Vrai, Alex, and Mercedez go over the wealth of yuri being published on the English market and share some of their faves!
Date Recorded: October 30th, 2020
Hosts: Vrai, Alex, Mercedez
0:01:18 The yuri umbrella
0:02:08 Hit Me With Your Best Sell: After Hours
0:08:21 It Takes Two to Mango: Yuri is My Job!
0:12:27 Love It or Loan It: Futaribeya
0:17:13 One for the Money: How Do We Relationship?
0:23:34 Oh No, It’s Complicated: Akuma no Riddle: Riddle Story of Devil
0:33:29 It Takes Two to Mango: A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow
0:40:05 Hit Me With Your Best Sell: Goodbye, My Rose Garden
0:45:47 Love It or Loan It: Hungry for You: Endo Yasuko Stalks the Night
0:51:13 Group Hug: The Conditions of Paradise
VRAI: Hello and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. And you wanted it, you asked for it, and we are finally here after several months’ delay to talk about yuri manga on our Manga Variety Hour. My name is Vrai. I’m co-managing editor at Anime Feminist. You can find me on Twitter @WriterVrai, or you can find the other podcast I cohost @trashpod. And with me today are Alex and Mercedez.
ALEX: Hello! This is my first time podcasting on AniFem, so hello, everyone. I’m Alex. I’ve been writing for AniFem for going on three years now. Gosh. And I have joined the staff as their contributions editor this year. You can find me on Twitter @TheAfictionado, and I have a blog of the same name on WordPress.
MERCEDEZ: Hi, everyone. My name’s Mercedez, and I’m also a contributing editor at AniFem. You can find me on Twitter @pixelatedlenses, where I talk a lot about translation, localization, editing, and all that good stuff.
VRAI: Yay! Now, yuri is a big, big umbrella. There are multiple sites dedicated to discussing it. So, what we’re doing today is mostly more recent titles, and we are putting aside queer titles that aren’t under the yuri umbrella and S-Class stuff, because we actually have a previous Manga Variety Hour on queer manga, and we’ll probably get around to doing S-Class stuff in a future episode if y’all want to hear it. But for now, we have a crop of lovely, pretty recent titles that you can pick up today if you are interested in what we have to say about it. Dee is not here, but I will be keeping in her proud tradition of our terrible, terrible segment titles. Alex, we’re throwing you right into the deep end, right off the way.
VRAI: Hit Me with Your Best Sell!
ALEX: [sings] Fire away… [speaks normally] That’s a bit pathetic. Anyway. Ahem.
ALEX: So, what I would like to hit you guys and our listeners with today is the series After Hours by Nishio Yuhta. This is a romance between adult characters, later-in-life coming-of-age story centering on music and DJ culture and the importance of finding your passion. The English version is out from Viz, and it is, in contrast to some of the other titles I believe we’re talking about today, finished at a snappy three volumes. So, if you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of yuri but maybe want something more bite sized, this could be a good option.
MERCEDEZ: And I just wanna say, that third one, it’s a thick boy, y’all. It’s a thick volume.
VRAI: Yeah, it’s about twice the size of the first two, isn’t it?
MERCEDEZ: It’s a chunky one.
ALEX: It’s a chunky one. Maybe it could have been four— I don’t know, it makes a nice trilogy. It has a nice sort of structure, I reckon.
MERCEDEZ: It does. I feel like it gets wrapped up really tightly in three volumes, which is nice. [chuckles]
ALEX: It does. Which, again, in contrast to some of the more slow-burn stuff we’ll be covering later in the episode. But our protagonist is Emi, who is 24 and in a full-on quarter-life crisis. She doesn’t really know what she wants to do with her life. She’s in this weird situation where she’s kind of broken up with her boyfriend but is still living with him, and she’s just generally pretty adrift.
So, our story kicks off when she goes to a nightclub with a friend and then gets ditched and left on her own there. But she ends up meeting a lady DJ named Kei, who guides her around the nightlife scene, introduces her to this world of DJing and music and all that light and color. They end up going home together on that first night, but this fling quickly turns into a more serious relationship.
So, our romance begins in a less conventional place, especially for the tradition of yuri, so that kind of “Will they or won’t they?” question comes less from the drawn-out buildup of their relationship that’s leading up to their big kiss or their confession of love under a sunset or whatever. They’ve gotten together in the first few chapters, but the question is, “Is this relationship sustainable? Is it growing into love rather than something more fun and casual? And of course, how will all of this help Emi develop and grow as a person?”
VRAI: I still haven’t read the third volume, but I remember being really impressed with how this series handles nudity so casually.
MERCEDEZ: It is really good. And I think part of why it handles nudity well… It’s a seinen manga in Japan, but it’s a weird seinen manga because it’s aimed at that male demographic, but this feels like… y’all, it feels like it’s for the gays. It feels like it’s for me.
VRAI: What even is seinen anymore? Seinen just strikes me as, I don’t know: it’s not a workin’ gal’s story and it’s not for teenage girls or teenage boys.
MERCEDEZ: Because a lot of seinen stories definitely have female appeal, but let’s be honest, Japan doesn’t like women. Hot take. Japan doesn’t like women, which is bad, because a lot of seinen stories are definitely for women, but—
ALEX: But the demographic kind of breezes over that. There isn’t a specific demographic for— I mean, everything so far as I can tell, the demographics seem usually set in stone, like, shounen, shoujo, seinen, whatever. They seem to be getting more and more nebulous the further we go, and the more of these variety stories that we have.
MERCEDEZ: Right. And I think After Hours was written by a… I believe Nishio identifies as male. And so, you have a male author that’s very good at depicting female nudity in a way that’s very natural.
ALEX: Yeah, there’s a couple love scenes. They’re very tender. They’re not raunchy or spicy or anything. It’s just like, oh hey, here are these two characters who care about each other and are being intimate.
I think in the second volume especially there’s a really lovely scene where they’ve reconciled after something’s gone a bit haywire and they bring the relationship back together. And yeah, it’s just very intimate, tender without being leery, which is obviously especially important if we’re taking these demographic concerns of the gaze—G-A-Z-E, that is, not G-A-Y-S…
VRAI: Contact dangers.
ALEX: Gaze and the gays, yeah. That kind of thing is really interesting to keep an eye on in a lot of these adult-aimed or adult-orientated yuri because it’s like, “who is this for, and does it matter?” Because we know the sapphic audience is taking it away anyway.
