Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! 新年おめでとうございます!

Happy 2011!!! ^___^  This past year really flew by. We haven't gotten as much yuri anime as in 2009, but there are still some gems. (And fun crap.) Here are...

My Top 10 Yuri Anime of 2010:

English Releases:

5. Media Blasters' Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny:
Because there isn't much to choose from and this craptastic, service-drenched series about well-endowed women fighting under the pretense of re-enacting the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is more fun than it should be. This season also introduces my favorite pairing.

4. Section 23's Taisho Baseball Girls Complete Collection:
I'm starting to re-watch this. Baseball normally makes my eyes glaze over, but this is a fun "We can build a winning team!" series set in the 1920's, with a strong feminist bent and a little yuri.

3. Funimation's Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne:
This is trash, but it's entertaining sci-fi trash. The yuri isn't very meaningful, but there's a lot of it.

2. Section 23's CANAAN Complete Collection:
Girls with guns! And some yuri. This show is not only a lot of fun, it's visually impressive enough to warrant a Blu Ray purchase from me.

1. RightStuf's season 4 box set of Maria Watches Over Us:
Because Marimite is one of the best shows ever ever ever and I love watching Yumi choose her petite souer even when I know who it'll be.

Airing in Japan:

5. So-Ra-No-Wo-To:
Not really yuri, but there were enough crumbs for me to list it, for whatever that's worth. lol I just enjoyed looking at the pretty scenery, listening to Kalafina's music, and piecing together the bucolic post-apocalyptic world the characters live in.

4. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun:
Kuroko's love might be one-sided, but she's a great major character in a fun sci-fi anime that ended with a bang. I'm looking forward to Funimation's DVD release.

3. Ikki Tousen Xtreme Xecutor:
For bringing the über-cool Kanu (my favorite!) and Ryuubi tantalizingly close to being a solid couple at the end. And again, for being more fun than it should be.

2. Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan:
Shocking, isn't it. I'm usually lukewarm towards Koihime Musou, but the one episode of the third season that focused on the one solid yuri couple (out of a number of canon yuri characters) in the show presented them as an adorable long-term married (as close as we're getting in anime without actually hearing "married" or "wife") couple. Pretty good for a seinen eroge adaptation.

1. Heartcatch Precure:
I've never really paid attention to Precure before, but I decided to check Heartcatch out after hearing the yuri buzz about it on Okazu. It's a cute, consistently entertaining show, and it makes me happy to think of a new generation of young whippersnappers enjoying Precure the way that I obsessed over Sailor Moon as a little otaku. For Tsubomi/Itsuki, Moonlight/Dark, and giving us a new shoujo series of yuri interest, I choose Heartcatch Precure. I'll review it after it ends.

Even though I didn't do a manga list, I'll name Aoi Hana as my favorite that hasn't been licensed in English from this past year and Hayate x Blade as my favorite English-licensed yuri title.

And that's it. I hope you all have a happy, healthy 2011!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Anime Review: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 1st Blu Ray

The Nanoha movie is a re-boot of the first season of a franchise that has been pumping out hits in Japan since the first TV series premiered in 2004. The first season is the only one that I would balk at re-watching in its entirety because the early episodes were mind-numbingly dull.

Nanoha the Movie 1st largely remedies the problems that the first season has- the slow bits are necessarily cut out and the production values are much, much better- but exacerbates the most problematic aspect of the Nanoha franchise. The utterly icky early transformation sequences for Nanoha and Fate instantly put me in a dark mood. There were other unwanted bits of service during the movie, along with some unsettling artwork in the ending credits. I never want to meet or speak to anyone who liked any of these things. (Quite the contrary, such a person would incite my desire to punch him in the face repeatedly- among other unsavory things.) It's a shame, because there is a good story to tell here. This obvious fact being established, I will discuss everything else about the movie.

The best part of the movie was definitely the development of Fate's mother Precia. The movie closely follows the events of the series- Nanoha learns about magic from Yuno, she starts collecting Jewel Seeds, and she meets Fate, who is also collecting Jewel Seeds for Precia, who wants them as part of a convoluted plan to revive her dead daughter Alicia, who Fate is unknowingly a clone of. Nanoha meeting the folks aboard the Asura, her being alienated from her friend Suzuka, the fight over the ocean, etc, etc, everything is present. However, we get a much better explanation of Precia's back story than what we've gotten before. Instead of only hearing about how much she loved Alicia and how hard she worked to revive her, how she lost her mind grasping at invisible straws, we actually see it. We also see more of Precia's old familiar Lynith, who tried to reason with Precia when she was starting to think of Fate as nothing but a tool. Even Precia's death produces some bittersweet character development. (Don't want to spoil it.) She was an abusive scumbag to Fate, but she was the most interesting thing about this movie.

