Top Ten Yuri Anime of 2012

December 26th, 2012

Before we get started, I remind you that this is my opinion and no more authoritative than anyone else’s. It’s also my interpretation of the words “Top” “Yuri” “Anime” and “2012”. ^_^ As always, you are most welcome to disagree with me in the comments. I also invite you to share *your* top Yuri Anime for the year in the comments.  Okay then, let’s go!

10) Magic Knight Rayearth, Second Season – Damn, it was good to see this newly reissued by Media Blasters. Yuri is minimal, but Nova’s interest in Hikaru is just obsessive and persistent enough to make this list. There are some great moments in this series and until someone re-issues Card Captor Sakura, it’s nice to have a DVD release of an early CLAMP series.

9) Koihime Musou Otome Tairan – This sucked, but compared to the other two seasons, it was a work of art. Sonsaku and Koukin are a couple, so there’s actual Yuri.

8) Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb – While they are still in no way – other than in fans’ minds – a couple, the creators of Hidamari Sketch Honeycomb have at least realized that we like to imagine them that way and have added more Hiro x Sae service to the series. It even looks like they’ve got Hiro cluing in to her (oh-so-obvious-to-us) feelings, leaving only Sae as utterly unaware of how together they are.

7) Yuru Yuri – Not as record-shattering here as it is in Japan, this slice-of-no-life series is popular enough to have the second season streaming on Crunchyroll. Kyouko likes Chinatsu, Chinatsu like Yui, Ayano likes Kyouko and Chitose likes to fantasize about all of them.

6) Jormungand  – Yes, it’s about people who sell arms and kill people. It’s violent and nasty. But it’s also not at all coy about Valmet’s feelings for Koko and for that, it bumps up even further in my estimation. Plus its loads of fun. Streaming on Funimation.

5) Rose of Versailles – Currently streaming on Viki, you really should be watching this. Ground-breaking, award-winning, historical drama (something that rarely gets made into anime) this series set a lot of bars very high for…well, everything. Oscar cross-dresses beautifully and the girls go wild for her. There’s even a real bit of Yuri in there, small though it is. Honestly, go watch it.

4) Revolutionary Girl Utena – Rewatching the Apocalypse arc was, for me, a climactic moment. I still can’t believe we got the anniversary set. And the ring. Amazing series, amazing artboxes, amazing everything. Simply amazing. Once again, it says something that this is *not* my number one pick this year.


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3) Dear Brother – It was a  “holy crap!” moment for me was when Viki announced streaming this series. Dear Brother was a linchpin moment in my anime-watching life, a moment when everything else peeled away and I couldn’t catch my breath as Saint-Juste threw knives at the clocktower wall. I am beside myself with glee that you can all watch this series. Even if you don’t like it, if you care “about” Yuri, not just like Yuri pairings, you really need to watch this series. Like, Rose of Versailles, without this series there would have been no Utena.


2) Puella Magi Madoka Magica – I don’t have anything left to say about this series, except it is absolutely, positively worth watching.

In speaking to Bruce about it, I commented that the sign of a good series is that it holds up under repeated scrutiny. I have scrutinized the heck out of this series which streams on Crunchyroll (and still have a rewatch of the anime DVD release ahead of me) and the series holds up very well indeed. Above all, the thing that Madoka has that so few anime do, is that it tells a story from beginning to end. No unresolved issues, no threads left hanging. It ends and it ends well. In any other year it might be my number one pick, but not this year. ^_^

No, this year one series stood out for me above all others. It got me on one of my oldest hooks, and one of my newest, and a whole bunch in between. My number one top Yuri Anime of 2012 is…


1) Bodacious Space Pirates – Fun Space Opera – check. Great characters – check. Pirates in space – check.  Fabulous female characters. – check. Low fanservice – check. Great sweeping epic stories – check. Yuri – check!

Captain Marika and her crew are characters I loved spending time with and will be delighted to spend more time with. I can’t wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of this series. An amazing dark horse series all around. Jenny and Lyn for the win.

My number one anime of 2012 is Bodacious Space Pirates, available on Crunchyroll and in 2013 on DVD and Blu-Ray from Section 23.

For the first time ever in the history of this list, every single one of the entries is available in English. ^_^ Now that’s a good year for Yuri!

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13 Responses

  1. Lyn Jensen says:

    In your comment on “Yuru Yuri,” please explain what you mean by “slice-of-no-life.” Do you mean meaningless, or unrealistic, or something else?

  2. invalidname says:

    Thanks for sticking up for Bodacious Space Pirates. Fandom tired of this halfway through, but I enjoyed its relentless positivity. In lots of other shows, the crew of the Bentenmaru would be skeptical and scheming and would have to be won over (and the accomplishing of that would likely be implausible and unsatisfying), but in BSP, everyone around Marika wants her to succeed, and helps her to do so. That’s a nice message for the young viewers: adults aren’t always idiots and obstacles, and they will likely be delighted by your success. One of the fun motifs was the various characters saying of Marika, “she’s going to be scary in a few years.” That’s something to look forward to. Also, Jenny and Lynn as a couple to root for… yay.

