Archive for the Yuri Manga Category


Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime December 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年12月号)

November 22nd, 2017

With the publication of Comic Yuri Hime, December 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年12月号), the very first year of having a monthly Yuri manga magazine comes to an end. And what a year it has been. In the same way that I felt trepidation for the debut monthly issue, worried that it might be skewed toawrds interests away from my own, I felt similarly for this issue, which highlights some new artists. (While meanwhile, most of our best-loved artists have joined the team at Galette Works.) Unfortunately for me, the Comic Yuri Hime series they are putting the most money into are the ones I like least, so, how would I feel after reading this issue?

I’m pleased to say that Comic Yuri Hime is ending the year about as strongly as it began. Which is to say that it begins with an energetic young woman entering high school and befriending the morose rumor-laden classic Japanese beauty girl. Yep. Still trope-y as heck. ^_^

The cover couple seem to have made up and are cute and wintery. (I wonder, a bit, about people still motivated to draw the same one tropey couple as always. Really? REALLY?!?)

I’m reading two completely separate “girl falls for her sister-in-law” series at the same time, so I find it hard to remember in which the brother is alive and which not. In tMnR’s “Tatoeto Dokanu Kedatoshitemo” Uta’s crush is not as secret, I think, as she’d like us to believe. This chapter focuses more on Kaoru’s relationship with her husband. I’m more uncomfortable with this series since Reichi is alive but in any case, this story has become so depressing, I’m considering dropping it. No one seems happy ever.

After it’s dark opening chapter, “Shiori wo Sagasu Page-tachi” takes a turn sideways, to Chitose’s childhood friendship with Rikako.

“2DK, GPen, Mezamashitokei” gives us a glimpse of what Nanami’s coworkers think of her, and then we watch her spin in the cycle she’s created for herself.

Tsuitsui’s art is a mess, but despite myself I keep liking the story. In “Astrology ha Mawaru” a cool girl is torturing herself about a lost (opportunity for) love, until a young woman ends up taking up her attention.

And no surprise I adore Taneko’s “Model-chan to Jimi Mane-san” about a beautiful model and her new manager. The whole thing felt so Mist magazine, it made me grin. Even the cover piece was like, “throwback!”

Ratings:

Overall – 8

As always, there were many other stories I didn’t review, or even read, but others I did read, but didn’t mention. There’s a host of moe-type stories for folks interested in that, at least a few stories for those of us who prefer not. A reasonable mix. But forgive me, please, if I cannot *wait* until Yuru Yuri, Citrus and NTR are gone and free the space up for something else.

The January 2018 issue is on sale now. I know I look forward to another year of Comic Yuri Hime!

Send to Kindle




Yuri Manga: Hana & Hina Afterschool, Volume 2 (English)

November 16th, 2017

In Volume 1, Hana and her kouhai (at school and at their illicit afterschool job in a characters goods shop), Hina, have become friendly and. Hana is also starting to feel things she’s never felt before, although she doesn’t yet have a name for them.

In Volume 2 of Hana & Hina Afterschool, Hina, however feels more than just “friendly.” Hina does have a name for those feelings, but it isn’t a good name. She’s concerned about getting too close, too intense.

When they spend a little time alone together, Hina’s fears are realized, and Hana’s interest is piqued. Both have no idea what to do ot say, but it looks like they won’t be able to work together a while anyway….so why is Hana’s heart pounding so hard? And why is Hina avoiding her?

Volume 2 has all the hallmarks of Morinaga Milk-sensei’s typical “tension before recognition/confession”, the space she works so well. Will they break past the barriers and figure out what we can all see? Well..yes, we know they will, so tune into Volume 3 when it hits shelves at the end of the month!

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Service – 4
Yuri – 5 for Maiko

Overall – 7 +1 for the existence of a former girlfriend.

I’m always hopeful that there’ll be some LGBTQ content in Morinaga’s work someday.

Send to Kindle




Yuri Manga: MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 4 (English)

November 15th, 2017

In Volume 4 of MURCIÉLAGO, by Yoshimurkana, terrible, awful violent things are going on a private girls-only school, Virginal Rose. So who better to send in than Koumori Kuroko, self-indulgent lesbian and part-time serial killer?

