Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime February 2018 /コミック百合姫2018年2月号)

January 17th, 2018

In the February 2018 issue of Comic Yuri Hime (コミック百合姫2018年2月号) “NTR: Netzuzou Trap” comes to an end. I want to talk about this for a second, because in ending, it iremains a horrible series.  It ends with “happily ever after,”  which is to say that the two female leads end up together. At no point did the story establish a good reason why we would want them together. Nor did it convince me that the guys were particularly bad boyfriends, as they were lied to and made fools of the entire run of the story. In fact, I basically feel that anyone reading the story was being made a fool of, since it was never a Yuri story in the first place

Now that Kodama Naoko-sensei is free of it, I hope we’ll see a much less unpleasant series from her. I really like her art and her characters, generally, so this  story about unlikable people being unlikable was not all that enjoyable for me. 

Honestly, I’m just glad that’s over. 

In the meantime, Ohsawa Yayoi’s “2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei” continues (thank the gods!) and has veered into once-again uncomfortable territory. Both Kaede and Nanami have been invited to Aoi’s wedding, but Kaede has a deadline, so Nanami is shoved into the role of Aoi’s confessor. And confess she does. I can’t be the only one wondering why Aoi is marrying this guy at this point.

A lot of the established stories are taking strange turns in this volume, “Shiori wo Sagasu Page-tachi” and ” Watashi no Yuri ha Shigoto Desu” both shift towards more serious confrontations. Natsu-fuji’s “Kima ha Shoujo” seems pretty well-worn and comfortable by comparison.

Ratings:

Overall – 8

It was a pretty chunky issue and I think I read more than I didn’t for a change, even if “Yuri Yuri” is still limping along making old-man puns. The March issue goes on sale this week in Japan.

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Yuri Manga: Strawberry Fields wo Mou Ichido ( ストロベリー・フィールズをもう一度)

January 16th, 2018

Akira is pretty much a loner. With her gaming system and her headphones, she prefers the company of otome games to other people. So when an attractive new transfer student, Pyua (pronounced the way “pure” is in Japanese, pyoo-ah) tries to befriend her, she’s not that interested.

Pyua keeps at it, and, when she finally manages to get Akira alone, tells her that in 7 years, they will be lovers. She’s traveled back in time so they could see each other as high school students. Causing this reader to wonder if Pyua knows what the Boostrap Paradox is. Probably not.

Strawberry Fields wo Mou Ichido ( ストロベリー・フィールズをもう一度) Volume 1 is that ever-so-popular fantasy of one member of an established couple trying to get the other one to fall in love with her again, only without the established couple part and with added time paradox, because if Pyua had done this seven years in the past, then does Akira ever really fall for her in the first place? This paradoxical question is not at all addressed by anyone in the story. But that’s not the only thing left unattended in this narrative. 

When Pyua learns that Akira lives with her shut-in brother after their parents died, she’s shocked and appalled. Why? How is it that she doesn’t know this already? 24 year old Akira just, you know, never mentioned once that she effectively lived alone, while taking care of an emotionally crippled brother to her lover? That seems likely.

Nor is it ever really a concern whether meanie Akira will ever really fall for Pyua. Akira, on the other hand has some valid concerns about this stranger telling her her future as an adult. So while she’s supposed to be equally emotionally crippled, and we’re supposed to root for Pyua to break through her icy exterior, I kind of respect Akira’s choices, her caution and think Pyua damned lucky that Akira does indeed fall for her.

Ratings: 

Art – 7
Story – 7
Character – 7
Service – 3
Yuri – 6

Overall – 7

The story continues is supposed to continue in a future Volume 2, although what could possibly happen, really? ^_^;

I first encountered news of this series on Twitter, where a Japanese Yuri fan had posted the news with a confused musing as to what the connection between Yuri and strawberries were. It surprised me, because with the endless succession of Yuri series that utilizes Victorian flower language and the obvious connotations of springtime, sweet juicy fruit and purity to young women seemed rather, well obvious, to me. Is there a nickname for the paradox of every generation of new fans never having heard of old, established tropes before and being completely confuzzled by things well-established for 100 years? There ought to be. Let’s call it the “Strawberry Paradox.”