The ending is still cute, with Nanoha and Fate exchanging ribbons and Fate promising to save Nanoha when she needs help. More than in the TV series, the movie pushes this scene as as puppy love.

The subtitles are good. They "sound" natural and, as far as I could tell, they're accurate. There are a few things translated differently from what the English fandom is used to (Arf is "Alf", the Time Space Admininstration Bureau is the "Dimension Administration Bureau") and the honorifics weren't left intact, but it's still a good, smooth translation. The subtitles are also white with black borders, which I prefer over yellow subs.

As a Blu Ray movie, it looks great- bright, vibrant, and crisp. The fight sequences and special effects are a treat. Nanoha has made a lot of money, and it shows here.

The LE version comes with two booklets featuring staff and seiyuu interviews and greetings, character sketches, and other little extras. (And ads for more Nanoha products.) There's an extra disc featuring trailers, the movie being promoted at the 2009 Tokyo Anime Fair, the seiyuu greeting fans on the day of the movie's premiere, a look at the recording of the movie's soundtrack, the movie's screening at Japan Expo 2010, and a Q & A with several of the seiyuu. There's so much Tamura Yukari here that even "Yukarin" fans who don't like Nanoha would probably want this. The bonus disc does not come with subtitles.

Story: Several good things, one hateful thing, not the best Nanoha storyline regardless. Take away what I don't like and it could be a B all around.
Art: B+
Overall: C+ (To the production committee for this movie and the upcoming A's movie: You have a good story to tell. Stop throwing bones to the creepy bastards in the fandom.)

I really want a StrikerS movie.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Manga Review: Hayate x Blade Omnibus Collection 1 (Volumes 1-3)

 Guts! Glory! Idiots!

Hayashiya Shizuru's Hayate x Blade is filled chock to the brim with all of these, and it is awesome.

Hayate x Blade is a strong example of genre entertainment done correctly. It has all of the bells and whistles of its tournament story-type (excluding any service involving its almost entirely female cast, which makes me want to send flowers to Hayashiya and her editor, given that this is a seinen series- imagine, gym uniforms that look like gym uniforms!) executed with a sharp eye for humor, Hayashiya's trademark screwball goofiness and eau de yuri, and a well-defined, ass-kicking panoply of characters.

Kurogane Hayate's twin sister Nagi has been accepted to the prestigious Tenchi Academy, where young women sword-fight each other in pairs (called "sisters-in-arms") to win points from each other in battles called hoshitori. Each pair is divided into two roles, the earth sword (defensive) and the heaven sword (offensive), and they need to strike the stars worn by their opponents to win the battles, gain points and, after enough wins, move up a rank. (Which means more money per win.) Nagi signed up to be a sword-bearer, but since she's been hospitalized Hayate needs to pretend to be Nagi to keep her place at Tenchi. Since Hayate isn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, she outs herself pretty quickly. ("I, Kurogane Hayate-sama, will never let that happen!! Never EVER!!! I'll make sure you never forget the name of Kurogane Hayate!!")

Hayate finds motivation to compete seriously in the hoshitori after the orphanage she and Nagi lived in before they were adopted, Dandelion Garden, is vandalized by a yakuza group that the orphanage's owner owes one million yen to. Hayate makes the yakuza ease off by promising to pay the loan herself, and through sheer idiocy and tenacity she partners up with Mudou Ayana, a seemingly unbeatable student who refuses to take a sister-in-arms (and as such, can't win points even though other people can win points from her) because of the incident that caused her to break up with her previous sister-in-arms and has left her guilt-ridden.

