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.
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.
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!