Great Yuri Anime Gift Guide

November 19th, 2010

It’s one week until it’s *that* time again.

What time is *that* time, you ask? Well, for those of us who believe in the true meaning of the winter holidays – rampant consumerism and rapacious consumption – next week marks the apex of being a member of the society in which we live. Next week we must buy things. Many things. For many people.

And here I am, ready to help you with this, by steering you towards a nice compact list of Yuri-flavored goodies in time for Black Friday and it’s creepy kid brother Cyber Monday.

A Manga Gift Guide is forthcoming. But first – Anime for all you good Yuri girls and boys. If these are not yet on your list for Santa, add them posthaste, or he might not have time to get them on the next reindeer express truck.

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Canaan – For the action fan or the Type-Moon fan in your life, a Hong-Kong action flick-style anime set in Shanghai with great visuals, a plot that mostly hangs together, some great girl-on-girl fight action and some Yuri. There’s a Blu-Ray version, too, which actually would be worth it for something as visually rich as this.

Taisho Baseball Girls – Sports fans rejoice! One of the few sports anime to make it over and not be utterly stupid. This series is just about the most feminist series I’ve ever seen, and it has all the guts and glory, the blood, sweat and tears of any other sports story. I would love nothing better than to have this anime do ridiculously well in sales.

Blue Drop – If you somehow managed to miss this last holiday season, don’t miss it this time. This is schoolgirl romance with a sci-fi twist. Based on a manga of the same name, this anime is infinitely more interesting in about 70 ways. And it has lesbian aliens. How can you not want that?

Maria-sama ga Miteru/Maria Watches Over Us, Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4 – Even as I typed the name of this series out I commented to the wife, “I *still* can’t believe that all of this was licensed.” It’s an amazing quirk of fate and smart marketing. I will forever love RightStuf just because of this series (but will love them all over again when they re-release Utena.)

If for some reason you haven’t gotten these, please consider adding them to your holiday wishlist. Not because they are romantic (which they are) or Yuri (which they are not.) Not because anything happens (it doesn’t.) But because Yumi, Sachiko and the members of the Yamayurkai are perhaps the best-written characters I have encountered in my adult life. They are my friends, won’t you be friends with them too? ;-)

Strawberry Panic – How about less than $2/episode. How about so chock-full of Yuri memes and tropes you’re guaranteed to miss a bunch. How about a happy ending where the girl gets the girl? And how about the other girl gets the other girl too? Just get yourself this litebox and get all the girls at Miator, Spica and Lu Lim for yourself.

Ikkitousen DDVolume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 – Yeah, I know, a season boxset woulda been good for the holidays but I think it’s not coming out ’til 2011. In the meantime, you can still have this series’ closest attempt to sticking with the actual Romance of the Three Kingdoms and still get all the breast- and panty-shots you need. And Kanu and Ryuubi sittin’ in a tree…

El Cazador Volume 1, Volume 2 – Girls with Guns On the Run. Need I say more? I do? Well then, Girls With Guns On the Run from Witches and Psychotic Killers and Transvestites and Faceless Mooks and Evil Scientists. This is another one that, if somehow it isn’t in your collection yet it *really* ought to be and it makes a great gift for friends who aren’t really Yuri fans but want to see a whimsical action series.

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne – Not for the faint of heart, but if you have a friend or family member who likes it a little hardcore and slightly psychotic, then you and they can have a party watching this together. There’s a Blu-Ray for this, too.

Bonus Suggestions: Japanese DVDs

Kakera: Piece of Our Lives – I know I mentioned this, but have you bought it yet? No? Well why not? This is a live-action movie based on the manga Love Vibes by Erica Sakurazawa.  It won’t be out for Cyber Monday, but you could still get it for Christmas!

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie the 1st BD – Right, I know, Japanese DVDs cost a fricking fortune and then they are raw and you can’t understand them, so why bother? Well HAH! I say, because this year the fine folks who created Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie the 1st thought it out and decided that if you buy the Blu-Ray then they’ll go ahead and add in English subtitles for you. You know you’d get this in Blu-Ray anyway, go ahead and admit it. If you get the deluxe edition you get an extra pamphlet and stuff. Go ahead and get it – you’re worth it.

So there’s my gift ideas on the Anime side of the aisle. Next week I’ll put together a Manga version of same, and these, like last year, will be part of the Great Manga Gift Guide being posted across the blogosphere. This link will lead you to the home post for that (this year hosted by the lovely and gracious Daniella Orihuela-Gruber of All About Manga) and you can check out all the gift suggestions by manga bloggers of multiple interests and foci.) If you have any other must-gets Yuri anime for the list, feel free to plop them in the comments and I’ll add links up here at the head of the class for the A-listers.