This first three volumes' worth of material (may we see many more published in English) covers Hayate and Ayana's first fight with a girl who nurses a petty grudge against Ayana, but who Ayana doesn't even remember, Hayate and Ayana's match against nine other pairs at once (Hayate set it up so they could move up the ranks more quickly, unbeknownst to Ayana), Hayate's unpaired roommate Moka fighting to save the girl who she wants as a sister-in-arms from an abusive partner (Hayate: "Moka-chan is trying to rescue her true love from an evil villain. This duel is in a week, so I'm helping her out!" Ayana: "You know, that explanation makes no sense whatsoever."), the delightful creepiness that is Isuzu finally getting the partner she wants, another girl befriending Hayate so she can manipulate her sympathy to make her willingly lose when they fight each other (and giving her "energy drinks" before earlier matches to make her fall asleep during them, to Ayana's vexation), and the first truly serious story arc that, as all good action stories do, leaves us with a cliffhanger.

This is good stuff. The jokes are actually funny (like Ayana's solution to Hayate falling asleep during a match, Hayate's reaction to Ayana's dating sims, Hayate and Ayana's stint as Famina-Kamen and Lawson-Kamen, everything about Hitsugi), the characters are a loveable group of idiots (Hayashiya even self-referentially points out her penchant for tsukkomi-boke style humor), and there is yuri subtext aplenty, as well as canon yuri, often played for comedy. You have Hayate and Ayana's roommate Jun fangirling over Ayana, Tatewaki's jealously over Shizuku and Hitsugi, Akira and Sae's butch-femme dynamic, Yukari acting like a snippy ex towards Ayana, etc. The art is good from the beginning, but the linework becomes more clean and confident as the story itself finds its stride. The physical comedy shines and the action scenes are suitably energetic, never lasting longer than they should.

As expected from Seven Seas, the translation is very good. No complaints about honorifics or cultural references being cut, or anything. There aren't any extras, although there is a preview of Inukami in the back, which I don't care about. This volume isn't physically cumbersome to read in one sitting, which is vital for a good omnibus.

Highly recommended if you like comedy or action- or both, whipped together into a delicious blend.

Story: Starts at B+, ascends to an A (In her postscript at the end, Hayashiya writes, "It'll get better soon, I promise!" It will, but it's already great.)
Art: Starts at B+, ends at A-. I love Hayashiya's comic timing. (I'm coming across as such a Hayashiya fangirl in this review.)
Overall: See Story.

Not that it really matters, but I didn't use a photo above this time because my computer isn't importing my camera's photos, for some reason. (My word processor froze and quit twice when I was finishing my final seminar paper earlier this week- it feels like technology's out to get me right now.) And I didn't make my deadline for re-posting on the 23rd. (Apologies for the late post.)

Anyway, yay Christmas! Whether you're done with finals, looking forward to taking a break from your job for an extra long weekend, or anything else, I hope you have a great holiday weekend. ^___^

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter 2011 Anime Season

It's that time of the year again! ^_^ This time I'm listing everything in one post. The selection this coming season appears to be moe, moe, and moe, with a dash of shounen fantasy, a palate-pleasing sprinkle of shoujo, a dollop of American comic action, and some harem for both ladies and gents, with a serving of gender-bending on the side. Bon appétit.

Beezlebub: Based on an ongoing Weekly Shounen Jump manga, ""Strongest juvenile delinquent" Oga Tatsumi, in the most random events, finds himself with the infant son of the Great Demon King and threat to humankind, Beelzebub. After being "greeted" by the baby's maid and caretaker, Hilda, it become obvious that Beelzebub doesn't want to leave Oga's side. With his close friend Furuichi and a bunch of other characters on hand, Oga now must raise baby Beel and prevent the world from destruction."

Tried the manga. It read like a mediocre cross between Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Daa Daa Daa! Pass for me.

Premiering January 9.

Sawashiro Miyuki, Toyosaki Aki, Tomatsu Haruka, and Noto Mamiko (squee!) have roles.

Cardfight!! Vanguard: Another show about kids fighting each other with cards and monsters, and sheer guts, no doubt. (I would say that this'll keep the kids happy, but I was that weird kid who never liked Pokémon, Digimon, or Yu-Gi-Oh when they were popular in the U.S.) A promo is streaming here.

Premiering January 8.

Dragon Crisis!: A light novel adaptation in which "a high school boy named Ryūji is dragged by his cousin Eriko to rescue a girl from black-market dealers. The blue-eyed "girl" turns out to be a dragon who is inexplicably fixated on Ryūji — following him even when he is bathing and sleeping. Ryūji has to protect the girl from the black-market dealers and others."

I dare you to watch the PV and tell me that the little dragon girl doesn't irritate the crap out of you.

