Archive for the Yuri Hime Category


Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime January 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年1月号)

December 20th, 2016

As of this issue, Comic Yuri Hime is now the very first monthly Yuri magazine! Congrats to the CYH team at Ichijinsha!

I was really interested to see how this issue was going to land. My philosophy about manga magazines is that the stories don’t all have to appeal to me, but there has to be at least a few stories I like for me to continue reading. And, as there had been a strong tendency towards sexual fetishization of Yuri in 2016 issues, I was understandably a little ambivalent.

Overall, I felt that Comic Yuri Hime, January 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年1月号) was pretty good. ^_^

The cover story they went with got my hopes up. Yes, the story is called  “Hatsukoi” and it’s clearly a first love tale, but the art, while typical school girl stuff is much less blobby-faced than it has been.  That’s always a good sign in my book.

Right off the bat, the first two stories weren’t the same old, same old. In Aoto Hibiki’s “Ashita, Kimi ni Aetara” (subtitled in English, Tomorrow, I will tell you, “I love you.”), what starts as an fairly stilted “Story A” becomes a tale of a time warp, when the lead falls asleep and wakes up 15 years in the future, with a family. Let’s be honest, we all know that’ll it all have been a dream, but at least it’s different.

This is followed by what may turn out to be a new favorite story, “Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto desu!” (subtitled in German, Schewestern in Liebe. And how funny would that be if the foreign language subtitles were a running gag, but, sadly, it’s not.) Shiraki Hime is an exceedingly cute girl and, through circumstances ends up at a Yuri cafe, in which every employee has taken on a typical Yuri stereotype. There’s the ojousama type, the bookish girl, the predatory lesbian and she, naturally is the cute little-sister type. The reality is far less rarified and beautiful. This story had me grinning from ear to ear.  I love when manga stories wallow in Yuri tropes without being defined by them.

Also new is a story by Tomonori about a young woman who lives with (and is falling in love with) her sister-in-law. I know, I know, but… Uta-chan came to live with her older brother and his wife when her parents died and while her brother is gone, she and Kaoru are living together. I’ve got hopes for this story, we’ll see.

“Now Loading” seems to be a workplace story about a woman who gets a job at a much admired game design company and finds her work just not meeting her manager’s standards. This one is setting up to be a pretty straightforward office romance with the tough boss, but count me in on that. ^_^

“Roku+Ichikurashi” by Umehara Ume is a cute little tale of women’s dorm life reminiscent of Hidamari Sketch and I don’t think that’s accidental, given the artist’s name.

Comic Yuri Hime is looking for some new staff. Check out the ad in the magazine, if you’re interested. 

“Itsuka Minoreba” by Nishi Asuka has exceptionally moe art but the story appears to be about a hardcore gamer girl finding a protege/rival.

“2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei” finally takes a Yuri turn, as Nanami is forced by Aoi to finally own up to her feelings about Kaede. Now, here’s my hope…that it isn’t just “they get together, the end.” This couple is going to need some time to actually develop and if we can spend a whole volume on a side character, the main couple deserves a few volumes to themselves.

I kind of really have no idea what the story is in “Nanahara Shino ha Futsu ja nai” but the title is accurate. Shino wears a sword and is way too easy about drawing it, ostensibly to protect Tsuruko-sempai.

The Yuri Goddess appears in Minamoto Hisanari’s “Kanaete! Yuri Yosei” She basically appears to fuck with the Shiroyuri Yosei.

Ohi Pikachi’s “Demi Life!” follows the adventures of a human girl in a school for half-gods, half-human magical creatures and other “demis.”

And the volume wraps up with “Sleeping Princess” by Katakura Ako, which is much less cute that it sounds. I’m really starting to like Katakura-sensei’s anti-hero leads.

Of course, there are other series, “Yuri Yuri” inexplicably continues, as does “Citrus” and several unspeakably awful stories which remain unnnamed. But for a premiere issue of the new, monthly Comic Yuri Hime, I was fairly pleased with it!

Ratings:

Overall – 8

I can’t tell you how pleased I was at the general lineup. Not just one Story-A after another. The February issue is already out in Japan. 

Don’t forget, you can get Monthly Comic Yuri Hime digitally (in Japanese) on Bookwalker.JP!

