Archive for the Yuri Doujinshi Category


Yuri Doujinshi: Kitao Taki and Yorita Miyuki Short Story Collections

January 3rd, 2018

A million years ago, back in November, I was wandering around Comitia throwing money at Yuri doujinshi artists. In the hurlyburly of buying many things, I managed to pick up two collections that I wanted to tell you about.

The first, 2013-2015短編集 (BQ) 北尾タキ is a collection by Kitao Taki-sensei, an artist whose work I have been following for many, many years. 

This collection contains doujinshi by her from the last few years. There’s one short series, the rest of the stories are one-offs. A few of these are about schoolgirls, but many of them follow older, working, women.

The stories tend to feature a confident, (sometimes seductive) character and one overwhelmed by the overt display of lust shown by that character. “Overwhelmed” is something Kitao-sensei is both good at and clearly enjoys. She draws “flailing” with panache.

It’s amazing how many different ways “staying over my place after a night out” can be developed into a fun story, and [BQ] Short Story Collection explores them all. ^_^

This collection is available to folks with Japanese Kindle accounts or at doujinshi shows at which circle [BQ] is participating. You can also grab her 2016-2017 collection on JP Kindle or check out her Pixiv account.

Another doujinshi collection I nabbed at Comitia was by Yorita Miyuki-sensei. And I wanted to make sure I told you about it because you can get it on American Kindle (in Japanese)  under the name kanojonokuchizuke kansensururibido sosyuhen1! The individual chapters are also available on Kindle, as well and on Amazon JP in print as 彼女のくちづけ感染するリビドー総集編1.

This collection is a short series that follows two young women who meet in a hospital. One is cool and aloof, the other, interested but dishonest about her feelings. As they get closer, their health issues get in the way, but love conquers all and they end up with a lovely, dreamy happily-ever-after, removed from reality. 

The art for this series is professional-looking shoujo style art. Nothing happens here that will wow you, but for a solid story and a happy ending, this collection is very satisfying. 

Ratings: 

Kitao Taki [BQ] Short Story Collection – 8

Yorita Miyuki Kanoujo no Kuchizuke Kansensuru Libido – 8

It’s true that you can (and should) get work by talented Yuri artists online, but I still get tremendous pleasure from being able to walk up to an table and hand money over directly to these hard-working, unsung artists..and I hope I’ll be seeing them in future pages of Galette or other Yuri anthologies.

 

Send to Kindle




Yuri Manga: Houseki no Youna Mono (宝石のようなもの)

June 9th, 2016

HnYMMMSince we’re doing stories that are kind of cringeworthy except when they are not, this seems like a really good time to review the latest collection by Momono Moto, Houseki no Youna Mono (宝石のようなもの). This is a collection of Momono-sensei’s doujinshi in a self-published, but very highly produced volume.

The collection is mostly one-shots, but it includes two doujinshi based on her own works, Kimi Koi Limit and Rainy Song, both of which have been reviewed here on Okazu. In “Kimi Koi Limit Plus” we see that Satomi and Sono are still together and that things basically look okay for them.

It becomes obvious by the end of this book that Momono-sensei likes her attraction salty-tears flavored and her favorite form of complexity for a character is melancholy. None of these stories were bad in any way, and most of the couples end up together, if that kind of thing works for you.

The art was variable since, as I mentioned these are one-shots drawn over time, but overall, you can’t really fault her for technique. Her art is slick and you can really tell the later work vs the former, as the art is visibly more layered and tighter.

I mentioned that this is a self-published volume, but I want to highlight the high-quality of the production. This is a professionally put together book, not at all out of place on shelves with Ichijinsha or Futabasha books.

This collection fills a need that I would personally like to see more of – professional artists collecting their original doujinshi. Like Amano Shuninta’s Philosophia, this gives us a chance to see the artists, free of editorial interference…and a glimpse into their hearts directly.

Ratings:

Art – 6-8
Story – Averaging at 7
Characters – 6 I can’t ever quite *like* most of her characters
Service – 5 There are some sex scenes and nudity
Yuri – 9

Overall – 7

Honestly, I intended to be a little unkind about this book when I started the review, but talked myself into liking it about halfway. ^_^

If you like Momono-sensei’s work, I recommend taking a look at Watashi no Muchina Watashi no Michi, Volume 1 and Volume 2 (which was reviewed here, although Volume 1 never was.)

Send to Kindle




LGBTQ Comics – The Legend Continues in Bold Riley: Unspun

February 28th, 2014

BRUI’m sitting here in a Kickstarter-induced dopamine rush. Leia Weathington has just posted the crowd-sourced fundraiser for the sequel to her lesbian action fantasy series The Legend of Bold Riley, today. The sequel will be called Bold Riley: Unspun.

Like the original series, Bold Riley: Unspun will be released as several stand-alone pamphlet comics and as a collected volume slated for a winter 2014 release.