MERCEDEZ: And I think that’s the beautiful thing about After Hours. Yuri as a whole, it doesn’t have an audience. The audience is anyone who likes yuri.
ALEX: Yeah, the audience is yuri fans, and that can be whoever it may be.
MERCEDEZ: And After Hours really exemplifies, like, this is a story that anyone can read because you can be any gender and be an aimless 20-something trying to figure it all out. And it’s just good. It’s just really good.
ALEX: It is very good. It does a thing that I really enjoy, too, with the romance plot, where it’s mostly from Emi’s point of view. So, Kei kind of has this veneer of success around her where, ooh, she’s the adult who’s got everything together in her life, but as you go further along, you realize that that’s kind of an illusion, and in the end it’s Emi who ends up taking care of her and they both have a lot to learn from each other.
I really like that kind of switcheroo because it speaks to this chipping away at the pedestal that love interests can sometimes end up on. They’re just both very human characters in the end, and I really enjoyed that.
VRAI: Yeah. So, it’s a nice, brisk read to pick up for folks who are clamoring for adult romance.
MERCEDEZ: And I mean, for under $30, you can get this series physically.
ALEX: Not in Australian dollars, but yes. [laughs]
MERCEDEZ: I’m sorry. I was definitely speaking in American dollars.
ALEX: It’s okay. Everything’s more expensive here because it has to go an extra mile to get here. I don’t know how it works, but yes. [chuckles] In any case, three volumes, a nice trilogy. Definitely more accessible as an entry point than, perhaps, some other things.
VRAI: Well, you two have a lovely chemistry back and forth here. Why don’t we step on into Two to Mango, and you can tell me about a series that I keep meaning to read and haven’t, which is Yuri Is My Job!
MERCEDEZ: Oh, my God, I love this series so much. [chuckles] It’s really funny. So, I guess I’ll give a little summary up front. The series follows Hime Shiraki, who is this child, this high school girl who dreams of literally being a trophy wife to a billionaire. Outright says it at the beginning that “I want money and I want to be a trophy wife.” And she moves through the world with this very cute façade, trying to appeal to everyone…
Except one day, she accidentally injures a fellow student who just happens to work at a café where the employees role-play being at an all-girls boarding school, and Hime’s façade drops. We learn that this child is actually the worst. [chuckles] She’s not very nice, actually, which is quite refreshing.
So, she goes to the café, and she’s gonna try and do the right thing and reluctantly takes the injured student’s place. However, she meets a girl named Mitsuki, who, unlike everyone else that Hime knows, hates her, instantly hates her, does not like it, doesn’t like that Hime’s there, and makes it very clear, except for when they’re in role, that she hates Hime. Despite all that, Hime is trying to get along with Mitsuki until she learns that Mitsuki actually knows her from the past.
ALEX: Dun-dun-dun! [chuckles]
VRAI: So, this is not in fact a job about people working in the manga industry.
ALEX: [crosstalk] No.
MERCEDEZ: It is a yuri café, kind of a la Strawberry Panic, but without the horrible parts of Strawberry Panic. So, pretty much without the everything that makes Strawberry Panic, Strawberry Panic.
VRAI: I was going to say— Thank you. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: It plays on that Class S relationship in a very literal way. There comes a part where they form… I don’t know… the word that they use is German and I’m not gonna pronounce it, but essentially, they dedicate themselves to be older sister/little sister. It’s a maid café without the maid uniform because it’s a school setting, but it’s very hilarious, it’s very heartfelt.
I think it’s up to seven volumes in Japan, I want to say, so it’s still ongoing. It’s by Kodansha, also. That’s who’s putting that out.
ALEX: It does that really fun thing where it’s a maid café, but the costume they’re embodying is these Class S tropes. So, it does a thing that I really enjoy where it’s like “Ooh, you think that this character is going to embody this archetype because of everything you see about them. But, no, it’s only a façade, and they are very different underneath.” That’s a very literal thing.
One of the very refined older sister characters is a gyaru when she’s out of uniform and is this rough-and-tumble punk kind of character, which I love. And yeah, Hime, of course, looks like a perfect little angel but is in fact a gremlin protagonist, and I love her. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: You have to love a protagonist that just outright is like, “Two things I want in life: that money, that comfort.” [chuckles] It’s a great establishing point for Hime. She’s a really fun character.
VRAI: I mean, you two have definitely sold me on this because my favorite yuri manga is Canno’s Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl, which is a very rivalry-heavy type series, which I feel like you don’t see as often in the last wave of popular yuri. So I am now interested in reading this.
ALEX: That’s true. Yeah, this has a very “childhood friends, two enemies, two lovers, presumably” kind of thing going on.
MERCEDEZ: It is everything that I search for when I’m on Archive of Our Own. This is what I want. It’s great. So, you gotta pick it up, Vrai. You have no choice.
VRAI: Very well. All right, well, since you’re doing so well at selling me on titles, tell me: Love It or Loan It? We have exactly one title from the cursed company this session.
ALEX: [amused] The cursed company!
MERCEDEZ: Oh, my God. Okay, gang.
VRAI: I fucking hate Tokyopop!
MERCEDEZ: So, I’m gonna be candid. I struggled when Tokyopop was releasing this title, because Tokyopop does not have a good reputation. I should say that I do buy Tokyopop’s manga because they’re putting out one of my favorite series and, y’all, it’s the only way to get it legally and I just really love Aria.
VRAI: No, I think we’ve all faced that struggle. I have quote-unquote Yuri Bear Storm on my shelf right now. I’m so mad.
MERCEDEZ: [crosstalk] It’s so bad!
VRAI: It was already localized in the anime as Yurikuma Arashi! Why would you do this?
MERCEDEZ: When I heard that title, I was like, [singing] “Kuma shock! Kuma shock!” [Speaking normally] And I don’t even go there with Yurikuma Arashi. I’ve never seen it, but I knew that line, and I was like—
ALEX: It’s definitely kuma-shocking.
MERCEDEZ: I was kuma-shocked down to my soul.
VRAI: Why would you make— Brand synergy! On a pure business level— I’m so mad. Anyway, tell me about Futaribeya.
MERCEDEZ: So, Futaribeya: A Room for Two is a 4-koma, a four-panel comic, which I think is a really interesting way to tell a yuri story. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a four-panel yuri comic before this.