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9 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    For the folks who want Kakera with English subs, there’s an R2 version available on Amazon UK. (A little weird that it’s out before the R1, but hey.)

    And of course, great list! I’m in the true…uhh…spirit of the season already. :)

  2. Ayra says:

    No additional recommendations from me, unfortunately.

    This week, I’ve watched a few episodes of El Cazador on youtube on the official FUNimation channel. The trailers way back then hadn’t done much for me so I hadn’t paid much attention to it, but after reading so many good comments and seeing that I could actually legally watch some episodes online, I gave it a spin. Result: I ordered today the two DVDs.

    Seriously, in my opinion publishers really should consider offering downloads/streams of a few episodes of their DVDs. Personally, I’m not really inclined to buy DVDs based on trailers. They are relatively expensive (The two El Cazador DVDs costs me roughly the same price as my Crunchyroll membership for an entire year), so for one I’m definitively more inclined in buying one that I know I’ll love rather than one I think that I might maybe like.

    Publishers definitively don’t have to put out the entire serie online, and they don’t have to offer it in super high-quality either: They just need to offer a few complete episodes so that people know exactly what they would be buying. I’ll admit my argument might be flawed (I’m definitively no business major), but I can say that this is the approach that works for me. If FUNimation hadn’t put some episodes on youtube, I wouldn’t have bought the DVD.

    Like Taisho Baseball Girls: I’ve never heard of it before (Granted, I don’t follow anime releases and such much at all), and while your description sounds interesting and lovely and that it might fit the taste very well of someone I know, I’m definitively unwilling to buy the DVD without seeing at least an episode or two to see what it’s actually like.

    I probably should also give a look-see if the publisher of Canaan also offers a few episodes to watch: On paper it looks like a great show, but…

    Actually, I think that they should do the same with manga. You often have only the cover and a tiny descriptions, and sometime what’s on the cover really isn’t representative of what’s inside. A few pages preview would be very welcome in my opinion, and for one it’d definitively increase my odds of buying one.

    Regarding your manga gift guide, I’m looking foward to it! I’m planning on making my “mega order” on amazon.jp next week (There’s something I want to buy that should be released on the 25th so I’m waiting until it gets added before making my order), so the timing of your guide would be just perfect! I do have a list planned out for my order for both myself and christmas gifts, but I wouldn’t say no to a few additional suggestions :)

  3. @Ayra – No arguments from me. I’m a believer in previews.

    Most of the companies are offering preview chapters and episodes of new liceses online now, and I think you’ll see it more and more as time goes on.

  4. I’ve never ordered anything from amazon.jp, but i’d really like to see how i can get that blu-ray Nanoha movie with the english subtitles. do you just order the movie from amazon.jp and it automatically comes with the subtitles? or do you need to contact them via some method? if i’m sounding like a noob here, sorry in advance.

  5. @abstract-alchemist Yes, just order the Blu-ray and the subtitles are included as a language track, just like a normal DVD.

  6. Konoha says:

    No Simoun complete collection? I’m surprised. (Well, I assume it was a mistake, actually)

    http://www.amazon.com/Simoun-Complete-Collection-Michi-Niino/dp/B0020SC17U/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1290229886&sr=1-1

  7. @Konoha – Simoun is a few years old at this point. This list was highlightining series that have come out -at least in part – this year.

    But thanks, it’s never too late to get some excellent anime like Simoun!

  8. I just got series 4 Maria-sama as a present (have got all the rest) and sat and watched the first episode, smiling inanely all the the way through. However (tiniest objection in the world) … the end graphics are very pretty, but I don’t know whether Yumi would see them as the ideal … or am I being silly?

  9. Ayra says:

    Although it falls outside Christmas season, I still have to point out something I’ve seen on Amazon.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/El-Cazador-Bruja-Complete/dp/B0049TC8GC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1291214304&sr=8-1

    I have no idea if there’s any bonus material or anything in there, but… I feel a bit sad that I’ve just bought Volume 1 and 2 for 2.5 times the price of this one in the last few weeks, especially since I haven’t actually watched them yet due to lack of leasure time lately.

    Oh well… If episodes 5-26 are as awesome as the episodes 1-4 that I’ve watched on the funimation channel, then it was completely worth the price to buy the two separate volumes anyway :)

    Mostly unrelated sidenote: The dub for El Cazador is incredible. It’s the best I’ve ever seen. Granted, my reference pool isn’t very large since I’ve watched about 10 anime (and only one of them with 36 episodes, the rest are from 12 to 26), but it’s still impressive in my opinion and well worth checking out for anyone that isn’t 100% against dubs.

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