Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime July 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年7月号)

July 6th, 2017

We hit that moment – I am officially behind with reading Comic Yuri Hime. ^_^ I knew monthly was going to get me one day – I’m just kind of glad it took 7 months. ^_^

The cover story – as pink and gauzy and moe as it is, is actually pretty lesbian, “I fell for you at first sight, let’s be together forever.” Uh-huh. Might as well have had a U-haul catalog on the bed with them.

But, more importantly, Comic Yuri Hime July 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年7月号) issue was good! 

It starts off with an absolutely slappable plot complication for “Watashi no Yuri  ha Oshigoto desu!” to which I say, learn how to write a fucking story. No, you did not meet each other in school and then one of you *completely* forgot the other one. It was like 3 years ago, not 30. Look, people are not complete idiots. I was standing at the airport having trouble with a Global Entry machine and a DHS guy walked up and said, “Hey you taught Tai chi!” and I looked at this guy with a beard and said, “Oh my god, Marc?” We hadn’t seen each other in more than a decade, and he hadn’t had a beard and I had long hair and we were out of context and I’m terrible with faces and names…and we still remembered each other. If I can remember a guy I saw weekly for a few years, after 15 years, this character can reasonably be expected to remember a friend she saw every day and hurt really badly a few years later. /rant

“2DK, GPen, Mezmashitokei” went there. At last! I’m so happy it took so long and hope to all the gods they don’t just wrap it up, the end. Please oh please give us a few more volumes.

I still can’t get a bead on “Shuumatsu nani shi ni kou.” but I enjoyed (almost despite myself) Fujimatsu Mei’s “Aisareu Watashi no Monogatari” in which a lonely woman hires her favorite novelist -who has writer’s block- to write her a love and a family…and, in the process, they become both to each other. It was a really nice meta-fanfic.

“Kai to Alterna-rock” (オルタナロック is short for ‘alternative rock’, but if it is anything else, I don’t know what it is. Suggestions welcome) made me laugh out loud. I have read this “mean boss” and employee  who fall for one another story about a hundred times, but I still like it anyway.  ^_^

Takemiya Jin offers up another fan and idol story, so far, the best of the bunch in “Musou Artifact.” No surprised as it’s about my specific kind of geekdom, so yeah, of course I like it. Duh. ^_^

Ratings:

Overall – 8

As always, there are any number of other stories and some you will like and I will not. But this issue was pretty strong for me so I’m extra glad I finally had time to read it!

 

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LGBTQ: Barnes & Noble Interview with Gengoroh Tagame

July 3rd, 2017

Brigid Alverson, writing for the Barnes & Noble blog has a wonderful interview with My Brother’s Husband creator Gengoroh Tagame. If you’ve ever wanted to ask him about being an out gay manga artist in Japan, here’s your chance to find out!

Openly Gay Manga Creator Gengoroh Tagame Talks Breaking Barriers with My Brother’s Husband

I was especially gratified to learn that Futabasha was supportive of his idea right from the start. As I keep saying, there’s someone on the staff there who is an ally.

 

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Yuri Manga: Hoshikawa Ginza 4-chome, Complete Edition Volume 2 (星川銀座四丁目)

July 2nd, 2017

In my review of Volume 1, I said that some things don’t wear well over time and that this series is among them.  For Volume 2 of Hoshikawa Ginza 4-chome, Complete Edition, (星川銀座四丁目) I’ll  say that not only does this relationship not wear well, Kurogane Kenn needed to be told to shut the hell up about it.

Look, this story is creepy. It’s about an underage girl and an adult woman who was, for a short time, her homeroom teacher. It’s presented wit all the bells and whistles that creepy pedo readers like. Otome is the aggressor, her age is mentioned or implied once a chapter, so we can never forget that this is a creepy story for creeps. If the story got out of it’s own way it might be tolerable, but when they keep shoving how creepy it is front and center, it’s impossible to do anything but loathe the story and everyone who likes it.

Even if we ignore the underage elephant in the room, the story actually gets even weirder and creepier without it.

Otome passes her school entrance exam and returns to Minato, having “proved” herself sincere. They move into a new space above a bookshop and the young woman who works at the bookshop becomes unhealthily obsessed with Otome. This chapters signal the nadir of this story. Even should you have been managing to read it up to this point pretending you’re not a giant creep, this moment in the story plainly indicates that, no, in fact, we are giant creeps for reading this. Kenn clearly decided to give up on telling a sweet, heart-warming story and just went straight for “Eh, fuck it. ”

Upon re-reading my review of the orignal final volume, I had said this:

“As I read this volume I was overcome by some emotion, but I was until the very end unable to identify it. This story makes me sad. I couldn’t tell you why, but it makes me inexpressibly sad. Perhaps because of all the nasty service-y bits with which Kurogane Kenn laces the narrative, I feel it is almost impossible to be plain old happy for the two of them. And I should be able to be. They are in love, they are together, the end. So why do I want to cry?”

and

“Ultimately the big fail here was that Otome deserved to be treated better than Kenn was willing to treat her. His gaze throughout this series disgusted me, right to the final volume and the repulsive chapters with Hina. How I wish someone who wasn’t a creepy lolicon had drawn this story. Oh well.”