Premiering sometime in January. (The date hasn't been announced.)

Kugimiya Rie and Horie Yui have roles.

Fractale: "The story is set on an island at the far reaches of a continent where the "Fractale System" is on the brink of collapse. A boy named Kurain embarks on a journey to search for Furyune — a girl who disappeared, leaving behind only a pendant. Kurain will eventually learn the secrets of the "System.""

It's a Noitamina show, so I'm automatically checking it out. It could be interesting.

 Premiering January 13.

Kobayashi Yuu and Hanazawa Kana have roles.

Freezing: "Beings from another dimension, called "Nova" have started a war with Earth. In response, "Genetics Academy" trains female warriors called "Pandora", who can create special weapons and armours to fight against the Nova. Kazuya Aoi enrols, due to a promise he made with his sister, a famous Pandora who died in battle, and meets Bridgette L. Satellizer, infamous for her solitary demanour, and becomes her "tuner", an assistant who nullifies Novas' psychic attacks."

We've seen this story before. And I have never liked it. A PV is streaming here. (Click "2" for the animation trailer.

Premiering January 8.

Hanazawa Kana, Noto Mamiko, Koshimizu Ami, Ueda Kana, Inoue Marina, Kitamura Eri, Kaida Yuko, and Asakawa Yuu have roles.

Gosick: Based on another novel series "set in 1924 in the small Alpine country of Sauville, where Kazuya Kujo studies abroad at the Saint Marguerite Academy. Kazuya joins forces with Victorique, a girl with deductive powers that rival Sherlock Holmes', to solve mysteries."

I like the 1920's fantasy setting, but nothing else looks interesting. A PV is available here.

Premiering January 7.

Sawashiro Miyuki has a role.

Haiyoru! Nyaruani: Remember My Mr. Lovecraft: Another light novel adaptation. "The story centers around Nyarlathotep, a formless Cthulhu deity who can take on the shape of anyone it wishes, but particularly the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl. Mahiro Yasaka is a normal high school student who is chased by aliens one night, until "Nyaruko" saves him."

H.P. Lovecraft must be rolling in his grave right now.

Premiering December 10.

Kitamura Eri has a role.

Hourou Musuko: Yay, Hourou Musuko! Hopefully I don't need to say why this show is worth looking forward to. ^___^ Promos are streaming here. (The art is puuurty.) HM is airing on the Noitamina block.

Premiering January 13.

Nitori and Takatsuki are being played by newcomers Hotokeyama Kosuke and Seto Asami, respectively, while Toyosakai Aki, Mizuki Nana, Chiba Saeko, and Horie Yui have supporting roles.

Infinite Stratos: A light novel adaptation. "Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos... with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is ORIMURA Ichika, an orphan raised by his older sister who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with IS is discovered after he accidentally touches an IS at the age of 15, he's given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots. Which of course means an... intersting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy."

You already know whether or not you want to watch it. (Guess which camp I'm in!) PVs are available here.

Premiering sometime in January.

Hikasa Youko,  Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina, Toyoguchi Megumi (kyaa!), Shitaya Noriko, and Tamura Yukari have roles.

Kimi ni Todoke season 2: Yay!! ^^ More epic adorableness from Shiina Karuho's Kimi ni Todoke! For anyone who isn't familiar with it: Kuronuma Sawako is a sweet, shy girl with poor social skills who resembles Sadako from The Ring, so her classmates nickname her "Sadako"and generally ignore her. Kazehaya Shouta, the equally sweet guy in her class who she has a crush on, makes friends with her, which causes her classmates to reconsider their first impression of her. She also becomes best friends with Yoshida Chizuru and Yano Ayane (who are both great supporting characters, btw; one thing I like about KnT is how well it develops Sawako's friendship with Yano and Yoshida, in addition to her budding relationship with Kazehaya), and generally makes people like her just by being a nice person. Definitely worth watching.

Premiering January 4.

Noto Mamiko is playing Sawako, and Hirano Aya, Miyano Mamoru, and Sawashiro Miyuki have roles.

Kore ha Zombie desu ka?: Based on a light novel series, "The story centers around a lazy high school boy named Ayumu Aikawa who gets killed during a spate of mysterious serial killings. However, Ayumu is resurrected as a zombie by a necromancer girl named "Yū" (Eucliwood Hellscythe), who Ayumu had just met before dying. Ayumu reawakens in a world surrounded by "masō shojo" (magically equipped girls) and vampire ninja. Ayumu is assigned the duties of a masō shōjo by a magical warrior girl named Haruna."