  3. @Lyn – The characters have no life. They are one joke each and nothing happens. That phrase was meant as a spoof on the “slice of life” genre to which the story would be assigned.

  4. @invalidname – Some fandom may have tired of it, but no one I talk to. ^_^ Luckily, I do not count those fans as “fandom”, nor do I care ever what people who are not me think of anime. ^_^ It’s easy to stick up for smartly written sc-fi.

  5. Candy says:

    I JUST got my bodacious Space Pirates blu ray set 1 today (along with my penguindrum blu ray set 1, it was a GOOOOOOOD day for my mail) and am looking forward to sitting down and enjoying both series for the first time.

    I plan on watching one of them after I get all my dvd/blu ray sets rearranged after getting a new dvd cabinet from my parents in place. I’ll say this after getting that cabinet where it is gonna go the back area of my TV has never looked so clean XD.

    mmmhmm 1080p

  6. Helen says:

    I have to admit I didn’t like the very last arc of Space Pirates (it was pretty clear to me that it was anime original) but I just remind myself that when I rewatch this (since I’ll get around to buying and rewatching it someday) I can just forget about that arc and enjoy the rest of it instead. ^^ And I guess I really really need to check out Dear Brother since I’ve seen nothing but praise for it…

  7. DezoPenguin says:

    Like Helen, I felt BSP saved its worst for last (too much cheese of the wrong kind, combined with one really ugly family-related plot twist), but even at its worst it was still above-average and the rest of the series was, indeed, top-notch. (The Nebula Cup arc was also anime-original, but also awesome in numerous ways, so one out of two’s not bad for anime original arcs!) I myself wouldn’t put it as a better-in-general anime than either Utena or Madoka Magica, but as a specifically *Yuri* anime it features actual, canon, on-screen Yuri with characters who are actually above the age of consent (putting it above Madoka Magica) and it was actually created and released this year instead of being a re-release of something that was already available albeit difficult to obtain (putting it above Utena), so I certainly can’t argue with the rankings.

    I’m thrilled, too, that Rose of Versailles will be getting a physical media release next year. Add in Dear Brother and Aoi Hana and it’s been a surprisingly excellent year for licenses of good Yuri. (Actually, when you add in the manga side of things, with the blizzard of releases on JManga, plus things like GirlFriends and Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry-Blossom Pink from Seven Seas, it’s been one of the best years of Yuri licensing that I can recall!)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I liked Miniskirt Pirates, but I absolutely LOVED its Opening. If the show was only half as good as the OP, it would have been BEST ANIMU EVAR. The shot where Marika and Chiaki are standing side by side, while the Bentenmaru is rising into the sky behind them, is orgasmic.

    Other than that show, it was unfortunately a meager year for Yuri. It is mainly used as a background element; i.e.
    There was a lesbian schoolgirl in Kokoro Connect. They forgot about her halfway.
    A background couple in the Another Anime. They die. Both. Painfully.
    The female enforcer in Psycho-Pass is probably gay. Probably.
    Black Rock Shooter…I’d rather not.

    What I’m trying to say is, since straight Yuri (see what I did there?) like Aoi Hana doesn’t sell, Yuri is mostly played for laughs and titillation nowadays and that probably won’t change in the future.
    Well maybe I’m wrong and we can all enjoy Gunjo, as envisioned by Kyoani, shortly, though I doubt it.

    Thank you for your work in 2012, Erica. I enjoy your wirting.

    P.S. Have you seen Girls und Panzer? What did you think of it?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Brother Dear Brother was an amazing series. Makes me appreciate the ‘classic’ artists during that time period. They had such an influence on anime/manga series today.

    I wish they could have made that series into a box set too. I would love to watch it again without buffering computers, etc.!

    I am definitely buying the RoV series boxsets ;)

    I’ve never tried to watch Rayearth. I’ll have to give it a try.


  10. @Anonymous at 11:00 – No I did not watch Girls und Panzer, nor will I. You’re welcome – thanks for reading and commenting!

    @Anonymous at 6:46 – I never expected to see Dear Brother in any form, so who knows, maybe a DVD release can happen. Frankly, I’d love to lose DVDs and just have all my anime as instant, on-demand, hi-res watching on any device. ^_^

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am actually glad u enjoy bodacious pirates. Another short anime to mention is kuttsukiboshi. Even if there was more sexual intercourse than anything else. We learn an important Yuri lesson of forgiveness between Aya and kichan I truly recommend that anime if your ok with Yuri hentai. The finally to me was epic. It gets me upset on the first ova but then it gets better.Overall this is an awsome list I hope I get to find more Yuri than people don’t seem to see but there is an Yuri Googgles are require to watch it. Like the anime Another where two Girls of the same sex have some cute Yuri moments and new anime New world where Saki and young girl annoying she gets me upset but still she has a Yuri espisode with Mariya. Not entirely Yuri unfortunately, but ill let you all know if I Found something good.

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