Writing “Top 10” lists is *always* hard for me. This year’s list was especially difficult – while there are more Yuri characters and stories in general, there’s less this year that can be identified specifically as Yuri. But I did want to get this done before I left for Japan, so here we go. :-)
Let me remind you that these choices are my opinion, and based on the series that I watched over the past year. Chances are there a zillion series you think are Yuri-er, but here are *my* choices for the year. It’s almost guaranteed that most people will disagree with me. lol
I have split the list into 5 Japanese and 5 American releases, to allow me to cheat a bit. :-) Without further ado, the Okazu Top 10 Yuri Anime of 2007! Yaaaayy!
4) Tied for 4th (no, that’s not wrong – ties eliminate the lower position) are Burst Angel and Strawberry Marshmallow:
It’s true that neither series is particularly overt in their Yuri, but it’s “obvious” to us that Meg and Jo are an item, and I and many others remain convinced that Miu is a Evil Psycho Lesbian-in-training. Burst Angel has fights, Strawberry Marshmallow has funnies, and both have characters that this lesbian thinks are “friends of Yuri.”
3) Coming in 3rd for their English-language releases are My HiME and My Otome.
The Yuri is, perhaps, laid on a bit *thicker* through the translation choices and in any case, Shizuru still has the hots for Natsuki, Aoi and Chie are still a couple, Erst wants Nina and Tomoe has her eyes on Shizuru. Among a bazillion other slashable HiMEs and Meisters.
2) In 2nd place, after long consideration, I choose you Simoun:
For still having a terrific Yuri-esque setting, complex world and for keeping me glued to my seat for the entirety of every episode. This anime series remains a must-see, not only for Yuri fans, but anyone, anywhere, who enjoys animation as an art form.
And in first place…
1) Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl:
The setup was ridiculous, the ending even more so, with forays into the utter trite, tedious and absurd. But. The story is about three girls and their love triangle and it remains about three girls and their love triangle right to the very last, very Yuri, kiss.
It’s a one-two punch for Media Blasters, with their initial Yuri anime offerings this year, so congrats to them! (Unintentional, I assure you. It didn’t even occur to me until just this second.)
5) In fifth place, we have the laughably awful Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora:
This story was a complete recycling of many of the most popular fetishes from previous Kaishaku stories. Kaon and Himiko were the token Yuri couple, trapped in a dysfunctional Yuri triangle with Mika. And yet where, at the end of Kannazuki no Miko, we have no reason to believe that Himeko and Chikane will live happily every after this time, we *see* that Kaon and Himiko do. Yes, yes, it’s crap. I still say fifth place.
4) No “Top Ten” list of mine is going to go by without at least one of the Maria-sama ga Miteru OVAs on it:
Yumi waking Sachiko up in her summer house, Yumi enjoying Sachiko in her Gakuran, Touko dancing in the boy’s role to dance with Yumi, Kanako engaging in a little light stalking, Rei and Yoshino running side by side in the hakama race and Sei. You don’t see Yuri? Fine. I do. Fourth place for every second we spent grinning as Panda Yumi and Sachiko embraced for ever.
3) Moving quickly into the final three comes Blue Drop:
Partially because there was damn little to choose from this year and partially because it’s excellent, I have to include this wonderful and all-too-short series. The girls are charming, Hagino had the greatest pickup line ever in the history of the universe and the love-love was about as overt and out as we can ask for and still get it on TV.
2) Let’s give some Yuri loving to El Cazador de la Bruja:
In this final entry in the “girls with guns on the run” trilogy, Bee Train and director Mashimo set intensity and angst aside, enjoyed a few tacos and had some fun. Because Ellis loves Nadie best when her eyes are shining, El Cazador de la Bruja comes in second.
No surprise here I’m sure, when I say that my choice for the best Yuri anime of the year is:
1) Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS:
Fate, Vivio and Nanoha make a wonderful family and I simply don’t care what anyone in the entire universe argues – I know a big, pluffy bed of lesbian love when I see one.
So Kashimashi and StrikerS, best Yuri anime of the year here on Okazu!
Come back tomorrow for the best Yuri manga of 2007!
Note to those of you who are writing in about Candy Boy. It was vile. It was never even vaguely considered for the top anything. fyi)