Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – June 24, 2017

June 24th, 2017

Yuri Manga

Some new Yuri manga up on the Yuricon Store!

Volume 4 of Nakatani Nio’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru, will hit shelves later this month.  Bloom Into You, Volume 3 in English will be a September release.

The much-anticipated new volume of the Kase-san series, Apron to Kase-san. ( エプロンと加瀬さん。), is slated for a July release. If you’re interested in the deluxe version packaged with the animation clip, that also will be hitting shelves in July.

 Eclair blanche – Anata ni Hibiku Yuri Anthology the sequel to the first Eclair anthology, comes out this week.

August will see the release of MURCIÉLAGO, Volume 3 in English.

Read the first chapter of Kimashika Ruri’s To Aru Kekkon about a same-sex marriage! It’s really cute and I definitely want to read the full volume in Japanese.

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LGBTQ News

The ground-breaking documentary Queer Japan has released another new promotional clip! They can still use help with their post-processing, so if you have a buck or two extra and want to help, please go visit their GoFundMe.

 

Sailor Moon News

The Sailor Moon R Movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. This has no Yuri (though there is a good case for a BL plot) but it has Moon Revenge which makes the thing fully worth watching. ^_^

 

Resistance News

Look, I want to be honest here. The most radicalized, violent group of people in the world: rich, white, nominally Christian men, are about commit an act of terrorism against the American people that may not be something we’ll recover from in my lifetime.

But. Resistance is NEVER futile. Get involved in local activism. Run for office.  Donate your time or money to causes you care about. Keep fighting.

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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Yuricon ‘Yuri Essays’ Page Renewal!

June 22nd, 2017

To assist in Yuricon’s ongoing mission to disseminate information and research about Yuri, we’ve updated and slightly redesigned the Yuri Essays page!

 Broken links have been fixed, and new resources have been added, as well, to keep this page a one-stop-shop for all the Yuri-related research extant in English. Links to full-text articles exist where they are available.

You can much more easily find essays by category:

History of Yuri – History and Definition of the Genre
Articles on Yuri – Analysis of Yuri by scholars and researchers
Lectures – Links to videos and research presented at lectures about or related to Yuri
Interviews – Interviews with your favorite Yuri creators and Yuricon founder Erica Friedman
Books – Books that include discussion of topics related to Yuri researchYuri and Shoujo, Feminism, Gender and Lesbian Themes – Essays on Intersections with Yuri
Fan Studies and Perspectives – Fan research into Yuri and related genre work

And of course you can always use the site search to find something specific.

If you have a Yuri-related essay you’d like us to include on this page, please do contact us!

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Yuri Anime: Riddle Story of a Devil, Disk 2 (English)

June 21st, 2017

The second disk of Riddle Story of a Devil: Akuma no Riddle, brings the plot to it’s conclusion, adds in post hoc ergo prompter hoc exposition and a climax which is semi-satisfying. 

Tokaku and Haru dispatch the second half of Class Black without much ado. The school festival production of Romeo and Juliet gives us a chance to move quickly towards the series’ twelfth night. ^_^ (Come on, that one was acceptable. I’m done now.)

We’re given a chance to see that Chitaru and Kirigaya, despite themselves, are clearly in love and are allowed a happy end to their story.

And so it goes; a horrible assassin goes after Haru with no remorse, only to turn out to be not so terrible after all. Who could hate Isuke for instance, when it turns out that her gay parents rescued her from a life of neglect and abuse?  

Until we hit Hanabusa, the rich girl who has remained aloof from the beginning, where we get a pile of foreshadowing dropped on us as subtly as a ten-ton weight. We are also treated to multiple displays of Haru being resourceful and intelligent, something that pleased this viewer. Despite the story damseling her, and her optimistic personality, which could lead one to assume she’s helpless, the final fights shows clearly that Haru is not a hapless victim, waiting for death. She shows some quick thinking and a solid grasp of tactics.

Finally, we learn the real story behind Class Black…sort of. I’m left with a number of questions, primary among which is what is Kaiba in this series for, anyway? He really does nothing at all and could easily have been replaced to little effect. 

The end comes, poignant and touching, and we find that almost everyone has a happy ending, several of them leaving assassination for something more socially acceptable. 

The ending of the series does not include the epilogue of the manga, but it is nonetheless heartstring-tugging and we’re given to believe that Haru and Tokaku will live happily-ever-as-long-as-they-both-can-when-targeted-incessantly-by-assassins.

This is all followed by an additional episode OVA, which is a vehicle primarily to show breasts jiggling unrealistically as Class Black is intentionally stranded on a desert island and forced to tug at each other’s bathing suits for reasons.

Ratings:

Art – 7 
Story – 7 
Characters – 7 
Service – 6 
Yuri – 5 for Chitaru and Kirgaya  (3) + Haru and Tokaku (2)

Overall – 7 

I do not doubt that 10 years from now few people will remember this series, but for a thing to watch, with some Yuri, it’s not bad at all. Haru upping her game really made the final fights work.

Once again, my sincere thanks to Okaku Superhero Dan P for his sponsorship of today’s review!

