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What to Read After Watching Yuri!!! On Ice

Written by Lianne Sentar, Marketing Manager at Seven Seas

Six months ago, something incredible happened on Japanese TV: a high-budget, beautifully produced anime about male figure skating called Yuri!!! On Ice hit the airwaves (simultaneously streamed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll) and took the world by storm. Although the television series was merely one of the many sports-themed anime that regularly air in Japan, Yuri!!! On Ice surprised its audience with a sensitive, touching romance between its two male leads. The show performed extremely well with viewers around the globe, attracting audiences beyond the usual reach of anime and launching new conversations about nuanced and positive depictions of LGBT+ relationships in media.

Japan has a long history of exploring LGBT+ themes in manga and anime, in a number of genres aimed at (and created by) people from all over the gender and sexuality spectrums. Many have been imported to North America and are further spread to different audiences who form new relationships to the material. Not to be confused with the main character in Yuri!!! On Ice (which is often spelled Yuuri or Yūri to better reflect the Japanese), there’s an LGBT+ genre called “yuri” in anime and manga: stories about romantic relationships between women. These stories about women loving women are some of the most popular books that we at Seven Seas publish, and is a growing market segment in both Japan and North America.

If you enjoyed Yuri!!! On Ice and want more LGBT+ books from Japan, you might enjoy these yuri titles that explore the love between women:

Hana & Hina After School by Milk Morinaga: Shy, uncertain Hana and outgoing, trendy Hina are high school girls who couldn’t be more different from each other. But they share a secret—they work at the same shop after school, despite the school’s strict policy against part-time jobs. As they work side-by-side and discover the things they do have in common, they develop an attraction to each other…and now the secret they’re hiding grows bigger by the day! Manga creator Milk Morinaga has proven popular with both female and male readers in the West, after her sweet tale Girl Friends was first released in English. Hana & Hina After School is one of our newest releases from her, and is a fun, teen-friendly place to start exploring the yuri genre.

Kase-san and Morning Glories by Hiromi Takashima: For even more exploratory high school romance, the Kase-san and… series contains standalone volumes about flower-loving Yamada tending to her own budding romance with track star Kase-san. The first installment, Kase-san and Morning Glories, is the debut volume of this funny, touching tale that our readers absolutely love. And if you enjoy it, be sure to check out Kase-san and Bento and Kase-san and Shortcake!
 
 
 

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata: If you’re after a darker, more adult story about identity, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is the expanded version of a memoir comic that went viral in Japan: the story of Kabi Nagata, a 28-year-old woman suffering through her adulthood, who decides to (bluntly) address some of her buried issues and hire a lesbian escort. This moving yet darkly funny comic is about dealing with heavy topics like mental health (including disordered eating and self-harm), sexuality, and growing up in the modern age in a candid voice all its own. Even prior to its release, it’s also going viral on our social media accounts in English, because this is a story that has moved—and continues to move—people all over the globe.

If you’d like to explore more yuri titles in English, we have an entire section devoted to them on the newly redesigned Seven Seas Entertainment website. Since the genre continues to expand in Japan, we’re always adding more books to our line-up, so there’s plenty out already—and plenty more coming. Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “What to Read After Watching Yuri!!! On Ice

  1. Yuri may have been hugely popular, but it was also hugely overrated. The suggestion that a professional would drop everything–most notably his highly demanding career–to go train somebody he never met because they posted a youtube video copying his act is so ridiculous that I couldn’t make myself watch much further. I don’t care how ‘touching’ the romance was, it was utterly fraudulent. The show did have some pretty figure skating scenes, but that’s about it.

    1. 1. That’s not why he did it, and 2. You must not watch a lot of anime if that’s where your bar for unrealism lands.

  2. After an anime that features a – strongly hints at – a GAY relationship relationship, you suggest to readers LESBIAN fiction???

    Do you think that is logical?

    Kaoru

  3. I like yuri (both the show and the genre) and appreciate the recommendations, but… it seems to me that since the program is actually a yayoi (m/m) romance, that the recs would have been for more reading in that genre (wordplay notwithstanding).