There were many things I loved about the first book; the different art styles, the Conan-esque writing, the stunning cover art. I’m still hoping that NorthWest Press will get a Riley t-shirt together.

The kickstarter this time is purely to pay creative costs.  You know how strongly  I feel about artists being paid for their work. So for the first time in my life, I went all-in and pledged the highest level. I know and enjoy the art by a few of the artists and I adore the stories and my birthday is only 7 months away. ^_^

If you like action-fantasy with a lesbian princess who can fight a god, bed a wench and stand up to an evil-eyebrowed wizard with the best of ’em, support Bold Riley: Unspun.

***

While I’ve got your attention, NYC-area friends, I have two NYC events of interest.

Tonight at Jim Hanley’s Universe, some of the contributors to Northwest Press’s QU33R will be doing  a book signing!

Rica Takashima will be joining Jennifer Camper and a host of other feminist and lesbian comic artists at the Feminist ‘Zine Fest tomorrow at Barnard College.

***

Save all that snow-shoveling money, kids…it’s going to be a great year for LGBTQ comics!

Send to Kindle




Yuri Doujinshi: Touhou Project (東方Project) Guest Post by Mara

October 16th, 2013

TPimagIt is once again Guest Review Wednesday here on Okazu and this time, we have yet another special treat! Guest Reviewer Mara wrote me to suggest that he provide an overview of a series that has had way more longevity and breadth than I could have ever imagined – Touhou. I’ll editorialize after the post, so take it away, Mara! /applause/

Touhou Project (東方Project) is a shooting game that stands out by being more about dodging bullets than shooting them. Set in a fictional part of Japan called Gensokyo; the Touhou games mostly follow Reimu, a shrine maiden, who is dragged into solving supernatural incidents. Produced by Team Shangai Alice, run for the most part by a single person who trades under the moniker Zun, Touhou has enjoyed unusually high successes.

With success comes a large fandom and in my small opinion Touhou fandom is the most productive fandom in the world. I say this with absolute certainty that I am wrong. There are so many fan communities that are larger, older and have far more cultural clout than Touhou.

Still I believe it would task you to find another fandom responsible for not only fan produced comics and fiction but video games, music remixes, fake manzai competitions, anime and more. The level of fan involvement in Touhou is staggering for such a niche series.

This leads me to two important points. Firstly, that one does not need to be a big fan of shooting games to enjoy the Touhou fandom, you can enjoy all the jokes and story of Touhou though fan-produced work. Secondly, Touhou while not taking place in a fantasy all-female world, does take place in a fantasy world where, if you want to be an important character in the games you had better be a snarky cool woman.

So when you combine the two reagents of a highly creative and productive fan base and a huge cast of varied women Yuri is not far behind. Thus it is not surprising that there is a sizable segment of the Touhou fan base who ‘ship two (or more) characters together and go so far as to produce doujinshi. Doujinshi that is readable and enjoyable even to those who have never played a Touhou game.

That is where this article comes in. To a person with no starting point, Touhou can seem an inscrutable mess, full of in-jokes and an indecipherable collective understanding of the characters within it. So to help those who may want to get into Touhou without playing the games I have created the following list of doujinshi circles that someone new to Touhou might like to try.

This list contains circles that produce comics and also fulfill two other criteria:

1: Have produced at least two Yuri (according to the Okazu definition) Touhou doujinshi at the time or writing that I have physical evidence of.
2: Have a working web presence I can provide a hyperlink to so that you can search out and buy their work legally.

The name of the circle should be hyperlinked to the circles homepage, or what passes for one. Followed by what parings the circle prioritizes, if any. Also those names are also hyperlinked to a wiki page about that character so that those of you just starting can get a feel for them.

Because we are dealing with doujinshi here do not click any of the links to a circle’s web page if you are younger than the age your country requires to view adult content. There was no way for me to check each circles output to a level that would be without doubt, also that would exclude some good comics so please be responsible and age yourself the appropriate amount before visiting those links.

Atmosphere
Keine X Mokou
First off we have a comedic circle. Atmosphere pairs the Keine and Mokou characters in a kind of domestic teasing relationship. Where one tries to be romantic and everything just spirals out of control with over-reactions abound. Very good circle as far as art and writing goes but they need to experiment with their panels more as there are shapes other than rectangles.

Canary and Swallow
Everyone X Mystia
Marisa X Yukari
Mostly cute stories paring someone up with Mystia. They even produced a two part story that pairs Mystia and Alice. Sadly in my collection except for one book that pairs Marisa and Yukari none of these stories have much substance despite being technically apt as comics.

Chihagura
Kaguya X Mokou
Now this is more like it. If there is one problem with fan created content is the desire to keep the same tone throughout the whole work. Chihagura bucks this trend were a single book can have a few jokes but also a very romantic or sad element that runs through them too. They also never permanently stable the label of ‘Uke’ or ‘Seme’ on any of the characters they use that makes for far more possibilities and ensures each book is different.

