The release of By Your Side: The First 100 Years of Yuri Anime and Manga is more than the exciting launch of a landmark work. It is, quite literally, the culmination of a dream.
I’ve known Erica for more than 20 years. We met back when she was at the beginning of her journey to popularize Yuri in America. And what a journey! The half-facetious “Anilesbo-Con” evolved into the tremendously successful first “Yuricon” in 2003, followed by Yuricon in Tokyo in 2005. Erica brought the Yuri genre to English with the specially commissioned “Yuri Monogatari” and English translation of “Rika ‘tte Kanji” and . And then she launched Okazu, her Yuri-themed blog, which has cemented her reputation as this hemisphere’s foremost scholar on the subject.
Last year, Erica casually mentioned that she planned to compile her Okazu essays into what she jokingly called “The Big Book of Yuri”. I tried to keep my voice equally casual when I responded, “Oh? Do you have a publisher?”
Because Erica can write. She’s funny. She’s insightful. And she knows so damned much. It wasn’t even too much of a leap beyond our normal publishing scope–after all, several of the pivotal yuri anime/manga are speculative fiction works (Sailor Moon, Utena, etc.) And, of course, Journey Press is all about the queer.
Thankfully, Erica didn’t miss a beat. She put her baby in our hands, and today we have delivered one of the coolest titles ever to come out of this publishing house. By Your Side is the first of its kind, and it is likely to remain one of the best–accessible, complete, and most of all, fun to read. It’s not just a survey of the genre, but an analysis of all the factors that made it distinct and great. The forces that shaped it, from the lesbian creators looking to find themselves in ink, to the fans who both supplied an audience and a creative drive.
If you have any interest in anime/manga, in LGBTQ+ matters, literary criticism, women’s studies, or if you just want a great book to enjoy, you will love By Your Side. Get it today!
Physical & Digital Editions available now:
Or get it at your favorite local bookshop!