Category Lily Girls

Lily Girls’ Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Yup. We're doing that one.

Sometimes we review things here that likely make you think to yourself “Why in the name of Sappho do they feel a need to do this?” or “Has someone not made their mind up about this yet?” Famously, our most recent review was about Pokemon X and Y. But we’re a year old now, and it’s time to take our big-girl swing at something pretty much all of our followers asked us to review and not a single one of them actually needed us to. Why? Because we love you guys shamelessly. So, it’s time to saddle up, make a contract and talk about Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

The happy ending you will never, ever, ever see.

You won’t get this ending. Too happy.

So, for those of you who have spent two years under a rock, the premise of the series is this: life is horrible and you should be crying right now...

Lily Girls’ Review: Pokémon X and Y

So here we are again. It’s been a week since this game came out as of midnight tonight, so odds are if you wanted a review you’ve found it already. But I’m doing it anyway, bringing a Lily flair to the discussion. Without further adu, let’s send out our Gardevoir Katie and have her use Review!

Female Protagonist with all the Fire starters she could find. So, basically, self-portrait.

Female Protagonist with all the Fire starters she could find. So, basically, self-portrait.

Hello, there! Welcome to the wonderful world of Pokémon! My name is Katie. Our world is full of fantastic creatures called… okay, you get the idea. I really shouldn’t have to explain the premise of these games to you, you’ve been there and done that and even if you’ve never really involved yourself in the franchise, you certainly are familiar with the concept. This is GameFreak’s sixth time at bat, not to mention trading card games, various anime adaptations, even more manga adaptations, and a wonderful world we like to call ‘the most expansive franchise on Earth’. These little creatures are the most magical cash cows ever.

The latest installment finds you and your mom – an expert Rhyhorn Racer (that’s a thing!) – moving to the shining and hopeful Kalos Region, or as I like to call it, France. As a fellow transplant to the region, the local Professor, a bishounen named Sycamore, decides to gift you a new cute little supernatural killing machine, one of these cuties, along with giving you best friends. Because he’s a real stand-up guy like that, and wants you to have a posse. Your posse includes the Rival, (basically just the default trainer of the gender you aren’t), the lovely little lily Shauna who is how I consider myself having the authority to review this, the ‘dex completionist Trevor who seems pretty bad at Pokédex completion and Tierno who just wants to dance. No, I’m serious. Where Black and White were complex morality plays, X and Y are about following your own path in life and the bonds you build over the course of that journey.

Pokémon games have become methods of data collection about players, so despite the idea that fans of the series are always in the young age ranges, the in-game statistics have shown actually a pretty interesting spread across age demographics, with the people who started back in the 90s often still with the series. This demographic information has really made an impact of the development, with more serious and involved storylines starting with Black and White, and messages like ‘find your own way in life’ that appeal to the growing, often college-aged audience. X and Y has a very ‘college’ feel to it, actually, with its focus on the bonds you’ll forge for the rest of your life and the independence and adventurism. In previous generations you are given very specific goals by the Professor, but here Professor Bishounen tells you to make your own way, to do things as you want them done. Though previous titles never had, you know, supervision over you and your little cute wrecking balls, they always had someone telling you the right way to proceed. X and Y tells you that you already inherently know the right thing for your life.

So cute together....

So cute together….

So, quick aside before I get to he heavy ‘read more’ of this review, and that aside is Shauna. The Sinnoh Region’s champion, Cynthia, was very implied-lesbian especially in Black and White where she spent a lot of time at Catlin’s villa, surrounded by women in bathing suits and the equally arguably gay gym leaders Elesa and Skyla. But the entire case was very circumstantial and a lot like the ‘I see myself reflected here’ kind of thing that leaves a lot to be desired. X and Y strengthen this significantly with Shauna, who is interested in the protagonist regardless of gender, having several somewhat romantic scenes and one that is… well, remarkably romantic. This is a lightly spoilery link to the conversation as rendered into art. Again, Shauna’s bisexuality isn’t directly confronted, but I don’t think it ought to be. In a game about finding your own place in the world, what could be better than having a character who has a non-heterosexual orientation treated as just another person, with her own place in the world? Plus, there’s the whole argument that without saying what Shauna is, the writers avoid alienating American audiences who they consider too puritanical for an openly gay or bi character, which is a common point of localization censorship in anime and manga.

Now, on to the features.

New bad guys? Team FABULOUS! I mean Flare. Might've been right the first time.

New bad guys? Team FABULOUS! I mean Flare. Might’ve been right the first time.

X and Y introduces a lot of new bells and whistles, but only introduces around seventy new creatures...

Lily Girls’ Review: Mai Otome

So, the status of Mai HiME as a cornerstone of yuri anime is not to be ignored, but in keeping with our “Hey, check this out!” nature as a blog, why not play with it’s lesser-known and rather fantastic (in several senses of the word) little sister? Yes, Mai Otome.

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Science fiction magical girls in the distant future or maybe the past on another planet or parallel dimension.

Mai Otome is set… somewhere that is tied to but not at the setting of Mai HiME. In fact, the less you know about Mai HiME the more you’ll understand Otome, because instead of being a psychological thriller with summoned creatures and Most Important Persons, Otome was once aptly described by a friend as “Sailor Moon on crack.”

