In January 2018 Aldre Chulia and INFINITO attended Yuri Night 0 and got some interesting information from the discussion. Here they are again sharing details on Night 1 of what will hopefully be a multi-part annual tradition. Grab some popcorn and enjoy.
On Sunday May 27th I attended the yuri industry event; “Yuri Night Edition 1”, in Loft Plus One, Shinjuku. In this thread I’ll be writing a detailed report of the event. #yurinight #百合ナイトレポ
Once again, the event was mainly organized by Izumi Kitta, a famous seiyuu from Hibiki agency mostly known for her work in Milky Holmes and her passion for gyoza and yuri.
The other participants were:
Seiya Numata – Anime Director (Milky Holmes/Strawberry Panic/etc.)
Rei Kodama – Content Creator/Designer (Milky Holmes/etc.)
Tomo Awano – Theatre Director/Producer
Akiko Morishima – Manga Author (Yuri Kuma Arashi/Hanjuku Joshi)
Minori Takahashi – Photographer
The guests this time were:
Yuniko Ayana – Scriptwriter and Series compositor (BanG Dream!/Aoi Hana/Flip Flappers/etc.)
Kaya Okuno – Seiyuu from 81 Produce Agency, mostly known for being part of Wake Up Girls! Seiyuu idol Unit.
When we arrived to the event they handed us a print detailing the event and how long it would be (Start: 17:00 End 22:00 with a break around 20:20 for 10 minutes). And also a free postcard that was a picture taken by Minori Takahashi.
This time the original drink menu was the same as the previous Yuri Talk.
– Haruiro no Koi / Spring-colored Love (500Yen)
Cranberry Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Tonic
– Kimi no Ita Kisetsu / The season when you were here (500Yen)
Calpis, Lime Syrup, Slice of Lemon
– Kakurete Kisu Shiyo / Let’s kiss secretly (600Yen)
Strawberry Cool, Milk
– Yoake no Futari / The two of them at Dawn (600Yen)
Blue Curaçao, Dita (lychee licor), Soda, Grapefruit Juice
This time they also did a raffle for presents given by the Participants and Guests.
You would receive a numbered ticket for every order over 500Yen (From your second order forward). You would also get a limited coaster, there were 7 different types.
These are the ones I got. Yuniko’s is an actual autograph. Numata’s is a seal (he said it was handmade by him). Finally the other is a printed illustration by Morishima-sensei.
The event opened up with the main participants, the guests would be called in later.
They recalled their idea about making a yuri anime/multimedia project and started giving their opinions on what it could be about.
Izumi says she wanted to make something in which we see the main couple or the protagonist during her time in Kindergarten. She was recently interested in younger romance/developing characters starting at a younger age.
She also asked if no one else had been in love with their kindergarten teachers, assuming everyone else had gone through the same thing. They all just looked at her quietly, until Morishima said she had felt that way too. She even remembered her teacher in a bathing suit when she took them to the pool.
Then they kept talking about their ideas, Morishima said once again she would like to do a story when they end up growing old together (she calls yuri between older women “silver yuri”).
Then they started talking which ages they wanted to include in the story. Izumi said she thought lately High school girls were kind of “bit*hes” so she was more interested in writing middle school girls now since they were still kinda innocent.
Awano said he wanted to include a part where the main girls escaped together to start a new life somewhere else, he like that kind of scenario because he finds it a bit sad but very romantic. Everyone agreed it’d be interesting to add it.
Morishima-sensei started talking about her own experiences recently and that she had encountered the neighborhood obaasans in her local park and they started pinching her cheeks and praising her. She feel she was being nanpa’d by them. She also enjoyed looking at them holding hand or walking arm with arm so she had a lot of ideas to draw that an old couple.
Takahashi said that if they would talk about real life experiences then she witnessed some yuri a week before that also gave her ideas. She was taking the elevator down in her work to go buy something at the conbini.
Inside the elevator were other two young women, a new intern at the company and her senpai form what she could gather. They were holding hands and flirting, and apparently kissed once paying no mind to Takahashi.
When they got off (also at ground level) she saw them walking holding hands, and then they saw a cockroach in the street. It was the senpai that screamed and held onto the younger girl’s arm. The young one just shook her head and laughed at her senpai being so scared.
