LGBTQ: Legend of Korra Turf Wars, Part One Preview on Amazon (English)

July 17th, 2017

Via Senior YNN Correspondent Eric P. we have some really exciting news today.  Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part One is due to hit shelves at the beginning of August and Amazon has a preview of the first chapter.

You know how I am with managing expectations, but for once, I have very high hopes that this book will break ground. And, from the glimpses I’ve had from the preview and the of-course leaked pages on the Internets, it look like our hopes will be realized. Korra and Asami will be balancing relationship and teamwork in this series. As the description reads, “In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other–but first, they’ve got to get better at being a team and a couple!

There, they said it.

I don’t know if this is the first mainstream large publisher, commercial property to ever say that so plainly or not, but it sure is one of the biggest YA franchises to do so. And certainly the only one I can think of where the lead was the one in the same-sex relationship, not a supporting role. We still love you Willow, just you weren’t Buffy… and I see all my favorite female characters stretching back to my childhood, all the almosts and might have and should have beens starting with like Jaimie Summers in the Bionic Woman. My life is littered with crumbs of female leads that ought to have been gay… and here we are. Finally. 2017 and we finally have a lead character of major commercial franchise who is a lesbian and the relationship is with another major character, not just someone to kill off.

Enjoy the preview and wait patiently a few more weeks. ^_^

Many thanks to Eric for the heads up and for the sponsorship!

 

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Yuri Drama CD: Grand Stage Romance Review #5 “Akabara no Kimi” Suoh Yui (グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第5幕「赤薔薇の君 蘇皇唯」)

July 16th, 2017

If you learn one thing from Grand Stage Romance Review #5 “Akabara no Kimi” Suoh Yui (グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第5幕「赤薔薇の君 蘇皇唯」), it’s that the sound of a nod and a head shaking back and forth as represented by the movement of material sound completely different. How fascinating.

It’s not the only thing we learn, obviously. We also learn that, under her cool, sophisticated exterior, the woman who goes by the name Suoh Yui, the senior otokoyaku of the Grand Stage Sora-gumi, has a very passionate and possessive heart.

She invites us over her apartment to discuss our partnership, but doesn’t hesitate to note she had a large bed. Classy, Yui, classy. But as we speak, she almost offhandedly points out that she lets us see part of her that no one else can ever see. She is, as one might expect, teasing and seductive, but, also as expected, it’s all a joke. After we leave for the night, Yui starts to fret.

The next day, Yui comes across Hiou Akito shopping at a home good store. It turns out that Akito and her partner are talking about moving in together and she’s finding herself looking for furniture. As Akito shares her concerns and doubts with Yui, Yui tells Akito that she reminds her a lot of herself. As Akito talks, she finds her her own unease growing and leaves. Akito says that this is the first time she’s seen Akabara like this. Yui starts to call us over and over. When we finally call back, she sounds desperately lonely…and a little frightening. She comes over to bring us back to her place.

When we get there, Yui tells us that we’re her’s…but when she sees us asleep, she realizes how much she’s fallen for us, watching us on stage. We’re awake and we hear everything she’s said. We embrace, as she asks us to be her Shirayuri-hime. We agree. Holding each other, we go to sleep, but not before she kisses us on the neck.

The next morning it’s all love-love banter between us. Again, Yui points out that we are the only one to see her like this. It’s obvious to us that her true self has been a well-kept secret.

Yui meets Akito once more, who asks about her relationship with her previous partner. Yui is glad to talk about it. Akito’s worried about asking her partner to move in, and is looking for a good time to ask. Yui’s advice is applicable to many situations – no one is like anyone else, every relationship and situation is unique. They both come out of the conversation relieved. Yui admits to being nervous about the announcement of the new Top Stars for the new year.

Yui comes home to find us cooking. She tells us that she kind of nervous and kind of relieved at the announcement, and offers us a “partner ring,” then embraces us and asks us to stay with her forever, her beloved Shirayuri.

The final track is a Spanish guitar-inspired song called “You’re mine.” Which you can hear in this Youtube clip:

As everyone had predicted this is a pretty darn Yuri CD. ^_^; And Saiga Mitsuki fans must have been downright swooning as she really pulls out all the stops her in her 10000x Yuri power up. A fine way to end the character CDs for this series.