I love this volume. Yes, it’s full of horrible, terrible things happening to young women, most of whom don’t deserve it, but it also contains consensual adult lesbian sex drawn unappealingly, and one of the best sword vs naginata fights I’ve ever read, between Chiyo and Teresa. No joke – this is a really good fight.

This also is the first glimpse we’ve had behind Chiyo’s facade of pretending to not care about Kuroko, too. So that’s two confirmed lesbian characters.

We also get to see a couple of different ways for Hinako to fly her freak flag. I honestly believe that the video game she designed using only herself as a character is the more disturbing way. (And it’s a joke that will not go away for some time, as well.)

Ratings:

Art – 6 Even when it’s supposed to be “pretty” it’s really ugly
Story – 7 Several kinds of violence and lesbian sex
Characters – 8 More Evil Psycho Lesbians per page than anything else I read
Service – 10 Nothin’ but
Yuri – 9 Not cute, not sweet, not pleasant, but still very Yuri

Overall – 9

As I said about the Japanese volume, “I’m not going to lie, this manga is ugly and gross in many ways, but I really like it. I’m not recommending it. I just like it.”

Volume 5. which will put us into my second-least favorite arc so far (because there’s so many degrees of horrible between one arc where girls are killed horribly than another), comes out in January 2018.

Send to Kindle




Yuri Manga: Bloom into You, Volume 2 (English)

November 5th, 2017

In Volume 1 of Nakatani Nio’s Yuri drama, we were introduced to Touko, the competent and driven Student Council President and the girl she falls for, Yuu, who responds not with love, but with loyalty.

In Volume 2 of  Bloom Into You, Yuu is “digging into her lack of response to Touko in an interesting way,” as I said in my review of Volume 2 in Japanese. She’s starting to understand what drives Touko (beyond just the example of a deceased older sister) and what Touko (thinks she) wants. But even as Yuu promises to be that for Touko, she actually wants something vastly different for herself.

Touko is playing unfair. Sshe’s insisting she wants Yuu to never change, but she will shortly begin to demand that Yuu change. 

And all of this is about to get wrapped up in the tension of an original play for the school festival, which will surface way more of what drives Touko than even she realizes, maybe.

In the meantime, I find myself obsessively watching Sayaka. Where Touko is hiding almost nothing of her feelings for Yuu, Sayaka is hiding everything about her feelings for Touko and she naturally resents Yuu for usurping her place by Touko’s side. There’s nothing dishonest about Sayaka’s position, although it might feel that way, but every gay girl knows that there is high risk in coming out just for that straight friend, However, it’s arguably dishonest to be taking her frustration out on Yuu.

I still – and always will – believe that Yuu really needs to learn about asexuality, even if she believes she wants to fall in love. At least having a word and a concept might giver her protection from the pressure she’s putting on herself. Again, to quote myself, “I’m still not sure if Yuu is supposed to be confused because she just hasn’t had an “a-ha!” moment or because she’s genuinely asexual. I don’t think the mangaka knows, either and I’m positive Yuu herself has no idea.”

The story here is tightly wound and Nakatani-sensei’s art is up to the challenge, but I’m often made uncomfortable while reading it. Not because it’s not good…but because I desperately want these kids to have some adult to talk to, even if it’s an Internet group or something. There’s just no reason to be so isolated now.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 6
Service – 1

Overall – 8 With scrunchy-face making moments, especially around Touko’s lack of gaining consent.

I think Bloom Into You is intriguing, rather than entertaining. What’s your take on it?

Volume 3 is available and has what I consider to be the best bits so far of the series.

Send to Kindle




Yen Press Announces Éclair: Ananta ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology License

October 30th, 2017

Some absolutely fabulous news from the folks at Yen Press today – they’ve licensed Éclair: Ananta ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology

Beating hearts and fluttering feelings. An anthology of girls’ love stories to leave you breathless. With contributors like Canno (Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl), Sakuya Amano (GoSick), and Nio Nakatani (Bloom Into You), this collection is sure to satisfy the desire for a sweet love story (or sixteen!).

This anthology is the first of several (read my review on this first volume) and is slated for a Spring 2018 release! 

You can read the press release on the Yen Press blog.

Thanks Yen Press for licensing more Yuri! Looking forward to seeing this in English.

 

 

Send to Kindle