Archive for the Yuri Anime Category


Sailor Moon S Anime, Part 2, Disk 3 (English)

October 13th, 2017

Okay, I’m convinced.  Watching Sailor Moon S, Part 2, Disk 3 on Blu-Ray has convinced me of the superiority of Blu-Rayfor remastered old analog anime. (I’m still completely un-awed by it for regular already higher-definition-than-my-eyes-see-at-anyway hi-def.)

But here, at the final disk of my favorite season of this show, I was unwilling to let a single over-saturated background slip by unnoticed. So Blu-Ray it was. The sound quality was good as far as I can tell. Undoubtedly, audiophiles among you cried out in despair, but all I want is the BGM balanced against the foreground dialogue, (which we did not get with the Pioneer DVDs.) I want, to be specific, “World Shaking” to resound appropriately. ^_^ And so it does. 

Plot-wise, we are in the darkest depths of the arc, basically watching uncomfortably as Hotaru’s body and psyche are the wrestling ground for three entities, only one of which is Hotaru herself. We’re forced to watch her struggle to live as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto try to kill her, Mistress 9 attempts to control her and Sailor Saturn awakens.

Thankfully, it’s the Sailor Senshi and her calm musical theme who wins, and proves the Outers to be completely, wholly, incorrect about all but one thing.

They save the world, of course, It wasn’t really in doubt, even almost a quarter of a century ago, when learning that fact would have been a spoiler. ^_^

The disk came with interviews with Erica Mendez, Lauren Landa and Christine Marie Cabanos, (Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Saturn respectively) which were delightful to listen to. Landa is a long time fan of the series and it shows. She has the same problem I have with “Tuxedo Mirage,” that I tear up for no particular reason when I hear it. ^_^ Another extra is watching them live as they watch an episode in which all of their characters appear together. It was worth a watch and it gave me a good reason to watch an episode dubbed. So let’s talk about the dub for a second.

There is one reason and one reason only I prefer subs to dubs. No, wait, two reasons. There are two reason I prefer subs. One, I really like to listen and try to follow the spoken Japanese. Anime dialogue is not nearly as fast and complicated as real-life dialogue, which makes it good practice for listening to spoken Japanese, something I am not at all good at (I say, then remind myself to put on JapanTV and listen to the damn news in Japanese and get some practice, only to find that Rin-ne is on. With subtitles. orz)

The second reason is completely, utterly, obnoxiously fannish. For decades, listening to American voice actors murder Japanese names just made it intolerable for me to listen to dubs. Well, I listened to this dub and didn’t cringe. So Viz is responsible for not only the definitive edition of Sweet Blue Flowers, but also the definitive – best-of-breed version of Sailor Moon S.  In a short chat with Viz rep Jane Lui at New York Comic-Con I expressed how impressed I have been with their work on these Yuri classics. She noted that creator Naoko Takeuchi-sensei gets final approval of everything on this release of Sailor Moon. I was very relieved and happy to hear that. Takeuchi-sensei deserves to have her say. So I’ll repeat here what I told Jane – thank you to everyone at Viz for doing such an amazing job. The love everyone has for this series shows. So, thank you to everyone who worked on it. 

Ratings:

Art – 8 
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri –  5 Alternate family FTW
Service – 3 The Daimon stay racy right through the end.

Overall – 8

The penultimate episode reminded me just why adult characters are so important in series with mostly teen protagonists – someone needed to have pointed out to Haruka and Michiru that they were wrong about almost everything. It is this that really drives my dislike of the 5th season. Someone needed to say to Haruka and Michiru, “Hey! We’ve done this already! You have to listen to Usagi…remember?” It vexes me through the entire season.

Sailor Moon SuperS is on the way, I’m looking forward to it to see the Amazon Trio once again. ^_^

Thank you very much Viz for the review copy!  It was a blast to hum along with every single musical riff. We have the  Proplica Spiral Heart Moon Rod and play the Spiral Heart Attack music about as often as you’d expect. You know…daily. ^_^

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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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Yuri Anime: Yurikuma Arashi The Complete Series, Disk 2 (English)

August 25th, 2017

While watching Disk 1 of Yurikuma Arashi, the collaborative effort between Ikuhara Kunihiko and Morishima Akiko, I spent most of the time searching for meaning. While watching Disk 2, I gave up on that and just let the story play out while I stared at it.

For once, the confusion wasn’t a surfeit of plot, but an excess of same. Kureha, Ginko and Lulu all had their own fairytales, all of which overlapped at moments that they met, but were otherwise wholly different and unmanageably massive. The Severance Court adds to to confusion by adding restrictions on all of the characters that served no purpose other than creating plot complications so that the several fairy tales can’t possibly all have happy endings…until they do.

The happy endings were the surprising twist at the end, since we’d all have a reasonable expectation of at least one of them ending alone and miserable but, no, this fairy tale was going to end with the two princesses living happily-ever-after, goddamn it. Even if we had to kill a few other people to make it happen.

Unfortunately, the translation on this disk was distractingly bad, with at least one gaffe that my wife protested. “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” was a thing that was said a number of times this disk, which makes me think the team they assigned here got confused and just gave up and no one checked their work.

Equally annoying was the technical side, which I suppose must have been the same for the first disk, but for some reason didn’t affect me as problematic. The controls on the menu were beige, and would light up light pink when clicked. I had to get up and lean over the TV to see the color change. I’m old and my eyes are crap, but the one thing I am very sensitive to is color and this was brutally bad. Please run title screens by someone over 40, Funimation. Thanks.

Ratings:

Art – 8 Weirdly happy, but still weird.
Story – 7 …and they lived happily ever after, somehow.
Characters – 7 Bears all the way down
Yuri – 14 million
Service – 7

Overall – 7

It wasn’t bad, but it was so service-y and creepy in places that I can’t call it “good,” either. It was certainly a thing we watched, wasn’t it?

Thank you Yuricon Superhero Dan P for giving me a chance to relive my adoration of a wonderful evil psychotic lesbian in Yurika.

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Discovering New Yuri 2017 Presentation

August 21st, 2017

At Yurithon 2017 I did a presentation called Must-Read/Must-Watch Yuri.  At Flamecon 2017, the same presentation was presented as Discovering The Best New Yuri Anime and Manga.

I promised to put the entire presentation up here, so folks could draw on the links, rather than taking photos of the screen. Not that I didn’t want them to do that, but this is SO much easier, I hope! For reasons, the videos were making it impossible to upload as a Powerpoint (and not everyone has that, so I’ve taken out the videos and converted the presentation to PDF. The links should work for you. Only the Utena Blu-Ray and Citrus anime have no links, as they currently have no ETA. 

 

 

 

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