Technically the Grand Stage Daiundokai is the final CD of the series, but I listened to the group CDs out of order, so I still have one left.

Ratings:

Overall – 10

The only thing I *don’t* know is who was announced in the stage play as the new Top Star! I can’t find any reviews of the play or spoilers. How vexing. I’m also a little bummed that this series is over and I’m not getting any more sexy-voiced Grand Stage Drama CDs, but I’m really glad to have gotten these. ^_^ And seriously we got two series, so I can’t complain too much. 

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – July 15, 2017

July 15th, 2017

Yuri Manga

It is always a good day on Okazu when I can announce another new collection by Takemiya Jin-sensei. And, as she’s a monster workaholic, today is a very good day. ^_^ Mabushisa no Mukou Soku (まぶしさの向こう側), will be out this week, with collected shorts from Comic Yuri Hime

Also from Comic Yuri Hime, the first collected volume of Watashi no Yuri ha Oshigoto Desu!  (私の百合はお仕事です! ) hits shelves next month. Along with being behind reading the magazine, I will get to add that I’m also behind on adding the manga to the Yuricon Store, yay! (;_;) I’ll do my best to keep up, I promise!

ANN Reports that the Sakura Trick manga will end with the October issue of Mangatime Kirara Miracle magazine.

Volume 2 of After Hours (アフターアワーズ) will be hitting shelves this week in Japan, and to celebrate, Comic Natalie reports that they are doing an open call for illustrations. The application ticket will be attached to the book’s obi at retail outlets. Look for Volume 2 in English later this year from Viz.

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Celebrate 15 Years of Yuri News and Reviews! 
Become an Okazu Patron! 
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Fannisness

Via YNN Correspondent and fellow Uranus/Neptune fan Maria S, please enjoy this video by and of Pamela Calvo singing both parts of a Spanish-language version of Eternal Eternity! It’s really quite wonderful and I grinned through the whole thing. :-D

I’ve been binge re-watching Steven Universe again, because it heals the holes the daily news burns in my soul. It’s a bit old, but I discovered that in 2016, there was a Steven Universe musical panel at San Diego Comic Con and I spent a full couple of hours watching and rewatching live performances from it. I want to share this one with you especially. It’s not just that it’s a hoot to hear the voice actors singing, but this one was remixed with images of the audience singing along and clips of animation. I’m going to be really honest, when Pearl sings, “We were amazed to find your beauty and your worth. We will protect your earth…and we will protect you” and I see all those lovely otaku, I get really weepy and angry at the shitty situation we’re in right now. If we don’t protect this Earth, Pearl won’t be there to do it and I want these happy otaku to have a safe and beautiful home.  It made me start calling my Congressmen again. It sucks, but it’s up to us. Call, write, fax, whatever, however, but get out there and contact your congresspeople.

Anyway, here is the live version of We Are the Crystal Gems, Full Version, from SDCC 2016. (And check out Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Zach Callison (Steven) videoing it it on their phones. ^_^ 


 

LGBTQ Comics

WOOHOO! The folks who brought us Power & Magic, now announce IMMORTAL SOULS (The Next Queer Witch Comics Anthology)! You’ve still got time on this Kickstarter, but don’t miss your chance to back this book if you can.

Lesbian website Gachirezu (gachirezu in Japanese is similar to flesbian in English, like not”real” lesbian. It’s meant as a joke, kind like Okazu is) now has a page for serialized lesbian webcomics in Japanese with links to their artists on Twitter.

Via Senior YNN Correspondent Louis P, comes this great link on Comicosity, 40 LGBTQ Webcomics to Know and Love.

From Funari on Twitter, we have Raison d’Etre,  a “self-discovery fantasy-ish comic with queer characters.” 

Last week Prism Comics held the very first ever Prism Comics Awards at the Queer Comic Expo. Thanks to Rob McMonigal for covering this on his blog Panel Patter.