She couldn’t help but feel blessed by being able to watch that early, she said she was tired before but felt powered up after that display of affection. Izumi said they might as well add that situation to the anime too.
Then Izumi turned to the audience saying (albeit a bit jokingly) that they were looking for sponsors to finance their project.
Izumi then said that next Yuri Night they might already have a document summarizing their ideas given out to everyone when entering. She said she might also get Momono Moto-sensei draw a small manga adapting a part of what the story so far.
After this they presented the first guest, Yuniko Ayana.
Izumi proceeded to leave so Yuniko could seat down for the next corner. They would talk about yuri recommendations, either their favourites or one that might’ve caught their attention recently.
First up was Rei Kodama who talked about Liz to Aoi Tori. Since it’s still playing on theaters he encouraged the audience to go watch it since it’s not even necessary to have watched Euphonium to understand it as it can be taken as a standalone film too.
He said that watching in the cinema is better since you can really feel the distance between the main characters. After that he accidentally said a big spoiler (fortunately it was difficult to understand if you hadn’t watched the film).
Yuniko was the one to stop and tell him he should be more careful when talking about something he’s recommending so he doesn’t spoil it for everyone.
After him Numata started talking about his recommendations. I didn’t quite catch the groups he mentioned but he talked about a couple of “Mainstream” idol concert blurays he thought were good for people who liked idol yuri.
He then proceeded to talk for like 5 minutes straight explaining stuff about idols, and it was a bit difficult to follow for anyone who wasn’t a fan of that group. Only one guy in the audience said he knew about the couple he was talking about when he asked.
After about 5 minutes he finished talking because there wasn’t much time left.
Morishima came after that, she mentioned what everyone was waiting for, she talked about Kase-san. She asked if any of us had watched it already (and a few of us had been to the butai aisatsu event – early viewing the week before so we raised our hands).
She said she recommended the manga and the movie to everyone who wanted a yuri without much drama and that was mostly fluff and a healthy relationship.
She said she really like the real attraction between them, and the fact Kase also gets jealous but expresses herself and doesn’t bottle it in. (And that while she was reading the manga she wanted them to just jump each other at times.)
After she finished came Yuniko’s turn. She talked about R.O.D. The TV, a 2003 anime series. It was actually the first anime she ever saw and she was hooked up immediately. She says she used to argue with her brother because she thought it was yuri while he didn’t.
She liked it so much she went out to buy the manga and it was around the time the first Yuri Hime/Yuri Shimai were being published and that was how she entered the world of yuri, She felt so strongly for it that she decided early on she wanted to work doing yuri herself.
Since she thought she couldn’t draw very well she opted to become a scriptwriter/novelist instead.
Then Awano talked about his recommendations, he brought a lot again but would only showcase three of them because of time issues.
First of all, the first manga he actually read was Nettai Shoujo Aoi and he loved it, he felt it was the first time he was able to cry with a written piece of work and that also inspired him to write his own scripts.
He also talked about Aoi Hana (mentioned he was shocked when Fumi and her senpai didn’t end up together).
He also mentioned Tonari no Robot, a series he really liked because he’s a fan of sci-fi mixed with daily life.
Then Yuniko talked about another manga she hadn’t said before. It’s Mofuka no Popuri, a kemoyuri manga. (I personally really recommend it too!) She said she loved it because of the wildness that the fact that some of the girls were part animals had.
I don’t want to spoil too much but I think people who like AOB and animal girls tropes would love it too.
Then Izumi came back and this time she brought in Kaya Okuno, the second guest.
She said she invited her because they met in the set of Hanamakura, the yuri play in which both of them had roles. (Written by Awano, adapted from a novel by Kodama).
Okuno says she thinks yuri is better than just girls liking guys, she thinks it’s more romantic overall.
Apparently during the breaks in practice for the play she met Izumi and ended up realizing they both like yuri so Izumi invited her to the event.
After that Izumi talked about manga she liked herself.
Her favorite is Momono Moto sensei’s “Kimi Koi Limit”. She said she likes mostly kuroyuri so the story was perfect for her.
