New book introduces 140 titles from the yuri genre that explore the topic of lesbian love.
While a lot has been written about the “Boys’ Love” subgenre of male homosexual romance that’s often depicted in manga and anime, and even explored in a South Park episode, the corresponding subgenre of “Girls’ Love” is often left unexplored by comparison. Known as “Yuri”, which literally translates to “Lily”, this category of manga revolves around romantic and erotic female-female relationships, and is usually written for female readers. It’s unusual name can be traced back to the male chief editor of Barazoku (“The Clan of the Rose”), Japan’s first magazine geared towards gay men, who is believed to have first used the word “Yuri” to describe lesbian love in 1976, saying that if “Bara” or “Rose” was being used to describe his male gay clan of readers, the word “Lily” would be a fitting term for a corresponding female gay clan.
While the yuri subgenre has a dedicated fanbase both in Japan and abroad, one Japanese publisher aims to demystify the genre for both avid readers and newcomers to the scene with a new book called Yuri no Sekai Nyuumon or The Introduction to the World of Yuri.
The book introduces more than 140 works that belong to the yuri genre, along with manga recommendations from notable authors, and a feature that reveals the best book covers from yuri manga, as chosen by popular voice actress Izumi Kitta.
There’s even an “event report” on a recent exhibition dedicated to works related to the topic of Girls’ Love in modern art and photography.
Whether you’re an avid reader of yuri manga or looking to find out more about the subject, this 128-page book covers all the basics with a large collection of beautiful images.
Published by Genkosha, The Introduction to the World of Yuri was recently released on 18 October, and retails for 1,500 yen each at bookstores around the country.
We got a lot of mail from folks telling me that they like this blog more for its info on manga and anime than topics like underwear and Ultraman…. If we weren’t a small business than all I’d like to do is writing about manga and anime…however..time and a noisy boss often forces me to choose the commercial road. But..I’m hearing you, my fellow otakus. Unfortunately with little time on my hands I have to resort to the web and less on my own investigative skills…but if if I find a nice story deeming worth your interest than I’ll swallow my pride and share that piece of information….
They might be bad guys, but they’re not baaad guys.
Rivals: you love to hate them and hate to love them. The relationship between two opposing characters can really raise the emotion and heart in stories. You feel not only for the protagonist, but also for the antagonist because they’re both just trying to accomplish their own goals, albeit in a different fashion. Sometimes your rival is a complete jerk, but that’s because they’re hiding all their pain. Other times your rival helps you because you push each other to be the best that you can be. Here are the Top 10 rivalries as chosen by Japanese pollsters. (Beware! Slight spoilers ahead!)
10. Jimmy Kudo vs. Harley Hartwell (Case Closed)
The first pair on the list are dueling detectives that rely on each other to push their analytical skills to the extreme. Two of the four great young detectives, Jimmy and Harley often find themselves investigating gruesome mysteries with unbelievable outcomes.
9. Kenshin Himura vs. Hajime Saito (Rurouni Kenshin)
While Kenshin was haunted by his past, Hajime reveled in it. Their rivalry began before the series officially started when Kenshin was the “manslayer” and Hajime was a member of the Shinsengumi. During the series, their epic battles almost forces Kenshin to become a killer again, but he never crosses that line.
8. Kenshiro vs. Raoh (Fist of the North Star)
This mighty rivalry began when Kenshiro was chosen as the successor to the Hokuto Shinken and Raoh broke 1,800 years of tradition and refused to give up his power. Killing their master, Ryuken, made sure that Kenshiro would fight with a vengeance when the truth was eventually revealed.
7. Naruto Uzumaki vs. Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto)
Naruto and Sasuke each had what the other unknowingly wanted resulting in an intense rivalry that drove most of the story. Their battles also led to an extremely powerful friendship.
6. Light Yagami vs. L (Death Note)
Light and L played so many mind games that it was hard to figure out who to cheer for, but their match of wits will forever be remembered by Death Note fans.
5. Jimmy Kudo vs. Phantom Thief Kid (Case Closed)
One’s a thief, and the other is a detective, so naturally they are at odds. However, no matter how much the Phantom Thief steals, you can’t help cheer for him as he constantly outwits the police, but rarely Kudo.
4. Amuro Ray vs. Char Aznable (Mobile Suit Gundam)
What begins simply as warrior pride turns into a back and forth that tries to answer the question of the meaning of war and violence. These two mech pilots do their best to give their answer on the battlefield.