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime, November 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年11月号 )

November 20th, 2016

cyh1116-e1477085249711For the fourth time since 2005, we gather here to discuss the end of Comic Yuri Hime as we currently know it. ^_^

The first time was back in 2007, when we saw Yuri Hime and Yuri Hime S establish separate editions “for men” and “for women.” And again in 2011 when they once again joined to become Comic Yuri Hime, no longer a quarterly, but now as a bimonthy. In 2012, the magazine took a sharply moe turn, away from the more adult-oriented content.

Now, here we are in 2016, with the final edition of this iteration ofthe magazine, Comic Yuri Hime, November 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年11月号 ).

Nothing much has changed for us in the past 6 issues. There is a just slightly-unequal mix of stories that appeal to me and those that don’t. The stories I care most about are those I have been following for some time and will suprrise no one. Works by Takemiya Jin, Ohsawa Yayaoi, Kuzushiro, Minamoto Hisanari and Katakura Ako make the magazine worth buying for me, and there’s usually a few stories I have no opinion of either way that I’ll read, plus a handful of nope. ^_^

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I do want to just touch base for a moment of Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, G Pen, Alarm Clock / 2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。” It’s one of two series that features adults in the magazine right now and, as a result, I cling to it a bit. If there is a single criticism I have of it, per se, it is that it’s not really all that Yuri. I mean, sort of-kind of, if you squint, but not really. We’ve seen Nanami’s interactions with a coworker warm up, but nothing  more than something we can imagine.

In this issue, something shifts, when Kaede’s old roommate arrives…and tuns out to be an old friend of Naami’s, as well. How friendly we don’t know, but she is very flirtatious with Nanami. Does our resident career-woman have a history? We’re about to find out. I approve. This series is *finally* being allowed to develop. I hope they give it a few more volumes.

So, overall, as usual, some good, some bad and some okay. Which is fine for a magazine.

Onwards to the ground-breaking monthly version starting January 2017! Congratulations to the creators and staff of Comic Yuri Hime for becoming the first monthly Yuri manga magazine ever.

Ratings: 

Overall – 7

We have exciting news from YNN Correspondent Emily – You can now get Comic Yuri Hime (monthly) digitally on Global Bookwalker! It’s still in Japanese, but now you can get all the content for a very low 700 yen/per issue (about $6.31 right now). That’s less than the print edition, without shipping and actually supports the artists and writers! What an exciting opportunity. You can even subscribe to the magazine, without the messiness of picking up your copy, or having to decide to subscribe for a year or not at all. You can cancel this subscription with a click.

Global Bookwalker is a great resource for Yuri manga, both current and out of print. If you’ve got a tablet, it’s a terrific way to catch up on tons of Yuri and, unlike all other online services, they have a Yuri category you can browse. It’s a perfect, low-cost way to practice your Japanese. ^_^

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – November 19, 2016

November 19th, 2016

ynn_lissa“Yuri” Anime

Top story this week is Ichijinsha’s announcement of not one, but two, new anime.  Saburouta’s Citrus and Kodama Naoko’s NTR: Netsuzo Trap are both getting an anime in 2017. 

The problem for me is that neither of them are Yuri. Sure, they both have lesbian content, but calling these two series Yuri would be like labeling Basic Instinct a “bisexual” story. It’s not. It’s a movie that uses bisexuality as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver. 

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Citrus has a significant problem. Mei’s behavior makes sense only in two contexts. One, she suffered sexual abuse as a child.  Everything she does makes perfect sense if viewed in this context. And in this context, we can see that this is not a Yuri story, Yuzu is her victim as she replays the cycle. The story does not bear this out, claiming Mei was merely “neglected.” (But. In Strawberry Panic! Yaya was likewise a sexual predator and likewise the reason we are given was that she was “neglected.” I am beginning to think that “neglected” is the crappy-manga shorthand for “sexually abused.”)

In the second context, and the one I think makes the most sense, Mei has Borderline Personality Disorder. Manipulation and instability are the drivers for the entire scenario. (I’ve known people with BPD. Mei is spot on.) In either case, the Yuri is attached to mental instability, as it was back in the 1980s. 