She made a pause to explain the concept of shiro yuri and kuro yuri (white/black or dark yuri) to Okuno. Shiro yuri is for light hearted stories, nice and romantic while kuro yuri is a term for slightly darker and heavier stories, mostly dramatic and sad at parts.
Okuno said she would also probably prefer Kuro Yuri as she’s a fan of drama and angst. Izumi got excited about it and gifted her own copy of Kimi Koi Limit. She apologized for it being old and a bit bent but it was because she had read it too many times to count already.
After that came the first pause, for about 10 minutes so everyone could rest a bit, or have time to buy goods (t-shirts, badges and Takahashi’s photobooks).
The second half started with them answering questions sent by the audience. They had put up a form online so anyone could send questions to them (could be addressed to someone specifically or to all of them).
The first question was directed to Yuniko.
“As a scriptwriter it must be difficult to adapt and be able to make the yuri get through to the actual series, how do you do it and how does the process work?”
She said that around 20 people work in the script and composition of the anime, there are things that were very obviously yuri the first time the script was written but end up differently as well as viceversa.
This mostly happens because the script passes around many hands throughout the process.
At first she said she didn’t want to mention any specific anime but then she opened up and talked about Kiniro Mosaic. She didn’t actually work as a series composer or scriptwriter for the second part of season 2 but she was around when it was done (apparently checking and helping).
There is a part where Aya has a dream about Yoko and her on a boat which apparently wasn’t in the original manga. She felt it wasn’t well done in the anime and even when she talked to the other people in charge about it they didn’t change it.
She said then that the making of an anime is like the flow of a river. Some stuff will always get swept away in the current and some will remain at the bottom.
While she was talking about that with Numata, who understood her situation too since he worked in the Milky Holmes anime, Izumi and Okuno were flirting.
Okuno was trying to feed a French fry to Izumi and everyone stopped paying attention to the ones talking to look at them. Yuniko said she could see them flirting and jokingly asked them to stop. Izumi said “ok, ok sure” and then just kept going while Yuniko finished speaking.
She said giving in the script for an anime feels like handing in a love letter, you don’t know how the ones who receive it will react and what will happen after.
Yuniko also talked about other anime she worked in like Locodol and Flip Flappers, she felt the yuri did go through in both of them and was really happy about it. Mostly Flip Flappers, which she said was one of her favourite projects in which she worked in.
Izumi then asked if she ever got tired or ended up resenting something she worked in. Yuniko was quick to mention Aoi Hana, which she apparently ended up hating during the production of the series.
She accepted the job because she was a big fan of the original manga but soon realized she wouldn’t be able to summarize the greatness of the series into 12 20 minute episodes so she came to hate the idea of the anime. She felt she was destroying something she loved and it made her angry and sad.
However once the anime was done she cried her eyes out, read the manga once again and she saw her love for the original work was still there so she managed to get over her dislike of it.
Izumi was shocked that Yuniko had ever hated Aoi Hana. She talked about her own experience with the manga. She had always liked Kuro Yuri more than softer yuri but Aoi Hana was the first manga that wasn’t all angst that she really liked and during the recording sessions she attended ended up falling in love with the series.
Morishima said she was a big fan too, when she read the manga she couldn’t believe how beautiful the style was, and she was also touched by the story. She said she had already been a mangaka for 20 years when she read it and couldn’t believe someone so much newer than her could write something so perfect.
Then for some reason Izumi and Okuno started talked about how they met during the play. Okuno liked Izumi from the start and there was an occasion in which they had a meeting and would be partners with the one sitting by their side.
Since she wanted to be Izumi’s partner she waited until she arrived so she could sit by her. They even danced together after that. This was the first time Izumi heard about what Okuno had thought back then so she got kinda flustered and really happy so she was squealing for a while.
While Numata finished talking about Aoi Hana with Yuniko Izumi was flirting again with Okuno and teased her making as if she was going to feed her a spoonful of gyoza soup only to eat it herself in the end.
Numata then asked how she felt when writing a script. Yuniko said she only started writing because she didn’t know how to draw. And she then realized that it was a difficult career to go into as there were many people better than her already in the market pool.
She said she feels writing a script is like knitting a sweater, and that you can accidentally miss a stitch you might mess it up, but you can always go back and fix that.
