Top Ten Yuri Anime of 2010

December 12th, 2010

Making this list this year was hard. Really hard. Not a lot of good Yuri anime was released this year, heck, not a lot of good anime was released this year. As a result, I am drawing on Fandom interests for a number of these…so don’t be surprised to see stuff on here where the Yuri primarily exists in Fans’ heads.

I’m combining Japanese and English titles once again, because this is me flailing to put together ten titles at all.

Honorable Mention)  K-ON! (Japanese) – I almost wish this series actually had some Yuri in the anime other than fan obsession, because it was, honestly, one of the two best anime I watched all year and I cannot wait to get it in 2011. So, let it be known that if this had genuinely had Yuri, this would be my #2 choice for the year.

10) So Ra No Wo To/Strike Witches 2nd Season (Japanese/English) – Again, most of the Yuri in these series is in fans’ heads, with a teeny weeny little bit of “hint” here and there through the animes. Neither of these held any appeal to me, but the folks that liked them liked the *lots.* Fans are still popping out work based on these two series which combine military and moe fetishes for a successful campaign to gain fans’ discretionary income.

9) Shattered Angels (English) – Kaishaku’s a lame-ass, but Kaon and Himiko get the ending Chikane and Himeko don’t. QED. I still wish we had the extras, though.

8) Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (English) – I loved this series, despite (or perhaps because of) the ridiculously intense levels of violence and ill-conceived plot. I just loved everything about it. From the BDSM motif, to the forays into the metaphysical and religious imagery and being able to watch Rin com back from death over and over again, I just loved it.

7) Hidamari Sketch 365 (English)  – I still would have been happier if Hiro and Sae were presented as an actual couple, so poor Hiro didn’t have to suffer in silence at Sae’s cluelessness, but oh well. In every other way, this is another cute, moe series.

6) Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny/Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan (English) – Both these series do something idiotic – they turn the great heroes of the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms into buxom women, then basically wallow in service with occasional nods to the original. In a lot of ways, I prefer Ikkitousen to Otome Tairan. Although Otome Tairan had more actual straightforward Yuri, Ikkitousen has more actual straightforward people beating the crap out of one another, which I prefer. But they both had some Yuri and both had busty Kanu Unchous, and so for that reason I’ve lumped them together.

5) Maria Watches Over Us, Season 4 (English) – Again, low on Yuri, except in Fan’s heads, but because I love Yumi and Yumi loves Touko, I love Touko. And I love Touko and Yumi as soeur. So, #5.

4) Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie the 1st (Japanese and English) –  I haven’t even seen it yet, but Fate x Nanoha = win. Even if that ‘x’ stands for “colorful fights where they beat the crap out of each other.”

3) CANAAN (English) – Maria and Canaan love each other, but they aren’t going to live happily ever after in an action story like this. Nonetheless, totally worth any Yuri fan’s time, unless all you like is romance.

2) Blue Drop (English) –  Oh, look, a series with actual Yuri on this list! Sentai Filmworks put this out in a season set just so we could get a single freaking kiss on this list, I swear. ^_^; This series of lesbian aliens and Japanese schoolgirls scratches a whole lotta itches, from CGI spaceship fetishes to us fanfic writers. It’s a great story in what was probably the last good series Yoshitomo Akihito will ever do.

How well do you know me? Do you know what I’m going to name the best Yuri Anime of 2010? Can you guess?

If you’ve talked to me any time in the last 40+ weeks, you’ll know the answer.

My vote for the best anime overall this year is….

1) Heartcatch PreCure (Japanese) –  Yes, the Yuri is mostly in fans’ heads. I am one of those fans and in my head Tsubomi still has a crush on Itsuki and Tsukikage Yuri is seeing Erika’s sister Momoko during the day and had a torrid affair with Dark Cure as Cure Moonlight. And there is nothing you can say to make me think otherwise. :-) Aside from that, this delightful magical girl series has girls that punch and kick the bad guys and are not any less feminine for doing so. Yuri (the character) is cool and competent, the team has no one leader – they all have their strengths and weaknesses – and in general, this has been an amazingly fun series, with great characters, sticky music and all the things I look for in a magical girl series.

So there we are – once again, no matter how much the boys’ series load up on Yuri, it’s the series for girls’ that capture my heart. ^_^

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16 Responses

  1. darkchibi07 says:

    Gah, 2010 was lousy on the Yuri front except for Sono Hanabira and maybe Squid Girl. Seriously, she made lots and lots of female admirers plus one rather psycho lesbian stalker!

    I’m rather cynical on the Yuri front for even 2011 (except maybe for a confirmation of Railgun season 2 which I’m sure will happen); there seems to be more “trap” series being animated. :/

  2. Jst says:

    Great list, Erica, thanks! What I like so much about Heartcatch is how they sneak in moments to keep our interest. For example this shot from one of the most recent episodes really caught my attention:

    http://tinyurl.com/26ofyte

    Although, I hear that it’s not getting another season, which is a shame.