Honey Sakura
Reimu X Cirno
This circle’s main achievement is a long running series named Cirno and Reimu’s 1-2-3. One of those love stories where everyone is blushing and working out their feelings rather than acting on them or living with them. Still very well executed and genuinely pleasant work. Not my cup of tea but I would be at a miss to not include it.

Ichinose
Marisa  X Alice + lots more
Artwork so cute it might give you toothache but a genuine sincerity and a good long running series that pairs Marisa and Alice together very well. Gets a bit to angst filled for its own good and should have more payoff after the climax considering how sugar sweet the art is.

Personal Color
(Should be Colour)
Various
One of my favourites on this list and highly recommended. Personal … Color (ugh) has the three technical aspects of comic creation down. Their work has no real deficit in writing, artwork or composition. They also manage good adaptations of the more serious back stories without losing themselves in angst completely. They only downside is that overt romantic tones must take a back seat in a few of their longer stories and must thus rely on references that would only be noticeable to fans of that paring to begin with. But some of their shorter releases are more direct romance stories.

Pigeon Blood
Meiling X Sakuya
A circle almost entirely dedicated to this paring and very good at it. Not their only output but I have only bought their books that ship Meiling and Sakuya. Because of this we do get a fantastic sequence of standalone stories that show these two characters in many different situations and most crucially many different points of their relationship.

Pure
Everyone in the Scarlet Devil Mansion
Two of the artists in this circle also work in Frontier Aja who made the Koumajou Densetsu games. Touhou fan games with Castlevania’s mechanics. Their output is thus rather small but worth mentioning because what comics they have released are one: very funny, two: contain truly beautiful artwork and three: knowing about the early work of Minakata Sunao will allow you to look really ahead of the curve once Riddle Story of Devil comes out soon.

Shako
Yuuka X Alice
Now if there is one circle that provides the stories I wish for more of it is Shako. While they actually produce a lot my collection of their work is dominated by the books that pair the characters Yuuka and Alice. These three books do not merely pair these characters but show them start then build and continue an actual relationship. It also uses the characters and their back stories in a way that someone unfamiliar with Touhou cannon can understand. Easily my most highly recommended circle on this list.

Vivit Gray
Mokou X Keine

Again a favourite circle of mine that focuses on a favourite paring of mine. Both the art and the stories manage that difficult balance of being cute without going too far and becoming ‘cutesy’. Even better for you beginners they have released an omnibus addition of most of their Mouku X Keine stories. It includes their multi part ‘how they got together’ story and a few other short comics.

That is the end of my list. If you know of a circle that you feel should be mentioned I am sure everyone would like to hear about it in the comments. I hope this list can provide you with some entertaining manga at the very least.

***

Erica here: Terrific overview, Mara, thank you very much. In my opening statement I said that this series has more longevity than I would have imagined. Well, that’s not some kind of crazy accident. While the doujinshi fanbase grew, the anime/manga store chain Tora no Ana took notice and invested in the series. For a while Touhou dominated an entire floor of their Akihabara store, in fact.

Touhou is now an established sight in doujinshi sections and goods stores and I don’t see it going anywhere for a while. ^_^

 

Send to Kindle




Yuri doujinshi: Kisu ha Owari de Hajimari de (キスはおわりではじまりで)

December 23rd, 2012

Do you remember Comic Lily? Neither did I. As a prompt, here are my reviews of Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 of this short-lived Yuri anthology.

But at one of the events I attended last month in Japan, I picked up a self-published collection called Kisu ha Owaride Hajimari de (キスはおわりではじまりで) which included stories that had originally been published by Matsushita Mai and Rakutoki Tarahi in that anthology.

On the bad side, most of these stories fall right into that dysfunctional “She annoys me, unless she’s not here” plot that we just discussed. On the good side, each story includes an epilogue that shows a somewhat more composed and functional relationship.

The first story, “Akogare Macaron” is the strongest of the bunch, Although Matsuri wants to be friends, Sayo works hard at rebuffing her…until Matsuri announces that she’ll be moving to France. Sayo finally finds it in herself to admit her feelings to herself and to Matsuri. This is followed up by an epilogue in which Sayo visits Matsuri in France and they vow to be together forever, someday.

The stories here are sweet and typical, much like the macaroon of the above story’s title…they all taste nice but they also taste pretty much the same.

The art is very decent, I think Hirari or Comic Yuri Hime would be well-served to look at this circle’s work.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8 for the first one, but they are the same story over and over and the impact lessens as one reads
Characters – 7
Yuri – 8
Service – 3

Overall – 7

On their site, the circle offers a few lovely Yuri wallpapers for download. Check ’em out!

Send to Kindle