Archive for the Yuri Anthology Category


Yuri Manga Anthology: Yu-Ribon (ユリボン)

February 24th, 2015

yu-ribonBirz magazine has been rarely mentioned over the years here on Okazu. Not because I don’t like it, it just hasn’t been relevant to our topics. But with the inclusion of the Yuri Kuma Arashi manga, and this new Yuri Anthology, Yu-Ribon, it’s time to have that conversation.

Even in families full of oddballs, there are good crazies and bad crazies. ^_^ Comic Birz is one of the, if not always bad crazy, then always just plain crazy. Birz reminds me of a specific person I used to know  – every conversation with her was conducted in a bizarro world of her own making. Even when the conversations were not awful, they were just strange.

So, the idea of a Yuri anthology from this comic was a challenging concept. Would it be knives in the head, tentacles or schoolgirls?

Tl;dr – It was schoolgirls.

Except for the story with the knives in the head.

A number of the creators names will be familiar to us here, Kanojo no Camera to Kanojo no Kisetsu creator Tsukiko, Manga no Tsukurikata‘s Hirao Auri, Takahashi Mako.  Others will be less well-known, perhaps, but no less capable.

The stories are lodged firmly in the “eternal school” of Yuri relationships and a number of them are notably more about friends than lovers.

And so the volume goes. I was three stories from the end and thought, “wow, not one weird story yet!” I was wrong, as usual. ^_^”Heru” by Tsubana is not really Yuri in any sense, but there sure were a lot of knives involved. No violence, no blood, Just knives. It was classic Birz.  Upon my wife’s request, here is an example.

Birz

My favorite story of the collection came immediately afterward. “Eye Contact Visitor Game” about a famous softball player and her friend that went so far as to include the word “like” and everything! (“How progressive,” says the wife.”)

If I had to choose, I’d pick this kind of bland not-lesbians, not-love “Yuri” over breast squeezing and bodily fluids, but, just.

Ratings:

Although the ratings are variable, the art is pretty good throughout.

Overall – 7

Not bad, not great. And knives in the head, so your mileage might vary on that.

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Yuri Manga: Mebae, Volume 3 (メバエ)

January 30th, 2015

mebae3I’ve been reading tons of manga, but been so have busy with the Yuricon Shop that I haven’t reviewed much and I’ve been mostly watching Star Trek: Voyager re-runs on Amazon Prime (I know, I know, but it’s not as bad as I remember) so I find myself at the end of the day tired, with nothing to say.

And since I have nothing nice to say, I thought I’d write a  quick review of the Yuri manga anthology Mebae, Volume 3. (メバエ) ^_^

So, you know when you’re watching a martial arts movie and the obligatory love scene comes on and you just sort of cringe because….ewww? That’s pretty much how Mebae, Volume 3 strikes me.

Here we are, going along and there’s a character who seems okay and the lover and they’d be kind of cute together and then the art goes all TITS and CROTCH and what the HELL is THAT even?!? and you’ve lost the moment.

The one story I genuinely liked involved a house shooting out into Earth orbit and no sex at all. Why it’s in the volume, I have no idea, there’s nothing to indicate the characters are anything but friends, but I was glad it was. Got my mind off the really confused anatomy lessons of the rest of the book. ^_^;

Ratings:

Art – No. Just, no.
Story – If you took out the nasty sex, a few of them aren’t awful, but most of them still are.
Characters – 0 Variable, from nil to nada.
Yuri – 6 There’s darn little affection for all the nude antics.
Service – 101232530

Overall – 3 A solid meh.

I had some small dregs of hope that bits of it might be worth reading, but it really isn’t. Oh well.

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Yuri Manga: Mebae, Volume 2 (メバエ)

November 26th, 2014

mebae 2Well, when I read Mebae, Volume 1, I had some hope. Then I read Mebae, Volume 2 (メバエ).

Wow, did this volume stink…

…must have been all those bodily fluids. ^_^;

Ratings:

Overall – 1

I feel transported back to the bad old days of Yuri when “bodily fluids” was the plot. Whee.