Strawberries, by the way, mean “perfect goodness” in the language of flowers. Just FYI.

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2018 Okazu Patreon Campaign

January 14th, 2018

8 events, 5 posts a week, 40% more patrons – we’re now able to pay Guest Reviewers – 2017 was amazing year for Okazu!

And we expect an even better 2018, with new goals and a new reward for all patrons on Patreon!


 

 

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – January 13, 2018

January 13th, 2018

Yuri Manga

Loads of new titles for us today!

Kase-san and Apron, the 4th volume of Takashima Hiromi’s adorable high school Yuri romance, hits shelves in February.

Also available in late February is Kiss and White Lily For My Dearest Girl, Volume 5.

Fan’s of Canno’s work, will be pleased to hear that a third Eclair anthology is being published this month in Japan. Eclair bleue – Anata ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology (エクレア bleue あなたに響く百合アンソロジー) has a release date this week.

I’m not entirely sure how Yuri Hagino Makoto’s story, Nettaigyo ha Yuki ni Kogareru  (熱帯魚は雪に焦がれる) is, but a lonely clumsy girl falling in love with a snow girl sounds like it’s in our wheelhouse. As does Yukio Yuki’s Mabataki Dekinai ( 瞬きできない) in which a NPC falls in love with a player character.

And I am more than a little interested in Yubisakikara Suberiochiru Valetta (指先から滑り落ちるバレッタ), even though it looks a tad grim. ^_^ A girl blackmails another girl into being her “friend.” Yeah, uh-huh.

BE Comics, from a publisher I am wholly unfamilar with, Fusion Product, is putting out Yuri + Kanojou (百合+カノジョ) and I have no idea what to expect.

Rap-battle sport-manga-like story, Catcher in the Rhyme (キャッチャー・イン・ザ・ライム) has been collected into a first volume. So has the ambiguously promising Kuroyuri Gakuen Oooku Gakka (クロユリ学園大奥学科)  (by Young King comics, so don’t get your hopes up!) with a Volume 2 coming up next month.

Other News

This is an absolute must-read: Vrai Kaiser’s article on Anime FeministLand of the Lustrous, singular “they,” and the politics of subtitles.

Justin Sevakis takes on the big question as Answerman on ANN – Why is Anime Still region Locked?

The Seijinshiki is a annual ceremony marking a Japanese person’s majority. The Kansai LGBT Seijinshiki recognizes you as the adult you are and who you want to be. This year’s event, held in Kyoto, with celebrity guests, will be held on January 21.

 

Become a YNN Correspondent by reporting any Yuri-related news to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com with your name and an email I can reply to!

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

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Yuri Manga: Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl, Volume 4 (English)

January 11th, 2018

Mizuki is facing a crisis. It’s her senior year and her last chance to make the nationals in track. But her longtime friend and her inspiration, Moe, can see that it’s not so simple as just ramping up training.

Moe insists that Mizuki stop using her as a muse and find it in herself to run because she wants to. In Volume 4 of Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl, Mizuki loses the battle, but wins the war when finds her love of running again, and she and Moe get to admit their true feelings for each other.

This is, to date, one of my favorite volumes of Canno’s series. The set-up feels more honest and less “plot complication”-y than most of the scenarios in the series so far. I also quite like Moe because she’s says what she’s thinking, a quality not often see in Yuri romances. Additionally, the series has sort of settled in for a longer haul now, and we can turn our eyes almost completely away from main couple Kurozawa and Shiramine without fearing that the entire series will disappear in a puff. So, while Yurine and Ayaka do make an appearance, it’s almost a walk on, until the amusingly snarky final chapter, which was all obligatory Valentine’s Day stories ever, all at once.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 7 Cute, sweet, etc
Yuri – 8
Service – 1 on principle only

Overall – 8

The English-language Volume 5 has a release date of late February, and I’m working on Volume 7 in Japanese right now. At this rate of release you’re all gonna all catch up with the Japanese series by next summer!

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