  4. It does not make sense that a show that depicts a male/male relationship and is a sport anime would lead to recommendations of female/female and slice of life anime. I would hope that marketer of anime would understand this idea. However the show is wonderful and I loved the subtle nature of Yuri/Victor’s growing relationship. The show’s overall theme is love, in it’s many different forms.

  5. Thanks for the recommendations! “My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness” is one of my favourite manga in recent memory. One of the things I loved about Yuri!!! on Ice was the way the show portrayed Yuri’s anxiety before he got on the ice, and the way Kabi Nagata touches on the subject was similarly relatable. I didn’t know it was licensed in North America, I’ll have to see if Chapters is selling it in Canada.

  6. Some other books, across the whole spectrum, that peeps might enjoy

    MM (Gay and Bisexual)

    Game On by Olley White
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22907530-game-on

    Under the Knife by Laurin Kelly
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29523342-under-the-knife?from_search=true

    Offbeat Crimes series by Angel Martinez
    https://www.goodreads.com/series/155121-offbeat-crimes

    Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23734628-carry-on

    Timekeeper by Tara Sims
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25760792-timekeeper

    Will & Patrick by Leta Blake
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28580293-will-and-patrick-s-happy-ending

    The Missing Butterfly
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23122393-the-missing-butterfly?from_search=true

    The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29757774-the-cattle-baron-s-bogus-boyfriend

    Scoring Chances series by Avon Gale
    https://www.goodreads.com/series/165513-scoring-chances

    FF
    Beauty and the Blogy by Diana Morland
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30179259-beauty-and-the-blog

    Beauty & Cruelty by Meredith Katz
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26758884-beauty-cruelty

    Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22719283-under-the-lights

    The Princess Affair by Nell Stark
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15843241-the-princess-affair

    The Locket and the Flintlock by Rebecca S. Buck
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12921332-the-locket-and-the-flintlock

    TRANS

    Peter Darling
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33358438-peter-darling

    Roller Girl by Vanessa North
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31212192-roller-girl

    A Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25181809-a-boy-called-cin?from_search=true

    Snow White and the Seventh Bodyguard
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28434788-snow-white-and-the-seventh-bodyguard?from_search=true

    The Big Reveal by Eve Francis
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29915484-the-big-reveal?ac=1&from_search=true

    Trial by Fire by Lore Graham
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34611357-trial-by-fire?ac=1&from_search=true

    POLY
    Five-sided Heart by Max MacGowan
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29924710-five-sided-heart

    Transitions by David Connor
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35069243-transitions?ac=1&from_search=true

    Winterbourne’s Daughter by Stephanie Rabig
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33358563-winterbourne-s-daughter?ac=1&from_search=true

    A Winter in Rome by Francis Gideon
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28678445-a-winter-in-rome?ac=1&from_search=true

    Room at the Top by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12446339-room-at-the-top

    Adrift series by T.J. Land
    https://www.goodreads.com/series/175434-adrift

    ACE/ARO

    Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart by Marie Crosswell
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29523316-lone-star-on-a-cowboy-heart?from_search=true

    Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29414576-tash-hearts-tolstoy?ac=1&from_search=true

    How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421732-how-not-to-summon-your-true-love?ac=1&from_search=true

    Texture Like Sun by Ils Greyhart
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421952-texture-like-sun?ac=1&from_search=true

    Demonica
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35116712-demonica?from_search=true

    The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421799-the-cybernetic-tea-shop?ac=1&from_search=true

    The Life & Death of Eli & Jay
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28422063-the-life-death-of-eli-jay?from_search=true

  7. I second many of Megan’s recs, but would add:

    COLD WAR by Keira Andrews (m/m interracial romance about rival figure skaters, featuring very erotic sex scenes)

    SHOUT OUT LOUD! yaoi manga series by Satosumi Takeguchi (age-gap romance between a young bisexual hockey player and his coach, who happens to be a retired hockey star)

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