  3. @Jst – No new season is true, they’ve already announced the “new” PreCure series, but this one is 40+ episodes, and is therefore already into a “4th” season by current standards.

    @darkchibi07 – I can’t consider either of those good, much less good Yuri. Feel free to write your own list. :-)

  4. Ichigo69 says:

    Heartcatch Precure…. Awesome. And yeah… Toei’s TOTALLY not shipping Itsubomi…

    http://ichigo69.mayulive.com/images/Friends/Itsubomi_01.gif

    ^__^

  5. Anonymous says:

    But for example Rin: Doughters of Mnemosyne was released in 2008. Wkat is it doing in 2010’s list?

  6. @Anonymous – Because the English version was released in 2010 and I reviewed it in 2010. It is therefore on my list of 2010 anime.

  7. Richard beaubien says:

    The thing I like about heartcatch compared to the first Pretty Cure series I wacted (the 17 episodes of the first series) is the style. The show just oozes it, from it’s retro designs, to it’s well done action, to the cheesy yet awesome rock licks in the music. Add in characters I really like and it just meshes so well together.

    I mean Yuri tones is no stranger to Precure. They’ve always teased it. But this just does so much better with it. I really hope the next series is as good.

  8. JD says:

    Thanx for the list. There really wasn’t much to put on the list. Mnemosyne was so awesome it could be on the list every year ^^

    I’m not sure if you missed it or kept it out on purpose but there actually was one anime with Yuri in it. Seikon no Qwaser. Yes the one where they get their power from breast milk. So I can understand if you kept it out on purpose.

  9. @JD – There’s nothing good, best, Top about that series. Perhaps if I did a “Most Vile Perversions of 2010 – wtf is wrong with people?” list.

  10. JD says:

    Thank you for such a fast answer, I was curious about your opinion on that show.

  11. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!! I just lost the bet with my girlfriend that the BLACK ROCK SHOOTER OVA would be there xD!!! Well, except for that little thing I mostly agree with this year top ten

  12. Escarlata says:

    Yeah, Heartcatch! In my heart will be always a “ItsukixTsubomi” shot. I mean, is not our imagination, Tsubomi is still in love with Itsuki X3, no more guys, just Tsubomi’s childhood friend, not a real deal. But the girl only haves eyes for Itsuki <3. *sorry for my bad english, not my first* And Tsukikage Yuri is THE real deal in Heartcatch! *cries like a fangirl*

  13. BruceMcF says:

    Thanks for the reminder about CANAAN. I keep forgetting to look out for that one.

    Regarding the 2010 Yuri drought at Crunchyroll, I enjoy Squid Girl, and it does indeed have a girl who is a Squid Girl otaku, but its a bit of silly fluff, and the year that Squid Girl makes the top ten Yuri anime is the year to cut it back to a Top Five list.

    Indeed, I’m one of the Sora no Woto fans, and will be watching Nozomi for that boxset … but as a SF anime fan for the classic SF plot underneath the shiny surface ~ younger teen girls with a touch of hero worship for cool female senpai is an easy way to invite Yuri projection without having to take the trouble of writing the Yuri into the script.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hiya,

    I’m not sure if it was mentioned but what about Kuttsukiboshi?

    -Ki

  15. @Anonymous – No, it wasn’t mentioned.

  16. Shinta says:

    I was amazingly in love with CANAAN when my fiance and I first started watching it in attempts to actually find something that wasn’t all full of FF breast sizes and small chibi girls screaming all of the time; somehow leaving us feeling that there’s a hidden camera somewhere in the room where a whole group of boys were waiting for us to take off our clothes and do something. Both of the characters are just beyond words to me. How closely their characters were developed along with how well the storyline moved…it was a fluid and addicting arc that left you begging for more every time the ending credits rolled.

    *SPOILER INCOMING*

    They didn’t end up needing any real physical interaction in the end. In the scene of Maria carefully stroking Canaan’s hair after a dreadful scene that left her temporarily unconscious…when the two of them confessed thoughts under the starlight…it just left you kinda breathless, ya know?

    Needless to say, I was NOT happy with the ending that they placed for it. I understand that not everything has a happy ending, and even though two minds are so well put for each other, certain powers will not let it be….but they just went and KILLED it! Pretty much went and did it in the absolute worst way possible and just completely severed any sort of thing that Maria and Canaan may have EVER had.

    It was like the writers were threatened at gun point by their community to push everything to a sudden stop or else they would be killed and their families blown into a couple hundred dozen pieces. It could have been so. Much. Better.

    I know, I’m practically ranting about it in this post, I’m sorry! It just extremely disappointed me…xD;

    I am very happy that it make it onto your top three for your list, though. CANAAN deserves so much more recognition than what it has, and I just thought that I might put my random two cents in there…. >__>;

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