So with this year about to conclude it is worth mentioning what a glorious year of Yuri it was and how it was a decent year for a few select heterosexual couples. While there are cretins who chafe about the lack of quality series their numbers are few and they are stupid for having such narrow tastes. It gloriously began with Mariaholic with Kanako concocting glorious fantasies of a Yuri world and ruined Shizu for marriage though her final victory was thwarted by a most dangerous and skilled trap. Despite the lack of Best End for Kanako I do hope that one day she will mature into a powerful master of the Yuri and claim the yuri harem that her loli angel had prepared for her. Sadly it was also a winter of despair as the hateful Saji and those CB terrorists brought ruin upon Soma and Louise and forced them into tyrannous hetero pairings with loser animu males. Skip Beat! had Kyoko confess her undying love for Moko despite persistent speculation that Kyoko has even a drop of affection for Shotaro.
Spring brought K-On with Mugi-chan giving Ritsu ample opportunity to claim Mio and ruin her for marriage. But the best was yet to come as summer introduced us to a paragon of Yuri Virtue in the form of Alphardonee-sama . Even now her prowess has yet to be matched and she remains one of the more unforgettable heroines that have wielded the Yuri. Such was he grace that she has become the Gold Standard against which all heroines will be measured by. Riding along Alphard onee-sama’s side was the redoubtable Liang Qi whose yuri love for Alphard was truely great though sadly it was not to be reciprocated fully. However the union of Alphard and Liang Qi produced a glorious daughter they named Kuroko who inherited many of their best traits and combat prowess. While not as powerful or great Marin and Kanon were a delightful pair whose yuri love was sadly unconsummated because of silly rules and Kanon being bi. Also of note was the yuri baiting series Kampfer which I found to be a riot for it delivered consistent yuri despite the presence of a male whose loyalty would have been most praiseworthy had he not been so misguided. There was also Aoi Hana, Saki, Taishou Yakyuu Musume, and Sasameki but we didn’t cover them nearly as much this year though I might manage considering the horrid lack of yuri this winter. So comrades let us toast to this glorious year that will be long remembered and possibly sorely missed as 2010 reaches every corner of the globe.
Calawain’s- Traps, Nopan, and an Unstable Teleporting Lesbian
I’m a rather devout fan of yuri, giving every show with it at least a shot, and wow, there were a glut of shows with yuri content in them in 2009. One of the most anticipated yuri titles in awhile was Sasameki Koto, which was a decent enough adaptation. I found that Kazama’s seiyuu and character were pretty weak and heavy on the emo, but Murasame’s voice was perfect, and I felt that they really nailed her deadpan side as well as the delusional one. Also, can’t forget the awesomeness that was Akemiya the trap, above. They also managed to insert a heap of humor throughout, and didn’t get bogged down in Aoi Hana-like melodrama.
Railgun managed to definitely snag the best comedy yuri title of the year, with the impassioned Kuroko wholeheartedly stealing the show with her antics of Biribiri love and abuse. I came for the Biribiri, but stayed for the Kuroko. Now if only they could come up with a plot that isn’t total trash. Oh, and ditch the other two “protagonists,” Uiharu and Saten, what a glut of boredom those two manage to inspire.
By far the best yuri title of the year in my mind is Saki, whose yuri antics (among other things) I covered previously. The show featured a rather large collection of yuri pairings, and everyone had their favorite (shamefully, I’ll take the often overexposed Saki and Nodotits). What was fascinating is that even though people had their favorites, there was rarely any hate for other pairings, just an appreciation for the deliciousness of it all. My image folder for Saki is filled with more than just two characters thanks to /a/. What began, ostensibly, as a show about mahjong certainly ended up being about yuri and a lack of panties. Saying that Saki is about mahjong is kind of like saying FLCL is about robots and aliens, right?
