Top Ten Yuri Anime of 2017

December 29th, 2017

Anime’s always harder than manga for me, because despite the premise that “only guys buy anime” being disproved over and over again, the prevailing belief among producers is that only guys buy anime. Sigh. Despite that, 2017 wasn’t a bad year for Yuri anime, although I had to fiddle a bit to get us up to 10.  I won’t apologize. ^_^ Most of these series are streaming, and several of them are also on the Yuricon Store!

 

10. The anime you think should be on this list, but isn’t. 

I might even have just forgotten it – it was a crazy year. 

Comments are open for your suggestions for this slot. I know I never put the one you think ought to be here on this list, so go ahead and let me know why I should have included that one!  

 

9. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

I might not have put this on the list but for an extraordinary and passionate retelling of the main themes of this series at the Yuri Court game at Yurithon in Montreal last summer. The story, which I had seen as an unfunny waste of potential was recast as a triumphant search for family and intimacy. It was so good a recitation, the judges and audience were moved to applause. 

This is an excellent example of why I want other people’s opinions on Okazu. Without this fan, I would have never thought twice about this series, but as I put together this list, I was reminded that people who are not me saw something special here. And that’s good enough for Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid to make #9 on the list. Streaming on Crunchyroll.

 

 

8. Girls Last Tour

I am putting this here for Bruce. It’s a post-apocalyptic story that makes little sense, but has moe art, and two girls traveling together in a winter landscape with little food, and nothing much to look forward to. And yet, he loved it. 

He loved the armaments and military vehicles and he wrote a paean to the manga for a panel he never made it to last summer. So, as a tribute to Bruce, Girl’s Last Tour is #8. 

Streaming on Amazon Anime Strike and the manga is available in English from Yen Press.

 

 

7. NTR 

You know how I feel about this series. I don’t know how well it is doing, I don’t care. I know some folks like it and that’s good enough to get a mention here.

You can certainly look at the series as a glimpse into abusive relationships. You can look at it as just another way to glorify a fetish and, of course, you can see it as two girls struggling to find legitimacy for their relationship in a world that doesn’t accept them. 

However you enjoy it (or not),  I cannot pretend it is anything other than an anime designed to appeal to some portion of Yuri fandom.

Streaming on Crunchyroll and the manga is available in English from Seven Seas. 

 

 

6. Steven Universe

There is no way a series so deeply, lovingly inspired by Revolutionary Girl Utena, and filled with a smörgåsbord of queerness, could not be on this list.

I am waiting on pins and needles for Lapis and Peridot to fuse. I really am. I literally sit around thinking about what gem they’ll become, because this is just such a great cartoon for people who love being fans of great cartoons. ^_^

A cartoon made for fans, by fans so we can all be big ole queer fans together on TV is something we should absolutely be celebrating!

Streaming on Amazon Video.

 

 

5. Mikagura School Suite

We’ve had a few evangelists of this series here on Okazu and I think it’s worth a look, at any rate. The lead character is openly desirous of other girls and makes no apologies. That’s got to be worth *something,* right? I certainly think so. 

At this point, we can allow ourselves series that do nothing but run around and scream, surely? We’ve worked so hard and to legitimize this genre, it’s perfectly okay to just kick back and watch some nonsense with a lesbian in it. ^_^

Streaming on Crunchyroll and the light novels are available in English from One Peace Books. 

 

 

4. Sailor Moon S

Yes. Again. Because years pass and Haruka and Michiru are STILL the best Yuri characters ever and they will never not be welcome. Next year Sailor Moon turns 25 years old and I’m still loving that they make an elegant and mature couple in the eyes of the Inner Senshi and that they care more about dying together than saving the world. I will never get enough of them.

I can’t wait for Stars, not because of the Starlights, who I don’t actually like all that much (sorry not sorry folks!) but because of the much more overt coupley-ness of Haruka and Michiru. Because it’s all about them for me. 

Streaming on Hulu, and available on DVD/Blu-ray from Viz. Part 1 | Part 2

 

 

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3. Sailor Moon Crystal

How much was I waiting with bated breath for that moment when Michiru turns in Haruka’s arm and cups her cheek, animated? #3 much. Haruka and Michiru are and forever will be the Queens of Yuri.