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Yuri Manga: Lepakkoluola Anthology (Finnish and English)

November 14th, 2014

lepakkoluola_350Lepakkoluola is a Finnish Yuri anthology created by a circle called Team Pärvelö.

I was originally made aware of the collection last June when I was contacted by a Team member, Hanna-pirita, to let me know about the Kickstarter for the anthology. Crowdfunding was successful and it was my very sincere pleasure to receive a copy! Really, all I can say about the anthology is – wow.

The story content and variety were exceptionally strong. A female Prussian officer and a woman of the nobility, young black singers in early 20th century Harlem, witches during the Inquisition, Eve and Lilith, a samurai’s wife and a Buddhist nun…the variety of time and place was mind-boggling.

While the text in the body of the comics is in Finnish, pages are subtitled in English. It made reading the book an adventure, as I’d read the English, then spend time just looking at the page and enjoying the art and the flow of the story.

Artists did not attempt to imitate any style, what we have here are young artists letting themselves draw what they wanted, the way they wanted. And I have to say – a lot of the art was really, incredibly good. Each story is so utterly unique that they all stood out in their own way.

My personal favorites were an Annie Oakley x Calamity Jane fanfic I had no idea I needed, but apparently, I did; A story about Sappho and her super #1 Fan harpy and a lovely, lovely little story about a “crazy” woman and the troll who loves her.

Every single story was good. I ended each and every one with an “Aw,” or a “Cute!” or “Squee.”

You can order a copy (priced in Euros) from the circle directly on their website.

And, if you should one day run across this unique and lovely anthology, do scoop it right up. It’s a delight.

Ratings:

Ratings are all variable of course, but…

Overall – 9

This was an excellent read and will be an excellent re-read . Thank you Hanna-pirita and the other members of Team Pärvelö! Lepakkoluola is a delight.

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Yuri Manga: Mebae, Volume 1 (メバエ)

November 5th, 2014

mebae1Nature abhors a vacuum, we’re told and apparently that goes for Yuri anthologies, as well. With the retirement of Tsubomi and Pure Yuri Anthology Hirari (although several of those titles have migrated to web format),  a new anthology has jumped into the space.

Mebae (メバエ) is decidedly male gaze, but it had only a few stories I found completely unpalatable. And it’s a good reminder that the Yuri audience is varied in both demographics and intent. For every Yuri fan that is looking for a Takemiya Jin story, there’s another looking for  something by Kurogane Kenn.

With such a service-y cover, it was not really a surprise to find the opening story was in fact by Kurogane Kenn. (And along with Kurogane-sensei’s work, there were a few other Tsubomi contributors in the pages.) It was a little surprising to find the opener bereft of emotion or connection. He usually works a little harder than this. Two girls have sex in a restaurant booth, with little setup, in a classic PWP.

The next story is a complete contrast, “Paanto,” which is a melancholy look at admiration and competition in ballet.

I very much liked  “kitsuku! DAITE Honey”, which was a cute little twist on a superheroine and the girl she protects and loves, who turns out to not be who she seemed. In fact, Mei turns out to be Kurara’s arch enemy. Despite her spectacular defeat, Mei finds Kurara waiting for her after school anyway.^_^

Akamurasaki’s “Nibi-iro Nokosu,” was a pleasant look at a woman’s reluctant affection for her unfashionable friend.

The final story in the collection “Aoi Honoo Kaoru Tsuchi,” by Naruko Hanharu, appeared, I believe, actually in Tsubomi magazine, and is re-cast here as a nice ending piece in which time heals several wounds.

While I didn’t find the more explicit stories particularly appealing, I certainly didn’t hate this collection. In fact, Mebae Volume 2 is in one of the piles, waiting to be read. I’m kind of interested how many of the Tsubomi contributors just picked up and another anthology jumped in to fill the gap.

Ratings:

Overall – 6

For those of you interested, Volume 3 hits the streets at the end of this month.

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