So it's kind of like High School of the Dead, except that there's magic and vampire ninjas, and the female characters look like moe waifs instead of Playmates. Pass for me. PV streaming here.

Premiering January 10.

Hikasa Youko has a role.

Level E: Based on an ongoing Weekly Shounen Jump manga by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, of Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter fame, "Tsutsui Yukitaka is a freshman who has finally convinced his parents that he is ready to live on his own. When he arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised to find that someone has arrived before him; A young man who claims that he is an alien and that he is suffering from amnesia. A series of short stories involving aliens on Earth."

The promo art looks pretty trippy. I'll probably check out the first episode.

Premiering January 14.

Koyasu Takehito has a role.

Mahou Shoujou Madoka Magica: A seinen magical girl show by SHAFT and Shinbo Akiyuki starring a middle school girl who wants to grant wishes, with original character designs by Hidamari Sketch's Aoki Ume, and music by Kajiura Yuki. If you care, clips of the four leads talking are on the website.

Madoka will have splendid figurine, soundtrack, and DVD sales, no doubt. My reaction is "meh."

Premiering sometime in January.

Saito Chiwa, Kitamuri Eri, and Mizuhashi Kaori have roles.

Update: New PV featuring the OP and ED themes now streaming.

Mai no Mahou to Katei no Hi: A series by P.A. Works that is, "designed to raise public awareness about the importance of family bonds.""In the story, eight-year-old second-grader Mai Tatsumi uses magic to understand her family's feelings. Moeko Shimizu created the original concept with "Getsuyōbi wa 'Katei no Hi'" (Monday is "Family Day"), the winning entry in a writing contest she entered in 2005 when she was a fourth-grader." "In addition to the planned broadcasts, 2,000 DVDs will be distributed to nurseries, kindergartens, elementary schools, and middle schools. The anime will also be streamed on the Internet via YouTube for free."

Because of this show's unusual promotion and distribution alone, I'll try it. It looks like a pleasant show.

 Premiering sometime in February.

Maria Holic season 2: Someone once explained the appeal of this series for himself to me as, "It's about this big dumb lesbian getting beat up." I'm not exaggerating that quote at all.

Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!: The 8 episode second season of a series about gutter-minded little girls that idiots compare to South Park. If you love gags about being kicked in the crotch and naming a hamster "Nipples", you're probably already into this show. PVs can be found here.

Premiering sometime in January.

Takagaki Ayahi, Tomatsu Haruka, Toyosaki Aki, Saito Chiwa, Chihara Minori, and Inoue Kikuko have been roped in.

Rio -Rainbow Gate!-: Rio is the main character of several pachinko games and now she's getting a TV series. Umm...that's it.

A PV is streaming here.

Premiering January 4.

Inoue Marina, Taketatsu Ayana, Shimizu Kaori, Ohara Sayaka, and Hikasa Youko have roles.

Starry Sky: An adaptation of an otome game series. "Tsukiko Yahisa is the first female student to enroll at Seigatsu Academy, a former [garden of bara] all-boys school specializing in astronomy. She is closely watched over by her childhood friends, Kanata Nanami and Suzuya Tohzuki, who often protect her from the male student body. Throughout the games, she befriends other young men whose personalities are based on the Western zodiac constellations."

This will please its intended audience.

Premiering December 23.

Ishida Akira, Ono Daisuke, Orikasa Fumiko, Midorikawa Hikaru, Kamiya Hiroshi, Fukuyama Jun, Miyano Mamoru, Kishio Daisuke, and Sugita Tomokazu have roles.

Suite Precure: The eighth Precure series. Toei hasn't revealed what (or who) it's about. Heartcatch has been fun, so I'm interested.

Premiering February 6.

Wolverine: Madhouse's next Marvel TV adaptation. The Iron Man series wasn't good, so I don't have high expectations for this one. PV streaming here.

Premiering January 7.

Yumekui Merry: "The action fantasy revolves around a high school boy named Yumeji Fujiwara who has the mysterious power to see other people's dreams or nightmares. One day, he meets Merry, a beautiful girl [the elfin-looking purple-haired thing above] who came from the world of dreams."

