Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!: A Review of Yuri in Anime in 2012

As with my Anime of Interest to Yuri Fans in 2011 list, I'm just listing everything relevant I've watched alphabetically. (Also- like the fan art in this post? The X's below them are links to the art's sources.)

Binbougami ga!:
I know some people shipped this series's leads, but I didn't. It's here for Kuroyuri, a death god with a thing for her female boss who only shows up for the second half of episode nine. As a whole, this show was good for some mindless fun.

Binbougami ga! is streaming on Funimation.

Black Rock Shooter:
I could see Mato having feelings for Yomi and Yomi possibly returning them. I found this series's ending disappointing, but a number of people seem to like it.

Fate/Zero season 2:
Because this is me when Saber and Irisviel are together onscreen. Canon shmanon.

This show has a ripping good story to boot. Aside from the Kiritsugu flashback episodes, I really looked forward to seeing what would happen each week. Saber and Irisviel both got tragic endings as expected, like almost everyone who participated in the Holy Grail War, but I still find them squee-worthy.

Fate/Zero is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Girls und Panzer:
This doesn't really count to me, but I'm assuming that if I don't mention it, someone will be like, "What about Girls und Panzer?" Having heard that it actually wasn't servicey, I decided to watch its first episode when I was drunk one evening. I remember thinking, "That line's yuri fan-bait" at one or two points, but not what the lines are. I was amused by some bits (in a "Haha, wow, that's stupid" way), but mostly bored.

Girls und Panzer is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Jormungand seasons 1 and 2:
For Valmet's utterly unambiguous feelings for Koko. The first season was good, mindless fun, and the second season is... well, it's more ambitious than the first, but my feelings about it are much more mixed. The only spoiler I'll give for anyone who hasn't finished it- that jingle that plays over every next episode preview? ("Her name is Koko, she is loco.") It really isn't kidding.

Jormungand is streaming on Funimation.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon season 2:
I can't say that I enjoy Horizon, but it has done an excellent job with its canon yuri couple, Malga and Margot. Malga got a bigger role and some good character development in season 2, and contrary to its heavily servicey execution, this series became frank about the fact that Malga and Margot are not only in love but sleeping together without being sleazy about it. I still wish I could move these two to a different series. ^_^;

Horizon is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Last Exile -Ginkyoku no Fam-:
I, erm, haven't finished this series. It fell by the wayside when things got hectic during my final college semester. I watched beyond the first episode to see Tatiana and Alister's cameo as an older, still ambiguously yuri pair.  It was nice to see them still together. And it was neat (if puzzling) to see Dio again. Otherwise... eh. For what it's worth, Last Exile didn't do much for me either.

Last Exile -Ginkyoku no Fam- is streaming on Funimation.

Mouretsu Pirates:
A show I like with a yuri couple whose relationship is made as clear as day? More like this, please! Jenny and Lynn are great characters, and are very squee-worthy together as a couple. They even get their own arc. I hope to see them again in the upcoming Mouretsu Pirates movie.

Mouretsu Pirates is streaming on Crunchyroll and Sentai is releasing it, under the cringe-worthy title Bodacious Space Pirates, with English subs and a dub on DVD and Blu Ray.

(Yeah Rosalie, that's my reaction to Oscar too.)

Ikeda Riyoko's Oniisama E and Rose of Versailles are hardly new series, but they are both must-watch shows for yuri and shoujo fans that became licensed in English for the first time this past year. Oniisama E is streaming with English subtitles on Viki, as is Rose of Versailles. Rose of Versailles is also set to be released on two R1 DVD box sets by Nozomi Entertainment this year. Between RoV and Aoi Hana's pending DVD releases, not to mention Nozomi's earlier licensing of Utena and Maria-sama ga Miteru, I want to marry Nozomi.

Psycho-Pass (a.k.a. the show I won't shut up about on Twitter):
Because Shion and Yayoi are clearly doing more than work in Shion's workplace. And... well, Yayoi's a cool woman in a suit and it's a hot pairing.

