Kashimashi: Yuri Isn’t for Lesbians

Indeed.

Ah, here we go – the age-old argument! The utterly befuddling argument! The argument that, really, shouldn’t even be happening, since the evidence on one side is so overwhelming as to beg the question of why this keeps getting hashed over. But, hey, as long as people keep trying to insist yuri is a genre created for lesbian and bisexual women, I suppose I’ll just have to keep refuting this spurious claim.

I recently started watching Kashimashi~Girl Meets Girl~, having only managed two episodes of it when it originally aired (for those of you wondering, I was largely driven off by the father of the lead and his repulsive, pervy antics). You may wonder why I even bothered, and I’ll admit my answers aren’t very good – it was on sale at Right Stuf, and, well, why the hell not?

So far, its pretty bland. It also feels much more dated than it actually is, due in large part to the ridiculous involvement of aliens in the storyline. Contrast this with Level E, where the presence of aliens did feel very 90’s but in a nostalgic, enjoyable way. Here they just signify one of several utterly deranged plot developments.

But, hey, I’ll get around to reviewing this another time. For now, let’s just focus on this: Kashimashi is the perfect example of how we know yuri is not made for lesbian and bisexual women. THE PERFECT EXAMPLE!

Let us consider this: Yasuna, whom Hazumu has a crush on, rejects Hazumu… not exactly because she dislikes him, but because she suffers from an ailment which renders her unable to see men clearly – instead they show up as blurs. (By the way, in a much better show, this ailment could be made to work and could be made something interesting, by asking – why? why does Yasuna have this problem? and have some legitimate psychological basis for it.)

Folks, if this had been a show made for bisexual and lesbian women, this entire piece of stupidity would’ve been avoided, because Yasuna would’ve rejected Hazumu because she isn’t attracted to men. Plain and simple! Or, she would’ve rejected Hazumu because she’s only been attracted to women previously, and is confused by the fact that she seems attracted to him.

…of course, this all ignores the fact that, really, if the show was meant for ladies like myself, there would’ve never been any weird shenanigans with Hazumu becoming a girl because aliens killed him by accident. But I think pointing out the matter of Yasuna’s… disability illuminates my point much more clearly than bothering to go into that.

Anyway. Send your “yuri is meant for lesbians!”-spouting morons my way. I’ll be more than happy to set them straight. Pun certainly intended.

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16 Responses to Kashimashi: Yuri Isn’t for Lesbians

  1. lvlln says:

    The idea that the genre itself was created for lesbians is, of course, patently absurd. But would it be accurate to say that there exist yuri works that were created for lesbians? That is, characterizing an entire genre is too blunt, and it makes more sense to look at them on a finer, case by case basis?

    • A Day Without Me says:

      No, its not, because, as a genre, it was not created for lesbians. There are lesbian manga out there. They aren’t categorized as yuri. Some yuri may skew closely toward being lesbian, but it is nevertheless not written with lesbians as the target audience (examples: Aoi Hana – runs in Manga Erotics F, a manga magazine marketed for men; Fu~Fu – runs in Le Rakuen le Pardis, a manga magazine marketed for straight women).

      Just for reference, lesbian manga typically runs in magazines that are not purely manga, such as the defunct lesbian magazine Mist.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    Yuri is meant for straight men.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Exactly. And straight young women if it appears in shoujo, because that’s akogare and I guess young women are all expected to go through that stage.

  3. Rob says:

    Kashimashi really is the perfect example for this. I don’t think yuri that receives (or is intended for) a mainly male audience should neccesarily be condemned, though — only if that desire to please straight men leads to problematic portrayals of queerness, which it doesn’t always. It probably does in this series though.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Oh, I agree that yuri intended/receiving a primarily male audience shouldn’t be condemned solely because of its targeted/received audience – Aoi Hana is fantastic, and it runs in a male audience magazine. But its silly when people try to argue that yuri is meant for lesbians or bisexual women, because it simply is not.

      In the case of Kashimashi, I wouldn’t call it problematic, exactly, but that’s simply because the whole ‘Yasuna can’t see guys!’ detail is just so utterly stupid. I think the common trope of the predatory lesbian is much, much more problematic, for example.

  4. glothelegend says:

    Another way you can tell that Yuri isn’t made for lesbians or bisexual woman is that I love it, and am a straight man. Heck, I haven’t commented on your blog (or any other blog, regrettably) in ages, but after one Yuri post I come running like a horny kid to a brothel featuring a buy one get one free sale.

    I endorse Baka-Raptor fully. There is almost no yuri I don’t like.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Kashimashi is pretty dull, though; have you seen it?

      Dude, is our fucking podcast ever gonna happen? We can discuss yuri and the Whalers.

  5. The Kenosha Kid says:

    Wait, are there seriously people who think that yuri is meant for lesbians? I mean, it’s like yaoi–all the fans I know of THAT genre are straight (or bi-/pan-) women, except in those few instances where there’s more to the work than simple pandering.

    (Not that I don’t like simple pandering from time to time, but… oh, hush.)

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Yes, there are; and, for some reason, this perception of theirs is apparently VITAL to their enjoyment. At least, based on the fact that so many of them come howling out of the woodwork to get all bitchy and persnickety whenever anyone dares to suggest that it isn’t.

  6. Sorrow-kun says:

    Kashimashi invented yurivision. And it can take away yurivision from all of us just as easily as it gave it. /s

    I’m against glothelegend on this one. Most yuri is good. But not Kashimashi.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Kashimashi! So dull. But I’m going to try to finish it… probably because, as a yuri fan, I don’t expect much from anime 😄 Ditto for BL, although fuck that Sekai-shitty shit.

  7. inushinde says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of yuri. I mean the idea’s lovely, but most yuri anime that I’ve seen is absolute pants and Kashimashi looks no different.
    And saying that it’s meant for lesbians is just silly.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Kashimashi is… not the worst out there, but its not terribly good. The only yuri anime I can recommend sans reservations is Aoi Hana. I also love Strawberry Panic, but that’s in large part because its so ridiculous, and if you’re not a yuri fan anyway, I don’t think it translates well.

  8. There was a time when I did believe yuri was made for, meant for lesbians. But after reading quite a bit of the genre in manga format, I’ve learned that that’s often not the case. Often I come across stuff that seems way too appealing to a pervy dude like me. I really have to wonder how often supernatural circumstances and boobs have to be mixed into a yuri narrative. Then again, a series like Hayate X Blade may not be so easy to categorize that way. I would bring up Sasameki Koto as well, but you made your feelings on that quite apparent on Twitter. *single tear*

  9. feathernote says:

    Saying ‘yuri is for lesbians’ would be like saying ‘yaoi is for gay guys’. So not. Haha~
    But at least yaoi usually illustrates scenarios between two adult males.
    Yuri kind of glamorizes the infantilized female to a point that I find it too disturbing to even look at.

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