Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart – BL Manga Review


Released by Seven Seas Entertainment, Syundei’s Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart centers one Hoshino Terumichi, a young man who’s fallen in love with his classmate, Yamada Omihito, a boy he describes as a “devilish beauty”. Teased in school for their apparent relationship, Hoshino enjoys spending time with Yamada, but constant nightmares of boys being murdered at the hands of a man named “Sensei” plague him. Things take a turn when Hoshino realizes that Yamada may have more connection to his dreams than first expected…

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I’m Writing a Novel!

I’m proud to finally announce that I’m now writing a novel, something I’ve wanted to do for years now. Tentatively titled, ‘On Such a Volcano’, it takes place in late-1850s Eastern Arkansas, on the fictitious Woodham plantation. Its main character, Abigail, is a slave of the Woodhams, whose matriarch, Martha, is operating a plan of rapid industrialization, something which has ignited that struggle which was mostly kept under control in the antebellum South: intra-race class struggle. The interlapping pieces of black slavery, white racism, and class inequality create a volatile cocktail, which could ruin Martha’s plans, but if she succeeds, she’d be the most powerful person in the state, perhaps even securing self-sufficiency for the South. Abigail has complex feelings towards Martha, who presents herself as a kind slaveowner, but her meeting with a white accountant of Martha’s, Sarah, as well as the violence that faces her family pushes Abigal to eventually work against Martha.

There’s a number of elements in the work that might be uncomfortable for some. First of all, there will be racism, of course, something which can’t be avoided. However, the real element that would understandably turn some readers off is my inclusion of sexual violence. I thought long and hard about whether to include this, but as a queer story and a story of American slavery, I simply don’t believe I can avoid it. This isn’t something I decided lightly; I don’t believe it’s my place to write about it generally, but the generational trauma that is slavery, especially its impact on women, can not be adequately addressed without discussing sexual violence, and given that I’m writing a story about sexuality, that’s doubly true.

I’m glad to finally put this out there; it’ll be a long time before this is published, and it’s only in the very opening stages of writing at this point, but it can’t hurt to build up an audience long in advance, can it? Of course, Patreon support or other monetary help would be great, but without much proof of the book’s quality, I get why that’d be lacking. Anyway, I hope you look forward to this book because I’m incredibly happy to finally be working on it!

Maiden Railways – Manga Review


Asumiko Nakamura’s Maiden Railways, newly-published in English by the recently-founded Denpa Books, tells a number of short stories, all of which revolve around girls and trains. These vignettes, which universally include romantic feelings but cannot quite be called romances, vary incredibly, from the story of a lesbian who broke up with her girlfriend, to a man who finds himself playing with model trains in a cake shop every Thursday night, to the tale of a woman who left her husband for his younger brother, or so we’re led to believe. None of these narratives go exactly as we’d expect, sometimes not even as we’d hope, and yet they’re incredibly rewarding and emotional, thanks to Nakamura’s powerful art and intense storytelling.

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Beauty and the Beast Girl – Yuri Manga Review


Released by Seven Seas Entertainment, Neji’s Beauty and the Beast Girl translates that tale as old as time into yuri form. The main character, a monstrous woman named Heath, spends her time away from others, as she’s met nothing but trauma in past interactions with humans. One day, however, a young woman named Lily happens into her territory. Lily is blind, and so Heath is able to feel more comfortable with her, opening up and quickly falling in love. But will the relationship work out when Lily learns Heath’s true nature?

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Yuri Is My Job! – Volume 1-2 Review


Released by Kodansha Comics in the West, miman’s Yuri Is My Job! is a new yuri manga with lots to offer. Main character Hime is obsessed with her image, putting in massive amounts of effort so that she can impress others enough to slack off for the rest of her life. Unfortunately for her, she bumps into another girl going home one day, and with her arm injured, that girl ropes her into working at ‘Cafe Liebe’, a maid cafe of sorts with the theme being that of an all-girls’ school, particularly the sort you’d see in Class S-inspired yuri such as Maria-sama ga Miteru. Unable to get out of it as a result of blackmail, Hime tries to make the best of her experience, but various complications arise in her attempts…

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The First Idol Anime was Actually About State Power

Super Dimension Fortress Macross is about three things: giant robots, beautiful idols, and melodramatic love triangles. Actually, though, it’s about one thing: state power. The word used most throughout the series is culture, that one special resource which enables the human race to stand even a sliver of a chance against the alien Zentradi, a group whose history of being genetically engineered has left them with no goal aside from constant warfare. Lynn Minmay, the first idol in all of anime, delivers shocking blows to the Zentradi psyche through her songs, simultaneously popularizing her music in the real world. The romantic drama between her, Ichijo Hikaru, and Hayase Misa figures as one of the story’s central threads, introducing the concept of love to the Zentradi but also causing a good deal of strife during the war. That war, of course, is fought using the so-called Variable Fighters, wonderfully designed robots which can go from person to plane. All in all, it’s a pretty straightforward example of a real robot anime. But through its specific focuses, Macross conveys a clear message: hard power is necessary, vital, and ultimately moral, but it’s soft power that will always win the day, and as a result, it’s imperative that a benevolent state wields both. This isn’t just a reading which emerges from the narrative: it comes through in the base construction of the anime, particularly its movie reimagining, Do You Remember Love, and it’s an attitude able to emerge due to the unique conditions of early 80s Japan.

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