In an interview on Comic Natalie, Saburouta discusses how Citrus does not use a seme/uke (or tachi/neko) dynamic. I posit that that is because it is not a Yuri narrative at all, but a story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.

NTR is far more troubling as a story. It is quite literally one chapter after another of two horribly-undeveloped-as-characters girls having sex while their unwitting and even-less-developed-as-characters boyfriends are nearby. UGH, a million times over. This story makes my skin crawl.  None of the relationships are healthy. I understand that cuckolding is all the rage as a fetish, but I’m thoroughly repulsed by it in every possible way and this is yet another story of sexual manipulation that happens to involve two female characters.

I am not telling you to not enjoy these stories or to avoid these anime. I am telling you my opinions on them. These are not Yuri. They use lesbianism as a sexual fetish for people who enjoy or don’t mind mental disease as a plot driver. 

If you enjoy either or both these stories then I am very happy for you. I am not at all happy for those of us who hoped we’d see positive representation of lesbian romance and relationships in our Yuri.

 

Yuri Manga

While we’re talking negative portrayals of Yuri, creator of Anoko no Kiss to Shirayuri wo has done an illustration and blurb for a  collection of stories by an artist named Nega, Nega and Canno belong to the same circle, through which most (if not all) of the stories in the collection were originally published. Comic Natalie has the news. Thanks to J for the correction.

The first issue of the monthly Comic Yuri Hime (!!) is now on sale and the cover, while rooted firmly in schoolgirl stereotypes is refreshingly not grotesquely infantilized.

 

Live Action

A lesbian kiss has been inserted in the Ghost in the Shell live action movie which will certainly make some folks happy. 

 

Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? Become a Yuri Network Correspondent by sending me any Yuri-related news you find. Emails go to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com. Not to the comments here, please, or they might be forgotten or missed. There’s a reason for this madness. This way I know you are a real human, not Anonymous (which I do not encourage – stand by your words with your name!) and I can send you a YNN correspondent’s badge.

Thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network!

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime September 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号)

August 31st, 2016

CYH916Comic Yuri Hime September 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号) continues shifting back to fully “sweet, pure love” of the school-life and fantasy variety away from the more realistic, adulter place it inhabited when Kazuaki was doing the cover art. I’ll continue to mope about this until it shifts back, or the artists I like get fed up and start a new magazine for themselves. (Don’t think I haven’t thought about doing this, but publishing has even thinner margins than ever before. If the magazine was online, there’d be so little opportunity to make enough money to pay people, it’s depressing even considering it. Don’t get me started.)

You know by now the stories I follow. Whatever Takemiya Jin, Ohsawa Yayoi, Minamoto Hisanari write, I enjoy. That and “Last Waltz” is about all I read this issue, as the percentage of animal ears is growing, the characters style slips back into blobs, the creepy crotch gazing increases and originality runs down the drain.

Ratings:

Overall – 5

I’ll get over it. I always do.

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Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime July 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号)

July 25th, 2016

Comic Yuri Hime for July 2016 (コミック百合姫2016年7月号) wasn’t as wretched as the May issue, but the divide between stories I like and the super creepy fanservice that is pretty much indefensibly vile is widening.

Looking at girl’s crotches, even fictitious, drawn, completely not-at -all real ones, when the “plot” literally has to contort itself around that, just to make it constantly possible, is still utterly repulsive to me in every possible way. And, too, I’m finding it harder and harder to tolerate Amano Shuninta’s “Ayame 14,” which might be sincerely meant, but feels just exactly like another way to pander.

“Prince Princess” wraps up with a (if you think about it too hard) bizarre affirmation that girls don’t have to be masculine if they don’t want to. Being girly is A-OK. Since that’s not usually a problem – and, in fact, the opposite is usually the problem –  it kind of fails as an analogy for inclusivity. But it’s a happy ending, so…yay?

Thankfully for me, Takemiya Jin, Ohsawa Yayoi and Kuzushiro all have continuing series. Phew. I long for the covers drawn by Kazuaki, as the entire magazine steadily falls back into the most banal and egregious moe tropes. Okay, pendulum, it’s time to swing back now!

Ratings:

Overall – 6

Thank *heavens* for Ohsawa Yayoi. She’s the only one drawing adults right now and I cling to “2DK, G Pen, Alarm Clock” like a life preserver.

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