3. Hanamichi Sakuragi vs. Kaede Rukawa (Slam Dunk)
Even though these two play for the same team, their rivalry is at the forefront of Slam Dunk. One is motivated to be better than the other, and one barely gives him the time of day. But without their passionate rivalry, their basketball, and the series, wouldn’t grow.
2. Goku vs. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)
The Prince of All Saiyans may have once tried to kill Goku and his friends, but since that time, they’ve had a spectacular rivalry that has kept Earth safe and ensured that the two of them were the strongest beings in the universe.
1.Lupin the Third vs. Koichi Zenigata (Lupin the Third)
The infamous thief needs a detective to chase after him. Much like Kudo and the Phantom Thief, Detective Zenigata spends most of his time trying to catch Lupin the Third. But as slippery as Lupin is, we highly doubt Zenigata will ever really be able to establish himself as Lupin’s equal.
Is your number one rivalry on the list? The original Japanese poll counted submissions in order to create a list of the Top 50 best rivalries. So if your favorite isn’t here, chances are it probably appears somewhere lower down. If you are interested, definitely check out the full list to see where your raging rivalry ranks.
We’ve come to accept most of the oddities we see in manga and anime, but have you ever wondered just how much of it is, well, unrealistic?
Manga fans in Japan stopped and thought about just that. Manga fans and spectators from across the internet have gathered to create a list of “things that happen in manga that don’t happen in real life.” We’re sure at least some of these things will make you go, “Yes, that’s so untrue!” and hopefully make you laugh a little as well.
-High school students that live alone Is this even legal? Okay, maybe you’ll have a classmate that lives alone very, very occasionally, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as you see in manga.
-The authority of the student council
“I am the Class President and I run this school!” That doesn’t really happen. Students are usually focused on other things like sports, homework, or…other things.
–Big ribbons on your head
This is an instance of an idea that looks really good on paper (literally), but not in reality. But, who knows — maybe it’ll eventually become a real fashion trend!
-Naps on the school roof
Japanese schools are run with at least a little authority. If you’re taking a nap at school, it’s probably on your desk during class.
-Good-for-nothing guys that are somehow popular with the ladies
Sorry, boys. The reverse also applies for the girls. I suppose this is one of those instances where manga is an outlet for wishful thinking.
-Good-looking punks whose faces still look beautiful no matter how many fights they get into
Come on, artists! You could at least give them a broken nose and we’d still find them attractive.
-Teacher: “Hello, this is our new student. Please get to know them. Oh, your seat? Just take that empty one over there.”
For the most part, Japanese schools have completely full classes. What’s more, class sizes are usually pretty large. If there’s an empty seat in your totally full classroom, you might want to be a little worried.
-Running with a piece of toast in your mouth, saying, “I’m late! I’m late!”
This is one of those iconic manga and anime moments that most of you probably know doesn’t happen already, but it’s still funny to think about.
-Hitting someone so hard they fly into the sky
The most air you can get with a punch in real life is maybe one or two feet off the ground. Maybe. I’m no expert or anything.
These are just a few things that made the list. It just goes to show that while manga is a form of media that can offer some insight into some valuable aspects of Japanese culture, there are some things you should take with a grain of salt.
What totally unrealistic manga moments are your favorite? Let us know below!
It’s been a long time coming, we have the Miss universe, Miss world, Miss bla bla elections, but what we (collectors, game, anime/manga lovers, otaku’s) have been missing is the Miss figure election. Of course the human Misses are beautiful in their own eh human way, but they wouldn’t stand a chance against the beauty and amazing body proportions of their plastic counterparts in a stand off. I don’t want to sound sexist, so let me assure you that for me, figures are by no means a substitute for real life women..come on they are so tiny, they wouldn’t be able to fetch me my beer from the fridge!
Whack! (that was the sound of my life partner smacking me on the back of my bald head)
Figures come in all sizes and shapes, and the price is often decided on the quality, details and popularity of the figure…but I’m going to forgo these points and judge them purely on their looks and uh character.
Without further ado, let me present you the 10 candidates:
1-Fighter Sasara from the psp game “ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers”
Sasara is a feisty blond, who loves nothing more than to take long walks on sandy beaches, drink Cola Bacardi’s and slice off some heads with her huge ax. she’s 25 centimeters tall and her favorite pet is a snapping turtle.
2-Iris Dina Bernhardt from Muv Luv alternative.
Lovely Iris is originally an East German army captain, with a weak spot for bunnies and panzerfaust hand grenades. She’s a true amazon at a length of 36 cm.
3-Saito Miohi from Love Torre
Blessed with a dynamite figure and strong love for anything bubbly, this Champagne sipping, bubble bath taking love is really into good causes, it doesn’t say what causes on her resume, but who gives a hoot, for all we care is that her presence in this world is cause for living.