So, basically, it follows Sakurako Kawawa, and Sakurako moves into her school’s boarding house only to find out that her roommate is this gorgeous but absentminded and very lazy student named Kasumi. And Kasumi likes eating, but she does not like doing anything else. She’s not good at mornings. Kasumi’s good at existing, which, like, mood.
But it’s just this very, very cute yuri-lite. This is gonna be a slight spoiler: I do think there’s a kiss in later volumes. It’s on the cheek, but I’ll take a kiss wherever I can. But it’s a slice-of-life manga, and I think it’s up to eight volumes in Japan.
It’s just a very simple, very pleasant manga. It’s very ace-friendly. I’ll say that. There’s really no sexualization. I mean, okay, you see the girls in their underwear, but it’s not sexualized in the same way. It’s like “We’re changing clothes in gym.” I still don’t enjoy those things, but it’s nice to see a yuri that doesn’t make the teenagers feel adult in that way. But it’s very, very ace-friendly.
Kasumi, actually, while she shows romantic interest, there’s a stark lack of sexual desire between both of the girls, and I cannot express how comforting that is, which is particularly why I like this title. I myself am ace, so it’s always nice to be able to see yuri that isn’t sexual or doesn’t have sexuality as a core part of it but instead focuses on two female characters loving each other. But it’s really good.
Don’t expect a lot. If your local library or something that offers e-books in a supportive, legal way has access to it, I would say check out the first volume. I myself am collecting it because I really like it. It’s just very good comfort food. I know that pretty much every volume is gonna end on a high note. It’s that kind of series.
VRAI: So, kind of that iyashikei thing where… Do a temperature check and then if you like it, there’s a lot for you to enjoy.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, and, full disclosure, I’m definitely the person at AniFem that’s super into two things: iyashikei and idols. That’s pretty much my M.O. around here. So, as a fan of healing anime and manga, it’s easy for me to suggest. Give it the one-volume try. It’s not for everyone, but it is cute, and I think it’s a really, really good ongoing yuri. It reminds me in a way of Kase-san, but very, very, very light Kase-san. Like very, very, very, very light. Yeah. So, Love It or Loan It.
VRAI: So, perhaps loan it and you may come to love it.
VRAI: Perfect. So, from seven volumes down to just one, although there will be more coming over soon, Alex, you have a title that perhaps might be One For Our Money?
ALEX: I do have a title that perhaps may be one for your money. I want to talk about How Do We Relationship? which is by Tamifull. It’s just started coming out this year from Viz in English. And, yes, I think there are many more volumes coming. Volume two is up for preorder now, which is very exciting.
This is a college romance between our shy small-town girl Miwa and the much more outgoing Saeko, who are both in their first year of college. They literally bump into each other during orientation and strike up this odd little friendship. So, Miwa is a lesbian that has never been in a romantic relationship before, though she has had some crushes on girls from her hometown. She never really talked about it before, but as she gets closer to Saeko, she wonders if it’s safe for her to confide in her about this.
So, one night when they’re a bit tipsy, Miwa is psyching herself up to confess about this, but Saeko beats her to the punch and tells Miwa that she also likes girls. So, in this mix of the euphoria of queer connection and just a little bit of alcohol, they jokingly are like, “Hey, we should totally date each other! You know, we’re two women who like women. We’re both cool. We know we like each other. What’s the worst that could happen?”
So, sort of similarly to After Hours, this is a story that flips the usual slow-burn romance path and has them jumping into a relationship quite quickly and then figuring out their feelings for one another. With these two series I’ve used as examples, I might accidentally be making it seem like this is a real trend that’s emerging in yuri. I don’t know if it is, but it is cool. It signifies a shift and an increased variety in the genre that we have.
MERCEDEZ: I actually do think there’s something of a trend of skipping a lot of the fluff, because there’s… Oh, I can’t remember the title, but there’s a manga that just came out that’s a yuri, and I think it’s like Our Teachers Are Dating, and it skips a lot of… These are just two adult women who are dating and have an interest. And I think it’s great. Like you said, I think it’s great because it skips all of the buildup and you just get to see a relationship. It’s good.
ALEX: Yeah, in the author’s notes at the back, it does specifically talk about that. They say— Okay, here, I have it right here.
They ask, “Why do romances always end when they decide to start dating? I mean it’s probably because that’s the most dramatic part, really. At least that’s what people think. You stick ‘em together, you can hear about their anniversaries, their first fights, their worries about the future, and all the different feelings that come after dating starts. I want to read about that.”
So, clearly that’s the motivation for writing this here. And yeah, you get a really fun dynamic in that you have these two characters figuring out their feelings as they go. It’s very funny and quite zany in some places, but it’s also very grounded and, I felt, really emotionally honest.
There’s great moments where both of the characters analyze their own relationship to relationships, which they both have a very different history with, for different reasons. Miwa has been shy and solo for a long time, assuming that she would never have a normal dating life because she likes other women. And Saeko, by contrast, has thrown herself into a few relationships that weren’t quite right for her because she wanted to grow up and date someone and get that milestone over with already.
So, it’s really interesting in how it talks about that, and it’s also refreshing and frank in how it talks about sex and sexuality, because the two characters have different levels of experience and different wants and needs.
I will say, though, it is also kind of ace friendly, which is really interesting. Throughout the first volume, one of the minor conflicts is that Saeko’s horny but Miwa isn’t quite ready for that, personally and in terms of the stage their relationship is at. But they talk it out and they acknowledge the different needs and levels that they’re at, and they really are just like, “Hey, we can make this work. We don’t have to sleep together at all if we don’t want to. We can do it at our own pace.” Which was like, “Oh, wow!”
One other character… The side characters are all hilarious, by the way. But also, there is a part where one of the side characters basically says, “Hey, sex isn’t essential to every relationship, and you shouldn’t feel pressured into doing it out of any sense of obligation,” which is a very low bar, obviously, but I always love it when I see those words said in fiction. It’s like, oh, yes, can we put that up there? [chuckles]
VRAI: That’s just a nice thing to say, whether somebody is sex interested or not.
ALEX: Exactly, yeah.
MERCEDEZ: Exactly. And it’s such a powerful thing because the reality is, with a lot of yuri, a lot of older teenagers who are having these very big questions about what it means to engage with sex, what it means to desire engaging with it at all, are asking these questions.
