[Lists 2010] All-time Faves and Rankings: Yuri and Shoujo Ai

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This is what I have been referring to in my New Year post.  I will rank the shows I’ve watched for each genre/grouping.  I am not yet sure about the complete list of genres/groupings that I will tackle, because I doubt if there is enough material for most of them.  But the major ones are slice of life, comedy, shounen, and of course, mecha.  But today I will tackle yuri/shoujo-ai.  (Warning:  There might be some spoilers, but just a few.)

I only have brief descriptions because if I seriously try to write it will take me weeks to finish this.  And I am not willing to spend that amount of time because there are other lists to finish.

For the list of shows, I based it on Animenfo.  Now the list for yuri/shoujo-ai is quite small, I could have watched most of them but I really have no appetite for shows like Queen’s Blade, or yuck, Sin Sorority.

As to how I ranked them, the matrix came in handy.  Saves time staring at the ceiling looking for answers to come down.  However, for the category called animation, I substituted it with yuri.  It basically addresses whether the main subject is yuri or not, because some shows only deal with yuri as an aside, not as a main focus of the show.  The titles with yuri as a major theme are in red font. And, I will use yuri to refer to both yuri and shoujo-ai, because it’s easier to write.  😉

15  ICE

Avoid at all costs.  This is just a waste of time.

14  Blue Drop ~Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku~

This was promising but the end product doesn’t stand out that much.  The writers were probably hindered by a lack of imagination and the show ended up boring.

13  Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

The only things that I remember from this show are Mamiko Noto, hotcake, and that catchy OP.  I liked the OP song so much I added it to my play list used during commuting to my office by train during my stay in Tokyo.  But I didn’t like the show that much because it was confusing to me.  Yeah, anyone care to explain what this really was all about then?

12  Mai-Otome

I hate this show because it’s an obvious ploy to get fanboys to part with their money, but if they wanted it, it’s their money right?  Anyway, just another take on Mai Hime that I just wish didn’t happen.

11  Brother, Dear Brother (Oniisame e)

I’m confused, was there really yuri or were the girls just really weird?  But this show was, well, intense.  Be warned though that this is one of the longer series in this selection–so have a little patience.  A good watch if you like dorama in your anime.  And it also had an unforgettable OP.  Migi no te ni kin no utsuwa…

10  Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena

Ah, the movie version.  Like how I liked most parts of Macross DYRL over SDF Macross, Adolescence of Utena is the happier ending version over the TV series.  This should be watched after one has finished the TV series.

09  Kannazuki no Miko

The first yuri and mecha mix I have seen.  The mecha part is awful, but the yuri is not.  (Mercifully, the anime did not include YFR.  What is that you ask?  Lolikit knows.)

08  Revolutionary Girl Utena

My heart broke in the latter part of the show when Utena fell for the charms of Ukio.  One of the shows that strikes me as weird  (aside from Oniisam e), this show is a classic that you must not miss.  May you be revolutionized.

07  Candy Boy

Kana-chan and Yuki-chan are just soo cute!!  This is more slice-of-life, as we’re really just taking a peek at snippets of  the life of twin sisters.  If the title wasn’t tagged as yuri, I could have just mistaken this as two very close sisters—until I get to the last episode.

06  Mai-HiME

This is not really a yuri anime, but it gave us probably the most famous couple evar.  Yup folks, I am talking about Natsuki and Shizuru.   Or, in Baka-raptor’s literary musings, the Shiznat in the Rye.

Natsuki


Shizuru

05  Sasameki Koto

I like this show because the main character, Sumika Murasame, makes you want to cheer for her.  Her struggles with her undeclared love for her best friend is really fun to watch.  There’s really not much drama here, but it’s a lightweight show that’s a good watch for yuri fans out there.