Also that when adapting a manga or novel it making it exactly the same in the anime doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. When she started working during her debut, she asked the director if it was ok to add yuri onto the final script and she got an ok.
She then talked about a manga she had written called “Chiisai Yuri wo mitsuketa”. She wrote about small, daily yuri experiences and said some of them were actually taken from her life and it was up to anyone reading it to guess which were.
Izumi got really excited and wanted to buy it right then and there.
Now Izumi said they wanted time to talk with to the ones in charge of 3D yuri so Numata, Morishima and Yuniko left and Awano and Takahashi came in.
They talked a bit about the play. They actually did it because it was Awano the one who read the Hanamakura novels and wanted to adapt them to a stage play so he asked Kodama if it was okay to work together in that.
They both felt that since it already had a manga and novel it’d actually be better adapted to a play than an anime.
Then Okuno talked about her involvement in the play. She didn’t really know much about yuri before the play but agreed since the role seemed fun, she liked the character design and she didn’t have any problem with playing a lesbian girl since she had always thought love had nothing to do with gender.
When she read the script she noticed there was a kissing scene as well as some other pretty intense/close scenes (with Izumi’s character) and she had to ask first to her manager if it was ok, he toned down a couple of things talking it out with Awano.
Awano apologized for that, he didn’t mean to put stuff so out there that needed to be toned down, Okuno said she didn’t have a problem with it but they just wanted to keep her out of NG stuff for her to avoid agency issues.
They end up keeping the kiss scene, which was slow and romantic. Awano says he always feels a bit guilty to be there when they act these kind of scenes, mostly because all his cast is female so before going in while they’re practicing he always calls out loudly to let them know he’s coming into the room or theater.
Then Takahashi talked about how she took pictures. As mentioned last time, most of the models she hires are lesbians, actual couples or girls who like yuri/girls who’ve got no problem with being close together or kissing.
She says that if the models didn’t actually feel what she wanted to photograph then it easily shows when taking the picture. She says that she normally doesn’t direct them too much on what to do. She gives them a general idea of the photoshoot and leave to take the pictures from far away.
This way they loosen up and their true feelings come out so the photographs look very sincere.
Izumi and Okuno said that since they’re already close they also wanted to be models to get their pictures taken by Takahashi too.
Then came another question, this time for Okuno.
Since the play was yuri, did you start liking your partner in any way during the time you got prepared for it? Or if it was someone else in the play please tell us too.
Both Izumi and Okuno laughed a bit. She said that since there was a kiss scene both of them had to practice a lot together. It was really awkward at first since they didn’t know each other before the play.
They didn’t know how to do it so it didn’t look awkward and asked a lot of advice to the director. At first they couldn’t even look into each other’s eyes but eventually they could do it. On the way there they became really close friends.
Izumi was flirting with Okuno quite a lot while she answered the question. Izumi then mentioned something about a couple of men (either from a play or movie) who lived together and tried living as a couple to be able to understand their role better.
Okuno said maybe that’d be a good idea for her and Izumi next time, right then Izumi almost jumped out of her chair in excitement. She said she shouldn’t say so much stuff like that or she’d actually take her offer seriously while laughing a bit embarrassed of her own outburst.
Kodama read another question.
Which is the best yuri situation?
Takahashi said that she thought the work she submitted to the Yuriten was her favorite so far. They were pictures she took of a couple by the sea, in their school uniforms and then in wedding dresses. She said that photoshoot really inspired her.
She felt that a future like that could be possible to all girls in love and that it made her feel happy about her work too.
Izumi and Okuno said they also wanted a photoshoot, and Okuno suggested by a lake instead of the sea. Izumi almost jumped out of her chair saying she’d like that too.
Then things went a little dark when Okuno said she wanted them to be in a boat, saying their last farewell because they couldn’t be together anymore, the opposite of the other photoshoot. She also said they could even use black wedding dresses too.
Izumi looked a bit confused by the turn of events in Okuno’s suggestion at first but said that she does like “bad ends” sometimes too because life isn’t all happiness and those kind of endings leave you thinking about oneself.
Then a bell rang signaling that the event was close to finishing. They quickly proceeded to do the raffle for the presents.
