Top Yuri Anime of 2016

December 28th, 2016

When I say that I could not have written this list without you, my dear readers, I am not being hyperbolic in the slightest. If it hadn’t been for your guest posts and suggestions on Twitter, this list would have been three series – and two of them would have been Sailor Moon. ^_^ So, thanks to everyone who helped! As always, please feel free to disagree by posting your choices for Top Ten in the comments.

 

10. Any series you think ought to be on this list

I’m weaseling out on the first item, because being told by some random person that a series is Yuri is, for me, not quite sufficient to get on a Top Ten, but I also strongly believe that fanon has a very important place in a healthy fandom. Ultimately Yuri is the one genre that, by it’s heterogeneous nature, is defined by fan perception. Therefore, insert whatever series you think ought to have been here. ^_^

 

Tied for 8. Izetta, The Last Witch and Harmony

These series had enough Yuri (or Yuri service) to get mentions this year. Whether you see them as “Yuri” or akogare or loyalty or friendship is entirely up to you.  

Izetta The Last Witch is available on Crunchyroll, Harmony is available on Amazon Video or DVD/Blu-ray combo from Funimation

 

7. Riddle Story of Devil

This series is more “Yuri because they said so” than substantively Yuri, but there is one canon couple a priori and another by the end. It wasn’t as good as I hoped nor was it as bad as I feared. I have yet to watch Funimation’s home video release, but I am looking forward to refreshing myself on the series. ^_^

Riddle Story of a Devil is available on Crunchyroll and on DVD from Funimation.

 

6. MAGICAL GIRL RAISING PROJECT

Sister Nana and Winterprison  are a canonical couple. That their story is not a happy one puts it towards the bottom of the list. So if you’re using this list to find cool anime to watch, do be warned. Nonetheless, one of the signs of a mature genre is when not all the endings are happy. (But, yeah, ugh.) If anyone is interested in reviewing this series for us here, do let me know!

Magical Raising Project is available on Crunchyroll 

 

5. Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon 

This entry is on the list entirely because of the strong case for Yuri made by Mariko S in her Guest Review for Okazu.  Like so many series that include Yuri as a plot element, it’s as much service as Yuri, but canonically lesbian characters is pretty acceptable. 

Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon is available on Crunchyroll

 

4. Flip Flappers

Again, a series appears on this list not because of my opinion, but someone (in fact multiple someones) else’s opinion.  Miles Thomas is not alone in reading this series as a queer narrative. I’m almost moved enough by the passionate defense of this series to give it a try myself. Again, if you’ve watched and would like to write a guest review, do contact me!

Flip Flappers is available on Crunchyroll.

 

Okay, here we are at my top three of the year, and none of these are likely to surprise anyone, although undoubtedly, there’ll be some eyerolling. ^_^

My Top 3 Yuri Anime of  2016….

 

3. Sailor Moon Crystal, Season 3

This was the manga come to life. This was the Haruka and Michiru Takeuchi Naoko wanted us to see in the first place. This was the tender embrace and touch of two young women with no one except each other to rely on. 

I hope you’ll understand all the many “whys” that, for me make this series my third best Yuri anime of the year.

Sailor Moon Crystal, Season 3 is available on Crunchyroll, on Viz’ website (and it will become available on DVD and Blu-ray, eventually.) 

 

 

 

 
2. Yuri Kuma Arashi

Talk about a big old “duh.” By it’s nature, Yuri Kuma Arashi has to be on the list, doesn’t it? Even though it’s more like a game of Madlibs or Cards for Humanity than a story, this anime has something I’d long wanted to see – Morishima Akiko’s characters come to life.  

The story is indubitably Yuri, as is the ending, and all the middle bits and the empty spaces between – there’s pretty much never going to be a series that is more “Yuri” than this one, to the point of obsession and beyond. 

In 2016, it was released in English by Funimation, which makes it totally worth a rewatch! Yuri Kuma Arashi is available on Crunchyroll or in DVD/ Blu-ray combo pack from Funimation.

 

 

Here we go, my number one anime title of the year is…

 

1. Sailor Moon S 

I’ve been writing Okazu for almost 15 years now and obsessing about Yuri for longer than that. And through all those years, the Queens of Yuri have been – and always will be – Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, struggling to live…and to die…together. They are the reason I am here, and the reason so many of you are, as well. 

Sailor Moon S is available streaming on Viz’s website and on DVD/Blu-ray combo from Viz Media.

If Haruka and Michiru make an appearance in any given year on Okazu, they are always going to win by default.

And so they do, this year, where my Top Yuri Anime for 2016 (and for now and forever) is Sailor Moon S.

 

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6 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    :) This was a great year for yuri! I hope 2017 follows suit.

  2. Mariko says:

    Man, was YKA really this year? It feels like so long ago. :/

    7. I felt pretty much the same as you about Akuma no Riddle. Ultimately it was a disappointment, with far too much surface gloss and an easy willingness to allow crater-sized plot holes. Plus it needed far more Haruki and Isuke. :3

    6. I wondered why I’d never heard of this, but after skimming some of the reviews and seeing the artwork it looks like no big loss. Toddler-faced girls (someone here once used a much more sophisticated term for this that I found funny but can’t remember right now) and ultraviolence? Pass.

    5. I am glad my review of Cross Ange was helpful! I don’t know if it came out this year or not though?

    4. I am not loving Flip Flappers so far. It’s another one of those series that is in such a rush to get to its action that it forgets to bring us there in any meaningful way. It barely bothers to explain any of its bizarre plot and world and presents like an overcaffeinated absurdist children’s show (with an occasional oddly sexualized outfit or scene for its barely pubescent protagonists). To call the characters one-dimensional is generously assuming that first one. It seems to want to be an action magical-girl show in the vein of Kill la Kill but pales in the comparison. But it does have some memorably weird artwork, so I guess there’s that.

    3, 1. Aside from my general complaints about Crystal (too rushed, noodly art, thin characters) its version of S was head and shoulders above the previous two seasons and I enjoyed it very much. But like you there will always be a special place in my heart for the original S season. Acquiring that fansub 18 (!) years ago after my baptism to anime via the DiC dub was a veil-lifting, heavens-opening experience. I just could not believe that something so emotionally powerful and mature and beautiful could be an animated story. It made me want to voraciously seek out more. Not to mention that H&M blew the doors off of expectations surrounding representation in popular media. I didn’t have to just sit there and read too much into a couple of lines between Makoto and Ami, or some of Rei and Usagi’s interactions. There was a real lesbian couple that the creators put in there by intention for the world to see that they could not deny (even though tons of people still did -_-;). So, yeah, SMS will always be special to me too.

  3. Cryssoberyl says:

    Hail to the 百合界のカリスマ, the “Yurikai no Charisma”, Icons of the Yuri World, Haruka and Michiru. Justly earned, for all eternity. I have many issues with the manga version of Sailor Moon, but season 3 of Crystal certainly surpassed all expectations. That said, the original anime remains what it was for me, both my personal historical entry point into anime fandom, and one of the three great pillars that founded modern yuri, along with Utena and Marimite. Let the bells ring forever in celebration of their deeds, never forsaken, never forgotten.

  4. Michelle says:

    Yep. As I was playing LLSIF the game, I had the sudden thought that Love Live Sunshine didn’t make this list, which puzzled me until I reread and caught the catch all 10 spot. I’m of the opinion it’s at least a little gayer amd a lot less ‘fanservicey’ than Izetta, although it does lack air to sea warfare ; )

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