I've been dying to see these two get more development (rather than continue projecting it in my head), especially Yayoi (man, she's been underused so far), and it looks like that is going to happen when this series returns from its two week break. I'm both excited about Yayoi getting her time to shine and anxious, since, you know, a lot of horrible shit has happened to the characters who have gotten the spotlight so far. (Pretty obvious that her bandmates were killed, and that's why her crime coefficient shot up.) I'm even more curious now about how she became an Enforcer. It's easy to see a fallen Inspector like Kougami being made into an Enforcer- but how did the powers that be decide that a pop band member with a high crime coefficient had a future catching criminals ahead of her? And of course, I'm really hoping for something further of note on the yuri front. Are Yayoi and Shion only in a physical relationship? Are there any feelings involved? Hopefully we'll see. I was originally lukewarm towards this show, but I'm really into it now and looking forward to seeing where it goes from where the mid-season climax left off.

Psycho-Pass is streaming on Funimation.

Rinne no Lagrange seasons 1 and 2:
Lagrange's first season started off dull, but became a lot of fun. Its second season fell flat on its face. I could see Madoka x Lan as a subtext pairing in season 1 and at the beginning of season 2, but like Lagrange's plot, it fizzled over the course of season 2.

Rinne no Lagrange is streaming on VizAnime.

Saki Achiga-hen episode of Side A:
This spin-off of Saki bored me to tears, but Yumi and Momo's cameo in the first half of episode 8 made me smile. Here's to seeing them again in Saki season 2, which I am really looking forward to.

Saki Achiga-hen is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear season 1:
Tsubasa loves Kanade and Miku loves Hibiki. This turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable series, with good characters, a heavy dose of camp and some catchy songs by Mizuki Nana.

Symphogear is streaming on Funimation.

Yuru Yuri season 2:
Same yuri as in season 1- but improved, since it showed us that Himawari and Sakurako have affection for each other instead of simply expecting us to interpret their snarking at each other as tsundere love.

Yuru Yuri is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Never watched Hidamari Sketch season 4 because, again, I'm sick of the franchise. I understand that Sengoku Collection has some canon yuri in it, but haven't gotten past its first episode.

I haven't seen the first two Madoka Magica movies, but really look forward to seeing where the third movie takes the franchise.

And I'm still doing cartwheels over the Sailor Moon reboot. :D

I hope you have a happy year ahead! (^_^)/


Helen said...

Man, the Last Exile: Travelers of the Hourglass manga (which bridges the original series and Fam a bit) tried to keep playing with the "Tatiana likes Claus" bit (which IMO pretty much fizzled away by the end of the first show) AND had Alister shipping them. Boo, although yeah it didn't go any farther in either direction in the show itself, heck the show actually had almost no romance at all of any kind.....

Steven said...

Regarding Girls und Panzer: Yukari's the yuri fan-bait character in the ways that she reacts to any attention Miho gives her, "Nishizumi-dono just confessed her love for me!" I've heard but can't confirm that it's more overt in the manga.
Also, the last two episodes have been put on hold, the official reason is apparently animation quality though I heard a rumor that the actual reason is because the animators got fired for trying to slip in fan-service and the creator didn't like that. The only thing I have to substantiate that is that I saw an image on /u/ that shows that Hana's bust size has been slowly increasing over the course of the show.

Shin Sekai Yori has some yuri in it in episode 8 at least (yaoi as well).

Also Teekyu... sorta...? Maybe? It's hard to say since each episode is two minutes of OMGWTFBBQ.

Hoping for more yuri in the coming year.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Helen- Oh, meh. :\ That does sound boo-worthy. (And like you said, odd given LE's content.) I'm not big on shipping Tatiana and Alister myself (saw them as best friends with potential for more, but while they made me go "Hmm" a bit, they didn't make me be like, "OMG, OTP *searches fan art*"), but I did find it satisfying to see them together years later in Fam. (With nary a hint of Claus- sorry LE: TotH's author.)