Despite a rough start to the animation, Season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal was pretty much everything I hoped it would be. The new voice actresses are excellent. Haruka and Michiru’s end musical theme was perfect.

This is the anime that Takeuchi Naoko-sensei wanted when she drew her manga. And, finally both she and we can see her vision realized.  And it was good.

Streaming on Crunchyroll and available on Blu-Ray from Viz Media.

 

 

 

2. Konohana Kitan

Good heavens, really? Yes, really.  I can’t hate it. Don’t think I didn’t try. ^_^ Konohana Kitan has occasional lapses into really gross fanservice, and aside from those moments is still pretty servicey, but despite that, it’s kind of a cute little fetishy Yuri series. 

The characters are likeable, the set-up is designed for scenery porn and the sensibility is olde tyme Japanese folklore, which will always hook me like a guppy.

So, yeah, I’ll never have the girl-with-animal-ear fetish like some folks, but despite that, and despite myself, I enjoyed Konohana Kitan

Streaming on Crunchyroll.

 

 

 

The best Yuri anime this year was…a 6-minute animation clip that changed the world.

 

1. Asagao to Kase-san (あさがおと加瀬さん。)

I’m starting to think of this series as the “little series that could.” It began life as 3 volumes of a serialized manga in a quarterly magazine that ended after 3 years, then made it’s way to the online version of that magazine, then several online manga outlets until there was just enough content for a fourth volume…and then, suddenly, it burst into flame.

A social media campaign convinced folks that there was enough interest for an animation clip…and interest in the animation clip on Youtube convinced the same folks that there’d be interest in a OVA which is headed for theatrical release next summer in Japan…AND this week, the manga continues in Wings magazine.  

The world is ready for Kase-san and Yamada, and a lovely, realistic Yuri romance. In Asagao to Kase-san, that’s exactly what we get.

Here’s to Yamada and Kase-san and the Top Yuri Anime of 2017!

 

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10 Responses

  1. Justpassingthru says:

    Did anyone else like Princess Principal?

    • Dapugoka says:

      I never heard of it before, is it good? I am curious because apparently it is kind of Steampunk, I will probably give it a try.

  2. Grisznak says:

    Lack of Princess Principal puzzles me, but well, with a big number of the anime coming for the entire years, it’s easy to miss something.

    • I haven’t watched it and no one has suggested that it’s remotely Yuri until these comments. I don’t watch or read everything. That it why I ask people to pitch reviews to me. If you want to see a review here, pitch one, don’t waste time being annoyed I don’t know about something.

      • Fantome says:

        I would be cautious in defining Princess Principal as a yuri. Yes, it uses many obvious yuri tropes to tease the audience and Anji and Charlotte so ask that you call them a pair, but if it does not get development in the sequel, then it will remain a fan-service.

        But throughout the show their relationship is still “friendship with fan service” similar to another work of the same author – Code Geass, with which the princesses share a lot of plot moves.

  3. redfish says:

    While not “officially” yuri, I’d add:

    Kirakira PreCure a la Mode: Yukari/Akira is pretty near the Haruka/Michiru level by episode 25 (of 51-ish).

    Aikatsu Stars: while less explicit, you don’t need particularly strong yuri glasses to enjoy the series as such.

    Beyond the yuri aspect, both are very well made series that also address questions of agency and the need to escape from a zero-sum-game view of life and society.

    As an aside, while US-based streaming services squabble over the rights to long-running shounen series, I think that the almost complete failure to license any instance of these equally long-running (meta-)series represents a pretty major bias in their repertoires (Crunchyroll has the first PreCure series available, though the quality resembles a bad VHS rip).

    • I enjoyed Precure Ala Mode, although as usual I forgot to continue watching it.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you, the men in charge habitually ignore, dismiss and overlook content for/by girls and women, despite the obvious impact of Sailor Moon. It’s almost like they just don’t care or something. Hrm.

  4. Fantome says:

    I’m certainly sorry, but why are the Girls Last Tour a yuri? Maybe I do not understand something because of the narrowness of the views, but in this series there is no romance at all. In the whole series there was only one scene, which you can somehow interpret in this vein, but considering setting, this is by far not the only and not the strongest option.

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