I guess I had hoped that time and distance would have improved this story for me. Instead it actually made it more depressing.

The end of the story couldn’t come fast enough. And the only thing that redeemed the entire thing was the final, extra few pages in which we see an adult Otome, working in a home office, called to dinner by Minato.  But it isn’t enough. 

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 4
Characters – 6
Yuri – 10
Service – 10

Overall – 5

I’m no longer willing to tolerate creepiness in my Yuri. These are my stories as much as they are anyone’s, and I’m done with manipulative, creepy porno, pedo Yuri. 

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – July 1, 2017

July 1st, 2017

Yuri Anime

Pony Canyon has announced that they will be selling the Asagao to Kase-san / Kase-san and Morning Glories animation DVD at their table at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA this weekend! The official Twitter account thanked everyone for their support and says that they hope to be able to do more animation for the series. Stay focused and keep supporting this series.  (If someone picks me up a copy of the DVD, I’ll be glad to pay for it and the shipping. Let me know if you’re there.)

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Citrus and NTR: Netsuzou Trap anime are moving forward and will be streaming this summer on various services. 

Kat Callahan wrote a lovely hopeful article on Anime NOW! on NTR that expresses hope that it will exceed it’s own description.  I wish I could tell her it would.

I’m going to take a moment to once again explain my position on these two series. Citrus and NTR  are not, in my opinion, Yuri. They are anime that use lesbianism as a fetish in relationship to manipulation (and in the case of Citrus, mental illness) for the sole purpose of sexual stimulation. The editor in chief of Comic Yuri Hime promotes what he likes and he likes this stuff, therefore this is what they invest in. It is not the kind of Yuri I want to read or watch. I will allow a guest review of the Citrus anime, but Okazu will never host any review of NTR. It is absolutely vile and I’m repulsed by everything about it.

Crunchyroll will be streaming A Centaur’s Life this summer.

If you’re looking for something classic and less manipulative, Sailor Moon S Part 1 and Part 2 are now available!   Not Yuri, but still Sailor Moon-related, ANN reports that Sailor Moon Crystal Season 4 will be released as a two-part movie, rather than a streamed TV series. 

 

LGBTQ News

The crowdfunding sensation queer WoC romance comic Bingo Love is now avaialable for pre-order! I’m looking forward to this book so hard, I upgraded my backer level. ^_^ Cannot wait.

Germany now officially has marriage equality! Very exciting for our LGBTQ friends there.

Check out this fabulous animated version of Johnny Cash’s Long Black Veil, by Jenny Owens Young and Isabella Rotman. Give them a thumbs up for their efforts then check out Isabella’s queer-friendly comics!

Signature Move, a movie about two female professional wrestlers who fall in love, is making the film festival rounds this summer. It’s been picked up by Amazon Video, so stay on the look out for it to hit in 2018. ^_^

Last bit of news this week – I’m very excited for Elizabeth Beier‘s announcement of her comic collection The Big Book of Bisexual Trials and Errors with Northwest Press. Yay for Elizabeth! Her work is brilliant. Please consider backing this project on Kickstarter.

 

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: Ani no Yome to Kurashiteimasu. Volume 2 (兄の嫁と暮らしています。)

June 29th, 2017

In Volume 1 of Ani no Yome to Kurashiteimasu. we meet Shino, a high school student living with her late brother’s wife and, awkwardly, beginning to fall in love with her. 

In Volume 2, we spend quite a lot of time developing both Shino and Nozomi, her sister-in-law, into people. Nozomi’s professional life and adult relationships are developed and we spend time with Shino’s friends, some of whom are aware that she’s feeling attracted to Nozomi. The point of all this is something that made me quite happy as I read it – they get actual time to be fleshed out well past “high school girl” and “sister-in-law.” They both get emotional lives beyond this situation and peers in which to confide. Like people do. So that was really nice.

The complicated relationship both women are struggling with is made secondary to developing them as characters. We get flashbacks on how they met, and how Nozomi came into Shino’s life as a sister-in-law.

They are both very aware of each other, but also want to be a family in the larger sense. Day to day things – meals being made, playing with their cat, planning for the local festival all start to take on a comfortable sensibility, even if separately they can’t stop feeling like everything feels like more than it is. It’s the moments when they both just relax around each other that their emotions become instantly fraught. Obviously.

Shino is holding herself together well until, on the evening of the festival, she sees something that has no place in her world…Nozomi with a man. Shino thinks that Nozomi with a man other than her brother is something she doesn’t want to see, as the scene fades to black.

A short extra chapter includes a story about Shino and Nozomi hugging, ostensibly to reduce stress, which is instantly not helpful for several reasons.

This is such an unusually thoughtful rendition of this tired old trope that I’m still not sure what to make of it. I trust Kuzushiro-sensei implicitly, but what kind of gold she can spin from this lead, only her alchemical daemons know. ^_^; We’ll be able to find out soon enough – Volume 3 is hitting shelves at the end of July.

Ratings:

Art – 8 
Story – 7 Surprisingly thoughtful
Characters – 7 Likeable 
Service – 2 More implied than actual
Yuri – 2 

Overall – 7

 I find that I actually want to know what will happen to them now. Of course I want them to be happy.

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