Hey! We’re not late into the month this time! How’s that for mixing things up? Without further ado, let’s look at what localized Girls Love we’ll be seeing this month and onward!
Manga – New Releases (October 2017)
Bloom Into You (Volume 3) by Nakatani Nio
Release Date:October 13th in Europe (Already out in North America)
Published by Seven Seas
A rather interesting thing about Bloom Into You by Nakatani Nio is how much it focuses on not falling in love, it’s not so much a story of unreciprocated love as it is about someone struggling with the risks and responsibilities that comes with love. It’s a very different tone from other high school Girls Love stories, but in a good way.
Yuu is a girl who’ve always been enamored with shoujo manga romance stories, but when a boy finally asks her out she doesn’t feel like it’s right. She asks the student council president for advice on turning someone down, but is shocked to learn that the next person to confess to her is Nanami herself! I’ve not read volume 3 yet myself, but based on previous volumes I feel I can highly recommend the series. It gives an interesting angle on romance not seen in many other stories. It’s sweet, charming, sad and often just beautiful in its execution.
Kase-san and Shortcake (Volume 3) by Takashima Hiromi
Release Date: October 13th in Europe (Already out in North America)
Published by Seven Seas
I love this series so much, in fact, I’ve already gotten the North American release of this book as of writing despite the European release not being out for another three weeks. That’s how much I love this series. Kase-san and Shortcake close out the initial magazine run of Kase-san and moves into the series run as a web comic in the next volume.
The music video based on the manga was popular enough to have had a second animation project greenlit as well (which we’ll be talking about more further down), meaning we might be one step closer to a full anime adaptation (fingers crossed!) at this rate. If you’ve not started reading Kase-san yet you are doing yourself a massive disservice as it’s easily the best localized Girls Love book currently releasing.
Murciélago (Volume 4) by Yoshimurakana
Release Date: October 31st in Europe and North America
Published by Yen Press
Oh it’s that time again, time to talk about the hardest-to-recommend manga I like. So, it’s time for Volume 4 with the infamous “rose-coloured prison” arc. I promised I would give a proper heads up and content warning when this series got into its more questionable or bad subjects and this is where I have to do exactly that.
The rose-coloured prison arc is basically a riff on the classic Class-S Girls Love scenario, imagine a dark serial killer take on Strawberry Panic if you will. That’s all well and good, but what makes this volume’s story potentially triggering for certain readers is that involves genital mutilation and forced “gender reassignment” through torture and brainwashing.
It’s not exactly a positive read as a trans person, to say the least. I still like the book, but it’s one of those cases where you owe it to yourself to know what you’re getting into if you choose to read it.
Anime – New Announcements (October 2017)
Release Date: Summer 2018
Animated by: Zexcs
We’re getting more Kase-san anime! Hooray! Announced earlier this week, an original video animation will be produced for the Kase-san manga set to release next summer, including live screenings in Japan. Whether or not it’s an adaptation of the manga or a new story we don’t yet know, but I’m beyond excited. Thank you to everyone who supported the music video project released earlier this year.
Anime – New Releases (Fall Season 2017)
Konahana Kitan (TV Anime)
Simulcast Date: September 4th – (Crunchyroll)
Localized by Funimation
This series has a bit of history to it as a manga. It started as a one-off short called Cherry Lip by author and illustrator Amano Sakuya. Her work was popular enough to spawn an ongoing series in Comic Yuri Hime, called Konohanatei Kitan which ran for a little over a year. In 2014, Amano revived the series under a new name, Konhana Kitan, in the magazine Comic Birz, it’s been ongoing ever since.
The setting for Konohana Kitan is that of a Japanese inn. At the inn, a lot of fox spirit yokai work, taking human form. The main character is a yokai who have just started working at said inn and soon come to befriend the various yokai who live and work there. It’s a cute supernatural slice-of-life story with a Girls Love theme to it. I’ve read the manga myself and highly recommend checking this anime out when it premieres today.
Games – New Announcements (October 2017)
A Bouquet of my Beloveds (Visual Novel)
Release Date: 2018 on PC
Localized by Sekai Project
The latest game by my friends at Cosmillica, the developers behind Love, Guitars and the Nashville Skyline and ATOM GRRRL!! among many other games. For the first time, the Japanese Girsl Love VN circle is setting their game in Japan!
A Bouquet of my Beloveds tells the story of Nagisa, a girl who has moved back to the countryside after spending two years in the big city. Feeling that her life is getting monotonous, things suddenly take a strange turn when she encounters three girls who seemingly no one else can see. They’re spirits and they journey towards discovering happiness and love together with Nagisa begins here.
Full disclosure, I’ve been good friends with the lead writer at Cosmillica for a few years, having gotten to know them after having been a fan of their work when it was only available in Japanese. While I absolutely do recommend the previous games of theirs I play, I still felt I should mention this as I know some people might think I’m just promoting my friend’s game for the sake of being their friend.
Games – New Releases (October 2017)
BLUE REFLECTION (RPG)
Release Date: September 26th in North America (September 29th in Europe) on PC and PS4
Localized by Tecmo Koei
Yes, I know this released last month, but it was right at the end of the month so I’m going to feature it again.
BLUE REFLECTION is an RPG not too unlike the popular Persona series where you manage both a social life at school and a second life fighting monsters. The difference? It’s an all girls school and you’re magical girls. By building up your friendships and relationships with other girls at school they can power up your fight and become important allies as well.
So, how high does it go on the Girls Love scale? Well, it mainly toes the subtext line with a few exceptions, there are gay girls at school and some of them with direct crushes on other girls. So while it’s not a lesbian dating sim, it does have content for those who find other games in the genre perhaps a little too heterocentric. I’m currently playing the game on my YouTube channel if you’re interested.
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (RPG)
Release Date: October 24th in North America (October 27th in Europe) on PC, PS4 and Switch
Localized by Tecmo Koei
The sequel to Nights of Azure is here!
Set many years after the events of the first game, Bride of the New Moon tells the story of Aluche and Lilliana. Lilliana has been chosen to be the next sacrifice of time to the Moon Queen, and Aluche is her escort on said journey. But things go wrong as Aluche is killed in battle and awakens as half-demon with Lilliana nowhere to be found. She sets out on a quest to save her friend.
As with the first game, the “lily system” returns for companion bonuses. Unlike the first game however, the cast has been expanded to focus on more than just our escort and sacrifice, including other friends and companions as well as returning characters. While I’ve yet to play the game myself, I’m hoping it lives up to fans expectations.
Closing out, I’d like to also mention that Studio Élan have announced two of their new Girls Love projects. The Waters Above and Heart of the Woods. Studio Élan was founded by one of the creators of the OEVN success Highway Blossoms and is devoted to making Girls Love VNs, both games will be distributed by Sekai Project. Since they’re not localization efforts I couldn’t feature them in the roundup, but still wanted to give a shout out.
See you in November!