Where to Watch Yuri in English Online, Free and Legally

March 12th, 2017

Last year I did a round-up of free legal anime streaming services where you could watch Yuri anime. Recently I was name-checked on Twitter when someone discovered an older legit channel for the first time. And, since this happens regularly and old services close down and new services pop up, it seemed apropos to go through some of the free, legitimate anime streaming services available to you on which to watch Yuri anime.

Caveats: I’m focusing on US-based services, because while I am dedicated to you, my readers, my dedication does not extend to working with proxies or VPNs in every major market to see if these services work in your hometown. Assume there are regional restrictions in place for some or all of these services. But feel free to use proxies or VPNs on your own. ^_^ And, if you use a regionally legal, free streaming site in a non-US country, by all means, please let folks know in comments!

I’m also not focusing on paid services like The Anime Network or Amazon’s Strike. Today we’re focusing on services that are free and legitimate. 

 ALL these services have shifting catalogs. That’s just the nature of the beast, the beast being video licensing. Just because a series is on one service now, does not mean it will always be.  Another good reason to update this list periodically.

 

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is doing a pretty good job of licensing anime as broadly as possible. They have been very Yuri-positive and often, when they lose a license, circle back around and get it again – for instance, they have Aoi Hana/Sweet Blue Flowers  once again after viewers complained when the IP holder pulled the show after a limited time. Crunchyroll is my go-to, because their catalog is one of the most comprehensive, from Bodacious Space Pirates to Riddle Story of a Devil to Yuru Yuri to Sakura Trick to Cardcaptor Sakura. 

Rating: A- They’ve really kept up the commitment to Yuri. It’s not an all-in-one-place-go-to-stop for everything, but it’s damned close. The biggest issue is the region-blocking, which is not Crunchyroll’s fault, but does have an impact.

 

Viewster is a trove of forgotten Yuri treasures. Their library includes Strawberry Panic!, Maria Watches Over Us, Aria and some other random things I’ve liked over the years, like Murder Princess. ^_^ Viewster claims to be available worldwide. 

Rating: B-  The catalog is hit or miss, but they often have stuff you can’t find anywhere else.

 

Hulu

This time last year, Hulu had a ton of anime but they purged most of it, including a large pile of interesting western animation. However, it’s the only place you can go for the original Sailor Moon. How fun, huh? Where Toei licensed Sailor Moon Crystal to everyone and their cousin (finally!), Viz obviously has an exclusive agreement with Hulu for streaming the original series. 

Rating: B- There’s nothing else here, the adverts are annoying and for the cost of subscribing (which doesn’t get rid the ads,) I might as well get the DVDs.

 

Tubi TV

Tubi a newish service that includes a random smattering of anime, but has a surprisingly strong showing in Yuri, on account of Nozomi’s titles. So they have Revolutionary Girl Utena, Season 3 and 4 (? No idea why only those two seasons)  of Maria Watches Us and Bodacious Space Pirates. They’ve also got a few other notable series, like Moribito, and Sound of the Sky. It’s worth a look, if only to boggle you with the vagaries of anime licensing.

Rating: B- It’s worth looking at, but I probably wouldn’t subscribe.

 

Nozomi Entertainment on Youtube

The Official Nozomi channel currently has all of Revolutionary Girl Utena and Rose of Versailles in full on Youtube, but this may be ephemeral.

Rating: C It’s cool as long as it lasts, but there’s no way to know how long it will last. And Youtube.

 


Daisuki

Speaking of services no one remembers, Daisuki was launched by the Japanese government with “Cool Japan” money a few years ago in order to create a better streaming service to overseas watchers. Unfortunately it fell into the exact same pit as all the other “Cool Japan” endeavors – it was random, inconsistent and had no long-term planning. So you can still watch, say, Jubei-chan on Daisuki, but only Season 2, not 1. I will give them credit for excellent genre break down, “sci-fi” “robots/mechanic” “heartful” “novels” “games” “sports/race”. You actually have an idea what a series is about/from with descriptions like those.

Rating: D 

 

Funimation

Auuuughhghghghghghgh. Funimation, you have the worst website. Always. Ever. There has never been a single day I have visited the Funimation website and not wanted to put my fist through the screen. Sure, they have Riddle Story of a Devil, and Yurikuma Arashi, but so does Crunchyroll without committing every single website design failure in the world.

Ratings: D Go anywhere else. It’s never worth the agita.

 

If Media Blasters and Nozomi licensed their catalogs to Crunchyroll, they’d be the all-in-one-place, but even so, they come closer to anywhere else. The biggest problem is the inconsistency and ephemerality of the licenses. And the region-blocking, which is a relic of another age that is slowly disintegrating, but still exists, for now.

If you are using a legitimate streaming site for your country and want to share, please add it to the comments!

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – March 11, 2017

March 11th, 2017

Live-Action News

The BBC and HBO are  working on a drama called Shibden Hall, about Anne Lister, the “first lesbian.” The Hollywood Reporter  describes the story thusly, “

Set in West Yorkshire in 1832, Shibden Hall is the story of landowner Anne Lister. Returning after years of exotic travel and social climbing, she determines to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall, in Halifax, England, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.

