The Yuri Show Must Go On: Yuri Fair 2018 Makes Do Despite Initial Setbacks
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Allow me to open this article with a rough translation of the introductory message by the BanG Dream! series composition writer Yuniko Ayana, which was posted at the front of the Yuri Fair exhibit in Tokyo:
“What is yuri? Simply put, yuri is about a special relationship between girls. Personally, I think that this includes not just romance but any strong feelings like friendship, affection, respect, or jealousy, but the definition is for each person to decide. Because it's up to you to look at the girls and call it yuri. This is the one domain that no one else has control over. The Yuri Fair is a showcase of all these different ideas of yuri.”
True to this message, the Yuri fair covers a lot of different bases: dozens of manga are represented, as well as live-action photography. A good deal of the images depict the girls kissing or touching intimately, while other illustrations are awash with roses and lilies and shojo sparkles.
The Yuri Fair was the victim of some unfortunate controversy earlier in March. The exhibit was originally planned to be held at Tokyo's Ikebukuro Marui department store, but due to “various circumstances” was cancelled five days prior to the opening. The photographer Yuria's work was meant to be showcased at the Yuri Fair, and there was also an exhibit for her work called "The World of Thigh Photos Exhibit 2018 at Ikebukuro Marui", but this was cancelled as well.
Fortunately, the organizers found a venue for the Yuri Fair inside a small studio in Aoyama, with the promise that every artist's work would be exhibited fairly. Unfortunately, the new venue, called the Light Box Studio, offers much less space than a department store, which meant that only a limited number of people were allowed inside the building at any given time.
Here's a peak at the illustrations inside the Yuri Fair. You can find a full list of the creators represented here.
Many of the artists left their signatures on the wall and expressed their joy at being selected for the Yuri Fair.
Live-action photography was also a big part of the exhibit.
The Yuri Fair was generally a low-key exhibit, but the final day two days of the fair had the yuri manga artists giving out signatures, which made it a lot busier than usual. The Light Box Studio has narrow hallways, and with roughly fifty people inside the building at any given time during the day, it was difficult to move around freely. On the other hand, I was happy to see so many fans show up even at a smaller and more obscure venue. As Yuniko Ayana mentioned, yuri fans are passionate!
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history