And I think it’s wonderful that we’re in an age of yuri where a reader who might be questioning, a reader who just might generally be unsure about themselves can see, “Oh, I don’t have to have these things. I don’t have to engage with them”—that engaging with them or choosing not to or not feeling a need doesn’t make you aberrant; you’re just you. I think it’s really great. I think it’s really, really great.
ALEX: Yeah, this relationship dynamic, it was really fun because I was like, “I relate to this because I’m ace and because I’m bi.” It was like that meme of the Spider-Man pointing at himself. [laughs] It was very fun in that sense.
MERCEDEZ: I love that this is not only the yuri podcast; this is the ace rep podcast.
ALEX: [laughs] Kind of by accident. I end up there all the time. Yeah, I’ve been doing a whole chat about ace rep or at least characters being able to be read as ace, but that’s another day. That’s a very fascinating…
VRAI: We have three aces on staff now, so I’m gonna get you guys together with Dee, and you can make that happen.
ALEX: We walk among you.
VRAI: Well, this sounds like a really nice title. I would be interested to pick that up.
ALEX: [crosstalk] It is nice. It’s very fun.
VRAI: All right. All right, so now we’re moving on to a category that exists because everything I read is trash.
ALEX: [laughs] Excellent, excellent.
VRAI: We call this section “Oh No, It’s Complicated” because “My Fave Is Problematic” was taken.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, my God.
VRAI: And I want to talk to you today about Akuma no Riddle, which is the only title on our list today that has a distinct author and illustrator, rather than one person doing both.
MERCEDEZ: And boy, is the writer very distinct. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: Oh, no! [laughs as if pained]
VRAI: I have a fascination with Koga Yun.
MERCEDEZ: I love Koga Yun a lot. [chuckles]
VRAI: The illustrator, by the way, is less infamous, Minakata Sunao. She’s a well-established yuri artist but may be famous because she is dating or dated—I’m not sure—Morishima Akiko.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, wow.
VRAI: But— Yeah. It’s very cute. So, Koga Yun is… I like to call her “If Okada Mari had more misses than hits.”
VRAI: She’s a very messy storyteller. She likes to dig her fingers into these stories about teens who are extremely traumatized and these stories about cycles of abuse and trauma and violence. She’s got maybe one of the most consistently evolving art styles of any mangaka I’ve followed. If you look at something like Earthian from the ‘90s, it looks completely different from something that she’s doing, like the designs from Gundam 00 that she did. She’s really interesting in that way.
And Loveless is probably her most famous work and sort of infamous because it’s trying to say a thing about CSA survivors while also falling into blatant shota-baiting. But we own all of it, because it’s really meaningful to my wife as a survivor.
MERCEDEZ: I have a particular fondness for Loveless because it’s a very powerful story, and it’s one that’s often pigeonholed into being boys’ love when it is absolutely not. If anything, it’s really strongly rejecting the boys’ love narrative to tell a really powerful story about CSA and about surviving trauma. Like you said, it’s very messy, but I fully agree it’s a very powerful story. It’s a powerful story.
VRAI: Yeah, it has these wonderfully written characters, but also, you would be deliberately oblivious if we ignored the fact that Ritsuka is fetishized as often as his legitimate trauma is discussed. And that sucks. But yeah, she’s done josei, she’s done seinen, she’s done shoujo. I don’t know. She’s really interesting to me. Earthian is a very nostalgic fave.
And Akuma no Riddle, which has about a billion different localization names… The anime came out as Riddle Story of Devil and, I think, follows basically the same plot, although it was made while the manga was still being published, so I think it diverts a little at the end there. It is the story of the secret class of assassins in this Class Black. There are 13 assassins and one mark, and the mark’s goal is to try to survive all the way to the end, and the assassins’ goals are to kill her, and if they are the one who successfully kills the mark, then they get their greatest desire granted.
And so, this girl, Haru, appears completely helpless and manages to attract the help of one of the assassins, Tokaku, who defects from her mission and agrees that actually she’s going to take Haru’s side and protect her all the way to the end. And there’s this deeper conspiracy going on with what the school is trying to do and what they want with Haru.
And it is an extremely trashy manga in some ways. It has a fair sprinkling of fanservice; but it also has some legitimately upsetting stories about its characters going through various abuses and traumas that it deals with, I think, in a surprisingly sensitive way, given the fact that it is this noir, femme-fatale type action story.
One thing I do hate about the manga is that, for God knows what reason, the translator… which is an unusual choice because this is Seven Seas Entertainment, who I think has become the god among yuri publishers. That is what they are known for. So, Haru has the third-person speech tic and they translate it literally, which is my least favorite thing in the world.
MERCEDEZ: Oh no! Oh no.
VRAI: And it’s really distracting!
MERCEDEZ: I wonder… I don’t know if you know, Vrai, but Akuma no Riddle… It got released prior to Seven Seas acquiring it in English. I think it’s a weird case of it had two translations.
MERCEDEZ: I think it did because I remember buying it on Bookwalker. And then another release of it came out, and I was baffled because I was like, “Wait, I just bought this.” And I think maybe Seven Seas handled it, but something happened that I feel like there were two releases of it, and I could be wrong. But I wonder if, because there was a previous translation by a different company before Seven Seas got the title, maybe that’s a holdover.
VRAI: That could be.
MERCEDEZ: Realistically, too, publishers in Japan, they can ask for certain things. They can be like, “Hey, we would like this thing to stay.” And you’re kind of at the mercy of them, I would imagine, in that situation, but I feel like I have an edition that is not the Seven Seas version.
VRAI: That’s interesting. And the version I read was from a public library, so maybe it was also the older edition. And to be fair, additionally, this one came out before the current yuri boom. It was published in Japan from 2012 to 2016 and started coming out in English in 2015.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. It’s funny because I’m thinking more about having a different version… I’m pretty sure I do, because mine was Devil’s Riddle or something like. I feel like I just have a different version, and I think something happened where there’s the version that we all know from Seven Seas but there’s also a version that came out. Yeah, I have Riddle Story of a Devil. [chuckles] Which…
VRAI: Why… I don’t know who demanded that title, but it’s so awkward.
MERCEDEZ: That’s definitely not Seven Seas, at all. Not in the least.
