What an amazing year. Not only have we had a ton of Yuri in anime in general, we had the delightful and lovely Aoi Hana and now…unbelievably, in English, for free, legally streamed to our computers, the Yuri comedy-drama Sasamekikoto. It’s like a dream state. ^_^
In short, Sasamekikoto, the “thing that is whispered,” is a story about Murasame Sumika who is in love with her best friend, Kazama Ushio. It’s a hopeless love because, despite the fact that Ushio loudly proclaims that she likes girls, she only likes cute, petite girls. Tall, athletic, hypercompetent Sumi just isn’t cute and frilly, the way Ushio likes them. May I just editorialize for a moment and say Ushio’s an *idiot.* Sumi is perfect.
The first few episodes start off on a dour note, with Sumika pining away for an oblivious Ushio, who appears to fall for a new girl each week. The first few episodes follow the manga pretty closely, so I don’t expect too much change as the story goes on.
Sasamekikoto is surprisingly richly animated, well voiced by a mostly-new cast and is an interesting take on a variety of Yuri tropes. Best friend, one-sided love, cross-dressing, and more to come. (For all full breakdown of all the tropes, check out my review of Volume 2 of the manga.) Although the story is decidedly melodramatic, it has pretty steep ups and downs of comedy and drama to manage, which it does pretty well.
The only real negative I can muster for Sasamekikoto is that I suddenly realized – I don’t like Ushio. Yet. Sumi beating the crap out of the bag in karate made me realize that I really *like* Sumi and want to slap Ushio. It’s a sign of a good story that I’m feeling anything at all about any of the characters, so bravo for the anime producers.
And bravo for Crunchyroll, who continue to invest in Yuri! They’ve told me that they have a genuine interest in building up the Yaoi and Yuri audiences, and I’m very excited to see that they are putting their money where their mouth is. Now we, the Yuri-viewing audience, needs to do the same.
I know, I know, the licensing doesn’t cover huge swatches of the planet. Trust me – if they could get those covered, they would. But for those of us in the US and Oceania – here it is, Yuri. For Free. In English. One hour after it airs in Japan. Support this please, because the better their numbers are – the more they will get. It’s really *that* simple.
For the price of a sandwich a month, you get good Yuri like Sasamekikoto and Aoi Hana and really stupid Yuri like Koihime Musou and not Yuri, but really, like it needs to be any more weird than it is, like Book of Bantorra. (What? You’re not watching it? Oh, you should be…it’s absolutely dreadful. Laughably, hilariously so. And Paku Romi as Hamutz Meseta. There are no other reasons needed to watch this.)
Watch Sasamekikoto and collect the whole set of Yuri Tropes!
Art – 8, with a few obvious cost-saving measures
Story – 7
Characters – 7, but they will get better
Yuri – 8
Service – 2
Overall – 7.5
Teenaged girls with wildly roller-coastering emotions? Ridiculous.
I like Tomoe and Miyako best, if anyone cares.