Girls Love Roundup – August 2017

Where am I? What date is it? Oh no, I’m ten days late.

Look, I don’t really have any excuse beyond the fact that I was out of town at the end of July and have been suffering from exhaustion since I came back. But I can’t let a month go by without some gay acknowledgement. So here we go!

Manga – New Releases (August 2017)

Akuma no Riddle: Riddle Story of Devil (Volume 5) by Kouga Yun and Minakata Sunao

Release Date: August 15th in North America (September 1st in Europe)
Published by Seven Seas

I have waited so long for my chance to write this.

I’ve been reading Akuma no Riddle since 2014 and followed the Japanese release of the series to the very end. Volume 5 marks the end of the series and I was very pleased with how it ended to say the least. The premise if the series is a battle royale game for assassins. Twelve assassins, one target and one bodyguard for the target. We follow the voluntary bodyguard, Azuma Tokaku, who defends the frail Ichinose Haru from the other girls trying to kill her, all while the two fall more in love.

Being a book by Kouga Yun there’s a lot of variety to the characters and even the appearance of gay men, albeit in very minor roles, despite being a Girls Love book. I can’t praise Minakata Sunao‘s artwork enough either, as it’s packed shock-full with personality that fits the series perfectly. People might have seen the 2014 anime adaptation of the book and either be interested or turned off from the book as a result, to the latter group let me say this.

When the anime was adapted, the manga was half-way through its story. The anime worked on a basic outline of the future manga chapters but didn’t have the actual chapters to base it on. As a result, the second half of the anime was not as tight as the first half and many felt the last few episodes were a massive letdown. I urge you to pick up the manga if you felt like the series could have been done better by the end. The manga is just that damn good.

Citrus (Volume 6) by Saburouta

Release Date: August 22nd in North America (September 1st in Europe)
Published by Seven Seas

I used to be a fan of Citrus, but sadly I find that it lost what appeal it had quite early on. Still, six volumes in and Saburouta‘s incest love story is still one of the most popular Girls Love stories in the west. The series also has an upcoming anime adaptation, which I will say I’m slightly looking forward to depending on how much of the series it decides to adapt.

If you’ve not read Citrus before, it’s the story of Yuzu and Mei, two step-sisters who are just getting to know each other and after initially being incompatible in every possible way they find themselves sexually attracted to each other. Eventually they go from just odd moments of sexual tension and kisses to becoming a couple, with plenty of drama inbetween. It’s a very angsty manga, to say the least. Saburouta loves throwing in sudden negative developments for the two, which is the appeal of the series for many.

Hana & Hina After School (Volume 2) by Morinaga Milk

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

The latest series by Morinaga Milk is about two girls secretly working part-time at a store against the school rules. Hana is a small and shy girl where as Hina is trendy and outgoing, but soon the two start finding an interest in each other beyond the fact that they both work at the same store.

Hana and Hina also love everything that can be called cute, they begin finding each other fitting that very description and begin falling in love, adding yet another secret that must be kept between the two girls. It’s not the most uncommon or unique premise, but the part-time job angle adds a little bit of spice to the mix.

The series consists of three volumes in total, with Seven Seas planning on releasing all three throughout the year, the final volume set to release around November.

Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl (Volume 3) by Canno

Release Date: August 22nd in Europe and North America
Published by Yen Press

Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl tells the story Ayaka and Yurine, who end up finding each other as they both enter high school. Ayaka, who always were at the top of her class, discovers that the lazy girl Yurine was a secret genius able to compete with Ayaka at school! The two get closer and soon become friends, but it seems something more is growing out of that friendship as they get closer. They also meet two other girls, Mizuki and Moe, who are already a couple and take care of the gardening club. As Ayaka and Yurine get further pulled into the world of girls loving girls, the drama and seriousness between the two grow more and more.

This book has become more and more popular since the last volume, at least among those I know who follow and read Girls Love manga. Canno‘s artwork is gorgeous to say the least and while I’m not caught up with the series, I do recommend it.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Volume 4) by Coolkyoushinja

Release Date: August 8th in North America (October 13th in Europe)
Published by Seven Seas

I loved the Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid anime and the manga too, I really did. I’ve recommended it multiple times in this series of posts. Volume 4 was where I dropped the book and have no intent of returning to it.