Kodama’s was Hanamakura’s manga adaptation Vol. 1 and 2, signed. They are rare since they had a limited release and most comic shops don’t have them anymore. He also gave away a Milky Holmes signed manga.
Yuniko’s was her book “Chiisai Yuri Mitsuketa”, signed by her (and touched by Okuno-san which she said adds to its value).
Takahashi brought her signed photobook.
Okuno’s was her own Starbucks card… (it was apparent she didn’t know she had to give something away beforehand and ended choosing that).
Morishima-sensei gave away a signed Shikishi with a couple of postcards which were also signed.
Awano gave away a “Yuri na men ja nee” t-shirt from one of his plays, a totebag, and three dvd’s of his past plays.
Numata drew various Milky Holmes Shikishis. Izumi drew the same ones but in a really… interesting art style… those who have seen the anime will know the reference made here. (They also talked a bit and pretty much confirmed Henriette is a lesbian/actually likes romantically one of the characters, don’t want to spoil the series so I won’t say who but those who watched it know well).
Now everyone had a bit of time to give a last message to the audience before the event finished.
Kodama said he hoped that anyone who didn’t know much about yuri but came to this event could leave with a better understanding of it and like it even more.
Numata said he was happy to be there with everyone again and that he would love to work with Yuniko in a project someday.
Morishima said she talked a lot about Kase-san and she wanted to think about more stuff to talk about next time.
Takahashi said she would love to make a special photobook only for the event next time, or maybe even do the photoshoot Izumi and Okuno suggested. Okuno said she would talk to her manager to get permission first but she would love to.
Yuniko said she was happy she could talk to other yuri creators since she didn’t have this kind of chance very often. She was a bit scared at first that she wouldn’t know what to talk about but she really enjoyed herself in the end.
Then she finished with “Please watch BanG Dream” and right then Izumi jumped out of her chair, she had been containing herself because she apparently had wanted to talk about Bandori all evening but it was NG.
She started shouting that she was jealous that she couldn’t work more in a project like Bandori since it was so yuri and all the girls just really loved each other, also that she wanted a bigger role there. All the others in the table tried to stop her but they were laughing at her outburst too.
After she calmed down it was Okuno’s turn. She said that she was happy to be able to participate in such event and that even the doors to yuri were just recently opened to her through the play she wanted to know more, maybe be in another of Awano’s plays or an yuri anime.
Izumi then said it was her turn, but poor Awano-san had been forgotten so he said he hadn’t talked yet.
Awano said that he wanted everyone to know he was glad they came to the event. And that he was working along with Takahashi for a multimedia exhibition with music and narration (the postcard that we got when going in was an ad for that exhibition later this year).
After that he gave a big announcement, Yuri Night #2 has been confirmed for this year’s fall.
Izumi said that she was glad they’ve gotten so far and she wanted it to be even better organized and maybe next time they’ll be able to get ahold of a bigger place. (Maybe even get a morning NHK program she said jokingly).
And with that Yuri Night Edition 1 finished.
I’d like to say I’m glad they’ll still keep on going, it’s an amazing event and truly the first of its kind in Japan. Please support these creators, most of their books mentioned here and the ones they recommend are available in Amazon or other retailers.
I can’t stress enough how important it’s to buy their work, it’s the only way us fans can really show our appreciation for what they’re doing for the yuri industry.
Once again thanks a lot for reading so far, and sorry I took a while to type it all up! It was quite a lot this time!!
- Seiya Numata – https://twitter.com/numa_milky
- Rei Kodama – https://twitter.com/reikoda
- Akiko Morishima – https://twitter.com/morishima_akiko
- Minori Takahashi – https://twitter.com/tkhsmnr108
- Tomo Awano – https://twitter.com/awatomo0115
- Izumi Kitta – https://twitter.com/izugyoza
- Yuniko Ayana – https://twitter.com/unicococ
Last notes from OG: So Milky Holmes’ Henriette/Lady Arsene is confirmed lesbian. Her ultimate goal makes perfect sense now.
for attending the event and INFINITO covering the whole thing. Check out the coverage on Infinito’s Twitter below:
There’s also a mistake INFINITO wanted to point out: