Uta-Kata, Lyrical Nanoha Anime: Now You See Yuri, Now You Don’t

January 6th, 2005

A little fan enthusiasm goes a long way towards making a mediocre anime slightly less mediocre. Sadly, even implied yuri could not save Uta-Kata or Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha from endings that will ensure that they disappear into the oblivion they so richly deserve.

These two series were so unininspiring that for Uta-Kata I’m just quoting my comments from the Yuricon Mailing List, rather than even come up with new ones:

Uta-Kata ended with a soft thud. To no one’s surprise, the whole thing turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy that will perpetuate eternally. My biggest complaint was that the so-called “rules” of the engagement seemed to be violated completely by the last chapter. Saya goes on and on about “the rules” but Ichika has no options on absorbing and using her jin power. It was a set-up and an obvious one at that.

The faux-yuri kiss at the end was designed entirely for screencaps – it had no other meaning. I felt nothing about Manatsu’s departure… how sad is that?

Oh, and my last whinge about it, the big secret that Ichika was keeping, (which wasn’t that she was absorbing the powers of god-like beings, oh, no…)just…disappeared. All of a sudden, she wasn’t moving away, which sucked the little meaning there was out of the previous episode. Once again, it may have been explained in the
dialogue while my attention wandered, but as “system reset” endings go, it seemed exceptionally lame.

And Keiko and Satsuki’s relationship disappeared into the same chasm Ichika’s secret did, so there goes any canon yari.

***

As for Lyrical Nanoha, the ending was predictable, stereotypical and stock. Fate and Nanoha finally team up to fight Fate’s crazy evil Mom, who, predictably, loses. Fate ends up under arrest for her crimes against humanity – regardless of the fact that she was a construct created by crazy evil mom and was tortured on a regular basis. Nanoha feels guilty, wants to see Fate, etc. Tearful ending, lots of hugging and crying and “there, there” and sure, if you want to, you can easily see a proto-yuri relationship there. If you want to to.

Let’s say we do want to – where does that leave us? Nanoha growing up with her lover in space jail, getting rare conjugal visits, maybe a letter or two a year from Fate, asking for more money for the appeal…try explaining *that* to the rest of the gang at school.

No…I think we’re going to have to say that this series was a wash for yuri fans.

Ratings? Surely you jest. Well, 5’s all around, if you insist.

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