VRAI: No, that’s the official localization.
MERCEDEZ: [disappointed] No! [chuckles]
VRAI: I don’t know why it’s not called Devil’s Riddle. That makes more sense. But no, Riddle Story of Devil.
MERCEDEZ: Is that the— Okay, maybe, maybe, listeners, I’m wrong and life is torturous, and instead of calling it… God, that’s so sad. Because I do think it was renamed to Akuma no Riddle, because “Riddle Story of a Devil” is horrible and it’s not good localization. But I wonder if maybe that was a case of even the localizer was told to play it straight or they chose to, but it’s not a good choice. Dang it! [chuckles]
VRAI: [chuckles] Speaking of manga and anime with different titles, I still haven’t watched the anime, but I did buy it from Funimation because it was on sale for ten bucks, and it is out as Riddle Story of Devil, whereas the manga, I think, now gets reprinted as just Akuma no Riddle.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, because on Bookwalker, on the digital editions, it’s Akuma no Riddle, which kind of like Yuri Bear Storm, is the better of the title.
ALEX: You guys are talking about this different translation stuff. I’m like, “Is this a Berenstein [Rhyming with “line”]/Berenstain [Rhyming with “lane”] split-universe theory happening?” Is there the Seven Seas version and this weird, alternate diverging timeline where it was Riddle Story of Devil? [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: Kid you not, I had Riddle Story of Devil, and maybe what it is is that Seven Seas has had the license but they chose to change it, which, like, bless. Because it is a complicated story, but it’s good, y’all. It’s good. And I’ve only read volume one or two. I think I’ve read two. It’s really good. It has big Gunslinger Girl vibes.
VRAI: Mm. The first volume I found a little bit of a hurdle. It’s only five volumes long and it’s complete. The first volume is so much setup that I kinda had to push through it, and the rest of it kinda takes off and just never stops. And I really liked how sympathetic it is to its various assassin characters, who are all extremely archetypical, but in a way that the story, you can tell, likes them.
MERCEDEZ: Mm-hm. I wholly agree with that.
VRAI: It is messy, and I love it so much and I want people to read it.
MERCEDEZ: But I think there’s a really good place for messy yuri. There’s something distinctly satisfying about really messy yuri sometimes.
VRAI: Mm-hm. And you know what? Unlike Murciélago, which betrayed me with pedophilia, this doesn’t have that.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, no! Oh, no! No!
VRAI: [sighing] Yeah…
VRAI: Anyway, that’s enough of that!
VRAI: Let us move on into the second half of our show, where we once again have Two to Mango. Alex, you have had to sit on the sidelines for a minute. If you would like to lead this dance…
ALEX: That was all fascinating to watch pass me by, that whole… [chuckles] Because I’m not familiar with that series, but now I know so much about it. Goodness me.
ALEX: So, we will talk about A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow by Makoto Hagino. This is what I was alluding to when we talk about more slow-burn series. So, okay, the curse that I live with, the sort of monkey’s paw situation in my life, is I really love slow burn. I really like friends-to-lovers as a trope and the gradual development of relationships across a long plot and shifting dynamics over time. It’s all like, [Blows a kiss] “Yes, very good.”
But the reality of that in a format like manga is it’s like, “Okay, well, they’re not gonna hold hands until volume 17, so I’d better make space on my shelf and in my budget for that.” [laughs]
MERCEDEZ: Tropical Fish is for sure the slowest of burns. We’re talking like a candle that is burning down to the bottom.
ALEX: Oh, it’s beautiful, though. It’s lovely.
MERCEDEZ: It’s so good! So good.
ALEX: So, our main character is a girl called Konatsu who moves to a new seaside town based on her parents’ jobs moving her around, and she’s quite anxious and feeling very isolated.
But on one of her first days there, she wanders into her school’s Aquarium Club, which is not so much a club as it is a scientific aquarium, and the daughter of the teacher who runs it is basically the only member of this quote-unquote “club.” But that girl is Koyuki, and they strike up this nice little quiet, tentative bond, and Konatsu joins the Aquarium Club. And they are both anxious little babies in, I think, a very authentic way to being a young person who’s very unsure of yourself.
And it does a fun thing, too, where it has a dual perspective, so you get chapters from Konatsu’s point of view and chapters where you’re inside Koyuki’s head instead. And it gets to this nice balance. It’s not like a protagonist looking at a love interest. They are both protagonists in their own right, which is a dynamic I really like.
And it also means you get these great, beautifully frustrating situations where the characters will be sitting there being like, “Aw, I don’t know if she likes me. I don’t know if I’m worthy. I think I should go back to bed and just hole up.” And I love that because it does feel very true to life, but I also want to grab them by the collar and be like, “No, listen. She does like you, and she’s worried that she’s not worthy of your affection. I know, because she just spent a whole chapter agonizing about the exact same thing, and if you just talked to each other you would know.” But that’s not— [laughs]
MERCEDEZ: No. [laughs]
ALEX: That’s not the name of the game. It’s good, though. It’s lovely. It’s very charming.
MERCEDEZ: It’s really good. I think Viz, who’s publishing it in English, is up to four volumes?
ALEX: Yes. And I have them all, and I’m in pain. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: It just started coming out in English this year, because I think it’s on that good Viz—
MERCEDEZ: Don’t take my word at that. I think it might’ve just been this year, because I think it’s on that good Viz “Every two or three months there’s a new volume” schedule, which… we thank Viz for our daily bread.
VRAI: Yeah, Viz was quite late in picking this one up. I remember people talking about it for a while.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. Now I will say, once again… I feel like, y’all, everything is ace to me.
MERCEDEZ: Once again, I think particularly for demiromantic readers, this has a lot of appeal. Now I can’t speak to this, but I’ve seen mention online that a lot of people view Koyuki as being—correct me if I’m wrong—on the autism spectrum. I can’t personally speak to that.
VRAI: I haven’t read it, so I can’t help.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. But if that’s the case, I think that’s actually really powerful. But, like I said, I personally can’t speak to that and I’m not going to speak for a community that I am not a part of. But I’ve heard that.
ALEX: That’s really interesting, yeah.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. And so, I mean there’s further representation if that’s the case.
ALEX: Sometimes in these… because I do a lot of work in the queer young adult fiction sphere, as well… It’s my research area.
MERCEDEZ: The good sphere.