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Yuri Manga: After Hours, Volume 1 (English)

June 19th, 2017

In Yuhta Nishio’s After Hours, Volume 1, Emi is suffering an introvert’s worst nightmare – being stuck alone at a loud venue surrounded by strangers and unable to find the friend she was there to meet. After having discomfort increased by being hit on, Emi is paralyzed until she’s rescued by Kei, a woman a little older than herself, but who seems far more self-assured and mature.

Kei takes Emi home. They sleep together, and, when Emi wakes up the next day, she finds her life completely changed for the more interesting, as she’s drawn into Kei’s creative work and her love of life.

This is a manga about Japanese millennials; two women creating something out of the little enough society is prepared to give them. It’s charming and lively as a story, with decent characters. Despite the moe art (especially on the cover, where it’s almost creepily infantilizing,) both Emi and Kei are adult women with adult responses to situations. The story in Volume 1 has no room for histrionics or melodrama and the characters do not tends towards either. The translation by Abby Lehrke leans a very little to hip which will undoubtedly wear poorly, but was otherwise perfectly competent. I want to nod in appreciation to all the production side folks, lettering, touch-up, editing and design, as these have become good enough that we no longer notice them. This is as it should be, but I remember when it wasn’t, so thanks Viz and staff for giving us the authentic manga reading experience we’d like.

As one of the few Yuri manga I have read first in English, having skipped the Japanese volume altogether, I ws cautiously optimistic, but I find myself very interested in what Volume 2 will bring both women. Whether they stay together or not (and I don’t require that of them) I have enjoyed our time together.

Ratings:

Art – 5, YMMV, but I rolled my eyes hard at the cover and found the moe blob faces on the women – but not the men – really irksome.
Story – 8 Enjoyable and plausible
Characters – 9 I’d gladly buy them a drink and hear their stories of club life
Service – Not really, even in the sex scene, which was drawn for nice, rather than creepy
Yuri – 9

Overall – 8

Volume 2 does not yet have a release date in America, it’s going to be released in July in Japan. If you’ve read scans or the Japanese volume, kindly don’t spoiler us here, I’d like to just read this one on it’s own. Thank you for your consideration.

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Yuri Anime: Riddle Story of a Devil, Disk 1 (English)

June 18th, 2017

Riddle Story of a Devil: Akuma no Riddle is the story of “Class Black” a super-secret class at absurdly elite Myoujo Academy. All of the members of Class Black are assassins with one exception – and that exception will be their target. (Apparently) normal girl Ichinose Haru is the target and the others will vie to kill her in order to gain their greatest desire. But, as one might expect, nothing is as it seems.

One of the assassins, Azuma Tokaku, defects to Haru’s side and pits herself against the class as Haru’s bodyguard.

The story, which has a fair amount of service, is definitely meant for an audience that likes that kind of thing, but the writing is slightly less exclusive. In the anime Haru is harmless, but not entirely helpless. And there is a kind of redemption in the assassin’s attempts and their outcomes.

Kadokawa is absolute genius at cranking out moderately entertaining, formulaic anime that can be marketed within an inch of it’s life. Every once in a they have a massive break-out hit, like the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, that can pay for many dozens of other series for years. Those dozens of others are generally good, often involve some big names in conception or production, and are both profitable and entertaining enough to pay for themselves. Riddle Story of a Devil: Akuma no Riddle was one of these.

Based on the manga drawn by Kouga Yun, the story feels, from beginning to end, like something built by committee. As I rewatched it, I was constantly put in mind of Seraphim Call, a mediocre anime of the late 20th century that, upon rewatch, was better than I gave it credit for. Especially Volume 2. In the sense that every episode is effectively a character piece that only tangentially affects the main story, Riddle Story of a Devil reminded me of this earlier series of pastiches.

The animation is very much of this time and place, but for all that, not terrible. Characters are variable, as they are meant to be, but watching it, I was motivated yet again, to promise to not come up with convoluted plots to kill people, or explain anything. Or speak in some weird, annoying way. If I were to become an assassin, the rule would be get in, get out, move on. No talking. I’d also like the committee to explain why the character of Kaiba exists at all. Useless doesn’t come close to describing his role. If they cut everything of him out of the story it would affect exactly one scene.

The one thing I genuinely liked throughout the series was the music. The end-of-episode themes were all sung by the assassin who was the focus of that particular episode and both music and lyrics were suited nicely to their story. Those were really quite good.

The Yuri. Well….the Yuri is here more by reputation than anything. We can see that Kirigaya and Chitaru are together-ish and we can kind of see that Tokaku has no idea why she wants to help Haru (and, frankly, at first, neither can I. It’s not until Haru shows some spine, that I was convinced.) The opening credits kind of imply a thing between them but in Disk 1, it’s really not there.

Ratings:

Art – 7 Not bad, not zOMG good. Random bits of CGI
Story – 7 Not bad, not zOMG good. Random bits of plot
Characters – 7 Types, rather than people, with backstories to make them human
Service – 6 Nudity, lascivious gaze of the camera, and a sexually deviant serial killer
Yuri – 2 At halfway, barely there and only because we’re looking for it.

Overall – 7

So, yeah, this isn’t high art, it’s low entertainment, but for solid, slightly service-y, slightly violent entertainment, it was pretty good. I like the fight scenes well enough, and the gimmicky assassins are just silly.

My sincere thanks to Okazu Superhero Dan P for sponsoring this review! It’s right in your wheelhouse and mine.
Good weekend entertainment, with the lightest glaze of Yuri.

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