Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yuri クリスマス

Yay, Christmas! XD I can't believe it's already here, quite honestly... Even though the Christmas season will soon be over, I wanted to put together a small list of all of the yuri/yuri subtext anime episodes I can think of that take place on Christmas Eve or Christmas (or feature the characters preparing to celebrate it). My opinion of each episode will be underneath each description.

Aoi Hana episode 11 ("Fireworks in Winter")- While spending Christmas Eve with Akira, Fumi remembers who her first love is.

It's kind of funny that this episode aired in the summer. Easily one of the single best episodes of anime that I've watched this year. (Of course at this point, nobody who reads this blog would be surprised that I'm raving about Aoi Hana yet again. ^^)

Azumanga Daioh episode 17 ("Osaka's Scary Story / Feeling Different / Running Teacher / Incredible Santa / Christmas Meeting")- More of the usual hijinks with the Azumanga girls, culminating in the ultimate karaoke performance on Christmas Eve. Plus, Chiyo's "father"- 'nuff said.

Candy Boy episode 2 ("Can I have this,"- Kanade and Yukino go shopping for Christmas presents for each other the day before winter break.

I've never really gotten into Candy Boy (although I like the art), but I'm sure fans of CB's signature blend of slice-of-life fluff and light yuri already really dig this episode.

Devil Lady episode 11 ("Box")- Asuka summons Jun to kill a Devilbeast at a department store on Christmas Eve, causing Jun to miss her planned evening with Kasumi- and Jun finds that her "prey" is still more human than Asuka anticipated.

Very good, and different from most of the titles listed here. For people who like DL's trademark fusion of crack horror, human drama, and yuri, this is an immensely entertaining episode.

Hidamari Sketch episode 12 ("December 25: Goodbye Ume-sensei")- Sae's sister Chika visits her, and mingles with the residents of Hidamari Apartments on Christmas Eve. After Chika leaves, Yuuno reflects on how much she has enjoyed the year since she moved to Hidamari.

A really sweet finale for the first season. I liked the ending in particular, since Yuuno's reflections on living in a dorm for the first time do ring true. There are a few little Hiro x Sae moments, and Shinbo Akiyuki's direction still shines here.

Ichigo Mashimaro episode 12 ("Present")- Chika, Ana, and Miu realize that Matsuri still believes in Santa Claus, and they and Nobue decide to dress up as Santa and his reindeer and leave Matsuri a present to preserve her belief in Santa.

Such a dopey-sounding premise...but *such* a good episode. I love Ichigo Mashimaro's dry sense of humor. :-) And as always, Miu is an evil genius. (Although some of the other characters have their shining moments, too.)

Kämpfer episode 12 ("Christmas Day: Miracle of the Entrails Animals")- The Entrails Animals switch bodies with (female) Natsuru and company, and wind up going on a date with Sakura on Christmas Eve.

Wtf was this?

Kashimashi OVA ("A Girl Falls in Love with a Girl")- Yasuna, Sora-sensei, and the rest of the gang help Hazumu win Tomari back on Christmas Eve.

Silly but cute. A lot of people didn't like this OVA, but I thought it was entertaining.

K-ON! episode 7 ("Christmas!")- The members of the light music club throw a Christmas party, inviting Yui's sister Ui and her friend Nodoka. Sawako-sensei shows up unexpectedly, and they exchange gifts. On New Year's Day, the light music club members visit a local shrine and pray for their club's success.

Just a fun holiday episode. ^^ The flashback to Yui and Ui's childhood Christmas was incredibly cute, and the rest of the episode was plain funny. (My favorite moment = Mugi thinking that "this is the best Christmas" she's ever had.)

Maria-sama ga Miteru season 1 episodes 10-11 ("Forest of Thorns", "White Petals"), and season 4 episode 7 ("Blank Map of the Future")- In "Forest of Thorns" and "White Petals", the Yamayurikai plan their Christmas party and a flashback reveals the story of Sei's first love. In "Blank Map of the Future", the Yamayurikai throw a Christmas party and Yumi asks Touko to be her petite soeur.

I absolutely love these episodes, even if they aren't the most uplifting ones in the Marimite canon. (Especially "White Petals.") And come to think of it, today would be Sei's birthday. XD お誕生日おめでとう、聖様。

Ninja Nonsense! (or Ninin ga Shinobuden) episode 10 ("Ninja Christmas"/Ninja, Cursed")- In the first half of the episode ("Ninja Christmas"), Kaede shows Shinobu, Onosokomaru, and the other ninjas how to celebrate Christmas properly on Christmas Eve. She tells Shinobu that she should spend Christmas Eve with the person she loves. Shinobu says that she's already doing that, and after several unsuccessful guesses Kaede finally clues in. In "Ninja, Cursed", Shinobu unwittingly unleashes a not-so-terrible curse on the other ninjas and Kaede as they prepare for the New Year.

Just cute, silly fun, especially in "Ninja Christmas." With a dash of self-aware otaku humor, to boot.

R.O.D. the TV episode 10 ("A Christmas Carol")- On Christmas Eve, Nene, Michelle, Maggie, and Anita attend the 10th Annual Young Writers' Award reception, where Nene announces that she's beginning a new novel. When they return to Nene's apartment, the Paper Sisters tell Nene about how they first met two years ago on Christmas Eve.

There isn't really any yuri (text or subtext) in this episode, but it's still very good. Seeing Nene snap out of her writers' block and begin her new novel = absolute win.

It's good to be home. Merry Christmas!!

(Plus- saw something cool at the Hallmark at my local mall today yesterday. They had a Christmas card in Japanese. ^^ It's just a minor thing, but I thought it was neat.)

BGM- "White Light" by Amuro Namie

Update on 12/17/2011: When I wrote this post, I screencapped streams, even for the series available on R1 DVD, because I can't screencap DVDs. I stupidly didn't realize that that would encourage people to watch, say, Kashimashi fansubbed rather than buy the English-translated DVDs that Media Blasters released. For anyone who can watch it without region restrictions, Nozomi Entertainment has Maria-sama ga Miteru streaming legally. You should watch it there or on DVD rather than illegally. Azumanga Daioh, Devilman Lady/The Devil Lady, Hidamari Sketch, Kämpfer, K-ON, Ninin ga Shinobuden/Ninja Nonsense, and R.O.D. the TV are also available on R1 DVD. Hidamari Sketch and Kämpfer are streaming legally on The Anime Network.

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