See, we’ve got magical girls, but it might be more accurate to call them technological girls...

Lily Girls’ Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia

Not to be confused with the anime series of the same name, which we’ll review shortly, or the other games in the Neptunia franchise mk2 and Victory which I’ve heard about but not played first-hand. This review is only about Hyperdimension Neptunia.

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Yeah, that Hyperdimension Neptunia.

 The idea behind this is kind of an awesome and out there and insane premise: all the videogame companies are moe girls. Neptune (named for the console that Sega was supposed to follow the Dreamcast with) represents Sega, Noire represents the typically black-colored Sony consoles, Blanc represents the Wii’s white color-scheme and Vert, from Verde which is the Microsoft green logo design for the Xbox...

Lily Girls’ Review: Yuyushiki

My state has a law that mandates all K-12 school years and some university fall semesters start the day after Labor Day. Something of a holiday of it’s own, let’s celebrate Back to School by going to our high school’s Data Processing Club in this week’s review.

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Yuzuko, Yukari and Yui

Yuyushiki starts out with a pattern that feels familiar in slice-of-life series, the protagonists must join a club but don’t want to actually do anything. In some other series, like Yuru Yuri, this manifests as the Amusement Club, or in another recent series, the titular Going Home Club. In Yuyushiki, the trio of Yukari, Yuzuko and Yui join the Data Processing Club, a club that has a whopping zero members...

Lily Girls’ Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun S

Hey, lads and lasses, Lily’s bringing you something currently airing~!

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Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko,
Railgun and Teleporter

So, here’s the basic premise and most of what you’d need to know about the world if you wanted to skip the more laid-back Season One and get straight to extreme violence of A Certain Scientific Railgun S.

A Certain Magical Index is a supernatural action series about a world with both magic and human evolutions called Espers (Japanese catch-all term for psychics and the like). While Index follows the story of Touma who solves all his problems by punching stuff, Railgun follows Misaka Mikoto and her four-girl almost slice-of-life team of pals...

Lily Girls’ Review: Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~

The world is so full of injustice toward lilies, isn’t it? So Katie’s back from her month of moving and vacations and so forth to bring you a review! Our next one will be Attack on Titan because it has to be, but since I haven’t actually seen it yet (I know, yell at me in the comments. Anything to get away from the oodles of spam we get left) I decided to go with one that I happened to just be recommending to someone.

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Sengoku Otome… yeah, this is gonna be good.

Enter Hide Yoshino (that name…), a high school girl who has really no desire to do anything. When asked about her plans for the future by her History teacher, little Yoshino says a career involving napping and sweets would be best. I think we can all relate to that.  She also is failing History...

Lily on the Road: JAFAX

Last time Lily hit the convention scene it was at Anime Central, one of the largest conventions in the Midwest. Yesterday we set our sights on Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI for one of the smaller cons we go to: the Japanese Animation and Film Something-that-starts-with-A Expo. JAFAX bills itself as a “unique experience”, being a totally free convention held at a university rather than a admission-fee based model held at a hotel or convention center. This poses pretty obvious strengths and weaknesses for the convention.

Koala, Katie and Katze.

The obvious strength is that its free. No badges, no registration, just show up and walk around doing what you wanna do. The obvious weaknesses are university policies that limit the scope of the convention...

Lily Girls’ Review: Atelier: The Alchemists of Arland Trilogy

Changing it up a bit, and maybe with a nod to our fellow MangaDen columnists at Unbeaten Games, Lily is looking this week at a video game franchise, Atelier, and it’s recent turn down the yurilicious path.

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From left to right:
Rorona (de-aged), Meruru and Totori

Let’s start by saying this: if you hate item creation in RPGs, specifically JRPGs, look no farther: Atelier is  the bane of your existence. For over twenty years and fifteen title,s Atelier has been the source that Star Ocean, Tales, even Final Fantasy have drawn from in the pursuit of item crafting. The closest Atelier has ever been to the JRPG standard of plucky heroes chosen by destiny to save the world was Atelier Iris 2, that notwithstanding the franchise has been much more lighthearted and whimsical, instead being about a plucky shopkeeper chosen by pretty much no one to make cool things and keep the art of alchemy alive. Does this sound a lot like Recettear? Do you not know what Recettear is? The point is, it does. And that’s because Atelier inspired a subgenre of JRPG all its own.

Since this is about three games, this article is kind of long, so bear with us.

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Rorona and Cordy,...

Lily Girls’ Review: Black Rock Shooter

Hello, everyone! I’m sure you’re all enamored with E3 and I promise we’ll discuss it and how we’re disappointed at its lack of yuri later. For now, we bring you a review of the much-loved Black Rock Shooter anime!

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Black Rock Shooter, where have you gone?

So, the biggest problem we have when we talk about Black Rock Shooter is this: just what the hell are we talking about. Black Rock Shooter originated as a song by the band Supercell featuring uber-cute digital idol Hatsune Miku, who the titular character was modeled after. From this humble origins, Black Rock Shooter gained immense popularity  but not immense continuity. While we’re here talking about the anime, in a few months we’ll be back to talk about the entirely separate universe that is the video game, which follows a completely...