Girls Love Roundup – January 2017

girls-love-roundup-jan-2017Hello there! Welcome to a new feature on the blog that I call Girls Love Roundup. On here I want to share information on localized Girls Love (Yuri, Lesbian Love) media, be it manga, anime or games. I was planning on doing a post once every month, assuming there’s content for it, both talking about announcements, releases or recent pieces of media that might have been missed by someone.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at what January has to offer in terms of Girls Love.

Manga – New Releases (January 2017)

81i0vaqcbrlBloom Into You (Volume 1) by Nakatani Nio

Release Date: January 3rd in North America (February 13th in Europe)
Published by Seven Seas

In Bloom Into You we follow Yuu, a girl who have just started high school and who’ve been wishing for her own “shoujo manga romance” since she was a child. On the day she graduated from middle school a boy confessed his love for her, but she just couldn’t answer him.

After much contemplation, she decides to turn him down. But she’s not sure how to tell him, so she turns to the student council president, Nanami Touko, for advice. But to her surprise, the cool and independent student council president who never falls in love with anyone suddenly tells Yuu that she thinks she could fall in love with her. And so her own shoujo romance between girls begin.

The manga has been fairly popular during its period of fan scanlations and I’m quite happy to see it getting an official release. It’s a fairly traditional GL/shoujo mix, but it’s been a while since we saw one of those hit the west and this is a particularly good one.

81pvqecfxhlKindred Spirits on the Roof: The Complete Collection (Omnibus) by Ito Hachi and Fumiyo Aya

Release Date: January 31st in North America (February 13th in Europe)
Published by Seven Seas

Based on the popular visual novel of the same name by Liar Soft, Kindred Spirits on the Roof tells the story about an all-girls school possessed by two former students, Enoki Sachi and Nagatani Megumi. These two spirits are in love, but never had a chance to fulfill their love in their living days.

With the help of Toomi Yuna, the only student who can see the spirits, they try to pass on to the afterlife by helping other students who feel the way they do get together, creating their own “Yuritopia” at school. The omnibus collects two manga volumes telling the tale of two different couples, alongside extra content such as full-colour inserts.

The visual novel was localized for the west in 2016 and is available for purchase on Steam, I highly recommend checking it out. I even went as far as putting it in my Top 5 Games of 2016 video.

61fteu4pxlLove to Lie Angle (Volume 1) by Merryhachi

Release Date: January 25th in Europe (February 7th in North America)
Published by Digital Manga Publishing

I have to admit, I never expected Love to Lie Angle to be localized. Originally serialized in Comic Yuri Hime, this is love triangle harboring on harem manga. Natsuno Hanabi is about to start high school and is accidentally assigned to a different dorm than planned, the Tachibana House. In the Tachibana House she runs into her childhood friend Fujiwara Konobi and the mysterious beauty Takamura Iori.

It’s a very funny, and very perverted, book and one I’ve been following since it first started serialization. Merryhachi knows how to make old harem manga tropes feel fresh again, something that’s clear just from the fact that it’s a GL manga.

While it won’t be for everyone, especially with its constant sex jokes and commonplace nudity, I do recommend checking it out. The art is superb and the characters are very entertaining. It’s also something as rare as a manga reaching Europe before North America, which is just a fun little note.

51rjpa8cuhlMurciélago (Volume 1) by Yoshimurakana

Release Date: January 24th in Europe and North America
Published by Yen Press

Now here’s a rather different style of Girls Love manga. Murciélago is the story of Koumori Kuroko, a former mass murderer who has now become a hitman working for the Tokyo police force to help assassinate other murderers. It’s dark and ridiculous, and Kuroko just so happens to be a lesbian who enjoys sex a whole lot, making for the most explicit manga on this list on two different levels.

I’ve enjoyed Murciélago for a few years, despite it having some serious awkward and problematic sides to its setting, for obvious reasons. There’s something about the shamelessness of the series that just makes me come back to it again and again. It’s not for everyone… Hell, it’s not for most people if I’m being honest.

But if you grew up on visceral 90s OAVs and would like some of that added to your GL reading? Murciélago is for you.

81c4sqqy3glNTR: Netsuzou Trap (Volume 2) by Kodama Naoko

Release Date: January 13th in Europe (Already out in North America)
Published by Seven Seas

The dramatic story of two girls in relationship with boys suddenly falling for each other continues with the second volume. NTR: Netsuzou Trap is the second most popular Girls Love drama currently serialized in Comic Yuri Hime, second only to Citrus. I’ve unfortunately not had much time to sit down and read it myself much however.

