Yuri Anime: Gakuen Alice Update

April 25th, 2005

Jet lag is not fun. My only consolation is that everyone else who went to Japan with me feels the same way, so it isn’t me. Maybe it was the earthquake, but probably not. ^_^

In any case, I spent this weekend catching up on anime, including several excellent, but essentially non-Yuri series like Emma and Speed Grapher. And while I was at it, I managed to get up-to-date with Gakuen Alice, the only series I am currently watching with a Yuri couple that doesn’t make me want to cringe. (I say this because I am valiantly watching a few other series, which I will write about anon, that make me feel quite disgusted. All for the sake of Yuri. Sigh.)

Gakuen Alice only has a few more episodes left in its run, which is too bad, because it’s been pretty decent. As you may remember from my November review of this series, this anime is about your basic normal girl, Mikan, in the decidedly non-normal circustances of a school filled with children who have special powers and no manners.

The series follows Mikan as she surmounts enormous odds to turn the obnoxious brats of the school into friends, allies and even admirers. Her “alice” is nullification, which means that she can’t be hurt by other alices, but of course, she can be mortified and embarrassed. Much like Bink from Piers Anthony’s original Xanth book, from way back when he actually wrote novels that weren’t just collections of dumb puns about Florida.

I’d like to say that the saving grace of this series was the yuri love between Mikan and her bestest friend Hotaru…but I’d be lying if I did. Throughout most of the series, Hotaru has acted as if Mikan was nothing more than a bother – although from Mikan’s point of view, Hotaru has become increasingly desirable. We are treated to a scene mid-series where Mikan is caught snuggling her pillow and kissing it while dreaming of Hotaru.

So it’s been pretty much one-sided Yuri.

About 3/4 through the series, Hotaru thaws. In Episode 20, while the writers are cleverly tring to distract us with a non-existent straight love triangle between Mikan and Ruka and Natsume, Hotaru goes all Yuri with style.

Apparently, at the school dance, whoever you have the last dance with will love you forever or some such kind of thing. Ruka asks Mikan for the dance, but it turned down graciously. He gets an earlier dance, which he accepts just as graciously. It is supposed to appear that Natsume will be the recipient of Mikan’s last dance request, however, Hotaru has other plans. She has won some kind of contest and is allowed to choose any partner from among the entire crowd. In front of everyone, over the PA system so *no one* misses the announcement, she chooses Mikan. Yay Hotaru!

See above picture for reference. ^_^

Since then, Hotaru has been much more physically open with Mikan, allowing all the hugs and physical affection she previously rejected. I don’t see this relationship going any further, but in my opinion, this was a major battle won. We can hope for a first kiss snuck in there somewhere, off-stage at least.. ^_^

So, with two episodes to go, I still don’t know what’s going to happen in the plot, which makes me wish that the series would continue a little longer.


Story – 8
Characters – 8
Art – 7
Music – 7
Yuri – 7

Overall – a strong 7 with high recommendation, especially as the rest of this season is looking pretty bad for Yuri fans. ^_^

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16 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Word on the ‘Net is that Gakuen Alice was extended to 52 episodes, though this poster can’t say for sure, being unable to read the original Japanese source.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And not only are Piers Anthony books just dumb puns, they are so very, very sexist…


  3. Anonymous says:

    do you download these episodes or just seen them somehow because i download through bittorrent and at animesuki and everywhere else i looked, no one’s got episodes higher than 15 T-T

  4. In this case, I downloaded the raws and watched those. Subtitles are fine, if available, but I get lazy and don’t practice my Japanese listening skills when there are subtitles. So raws are good practice for me. :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    any chance you could let me know where to get hold of the raws for GA? I can’t find them anywhere :(

  6. Anonymous says:

    heys! how many episodes does gakuen alice have? and who does she like in the end?

  7. lovese7vensoul says:

    Is it true that in the manga the series goes up until they`re like 15?
    But most importantly, is it true that Mikan likes Natsume in the manga instead of Hotaru? I know they kissed, but I`d be preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty P.O.ed if it really turned out that way because there were SO MANY signs in the beginning that Mikan loves Hotaru.
    If it`s true, I think I`ll have to write to the artist or writers and bribe them to focus back on Hotaru and Mikan hehehe

  8. Anonymous says:

    this was good. but its barley any close to Yuri. its practically hardcore straightness..throughout the whole series, which made me disappointed. -_-

  9. Anonymous says:

    Um…sorry to burst your bubble but it’s not one-sided Yuri. It’s mutual friendship. XD Mikan and Natsume are the OTP of this series.
    Surely you weren’t expecting a canon Yuri couple in a show for little girls? O_o;

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes yes, but HarukaxMichiru are not the CENTER of the series. UsagixMamoru is. I mean the two main characters. Shoujo doesn’t usually do that unless it’s aimed at an older audience, i.e. Shoujo Kakumei Utena or Maria-sama Ga Miteru. Because younger girls prefer romance between a little
    boy and girl-not two little girls.-
    Besides, Mikan doesn’t blush or go doki-doki over Hotaru. Natsume is only one who made her do this. Thus, Mikan is straight. She is just very clingy to her best friend.

  11. > Besides, Mikan doesn’t blush or go doki-doki over Hotaru.

    I’m assuming you missed the scene where Mikan is seen kissing and hugging her pillow and calling it by Hotaru’s name, then. And no, I’m not making it up, it was in the anime.

    I’m not really sure why you seem so insistent, but it makes me sad that you are working so hard to try and convince me, when I have no intention of changing my opinion because *you* don’t agree. You see shinyuu – Yuri fans see more. And based on the scene above, I think we’re given the right to.

    You don’t agree? That’s okay. It’s just a cartoon.

  12. pamie says:

    hello people..! i just want to ask where can i buy a “gakuen alice” book???.. thanks! more power to you all!..

  13. Anonymous says:

    I usually wanted to when is the gakuen alice in manga is gonna be updated and release…..:)
    if you guys have a lot of information about me please send the information into my email….
    my email add. is leones_janine@hotmail.com

  14. Anonymous – this post you commented on is from 2005. You can just search :Gakuen Alice” in the search bar and find the other posts I’ve done. For updates about the manga, try the Tokyopop website, since that’s who publishes it.

    I don’t email individuals with updates about manga I don’t publish, sorry.

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