2019 marks the centennial anniversary of the Yuri genre, celebrating 100 years of girls in love challenging the expectations placed upon them by patriarchal definitions of love and gender. To commemorate the legacy of the genre and the stories that’ve been told, we interviewed Erica Friedman, a Yuri historian and tastemaker who has been at the center of the fandom for over two decades. Erica is the founder of Yuricon, an organization dedicated to uniting the community through fan events and scholarship, and has written extensively on Yuri on her blog Okazu, which has reached its 4000th post after over 16 years!
Erica’s planning an incredible number of events to celebrate 100 Years of Yuri with the community, including numerous convention appearances and a Yuri pilgrimage in Japan in the fall, all leading up to the release of her comprehensive book on Yuri set to come out in 2020! We chat with Erica about the work she’s done growing a proactive community around Yuri, the history of the genre and its fan culture, the influence of digital comics in helping newer creators and more untraditional stories to get published, and how we’ve reached a point where these stories can be spread more widely thanks to the efforts of trailblazers who fought to create a space for those who came after them to work in and expand. Like the pun in Okazu’s namesake, we hope our interview serves as an appetizer before you enjoy the full buffet of information out there about yuri and the works themselves!
Our conversation with Erica is the first of an entire month of interviews with manga industry professionals about their work and fandom. Up next will be our interview with Joey Weiser, the award-winning comic book artist and creator of the Mermin series, who joins us to discuss his new book Ghost Hog (available NOW!) and the influence that manga and japanese culture have had on his work. We’ll be releasing the interview this coming Friday, but you can listen to the episode early by becoming a $2 Patron on our Patreon! We’re also offering a ton of other content to our Patrons, including a monthly Patron Bonus Pod, Show Notes, Bloopers, Unreleased Podcasts and more! Every dollar donated to our Patreon is paid forward to making the show self-sufficient and fund future projects, so if you want to see us attempt more ambitious podcasts your support would be a great help and greatly appreciated!
00:22 – Intro
01:28 – Bloom Into You ends with 8th volume in November
03:06 – Ne0;lation has ended
07:14 – New Shonen Jump series are coming!
13:18 – Blade of the Immortal is getting a sequel
15:19 – Kodansha USA puts up the first chapter of Bootsleg from Suzuhito Yasuda for free!
18:15 – Yen Press licenses Sekiro Side Story
19:14 – J-Novel Club licenses Crest of the Stars & more
25:28 – Cross Infinite World to release Another World: Zombie Apocalypse is Not My Problem light novel
26:45 – Nominations for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia
29:55 – Shueshia reveals new circulation numbers for its manga magazines
36:10 – ComicFesta Contest
37:18 – DMP launches new Yuri doujin label on May 1st
Interview with Erica Friedman:
41:25 – Introducing Erica, Yuri Bodhisattva
45:00 – The History and Inclusivity of Yuri Fandom
50:50 – The First Yuricon & Defining Yuri
53:23 – How Social Media & Web Comics Have Made Yuri More Accessible
1:00:21 – The Lesbian Bar Community in Shinjuku Ni-chome
1:03:00 – Rica ‘tte Kanji!? & Resonating with Real-Life Queer Experiences
1:07:40 – Empathizing with Stories That Aren’t Made For You & Respecting Different Perspectives
1:19:32 – Engaging in Different Ways of Interpreting Media & Understanding Referential Context
1:26:40 – Don’t Start with What You Know – Learn Something New!
1:30:09 – Kunihiko Ikuhara: Recognizing an Authorial Voice & Interpreting Authorial Intent
1:38:48 – The Influences & Influence of Shiroi Heya no Futari
1:56:14 – Classic Yuri Manga Display at Toronto Public Library & 100 Years of Yuri on Tour Plans
2:00:00 – The History of Yuri Manga
2:14:36 – Nagata Kabi, My Solo Exchange Diary, and Resonating with Stories About Depression
2:21:04 – Kase-san: A Relationship Developing in Communication
2:32:06 – Yuri Manga About Adults
2:41:43 – Why Gengoroh Tagame Writes Queer Stories Differently Depending on his Audience
2:45:03 – Steven Universe & Exploring Mature Themes About Relationships & Abuse
2:50:54 – Queer Stories Have Been Told Before – It’s Up to You to Find and Share Them
2:56:49 – Yuri Stories We Need More of (AKA SPORTS YURI!!)
2:59:09 – Erica’s Favorite Yuri Manga
3:04:54 – Resources & Recommendations For Yuri Newbies
3:13:05 – Learn more about Queer Comics history at this yea r’s Queers & Comics at SVA
3:18:34 – Erica’s plans for the rest of 2019!
3:23:05 – What “Okazu” Means & Erica’s Mission Statement
3:24:51 – Community Shout-Outs:
- Erica’s Okazu Blog and Yuri Essays Section on Yuricon
- Zeria’s videos and essays on Yuri, and her new crowdfunding campaign for her Yuri 101 project
- LossThief’s Thread on Mami Yagihara from Blue Flag
3:31:40 – Wrap-Up
Enjoy the show, and follow us on twitter at @manga_mavericks, on tumblr at mangamavericks.tumblr.com, and on Youtube! You can also follow the hosts on Twitter at @sniperking323 and @lumranmayasha. If you’d like to help support the show financially you can pledge to our Patreon and receive some awesome rewards like our Patreon-exclusive Bonus pods! If one-time donations are more your speed you can donate to Colton’s Ko-fi here and LumRanmaYasha’s Ko-fi here, and if you want to support LumRanmaYasha’s art and other projects you can donate to their personal Patreon. Don’t forget to also like and subscribe to us on Youtube and iTunes and leave us reviews to help us curate the show and create better content!
- Support Manga Mavericks on Patreon!!
- Follow Erica on Twitter!
- Read Erica’s Yuri Reviews & Essays on Okazu
- Read Erica’s 4000th post on Okazu!
- Support Okazu on Patreon!
- Join the Okazu Discord!
- Every Yuri event you can look forward to in May!
- Yuricon Essays Page
- Yuricon Store
- 100 Years of Yuri Tour with Yuricon & Pac-Set Travel
- Attend this year’s Queers & Comics at SVA in NYC!
- Support Queers & Comics!
- Visit the Toronto Comics & Arts Festival!
- 100 Years of Yuri at TCAF!
- See Kase-san creator Hiromi Takashima at TCAF!
- Import the Kase-san OVA blu-ray!
- A Survey of Lesbianism and Mental Instability in Yuri
- Read Rica ‘tte Kanji for FREE on Yuricon!
- Read the entirety of Neo;lation on Viz.com!
- Read the first chapter of Bootsleg for FREE on Kodansha Comics!
- Enter ComicFesta’s new contest!