Gunjo: Cult Yuri Manga Gets Netflix Movie for Spring 2021

Gunjo, Nakamura Ching's cult lesbian manga series, is getting a live-action movie adaptation from Netflix that will premiere in Spring 2021. Crunchyroll reported that the title of the movie will be Kanojo (translation: "She"). It will star Kiko Mizuhara and Honami Sato as the couple on the run. Acclaimed director Ryuichi Hiroki is attached to direct, and rock musician Haruomi Hosono (Happy End, Yellow Magic Orchestra) will compose the theme song.

Gunjo: Cult Yuri Manga Gets Netflix Movie for Spring 2021
Covers of "Gunjo" vols 1 and 2, IKKI

These are the opening lines of the official English translation:

"I told her I loved her, and she killed my piece-of-shit husband for me. That dumbass lesbo."

Most Yuri stories follow a simple plot: Two schoolgirls fall in love, their relationship dynamic is built around being different ages, and the worst thing that could happen is being called mean names (at least in modern yuri stories for the most part). Gunjo, however, is not the common yuri story at all.

GUNJO, completed in 3 volumes from 2007 to 2012, is about two women who go on the run after one seduces the other and convinces her to murder her abusive husband. It's not a woke, female empowerment tale. The lovers are flawed, abusive, obsessive, and unstable as they try to decide what to do next. They're in love but broken. They're detached, unsure of their feelings as they ask if they should stick together or kill each other. They question if their love is real. It's not woke or politically correct. It's melancholy, dark, quirky, and messy. Its characters are deeply flawed, and it fits in the current genre of female-oriented dramas like Fleabag, I May Destroy You, or I Hate Suzy.

Gunjo: Cult Yuri Manga Gets Netflix Movie for Spring 2021
Page from "Gunjo" Vol. 1, (translated by Erin Subramanian), Nakamura Ching, IKKI

The manga first ran in Kodansha's Morning 2 from 2007 to 2009, then moved to Shogakukan's Monthly IKKI from 2010 to 2012. Shogakukan released a total of three tankobon volumes. The series has a cult following amongst lesbian and LGBTQ readers in both Japan and the US.

Gunjo: Cult Yuri Manga Gets Netflix Movie for Spring 2021
Page from "Gunjo" Vol. 1, (translated by Erin Subramanian), Nakamura Ching, IKKI

Erica Friedman of Okazu is working with the creator Nakamura Ching to officially bring out the series in English for the first to release as ebooks after the major US manga publishers opted not to bring it out here. Erin Subramanian is the translator. Work has slowed down due to the Pandemic, but most of volume 1 is complete, and the chapters are available to read for free on Ching's website.

About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.

twitter