters, with both physical and digital distribution for the collected volumes should satisfy most readers.

And, as we reported on YNN this weekend, we’ll be getting a new animation clip in 2018! The folks at the Official Asagao to Kase-san website are bilingual so do send them a message on Twitter or Youtube to let them know how happy you are for this news! (YNN Correspodent Verso points out, correctly that the announcement states that there will be new “animation,” the word “clip” is not used. They also do not say an “anime,” (or ONA)  so I presume that we will be getting another extended music video with highlights from Book 2, as this one had highlights from Book 1. It’s very likely I am wrong, but I will hold on to my assumption until more details are announced. ^_^)

Ratings:

Art – 8 Takashima-sensei’s art has really grown in confidence
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 5
Physical Extras – 10

Overall – 9

I don’t think I’ve ever rooted so hard for to characters (and a manga series) to succeed as I have for these two.

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