04  Strawberry Panic [Best in Entertainment]

The first yuri series that I saw.  Because I had just recently watched Fullmetal Panic! back then, I was hoping there’ll be a mecha or something exciting somewhere and oh how wrong I was.  Ok, I wasn’t really expecting mecha.  But as I said in my review, I was curious at the yuri genre—I was back then trying to expand my horizons beyond the mecha and shounen fare that I usually watched.  Story-wise it’s a waste of time, but if you look at it from the lulz point of view, this show was fun!  Selectively lowering your standards helps, and boy it really helps with this one.  The other reason I’m really fond of this show is because it led me to Marimite, and the rest, as they say, is history.  To quote myself two years ago:

Though I wonder, years from now, if we’re ever gonna realize it was a complete waste of time LOL.

Looks like I wasted my time twice.  And oh, watch Marimite first before watching StoPani.  😉

03  Aoi Hana [Best in Story, Yuri]

Came out as the top series I watched for 2009.  To summarize, a beautiful story of friendship and love.   But what sets this series apart is how the characters rise from loss in the battlefield of love by finding love again, or moving on.  Just as how it’s done in real life.

02  Maria-sama ga Miteru [Best Characters, Runner-up in Best Music]

The yuri here is limited only to one main character in the first season in only a few episodes.  But you will miss out on a good show if you don’t watch this.  Sei-sama sugoi!

01  Simoun [Best in Music]

Where shall I start?  I am at a loss for words.  Well, it has lovable characters, good story, beautiful animation, and, most of all, a great soundtrack!  But Simoun did not endear itself to me at first.  I thought that it was just a mindless, fan-service laden series.  However, positive reviews from a few enlightened bloggers drew my interest, and so I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did.   Basically, these priestesses, not yet even considered as adults, were fighting a war they thought they would not lose.  As the war nears its conclusion, the priestesses fight for their country–and their ideals.  In the end, what path will they choose?  It’s been said that this show is an acquired taste–one has to try and decide what it means.  Though I hope that it will be a positive experience, as mine was.

I checked out other shows but they just didn’t click with me.  The honorable mentions are:

El Cazador -de la Bruja-

I checked this out but got bored by the time that shota turned up.

Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl ~

The fact that they were little kids was one turn-off, and the alien part was the nail in the coffin.  And, boy-turned-female doesn’t really work for me.  Sorry, I’d rather watch StoPani again than sit through this one.

Kyoshiro to towa no sora

Animenfo, the one where I based the list of yuri titles, didn’t have this one!!  OMG I’m better than a database lol.  Anyway, it was a variation of the Kannazuki no Miko theme.  However, the time came when I looked forward more to Lolikit’s posts about it rather than the show itself.  Lolikit’s posts made more sense, so I thought, ah I’ll never really like this show.

Maria Holic

I can’t believe this show is supposed to be comedy.  I didn’t find it funny.

———————

And that concludes my the first ever post for Lists 2010. Till next, ja!

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15 responses »

  1. I’ve seen all of your top 9 and missed only 6 shows you mentioned in this post. I should really watch more straight anime.

    Maria Holic sucked. El Cazador was boring. Kyoshiro didn’t make any sense. Haven’t seen Kashimashi, but a boy turned into a girl cannot be a lesbian.

    Simoun is pretty much the greatest yuri show ever. ShizNat is pretty much the greatest yuri ever.

    • El Cazador, unfortunately, wasn’t intended to be a yuri. The lesbian tendencies were hinted towards at best. If anything it would be like a light, low-fat, low-carb, entry level yuri with full cheat codes and a guide book. Maria Holic, I thought, was pretty funny but after about half the first season it got old and kinda repetitive. The fact that no action ever actually occurred…action as in someone falling in love with someone else and them actually hooking up…was a huge turn off. But for the first 7 or 8 episodes it was definitely funny. The first episode set it up perfectly as a yuri that is not necessarily a yuri. More of some kind of weird harem anime. I did however really like the theme song…seemed very original and not your typical “we hired some japanese pop stars to contract one of their songs that has nothing to do with the series”-kind of song.