To do this, she must re-open her coal mines and marry well. But charismatic, single-minded, swashbuckling Anne Lister – who walked like a man, dressed head-to-foot in black, and charmed her way into high society – has no intention of marrying a man. True to her own nature, she plans to marry a woman.”

The Mary Sue has more details.

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Goddess of manga, Riyoko Ikeda made an appearance on Japanese TV this month  with her visit to a morning show on TV Asahi, in which she discussed her early years.

Via ANN, a video of cast of the fourth new Sailor Moon Musical, Amour Eternal, performing “Koi Suru Satellite.”


 

Game News

Polygon reports that Steven Universe is coming to consoles with a second original RPG!  If you’re a phone gamer, there’s also a phone game called Sound Attack which is a SU-themed version of the Taiko Drum game. 

 

Yuri Anime

ANN also has the news that anime streaming service Tubi has added Revolutionary Girl Utena to their line up. (It’s also available on the official Nozomi Youtube channel.)  I think it’s time for an updated list of legit digital anime streaming for Yuri. I bet you all keep forgetting Viewster, which has series like Strawberry Panic! and Aoi Hana, and is free and completely legit. ^_^ Maybe tomorrow. 

 

Event News

I want to thank everyone who came to yesterday’s lecture at Hunter College. It was a genuinely fantastic time and I enjoyed the class presentations a great deal. Anne and I agreed that we’re going to have to up our own presentations to keep up with you young folks. ^_^ Thanks again for having me, Takeda-sensei! You’ll be able to see both Anne and I next at Queers & Comics in San Francisco!

Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? Become a Yuri Network Correspondent by sending me any Yuri-related news you find.Emails go to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com. Not to the comments here, please, or they might be forgotten or missed. There’s a reason for this madness. This way I know you are a real human, not Anonymous (which I do not encourage – stand by your words with your name!) and I can send you a YNN correspondent’s badge.

Thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network!

 

 

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Yuri Manga: My First Lady (マイ・ファーストレディ)

March 9th, 2017

My First Lady (マイ・ファーストレディ) is a short story collection by Takemiya Jin of stories that ran in Comic Yuri Hime magazine. The single unifying factor is that, in each story, under unique circumstances, a girl realizes that she has feelings for another girl.

The stories themselves differ mostly by outcome. In the cover story, the girl gets the girl. In another, the girls gets the girls, but we can see that the relationship will be manipulative and creepy. In another, the girl does not get the girl. In the last, she may have been pining away for the wrong girl.

The collection is a bit like a “roll the dice” game version of Yuri story-telling, but while nothing is spectacular, it’s still enjoyable.

The one thing that remains tight throughout is Takemiya-sensei’s ability to capture enignmtaic and complex emotions in character’s expressions. Sometimes, I’ll spend more time on wondering what a character is thinking than worrying about the overt text, especially in shorts like these. 

So, while this isn’t a standout collection, it’s a good solid look at first love with a variety of outcomes.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 7
Character – 7
Yuri – 7
Service – 0

Overall – 7

I’m always happy to have another collection from Takemiya-sensei. ^_^

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On Strike

March 8th, 2017

Every day on Okazu, I read, watch, write, edit, plan, publish, buy, sell and create. Not today. Today, I celebrate the achievements of women. International Women’s Day General Strike. A Day Without A Woman.

International Women's Day General Strike. A Day Without A Woman

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Yuri Manga: Akuma no Riddle Manga, Volume 4 (悪魔のリドル)

March 6th, 2017

Akuma no Riddle V4 I read Volume 3 of this series in both English and Japanese and so, I thought I’d keep that up. Only, Volume 4 didn’t come out and didn’t come out and didn’t come out…and I got tired of waiting. Of course, just about the time I finally gave in and read it in Japanese, Volume 4 came out on Global Bookwalker in English. ^_^ Volume 4 is also available in English from Seven Seas in print.

Nonetheless, as Volume 4 of Akuma no Riddle  (悪魔のリドル)is, like the previous three volumes, almost word for word to the anime, there was nothing lost in the not-translation. The manga is every so slightly more Yuri than the anime, but nothing else is significantly different.

Itsuke makes her play to make her gay parents proud…and fails. Banba’s split personality isn’t much of a net positive for her…she goes down. And finally, Hanabusa come up with  an overcomplicated plot just to learn that Tokaku is better at it all than she is. Oh well.

Volume 4 is mostly presented as the final set of battles but, of course we know that isn’t true.  We still have a lot of expository dialogue to work through to figure out, exactly, what is going on. And for all that effort, I’m pretty sure we never really figure out what the deal with the unanswerable riddles ever is.

I’m really hoping that the final volume of the manga provides more depth than the anime did. It’s not that we don’t all love the endlessly creative ways in which girls are tortured and their lives ruined (barrrrffff) but emotional and physical abuse can only carry a story so far. At some point, we want answers and for someone to slap that guy on the phone.

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – If you like sympathizing with killers – 7, if not  – 4
Characters –  7 All the feels for the poor abused psychopathic killers
Service – 5 Bathing
Yuri – 3 Toukaku and Haru have been “coupled” by the plot, but it appears that Toukaku actually likes Haru.

Overall – 7

My fingers are crossed for a end that resonates more than the anime did, which could be summed up as “well, that was a thing I watched.”

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