Octave (2008 – 2011)

Written and Drawn by Akiyama Haru

Link

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This is actually one of my favorite manga’s.

The story revolves around a former idol of a not-so-popular group when she was a teenager, Miyashita Yukino. Not willing to endure the bullying of high school after her failure, she decided to work in the industry as an assistant manager. Through her struggles, she meets a fairly successful song writer, Iwai Setsuko.  Seduced by Iwai’s beauty, she explores her sexuality and eventually falls in love. However she struggles with her relationship as she is not only confused by her sexuality, but has taken on the toll of being a manager and coming to terms with her past.

I really enjoyed this manga. You go through Yukino as she has to come to terms with many things in her life, with love being one of them. It’s a great coming of age story I think and perfect for our generation. The story is very deep though and very….angsty to say the least. Not VERY angsty where you want to cry, but the kind of angst where you’re kind of irritated.

I enjoyed the artwork. It’s simple yet detailed enough. I do encourage anyone to give it a shot!

Art: 6/10

Yuri Rating: 8/10

Overall: 7/10

WARNING THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

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Daughters of Club Bilitis (2011) (Korean)

The TV/movie special show by KBS “Daughters of Club Bilitis” that caused a ton of controversy in Korea.

Genre: Angst, Drama

Finding a download/stream link to this was harder than it should. After a lot of pain, I managed to extract one from a chinese player and uploaded it myself >=(

Here.

https://i1.wp.com/www.ucanews.com/uploads/2011/08/lesbians.jpg

The story revolves around 3 couples at 3 different stages of their lives, and the basic struggles of being gay through out the short period.

It’s a very short story (THANKS KBS) because of controversy (homosexuality is not accepted in Korea….yet). I applaud KBS for willing to take a step in this direction, but I have to take that applause back for succumbing to the pressures of the KCC.

Background to Korea’s views on homosexuality: Homosexuality does not exist to Koreans. If it is, some may consider it a disease or a mental illness. I’ve spoken with some Korean students nowadays, and things seem to be getting better. There are gay pride gatherings (if you’re brave enough), and younger generations view it more as a “why would I care? It’s their life not mine” which is good. The problem is the older generation. Right now, they’re the ones on Koreas censorship committee (they decide what is aired at what times. They have control over blocking certain websites and putting restrictions) and the ones running the government, and parents. They still hold very conservative views. These views are then passed down onto their children and hence, most people in school/society believe these views as well. Yes, you can get fired for being gay, and no there are no real laws protecting gays. But like I said, things ARE getting a bit better, but most of the time it’s a very bad place to be gay.

The first pairing are high school students, Kim Jooyeon and Yoon Yeokyung. They’re not together, but whilst Jooyeon was staring at the girl she likes does Yeokyung notice, and together they become friends, talking about their struggles in Korean society. The second are in their middle age, Kang Hana and Lee Youngeun going through the struggles of hiding their relationship from people around them. Jooyeon reaches out to Kang Hana on the internet for help struggling with her own sexuality. Hana then takes Jooyeon to the Daughters of Bilitis club, run by couple Choi Hyangja and Park Myung Hee. A club exclusively for lesbians to be themselves. Choi hyangja and Myung hee together go through the struggles of already being out.

Although short (due to controversy), I still enjoyed it. They unfortunately couldn’t push it too much such as passionate kissing or sex scenes (again, a show about lesbians was already pushing it), it was still very enjoyable. All the women are pretty nice to stare at too. I do wish they could’ve done more, even just kissing =(

Yuri Rating: 10/10

Overall Rating: 10/10

MAJOR SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

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