      I REAAAALLLY liked strawberry panic…one of the few yuris that I’ve watched (so far) with a more serious tone towards love. It had a light hearted up beat temp, but some heavy undertones. Like Etoile’s past and her deceased Etoile partner…the constant bickering between the 3 schools, the secret love (which later was not so secret) between the first year and the star of spica….(anime fangirl scream) THEY EVEN MADE LOOVE! or so it hinted 😉

      I tried to watch candy boy…got to the last episode and just fast forwarded to the end to see what happened. I was severely let down…all that build up and “oh sister…oh sister…lets walk home together” and then poof…nothing cool. No candy handouts, no spicy scene where they makeout, no cuddling :/. It was great………until the end.

      Shojou sect….i dont even want to waste words on this uber-typical, borederline – no not even borderline- it IS a hentai. Hands down. If this were a hentai site i’d say its a mediocre one at best, on a good sunday, when im in a good mood, and just had a bag of queso flavored ruffles(my fav). I hated it. Awful.

      Kaleido star…i know, you didnt see that coming MWAHAHAHA! It was a yuri on the down low. If you havent seen it i definitely recommend it. it was sooooooooooooooo cute. but secretly….for those that have seen it we all know rosetta was in love with sora! I MEAN COME ON SHE GAVE HER A SMALL KISS – ON! STAGE!- and sora’s obsession with layla….GAH ITS ALMOST TOO MUCH TO BEAR! /capslock=off. but seriously. not exactly a yuri…but still fun with some lesbian undertones…

      aaaaaand thats all i gots :/

      • I’m watching Kaleido Star now! Finally got back to it after languishing in the backlog pile. It’s your fault! 😛

    • of course a boy who turned into a girl can be a lesbian. there is a big difference between gender identity and sexuality. If this “boy” identify himself as a girl, and say that is a girl then yes she/”he” can be a lesbian!

  2. I’ve seen pretty much all of these except for the Utena movie, Onii-sama Ee, and Aoi Hana. I’m honored that you remember stuff from when I was super active. KannaMiko is a personal fave in that list, and I’m surprised that you ranked Strawberry Panic so high (because it sucked balls). Then again, I watched SP after Marimite and Kannamiko, both of which it borrows heavily (steals?) from.

    *shrug*

    • >>I’m surprised that you ranked Strawberry Panic so high

      StoPani ranks high because of the lulz factor. Also, the level of yuri was factored into the rankings. But yeah the fact is it sucks in the originality department.

      >>I’m honored that you remember stuff from when I was super active. KannaMiko is a personal fave in that list

      Whenever I think of KannaMiko images of awful mechs, flutes and the name lolikit come to mind. How would I ever forget? 😄

  3. I think that i need to get a life. i have seen everything on this list but like 3 of them. This is a good list but i dont understand why strawberry panic placed so high it has to be one of the worse yuri i have ever seen. it should have been only 12 ep long but they had to drag it out. But other than that great list!

  4. Hi dear !!! Thanks alot for the list and reviews but there are alot of yuri anime werent mentioned such as noir , murder princess , devilman lady , claymore and more but for the last two series i mentioned they have very strong element of violence in them but they are the best 😉

  5. >>Noir
    Hmm, Noir didn’t feel like it had a strong element of yuri to me. Or maybe I totally forgot about Chloe. I was just awed by the Kirika-Mireille combo.

    >>Murder Princess, Devilman Lady
    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen these shows.

    >>Claymore
    I haven’t considered Claymore to be yuri.

  6. Heyo!

    I’m working my way through every movie, ova, omake, and series that has yuri, and that I can get my hands on =P And I’ve seen all but 2 of the shows on this list, and a few others. Marmite was FANTASTIC. Ugh. Wonderful. I’ve seen every episode, every short, every OVA. The OVA season was actually the best season in my opinion.
    >Personally, I loved Strawberry panic because of the relationships between the characters and some of the emotional elements, which we don’t often see in the normaly ‘cutesy’ yuri that are out there. So I appreciated that. The rivalry between the schools was fun too 🙂 Lots of fangirly couples in there. But the storyline wasn’t original. It’s a yuri banquent though for actual onscreen kisses and eluded to sex ^.^ So It’s a favorite just because we don’t have enough truly original yuri’s with such obvious “I love you woman, get in my bed” xD