Pass for me. A PV is streaming here.

Premiering sometime in January.

Endo Aya has a role.

And that's it. ^_^

This will be my last post here until December 23. After finishing up finals, I'm dragging myself home on the 21st and spending the 22nd screwing around at City Place and attending the Nutcracker with a friend. (Which she and I do every year.) Until this blog revives in a burst of flame from the ashes of the next 3 weeks, thanks a lot for your patience! 3 weeks until winter break!!! XD

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More on Upcoming Yuri Anime (Updated w/ clarification)

Looks like a certain yuri alien series that nobody was all that excited about anyway is getting a limited edition 6 minute anime bundled with its third manga volume. Since the anime adaptation announcement didn't specify that it's going to be a TV series, I guess that this is it.

In an interesting casting decision, Naoko-san, the "strange alien from Yuri-sei (Yuri Planet) who loves yuri, eroticism, and girls", is being played by Arai Satomi, best known for voicing Railgun's Kuroko.

More screencaps are available here (credit goes to darkchibi07 for finding it) and Yurizuki has a page describing the manga. It really looks like a piece of crap. ^^

For something much, much better of yuri interest to look forward to-
Hourou Musuko!! For folks who don't know, Nitori (the protagonist in the middle of the pic above, an introverted transgender girl) dates a model named Anna later on in the manga- and Anna agrees to go on a date with her when she's dressed as a girl. (Be forewarned that the relationship doesn't last, but the series is still running and Shimura knows what she's doing.) Nitori gets a crush on her best friend Takatsuki (to the left in the pic) earlier on, although whether one would label this as yuri is debatable since Takatsuki is FtM. Not like it matters.<-- Next day clarification: This was my rough way of saying, "I don't want to spark a discussion as to whether Nitori's feelings for Takatsuki are yuri or not because that sort of debate can strike nerves and hurt feelings for people and I don't want to go there." It's a great story. Chiba (to the right in the pic) is the first person to get that Nitori's a girl (even giving her girl's clothes), and also gets a crush on her early on. More love complications pop up involving other people.

You can find some great-looking trailers (an English subbed version of the second trailer is available here), a cute relationship chart with links to the character pages, and two wallpapers on the official website.

While Nitori and Takatsuki are being voiced by new talent, Nitori's older sister Maho will be played by Mizuki Nana, Anna will be played by Horie Yui, Nitori's eccentric classmate Chizuru will be played by Chiba Saeko, and Chizuru's clingy best friend Momoko will be played by Toyosaki Aki. Quite a cast there.

Hourou Musuko is premiering on January 13.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As A Yuri Fan, I'm Thankful For...

Yay, it's Thanksgiving! ^_^ In honor of this holiday of being grateful for what one has, stuffing oneself with delicious food, and (in my case) getting a small vacation from school, I am listing what I'm thankful for as a yuri fan.

Every English-language manga and anime company that licenses good yuri- from the ones that have made a consistently strong showing to the ones that released something good once-upon-a-time. (E.g. Tokyopop with Sailor Moon.) An especially big thanks to RightStuf, Media Blasters, ALC Publishing, and Seven Seas. And on the flip side, massive thanks to the fans who buy the stuff they like instead of stealing it, making it possible to get more yuri licensed. (More Hayate x Blade, less Maria Holic!) Oh! And the fact that we haven't had anything like this (in English) in eons. And one more thing...I will love any company that licenses Aoi Hana forever and ever and ever (with money). Speculative thanks in advance.

Yoshiya Nobuko. I always introduce her towards the beginning of my yuri panels because yuri wouldn't be...what it is without her novels. And she was as out as one could be when she was alive.

The earliest yuri mangaka- particularly Yamagishi Ryoko for Shiroi Heya no Futari and Ikeda Riyoko for her repeated use of yuri/gender-bendy themes in her work (Rose of Versailles, Oniisama E, Claudine, and Futarippochi). So many tropes of yuri manga were solidified by these two.

Every writer/artist who has created yuri manga and/or novels that I enjoy since then, and every studio that has produced good yuri anime.

And definitely not least, other yuri fans. Whether on forums, at panels, on other blogs, or this humble little blog, it's great to be able to share my nerdy hobby with other people. ^__^ Thank you! (This is starting to sound like an award speech...)

Feel free to chime in with what you're thankful for. And to everyone celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!