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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Card Captor Sakura, Clear Card Arc Manga, Volume 2 (カードキャプターさくら クリアカード編)

July 13th, 2017

A year has gone by since Kinomoto Sakura has been called upon to collect the Clow Cards and turn them into Sakura Cards.  And, as a new school year begins in Volume 1 for Sakura and her friends, new cards, two-sided but  magically transparent, are throwing the town into chaos. Luckily for Tomeda Middle School, Card Captor Sakura is there to protect them. 

In Card Captor Sakura, Clear Card Arc , Volume 2 (カードキャプターさくら クリアカード編) new cards are appearing, and it no longer seems to take much out of Sakura to capture and name them. But, her dreams of a hooded, masked figure are causing some problems. She can’t see the figure, but realizes that it is the same height as she.  Sakura is visibly taller than most of her female friends, although the boys are taller still, so a girl at her height would be noticeable.

And then a new transfer student arrives! Shinomoto Akiho (a name that, in Japanese, is both similar and opposite to Sakura’s) has been all over the world traveling with her family, but she seems really nice. And,we cannot help but notice, she’s the same height as Sakura.

While in conference Yue takes a moment to note that the new cards don’t feel magical at all. 

I’m looking forward to Volume 1 of the new arc coming out in English from Kodansha in November 2017!

Ratings:

Art – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 1 Unless you’re writing fanfic, then it’s always more
Story – 7
Service – 1 On principle 

Overall – 9

Who Akiho is and what the Clear Cards mean is still a mystery, but it’s all good, I’m happy with this kiddy ride full of pretty art and nice kids.

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Yuri Manga: Galette, Issue 2 (ガレット 2)

July 10th, 2017

In the comments of my review of Galette, Issue 1, Jim assured us that the next issue was even better. Jim was right. Galette, Issue 2 (ガレット) is very close to the kind of manga anthology I hoped Galette would be. 

The cover illustration by pen is lovely, the construction of the cover, with reflective metallic ink is exceeding pleasant. The inaide cover art is likewise appealing. Interior color pages open up Morinaga Milk’s contribution and include a photo set, something we haven’t seen in many Yuri anthology. and further illustrations.

The opening story by Otsu Hiyori was satisfying (as was seeing her back in a Yuri collection!) There were any number of good to excellent stories. I found way more of them – even those set in school – more complex, less “girl meets girl” thn we’ve come to expect. This issue had a number of stories that looked at regret for what never was or might have been, as well as stories where facing down one’s feelings and putting a name to them is the story. 

It was a strong enough book that, having finished it, I went back and re-read it. I only do that when I want to make sure I caught everything. Of course I loved Takemiya Jin’s ex-Yanki, now-adult comedy, and Morinaga Milk’s story was very solid and not at all childish or school-life. But the standout story for me continues to  be Monomo Moto and Kitta Izumi’s “Liberty” which took off in such a different direction than expected, but was just so good, that I’m really hoping it’ll continue in Volume 3!

As with the first volume, you can get it in print from Amazon JP (until is sells out, which apparently Volume 1 has) and (in Japanese) on digital for the US Kindle from Amazon.com. I’m still so damn excited about that for you. No shipping, and there you go, you have it in your pocket.   Volume 3 will be out in Japan in print at the end of August, so keep an eye out for the Kindle version later this sumer. For a sample of the next volume, visit the Galette Lineup page

And, if you want to support this creator-owned work, take a look at the subscription page for a variety of plans to pay for  the level of support you want to give. There are limitations, so please read the page carefully before you  apply! You’ll get rewards from 100¥/month and up and you’ll get your name on the thanks page! I imagine that shipping to overseas locations has some limitations, so, again, please read carefully. But, look, it’s the writers we want to read, making the manga they want to write. As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth my support (I’ve chosen the “Normal” level of support. Can I just say how amusing I find that?) So whether you’re supporting the work with a subscription, buying the print or the digital, let’s show these creators that the Yuri fandom outside Japan has their back.

Ratings:

Art – 9 
Story- 9 
Characters – 8
Service – 4 A little in “Liberty”
Yuri – 10

Overall – 9

Cannot wait for Volume 3!

 

 

 

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