The manga is also getting an anime adaptation later in the year, which came as quite the surprise. While I know the netorare (NTR) genre is a rather niche one, since it focuses entirely on people cheating on their partners, the added element of it being due to the unfortunate taboo nature of a girl-on-girl relationship does make it somewhat more interesting than your average entry in the genre.

Anime – Recent Releases (Fall Season 2016)

82292lFlip Flappers (TV Anime)

Simulcast Dates: October 6th – December 29th (Crunchyroll)
Localized by Sentai Filmworks

If you’ve not yet heard about Flip Flappers you absolutely need to check it out now that the year has ended. It’s what I considered the best anime of 2016, and its uanpologetic devotion to the love of the main duo, Cocona and Papika, is part of why. Not a traditional Girls Love story in any sense, Flip Flappers is a fantasy adventure that shifts genre and tone in almost every episode, but with one consistent concept running throughout.

That concept is Cocona, the lead character, finding her own feelings in regards to herself and Papika, the hyperactive girl who keeps dragging her into these fantastical journeys. When the anime isn’t literally yelling out the characters’ love for each other, they use visual metaphors to a high degree. There’s been multiple confirmations from staff on the series as well regarding the “yuri subtext” being more than subtext, which might be obvious to you when watching, but confirmation is always nice.

Going into further detail would be spoiling far too much about the series, so instead, check out the anime that’s currently available on Crunchyroll as soon as possible.

Anime – New Releases (Winter Season 2017)

83173lMiss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (TV Anime)

Simulcast Date: January 11th – (Crunchyroll)
Localized by Funimation

Kicking off the anime year with Girls Love is always a nice surprise. This time it’s an adaptation of a comedy manga about an Office Lady (OL), Kobayashi, who managed to help out a female dragon named Tooru one night while drunk. To show her appreciate, the dragon decides to come live with Kobayashi and be her personal maid.

Having read the manga I can guarantee it’s good for a laugh. Tooru is an out lesbian who admits her love for Kobayashi early on in the story, so there’s not any tip-toeing around what genre the series falls in. The anime adaptation is being produced by Kyoto Animation (Sound! Euphonium, K-ON!) which hopefully guarantees the quality of its animation being to high standards.

Though it has not yet been picked up for simulcasting, I expect that to change within the next few days as anime announcements for the west always tend to happen in the last second. If or when that does happen, I’ll update the info on this post with how to watch it. For now, check out the Promotional Video.

Update: The post couldn’t even be up for 24 hours until Crunchyroll announced that Funimation have picked it up for simulcasting and dubbing. Information updated, please enjoy the series!

Anime – Recent Announcements (December 2016)

acentaurslife_vol1A Centaur’s Life (TV Anime)

Not Yet Dated For Release
Not Yet Confirmed For Localization

Right before the end of the year we saw the announcement that the popular manga A Centaur’s Life would get an anime adaptation in 2017. While it’s not an explicit Girls Love book, the series does feature both a lesbian couple as part of the cast and have a lot of strong subtext suggesting the main character, Kimihara Himeno, is into girls herself.

Unfortunately this is not a manga I’ve read myself yet so I’m only speaking from second-hand information, but I’ll make sure to read it before it airs later in the year so that I can provide better details.

For those keeping count, this makes the fourth GL/GL-ish anime adaptation set for 2017, following the aforementioned Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid as well as the upcoming adaptations of Citrus and NTR: Netsuzou Trap.

Games – Recent Announcements (December 2016)

51nxttozlylFlowers -Le volume sur ete- (Visual Novel)

Release Date: 2017
Localized by JAST USA

The second game in the four-part visual novel series Flowers was recently confirmed for a 2017 release date. Though it had been previously announced for localization, JAST USA decided to re-announce it with the release year confirmed just before the end of the year, following a long period of silence on the title.

In Flowers, every game is set during a different season. Flowers -Le volume sur ete- is set during summer, following the previous game which was set during spring. It’s a high budget Girls Love title with some of the most gorgeous art you’ll ever see. In Japan the series releases on PC and PS Vita. The western localizations are released on PC both in physical format through J-List and digitally on Steam.

You can check out the first title, which was localized last year, right now on Steam if you’re interested in learning more about the series.

And that sums up all you need to know about Girls Love going into the new year! I’m sure there’ll be plenty more announcements and releases very soon, so please look forward to next month’s post.

If you liked this feature or have an idea on how to improve it, please let me know! You can reach me both in the comments and on Twitter and I would love to get a wider input on this in general.

Header image from Bloom Into You by Nakatani Nio.

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