ALEX: [chuckles] And a lot of the conversations in that, at least in modern works, it’s very explicit what representation you’re getting. The characters will identify on page as whatever identity they are, or in a lot of the marketing copy or people recommending it to one another, they’re like, “Oh yeah, this has ace rep. This has nonbinary rep. Et cetera.” That’ll be part of the spin.
Whereas I feel like, just as part of a cultural difference or a genre difference or a creator difference, whatever it may be, you can’t necessarily go into things like yuri expecting and craving that. Sometimes, like How Do We Relationship? has these stories that very directly say, “Hey, this is what it’s like to be a lesbian in Japan.” But you will also have, yeah, stories like this where it’s much more quiet and character-driven and a lot of those things are much more subtle and quiet and up for interpretation.
So, there is room, genuinely, even if the creator didn’t set out to write a demiromantic or an autistic-spectrum story. The fact that readers can find those resonances in them is still really powerful, even if it’s not explicit and quote-unquote “canon” in the way that it can be in other fields.
MERCEDEZ: Oh yeah, and I mean I’m a big proponent of “Read yourself into the spaces that you need to exist. If the world is not making space for you, you make the space that you need.” And I don’t think that’s bad. I think that’s actually a really powerful form of self-love and of care that you can give yourself, is to read yourself and see yourself in all the possibilities and places you want.
ALEX: Exactly. Beautifully put.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. Ah, thank you. Thank you.
VRAI: Well done.
MERCEDEZ: Speaking of “beautifully put,” can we talk about this next manga that’s really beautiful?
VRAI: Yes! All right, Mercedez, it is your turn! Hit Me with Your Best Sell!
MERCEDEZ: Okay, so, I’m coming at y’all with Goodbye, My Rose Garden, which, like, ah! Drama! Ah! The art! Oh! The gayness! It’s so good. Okay.
So, your story is… Hanako is a Japanese teacher, as in a Japanese person who teaches Japanese, I assume. I honestly can’t remember that bit. I think I was just so excited when I read this. But she’s a Japanese teacher who journeys to England in order to meet Victor Franks, this reclusive writer and her personal idol, as well as going to England to fulfill her desire to become a novelist.
However, she very quickly comes into the employment of one Alice Douglas. She’s a noblewoman, and she has this very dark wish that Hanako has to fulfill if she wants to meet Victor Franks. Alice wants her, Hanako, to kill her. And, y’all, if that’s not a summary to knock your socks off, I don’t know what is.
ALEX: [crosstalk] Yeah, wow.
MERCEDEZ: I don’t know what is. [chuckles]
VRAI: I think I remember reading the Seven Seas blurb for this and going, “Ah, yes, I too enjoyed The Handmaiden.”
VRAI: So, I am on board with this manga. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
MERCEDEZ: It is very good. I mean, y’all, it’s my everything. So, in Japan it’s completed, finished in February. It’s complete at three volumes, so once this comes out, this is another “Grab them all at once because you’re gonna want to experience it all at once.” I believe the last volume comes out either… No, last volume might come out in January 2021.
VRAI: It says on Seven Seas’ website. It’s soon, I think.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, boy!
VRAI: They have the cover preview out and all.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, so it’s either gonna be December or January. I’m gonna angle for January because I think Seven Seas is dropping so many books that they cannot help but push it to January. Very powerful first volume. Excellent localization. Beautiful lettering. Dr. Pepperco… [chuckles] Which is just—
VRAI: Which is the best pen name!
ALEX: [crosstalk] That is excellent.
MERCEDEZ: The best! And when he writes it in Japanese, his family name is Dokuta. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: So, it’s just Doctor! It’s great. It’s really great.
I mean, it’s this really beautiful story about Hanako becoming Alice’s personal maid and them forming this friendship. And it’s very, very queer. It’s very, very queer. And they even delve, because of the time that this is set in— It’s set in almost turn-of-the-20th-century England. So, you’re talking about the 1880s, the 1890s, that era.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Get that good, good Victoriana.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. I mean, it talks about queer historical figures. It delves into the actual history of… Oh gosh, I always forget what his name is. He’s English, he was a very famous writer—
VRAI: Oscar Wilde?
VRAI: It was always Oscar Wilde.
MERCEDEZ: But there’s a scene that explicitly talks about what a pity it is that he could not live as himself. It’s really good, and it’s very aware. Dr. Pepperco, the best doctor to trust, has just crafted this really beautiful story about two women falling in love. Of course, naturally, Alice is betrothed to another man, because the gays can’t be happy. [chuckles]
VRAI: This sounds like exactly my type of drama.
MERCEDEZ: And I don’t know how it’s gonna end. I imagine it’s probably gonna be very bittersweet. The manga’s very transparent about the time period it operates in. It fully understands— Okay, I’m sorry. I just looked at my notes. It’s 1900, and it’s specifically right after the death of Oscar Wilde. So, it’s later than I thought.
The manga’s very aware of its operating in a time where being anything but a cis, straight person was wrong. It’s very aware, and I actually like that it doesn’t shy away from the fact that is a part of our history, a part of our shared Western history, especially, of dealing with different sexualities, different bodies, different identities.
It’s just really good. It’s very powerful. I really don’t know how it’s going to end. You’re gonna want tissues, though. I can guarantee you that. Don’t read this at your desk in a Japanese high school while it’s lunchtime, because you’ll start crying and your coworkers will be very concerned.
MERCEDEZ: It’s not a personal story or anything.
ALEX: Is that an experience you have had? [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: [chuckles] Yes. Yes, I first read this at my desk, and I started sobbing into my rice. [chuckles]
ALEX: Oh no!
VRAI: Oh no!
MERCEDEZ: Because it was so good!
VRAI: That is a solid recommendation.
ALEX: Yeah, that’s an endorsement.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. Goodbye, My Rose Garden: you don’t need to season your rice because your tears will.
MERCEDEZ: That’s the endorsement.
VRAI: Seven Seas, you can have that one for free.
MERCEDEZ: Slap that on the back cover. [chuckles] Yeah, it’s good. It’s just good.
VRAI: All right, well, from that into something that I put on this show notes just because I need to yell at someone about my feelings about it. [groans ominously]
MERCEDEZ: [excitedly] Are you gonna do Endo Yasuko? Are you gonna do it?
VRAI: I am! I think we have time. I’m gonna make it real quick.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, my God, do it please.
