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.