@Steven- I see. And wow, kudos to the show's creator if that's true.

Oh yeah, I've heard about that- the making out Saki and Maria do as a result of being genetically engineered. I liked Shin Sekai Yori when it started airing, but dropped it after episode 5. The queerrats arc bored me, and the episodes following it don't sound all that good either, imo. Have you followed/been following any other shows from this past season?

Haha, so it's one of those shows. (Looks like the new season is going to have several shows with a similar idea- random gag-style moe comedy, presented in installments of a few minutes each.) I haven't tried it myself.

And yes, here's hoping!

Anonymous said...

Skip the 1st ep of Sengoku Collection and skip the 2nd ep (for now) and go right to the 3rd ep. You'll soon see why people love this show. Kanetsugu and Kenshin.

Steven said...

@Katherine- Certainly would be nice if it's true but we'll never know for sure.

I don't think it's genetic engineering exactly so much as learned societal behavior. The show mentioned something about their civilization mimicking bonobo "culture" to keep stress levels low so no one's brains melt due to their powers (or something like that). Recalling the spoiler filled relationship chart I saw I think that Maria actually has genuine affection for Saki though Saki's obviously vying for Shun's attentions.

Unfortunately apart from Polar Bear's Cafe I haven't really had time to follow other series due to work and my free time being spent trying to keep in touch with my friends which ends up as many hours spent on gaming with them since I moved across the country last year. I do intend to watch Psycho-Pass at sometime as well as finish up watching Robotics;Note which was pretty fun for the first few episodes I watched (I was part of a robotics club at the end of high school and spent time helping them out after I graduated too so there's a nostalgia factor to that show for me). Ultimately I guess I just haven't been in the right "mood" to watch some of the more... ah... brain-use-intensive shows this season.

Teekyu's first volume of manga is on JManga too; the anime is a pretty much spot on adaptation of it. There are certainly worse options than it to waste your time or money on.

Next season looks like it has some interesting things in it though I suppose I should wait 'till you put up your preview post for that discussion ^_^;

Katherine Hanson said...

@Ichigo69- Thanks! I will try more and report on what I think of it.

@Steven- Ah, I see, re: Shin Sekai Yori. I'm glad there are some feelings on Maria's part, even though they're one-sided, even though that plot point still sounds pretty :\

Ah, well that makes sense. Good priorities and all. I haven't tried R;N. Besides Jormungand and P-P, I ended up following Kamisama Kiss, which I thought was cute (was in a foul mood one day, and watching the newest episode of it helped take my mind off what was irritating me), although I'm behind two episodes on it. I don't know if it's just me, but its protagonist has gotten kind of... stupid since confessing her feelings to (and being rejected by) her love interest Tomoe. Like, she falls from a skyscraper and is like "Waah, don't touch me!" when he flies down to catch her- but it was actually a less ridiculous situation (her getting really jealous because he... straightened another girl's crooked hat) that made me be like, "...Wow, really???" Add that to the worst character in the show having his role expanded, and... yeah. I do still plan on watching its last two episodes, though. But... yeah, anyway, ^^; I hope you like Psycho-Pass when you get to it!

Ah. I'll give its preview a look on JManga, then. Thanks!

Thanks. ^^; *claps hands apologetically* It will be up later today.

Steven said...

@Katherine- Ack! I didn't mean it that way! I was just being silly, take your time, don't rush.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Steven- No worries, no worries. I was working on it before your comment, so I'm not rushing because of it. ^^ I wanted to get it posted today because it's already a little into the season. ^^; Thankfully, nothing's aired yet beyond a few of those series composed of shorts.

Anonymous said...

The Sailor Moon reboot was honestly terrible. It lost a lot of charm and depth the original series had. It didn’t have Ikuhara’s magic or any of Junichi Sato’s charm.