VRAI: I have more Love It or Loan It for you, the listeners, which is Hungry for You: Endo Yasuko Stalks the Night. It’s a completed two-volume series by Flowerchild from 2016 and put out by Seven Seas Entertainment.
It is a comedy—question mark, question mark, question mark—manga about Shizue, who lives in a town where girls have been going missing and it’s all very odd. And one day she is approached by the titular vampire Endo Yasuko, who says that she is a vampire and she’s dying and Shizue is the only one whose blood she can eat.
And thus begins this comedy of errors; this side of Slap Kiss, Will They Won’t They. Because it’s using the very Victorian vampirism angle, there is that bargaining aspect of… you have the aggressive, amorous partner and the other one who’s kind of withholding, but in a lot more slapstick and less assault-coded manner than I think a lot of those stories tend to go. It also has just a lot of great side characters. It has this schoolgirl who is very Nanami-esque in that she’s constantly trying to reveal Yasuko as a vampire, and it goes very badly for her.
MERCEDEZ: That’s really funny.
VRAI: Uh-huh. And Shizue herself is very nonplussed about everything. She agrees to this whole plan because Yasuko agrees to get her food.
VRAI: That is Shizue’s main goal.
VRAI: She’s a very good protagonist.
MERCEDEZ: I think I identify with Shizue because I too would also let a vampire gnaw on my neck if they were just like, “I’ll get you some snacks.” [chuckles]
VRAI: It’s very good!
MERCEDEZ: Cool. Cool, bro. [chuckles]
VRAI: And there is also Yasuko’s familiar, who is a gal and a werewolf.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, my God. A kogal werewolf? Yes! [chuckles] Yes!
ALEX: That sounds great—
ALEX: —just as a combination.
VRAI: [very high-pitched] Well! [at normal pitch] Well…
MERCEDEZ: [crosstalk] I [Audio glitches out] the distinct image of, like, Galko as a werewolf, which…
VRAI: You’re not wrong.
MERCEDEZ: Which is excellent. [chuckles]
VRAI: And the best parts of this manga have an overlap with the best parts of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, where there will be these sweet moments and then melancholy thoughts where Yasuko is thinking that there’s really no indication that she intends to make Shizue a vampire, so she’s thinking about how much she loves this girl and the fact that she only gets to know her [for] her human lifetime and the profound loneliness of her existence, in a way that’s not too mawkish but is just lingeringly sad in a way that’s nice and not too heavy-handed. Unfortunately…
MERCEDEZ: Oh, no.
VRAI: I mentioned that this manga is only two volumes. So, the first volume is a lot of school shenanigans with all these fun characters and the Will They Won’t They, “Oh no, is there perhaps feels underneath this business arrangement of very intimate bloodletting?”
And then the second volume introduces an antagonist in the form of Yasuko’s maker, who [sighs] is in disguise as the principal of the school and keeps calling students into her office for extremely sexualized spanking punishments.
ALEX: [weirded out] No.
MERCEDEZ: [disappointed] No!
VRAI: And kidnapping students. She’s the antagonist, but it’s very much being played as the sexy teacher kind of thing. And also, it introduces and wraps up this plot and also the entire series in one volume, and it’s not… So, it’s all this amazing potential and some really nice moments that then just— I don’t know if the manga was canceled, but it feels like a manga that was canceled.
MERCEDEZ: That’s really unfortunate because—
VRAI: It sucks!
MERCEDEZ: That’s unfortunate.
VRAI: Yeah. So, I had a good time reading it, but it also left me really frustrated and kinda sad. So, I think this is definitely a Loan It. If you happened to find it at your local library and you like vampire yuri stories, you might have fun with it, knowing about the caveats going in. But I don’t know that I would pay $13 a volume for this here title.
MERCEDEZ: No… no…
ALEX: It kind of sounds like something that you would say, “Read the first volume and then put it down and be like, ‘Wow! Isn’t it weird they never made any more?’ and then just go on with your life.”
VRAI: Yeah, I feel like that would be an appropriate approach to this here story, this single-volume gag yuri comedy.
VRAI: [sighs] Well, now that I’ve made us all sad, let’s bring it in for a landing with our Group Hug, where we read a title that everybody is familiar with. And this is maybe one of the most long-requested titles among yuri fandom that we finally got this year, which is 2008’s The Conditions of Paradise by legendary yuri mangaka Morishima Akiko.
MERCEDEZ: It’s such a pretty volume of really good stories.
ALEX: It is. It is quite lovely. Which ones were your favorites? Since it’s an anthology series, should we do a roundoff of which one we really enjoyed? Because I feel like they’ve all got quite a different energy in this anthology.
MERCEDEZ: I mean, I’m just gonna put it out here: “Princess Sakura in the Flurry of Flowers” was my jam. Oh, it was so good! I had to lay down and cry after I read it because it was just so good and tender. It’s just, mm, so good. I love a good story where an inanimate object or an organic object falls in love with a human. That is my jam. Oh, God, it rips me apart.
ALEX: I really liked that… Because we’ve had a lot of very contemporary, more slice-of-lifey ones, and then it threw that great beautiful folkloric one in at the end. I was like, [gasps] “Yes! Okay, this is much more…” That really hooked me in a way that some of the other modern ones didn’t, because it’s quite short, really, but it gives you that full arc of this legend—this fairytale, almost—of this tragic love story that you get quite hooked into in quite a short space of time.
MERCEDEZ: Oh, yeah, it captivates. Oh, it’s just so good. And honestly, the entire volume’s good. I know that YuriMother, I believe, gave it a 10 out of 10 on her blog, which is a big thing. YuriMother does not hand out those 10s easily. It’s just astounding that this is what we all are worth, is this really, really good yuri. Mm, chef’s kiss.
VRAI: There is, I think, one about a teacher dating her student in here, if I recall correctly.
MERCEDEZ: Um… yeah. Yeah, yeah.
ALEX: It’s a university student. The dynamic is still there. Oddly enough, the thing I found… Obviously, I know it’s teacher/student. That dynamic’s a bit fraught, but honestly, the thing that mostly annoyed me about that one is it’s from the teacher’s point of view and she spends the whole time being like, “Oh, I’m 30! I’m ancient compared to this beautiful flower who’s come into my life!” I’m like, “Girl, come on.”