4-Sakurai Aoi from RAIL WARS
Aoi chan (chan is a term of endearment, often used for younger women and girls) is not your typical miss contestant, being a bit of a tomboy, she doesn’t really like to flaunt her feminine side. More “human like” proportioned she’s likely to get a lot of votes from the ladies.
A voluptuous body and the skills to kick some serious butt, makes this brunette a very strong contender for the crown of “Miss figure” . It is said that she’s an amazing twerker and that she taught pro-twerker Jessica Vanessa all the moves.
6-Anzu Futaba from Idolmaster, Cinderella girls.
With her puppy eyes and young looks, Anzu is certain to attract the votes of “rorikon” lovers, “rorikon” stands for “Lolita complex” and is the preference some men have for under aged looking girls (please don’t call this sick, as we’re talking figures here..in real life however…)
7-Purayama of World Conquest Zvezda plot
Feisty Purayama loves to use the trick of attraction through concealing , she might be the complete opposite of Miley Cyrus! Purayama lost the use of her right eye at young age, but this has never stopped her in fulfilling her dreams and goals..instead she uses it to look more mysterious by wearing a slightly disturbing eye patch AND a mask!
8-Queen Sukasaha (Fate Grand Order)
This blue blooded royalty is all about style and class, giving “human” royalty a run for its money. If this was the queen of some country, I’d be emigrating there in jiffy.No flower printed Laura Ashley dresses for Sukasaha..the last person who suggested this, ended up on the sharp end of her spear!
9-Super Sonico (Beach Queens)
What would a Miss figure election be without presence of one of the Beach Queens? This year’s representative is Super Sonico, a cute fun loving girl who likes to sunbath on the sandy beaches of Cancun while listening to the latest vocaloid tracks. If she wins, she wants to use the money to go to Nice in France, and get rid of those tan lines.
10-Marie Rose (Dead or Alive)
If there had been earlier Miss Figure elections, than the ladies of action game Dead or Alive, would have been regular participants, with their beauty, skills and other bouncy attributes. It comes as a big surprise than that their entree lacks the two points which made this franchise so famous.
No bikini clad lady, Marie Rose like to wear Goth styled Lolita maid clothes and is therefore no participant in the famous Dead or Alive volleyball games. This stunning blonde brings character and style to this Miss election.
Choosing between these ladies might be hardest thing ever, therefore we let you decide who will be our Miss Figure 2016. One person will receive the winning figure on courtesy of JWS.
Some “contestants” are only up for pre-order, in which case we will order and once it’s “ready”, ship it to you.
Voting will end on the first of October and the results will be announced on the fifth of October.
Being an otaku in the corporate world isn’t always easy, strict fashion guidelines prevent you from expressing the real you. Sure you can wear some anime printed underwear, but it’s not ..well how to say this….cheeky….it’s a bit cowardice like putting Coke in a Pepsi bottle during a Pepsi fan meeting.
Now though, you can hide in plain sight, looking quite dashing in a conservative way, but still wearing your heart on your sleeve, with these Girls&Panzer neckties.
Worn beneath a suit they look like ordinary striped ties….
When you take off your jacket they still won’t reveal a thing..no worries you still look like a “serious” corporate worker.
Then when you turn over your tie a smile spreads over your face…knowing that they can take the otaku out of the otaku world, but you can never take the otaku out of the otaku!
They come in two colors, the one above with Nishisumu Miho in blue and Akiyama Yukasato in green.
They are now up for pre-order(delivery in July) and the cheapest option (various sites are selling them) was the one we found here ¥ 4,860 at Gee!Store.
It’s May, the flowers bloom, the birds lay eggs, the smell of fresh green grass tickles your prefrontal cortex….memories from happy times are triggered and a feeling of nostalgia flows through your body. Life is good. But May isn’t just a month of memories, it’s also a month of renewal, new wallpapers are chosen, Ikea is busier than ever and websites get a sunny make-over. Japanwebshopping has been sporting a very dark look, yeah we are freaks and we’re proud of it! Problem is that it was maybe a bit too otaku and scared away the casual shopper. We went to work and created a lighter and easier accessible site, while still holding on to our beloved black and gray (that we are great Yohji Yamamoto fans is something that goes without saying).
Let us know what you think about it, your opinion greatly matters to us.
If you’re a magical girl, or just an anime fan, in need of some seaside R and R, this unique swimwear is for you.
