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. ^_^