While the premise remains the same as before, with a new dragon entering the life of miss Kobayashi and making things difficult while Tohru tries to win her heart, volume 4 goes to some really bad places that can be, and have been, read as both highly transphobic as well as homophobic by various readers, myself included. It’s a shame, but also not the most surprising thing in the world.

While the series have been fun it’s always had some very questionable sides to it. I can’t recommend the manga past the first three volumes, but the series is still going so it clearly still has appeal to people.

Murciélago (Volume 3) by Yoshimurakana

Release Date: August 22nd in Europe and North America
Published by Yen Press

Hey, it’s time to talk about Murciélago again! Yay! This is always the “fun” part to write… *sigh*

I’m not sure what to say about the book that I’ve not said before, but if you’re tired of school girls and “pure” Girls Love, this is a series worth checking out. Just be warned that it’s absolutely despicable, intentionally. It’s violent as hell, it’s full of the worst people ever with our lead being a lesbian serial killer who specializes in killing other serial killers just because it amuses her and she gets paid for it. It goes into some very dark and messed up narratives too.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the series. But it’s one of those books that I feel I have to warn people about before recommending it. Because not only is it gleefully violent, there’s also some major triggering content in some of the later volumes, including, but not limited to, rape (and a rape-revenge plot), genital mutilation and grooming of minors. I will put a more specific warning in once I cover a volume that does this.

NTR: Netsuzou Trap (Volume 3) by Naoko Kodama

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

NTR follows the story of two girls who both have boyfriends who they cheat on with each other, hence the title referencing “netorare”, the Japanese term for cuckoldry. It also deals with abusive relationships and isn’t shy about rather graphic though not pornographic depictions of sexual acts. It’s a fairly popular series, currently having an anime adaptation airing, so it’s likely to stick around for a while.

Whether or not it’s for you I really can’t say, it’s certainly not for me. Last month I said there’d be a post going up on my detailed thoughts on the series, in particular the anime. This hasn’t happened yet, see the earlier mention of exhaustion.

Games – New Announcements (August 2017)

A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael (Visual Novel)

Release Date: 2018
Localized by MangaGamer

As I’ve no doubt mentioned in the past, A Kiss for the Petals or SonoHana is the most famous Girls Love visual novel series to date. At Otakon, MangaGamer announced the third title to be brought to the west, A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael, the first time a main entry in the original series is releasing in English.

Originally released in 2012, the game follows six couples at Saint Michaels’ School for girls. The main focus is on Azumi Risa and Ayase Miya, who were also the girls featured in MangaGamer’s first English release of the series, A Kiss for the Petals: Remembering How We Met, which I reviewed here.

This is really good news for Girls Love fans.

Games – New Releases (August 2017)

Ne no Kami: The Two Princess Knights of Kyoto – Part 2 (Visual Novel)

Release Date: August 31st (Worldwide)
Localized by Denpasoft

After a very long wait, it’s finally here. Ne no Kami: The Two Princess Knights of Kyoto‘s second half is being released in English this month. The first half was released in English last year after a succseful Indie Gogo campaign in 2015. The first game can be purchased in an all-ages version on Steam or on Denpasoft’s website where an 18+ patch is also available (with uncensored artwork). The second part should be getting the same treatment upon release.

The series itself is a Girls Love fantasy story with more than one couple present, starting out in modern day Kyoto where a girl named Len is suddenly pulled into the world of demons and the maidens known as the Princess Knights. It’s been highly acclaimed by Girls Love fans and whiel I have yet to play it myself, I did support the Indie Gogo campaign and am looking forward on both parts being out.

And so we close out another month of Girls Love content. I would like to close by recommending the currently airing anime Princess Principal. It’s a highly entertaining series with a lot of queer coded characters that might even wind up as something more explicitly stated at this rate? In fact, the Japan-only mobile game based on the anime already has canon statements of queerness in character profiles so …there’s hope.

It’s available on Wakanim and HIDIVE in Europe, AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand and Anime Strike (Amazon) in North America. Yeah, I know, no one likes Anime Strike, but sadly that’s where it is at the moment. Check it out!

Header image from Akuma no Riddle by Kouga Yun and Munakata Sunao.


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