On the surface, the hit anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks like a simple tale of good versus evil, but the surprisingly subversive series raises a number of difficult questions. “How different, really, is a seemingly heroic magical girl from a self-indulgent witch?” it asks. “Where do you draw the line between blind devotion and all-consuming desire?”
And now, Madoka Magica is presenting another blurred line, with a new line of swimsuits that look, at first glance, like casual roomwear.
▼ The swimsuits, pictured here, are a stark departure from the Madoka Magica lingerie sets, which look exactly like you’d expect underwear to.
Anime fashion brand Super Groupies has partnered with the designers at MIIA to produce the bathing suits, and while the core cast of Madoka Magica consists of five magical girls, right now it’s only the two biggest stars who are represented, with one set for protagonist Madoka Kaname and the other for Homura Akemi.
Super Groupies itself readily admits that the designs don’t immediately scream “swimwear,” but that’s completely deliberate. The company says that the non-revealing style makes the Madoka Magica swimsuits a great choice for people headed to beachside events or pool parties who want the option of going for a dip yet still having the coverage they desire for the lengthy amount of time they’ll be spending out of the water, too.
Both models feature the same cut and overall design, with a pattern featuring the magical girls’ soul gems and other shapes in a faux constellation motif. The three-piece sets include a top, shorts, and bikini bottom, all made of swimsuit material.
While the Madoka Magica franchise loves to submerge itself in gray-area issues of morality, the swimsuits are much more colorful. Madoka’s is pink from top to bottom, while Homura’s two-shade design reflects the duality of the character’s emotional state and motivations.
▼ Or maybe navy and lavender just go well together.
Both suits are priced at 15,000 yen (US$140), and include the illustrations seen here of their individual character wearing the outfit. Delivery is scheduled for early August.
Generally, artists work better when they have a frame of reference. This is why art classes begin by painting a bowl of fruit that’s actually in front of you. It’s a little harder though, when your drawing requirements include people posing in outrageous situations. While there are plenty of resources online that are available for budding artists, sometimes you need something a little more relevant to your muse, thematically.
We’ve found the perfect reference book for manga artists drawing action sequences featuring school girl heroines. It’s written and compiled by action coordinator and action director Isao Karasawa, who’s responsible for titles such as Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, Thermae Romae, and Sailor Suit and Machine Gun: Graduation.
This book features a collection of action poses by female models in high school sailor uniforms and blazers as they deal with violent situations in at least three different chapters which include brawling, flying and gun play. You won’t be limited to just girls in school uniforms though, as there are reference photos of the models in swimsuits posing in the same action shots. With less clothing, you’ll be able to see the structures of the muscles and the lines of the body…so it’s easier to draw them.
▼ Bring on the poses!
▼ They’re still friends, even with that powerful kick to the neck.
▼ Focus on the way the muscles move!
▼ Jumping over someone with a gun in hand is an important pose to master.
▼ Two high schoolers with swords, just like everyday life.
Published by Genkosha, Freeze Framed Action Pose Shots 01: The Compilation of Female High School Students (瞬 撮アクションポーズ01 女子高生アクション編) can be found in Japanese bookstores for 2,484 yen (US$22.90).
Leave the footwork to us and we will send you a copy of this book.
For most artists, drawing something when you have nothing to look at or be inspired by can be tough, but a company called Phicen created “seamless bendable figures“, to give you that much needed inspiration. Their line-up feature either a fully poseable 1:6-scale ripped guy or busty gal. While neither figure may be especially realistic when you compare their proportions to your average Jane or Joe, they bend at 26 different points and provide a super-realistic look at how muscles, skin, and shadowing look at an almost endless number of angles—ideal for anime and manga artists!
▼ This is practically Lupin’s Fujiko in bendable form, but with “woman secret parts”.
▼ And a male version for all you artists out there that might need a guy with a prefect six-pack for a reference as you draw the next big shonen manga thriller. (“man secret parts” not included, or possibly sold separately? :O)
Depending on where you buy them from, each figure costs upwards 12,210 yen for the female and 14,800 yen for the man, but we’re sure that’s still much cheaper than hiring a real-life model for reference or multiple pose packs from Manga no Shiryo.net.
Members of the Japanese art community who have bought the figures seem rather pleased with their purchases, too:
“I went out and bought the Phicen doll everyone’s been talking about to use as a reference. Although it can’t be posed in every single way possible, it’s a lot more flexible than I thought it would be.”
“This seamless figure really is more flexible than you’d imagine it would be. I bought the male figure, but now I’m thinking about getting the female version.”
Of course, even if you’re not a serious artist, we imagine either would provide hours of fun at work as an office toy/decoration.