ExecutiveOtaku’s ‘The Sound and the Yuri’
While I do not worship at the Temple of Yuri as my comrade Crusader does (i.e. I don’t specifically enjoy yuri just for the yuri), this past year has delivered a number of great shows that had high yuri content. Maria Holic was a great comedy. Evil trap roommate, Kanako’s angel song, nearly Hosaka-level daydreams, oh-so-SHAFT animation and humor elements, and that great ending song/animation. Maria Holic was definitely in my favorite comedies of the year, probably second after the newest Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and it had plenty of competition this year. Plus it had the amazing Matsurika, deadpan abusive maid commentator extraordinaire. K-On, while not explicitly yuri, definitely brought the lulz with it’s yuri undertones in several scenes. Tsumugi quickly became my favorite for her elegance and feigned ignorance while she secretly shipped her friend together. Behind those oddly cute eyebrows lurks a sharp and devious intelligence.
Moving on to action, Canaan was not my favorite show ever, but it had some great moments in it. Alphard was an amazing antagonist, at times a master of frontal assault, at others a deliciously cunning trickster. Backed up by her crazy, obsessive, failed yuri-love Liang Qi (GET SOME GET SOME), it made for some great action scenes and was a decent if not amazing show. Finally, on to more dramatic things, Aoi Hana, which I’m still working on finishing, brought us some lovely yuri romance and equally lovely visual style. As my love for Honey and Clover and Kimi ni Todoke shows, I’m a sucker for those watercolor landscape and location shots, and Aoi Hana knew just where to hook me by setting the story in Kamakura, one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to. Despite a little too much of the waterworks early on, I’m looking forward to a satisfying ending to what is so far a very nice yuri love story.
Additionally, all these series had some pretty good music. K-On centered around it, giving viewers a lot to listen to. Maria Holic’s wonderful ‘Kimi ni Mune Kyun (Kyun!)‘ ending theme was catchy and nicely executed in 16-bit style, both visually and in its audio. Aoi Hana’s OP, Aoi Hana by Kukikodan, started off as slow and kind of sad, but moved to a more upbeat tone, and seeing Akira and Fumi dancing around together was both cute and beautifully animated. Canaan had quite the badass OP right from the first electric guitar notes, Mind as Judgement. And that countdown featuring all the main characters was one of my favorite elements in an OP this year.
Crusader’s The Fighter, The Dreamer, and The Lover
While it was a glorious year overall I have to make special mention for Mariaholic, Canaan, and Railgun. I have never wavered in advocating love between otome as the state of animu males is generally lacking, but Mariaholic brought a good number of glorious Kanako fantasies that just SMASHED REALITY INTO ATOMS IN THE NAME OF SHINING ZEUS while poor Kanako never had a night of forever and ever with the harem that was rightfully hers it was most fun to bear witness to her flights of fancy. Having now ruined Shizu for marriage I hope that Kanako will become the mistress of yuri that we all know that she is capable of being. Alphard onee-sama simply out shone every yuri heroine of the year as she is indeed an heir of Chikane’s legacy as Alphard is indeed an ojou-sama from a distinguished family that has been continued for a thousand years, skilled in both literary and military arts, with wit and beauty, the intensity of summer, the grace of autumn, the pride of winter, and the gentleness of spring. Such is her greatness that she can outfight most of the boys that marred this season, save perhaps Prince Ali himself (it’d be a draw really since they come from the same school of CQC) and of course ALMIGHTY ZEUS (really I’d like to see someone other than Hades try, could use another instance of AWESOME TYPE ROCKET PUNCH). Alphard consummated her yuri love with Canaan producing a daughter maned Misaki who inherited the latter’s super powers and she also raised a wondrous daughter named Kuroko with Liang Qi. Thoughtful, loving, and mighty Alphard was everything that any one should aspire to be, sure she made a few mistakes, but at least she strove to correct them while liberating Canaan Mk II from the shadow of Siam. Final mention goes to Kuroko whose love of her onee-sama is almost as intense as her mother Liang Qi’s and whose martial prowess makes Alphard smile with pride. All in all it was a good year with many heroines worthy of praise, a year like this might not come again for quite some time. For the fans of yuri at least for this year anime was worth watching despite the cries of decline from the hordes of hetero harem animu infidels. So IN THE NAME OF SHINING ZEUS HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Alphard Onee-sama was most willing to pull punches when it came to women.
Poor Liang Qi did not live to see Kuroko grow up and find yuri love.
Kanako is equivalent to an Ez8 for she will marry Aina.
Also Kanako is part of the 8th Yuri Team.
I approve of public displays of Yuri Affection, religious and cultural considerations be damned!
Best Customs declaration EVAR.