MERCEDEZ: It’s “A 20-Year-Old Woman and a 30-Year-Old Girl.” Which, there’s an age gap, but they are both adults, but it definitely leans really heavily on “Ungh, age gap,” and you’re like, “Ugh, no, please. Stop leaning on the trope.”
ALEX: But again, mostly emphasizing how old and decrepit this 30-year-old is. I’m like, “Come on.” [chuckles] Come on!
MERCEDEZ: I will say, I don’t like that trope because 30 is not old.
ALEX: It’s really not.
MERCEDEZ: I mean, I’m 28. I’m a baby. But 30 is not old. It’s not old at all. You’re in the prime. At 30, you get to know magical things like how to fold a fitted sheet.
VRAI: Do you, because I turned 30 a few months ago and I do not know how to do that. [descends into laughter]
MERCEDEZ: Vrai. Vrai, you gotta wait for the Fitted Sheet Fairy to visit you. Don’t worry.
VRAI: Oh, shit.
MERCEDEZ: They’ll come in the middle of the night.
VRAI: [crosstalk] It’s coming, someday…
MERCEDEZ: Someday. [chuckles]
VRAI: I wonder if this volume is why there’ve been such a rash of single-author anthologies, because Seven Seas actually published a couple ones before this one.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. And I think, too, like we said, Seven Seas is really the king of yuri manga and Seven Seas is very receptive to licensing. If it is requested in those monthly surveys, they’re gonna fight to get it.
And the good thing is that Seven Seas licenses from a lot of different publishers in Japan. Kodansha obviously has to go with Kodansha, and Viz has to lean heavily on Shonen Jump and things around that and things that Shueisha owns. But Seven Seas, if it’s requested, they’ll try and get it. And I think there’s just been an uptick in wanting to see these single-author anthologies because a lot of them are really good. A lot of them are really good.
VRAI: Yeah. I do sometimes get sad that— I think Morishima… the reason this became popular is that she is really good at presenting these snapshots of relationships in a way that feels really satisfying. I don’t think every author has that skill that she does.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah. It’s a very specialized skill. And this is not yuri, but an author that I don’t think does good snapshots is Rumiko Takahashi. She does not do a good short story.
ALEX: Well, short stories are pretty hard, is the thing. It takes a lot of skill to be able to be like, “Here are these characters. Here’s everything you need to know about them. Let’s go. And here’s a satisfying arc.”
So, yeah, I was really impressed a lot of them were really not that long, not like a love story but a little peek into this relationship and its weird machinations, whatever they might be, in the individual story. It’s quite effective because you get the sense, “Oh yeah, these are just people living their life, and their life together will continue once we turn the page and the chapter ends.”
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, because I guess the only actual full, complete arc story we get spread out is “Conditions of Paradise,” the titular, three-chapter story. That’s the only one that we get to see a little bit more of a wider story arc, but even still, we’re getting a snapshot of… these two women have known each other for ages, versus that initial meet-cute that a lot of yuri has, which is nice because a lot of adults, that’s how it is. You’ve known somebody for a while… I’ll admit, I’m a Conditions of Paradise trope. I knew my partner in college.
MERCEDEZ: There’s no meet-cute. We knew each other for seven years, and then we were like, “Let’s be gay.”
ALEX: [laughs] Well, no, I also lived the friends-to-lovers life, so, yeah, seeing that was really interesting, too, because they did this weird dance between “We are friends, but we don’t want to risk becoming quote-unquote ‘more’ in case something goes wrong and this doesn’t work out and we ruin the friendship.” Quote-unquote “ruining the friendship” is kind of a cliché, but it’s also a serious thing that a lot of people do deal with.
MERCEDEZ: I was gonna say, it’s a very real concern because whereas friendship should be in love, the way that we’re taught to treat romantic love is very different than platonic love, even if they’re both equally as powerful. And so, I think you’re right. I think you’re really, really on it.
ALEX: That said, I liked all of the adult romance, but I did also enjoy… I think the chapter’s called “Peach Flavor,” just because of that bit where you have all the high schoolers sitting around their desks and they’re all talking about their crushes, and the main character’s like, “Peh! My senpai’s hotter than any idol and hotter than any actor and hotter than Sasuke!”
VRAI: That was awesome!
MERCEDEZ: That was really good! That was really good!
ALEX: [crosstalk] I was not expecting that at all, and it just blew me away. [laughs]
MERCEDEZ: It was really good. [laughs]
VRAI: And as we’re recording this, this is a single volume, but both of the two subsequent volumes that Morishima did have been licensed and probably by the end this time this goes out—just looking ahead at the podcast schedule—they will be published and available to buy.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, I was gonna say, I think that the follow-up volumes come out, like, winter 2021, so they probably will be out by the time this is published! [laughs]
VRAI: Oh, definitely.
ALEX: It’s all right. We will be a herald of voices to come. [chuckles]
MERCEDEZ: I’m sorry. The second one comes out on November 10th. [chuckles]
VRAI: Uh-huh! Uh-huh!
ALEX: That’s not that far away.
VRAI: Days from now. [chuckles]
ALEX: How exciting.
VRAI: That is just a smattering of yuri, of the true wealth of stuff that is out there right now, so definitely we’ll get together and do this again, but thank you to both of you for taking this ride with me. It was fun.
ALEX: Yeah, thanks for having me along.
MERCEDEZ: Yeah, this was like a little cozy yuri chat, which is how I like to roll.
ALEX: Yeah. I love recommending books, and so this was very fun, yes. [chuckles]
VRAI: And thank you, listeners at home, for joining us. If you liked this episode, you can find more of our stuff by going to our website, animefeminist.com. The podcasts are right there on the front page.
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VRAI: [audio cuts out] ko-fi.com/animefeminist, which is helping us fund transcripts for the backlogs of these episodes, because we really want to continue working hard to get up to accessible standards for folks who want to know about our podcast but listen to them necessarily, for whatever reason.
If you want to get a hold of the team, you can always find us on social media. We are on Tumblr at [speaks haltingly] animefeminist.tumblr.com… [speaks normally] I forgot how Tumblr worked for a second there. We are on Facebook at AnimeFem, and we are on Twitter @AnimeFeminist.
Thanks so much for joining us, AniFam, and go read about ladies kissing. You’ll have a nice time.
ALEX: Yes. Yes, you will.