    >Other shows that aren’t on here are:
    -Queen’s Blade:
    It’s an almost hentai (XD) but while it’s an aquired taste, it’s worth a look. Queen’s Blade Revolution (series…4? I think?) is the best story wise. OVERTHETOP fanservice, my lord. But once you get into the characters and the story, it can be fun ^.^ I just wish that they had taken the storyline from QB Revolution and develop it into a serious, more toned down anime, with well developed characters. I would LOVE to read or see that, personally. But I tend to like a wider variety of things b/c I look at what it could be, and rewrite things in my head =P But that’s just me.

    -Devilman Lady:
    It truly is a definite must see. It’s a bit formulaic, I must admit. But when Jun and Kazumi have their few moments together later on the series, it’s wonderful. Sadly, it’s also a tragic series. People pair the model/Devilman Jun with her younger friend and fellow model Kazumi, but they also pair Jun with the conniving, ultimately bad blonde, blue eyed Asuka together, esp based on their chemistry early on, and then somewhat throughout the series.

    -RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne:
    RIN is a dark, gory, yet fascinating 6 episode Yuri series, and one of my favorites, surprisingly. Lesbian sex; straight sex; Imortal detectives who have lived for hundreds of years; a fascinating new take on “Angels” (quite disturbing, actually =P), and more. It spans DECADES, and has scenes set in ancient japan, and in the mid 21st centry, and the trials that the main character RIN has to go through, and the people she loses, and the people she tries desperately to save, love, and keep by her side helped me get through some of the gratuitously gory scenes. Some bits remind me of resident evil, with the tight black suit, the mutant zombie like creations of this twisted scientist (who’s seductively evil in the worst/best/worst way =P). But Overall, this is a must see for yuri fans who can take some major bisexuality, gore, and angst. But I recommend it. Do not see with anyone young xD

    Kanememo is a cutesy, fun romp. All fluff. all women =P And the one yuri couple in the show is fun 🙂 people ship some of the other characters together as well, and I can definitely understand why. But if you want something light, with younger characters and the stereotypical perverted lesbian in the mix (not part of the sweet couple), then this is a fun one.

    There are others I have yet to watch, but are on my list and are said to have some strong subtext at the very least, if not near or blanket canon yuri relationships:

    -Mawaru Penguindrum (A newer anime that is said to be the next Revolutionary Girl, and reinvents yuri anime as much as RGU did, and far more openess about lesbian characters. I’m excited to watch it!!!! :D)

    -Last Exile (This is said to have a hinted at, but not canon relationship that many see as just a close friendship, but I’m looking forward to trying it)

    -K-on! (another all girl group of friends and their ‘adventures’ through 2 years of Highschool. Only one girl has actual ‘thoughts’ about another girl, but there are very happy fangirls about at least one pairing on the show :))

    -Re: Cutie Honey (An older anime about a spy, I think. it’s a short series of OVAs)

    -Rose of Versailles (This is said to be ALMOST on equal footing with Revolutionary girl, with a similar art style, and some of the same people worked on both of them. It’s about a woman who dresses up as a man and duels her way through the ranks of top swordsmen in France, gaining much adoration from the women ^.^)

    -Sailor Moon (I hear there are a couple main couples later on, but I have a hard time with an 8th grader who can defeat bad buys b/c her crying is so peircing…..ahem. I’ll try more, and I hope the season Sailor Moon S is as good as I hear)

    -Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (This one is new, and is said to take typical magic girl stories and reinvent them in a new and engaging way, with more character development. It’s also been said to be the new Yuri for people who are burnt out with some of the sadder choices in the yuri-verse. It’s been HIGHLY recommended by some of the oldest yuri blogs)

    -Yuri Yuri (It’s supposed to be a not so great romp, but has some definite yuri in it (hence the title =P though other shows have had far more yuri that this show.) It has a large fan base though, so I may try it at some point. It’s not at the top of my list though =P

    -Digimon Trainers is supposed to have one of the most famous babydykes, Ruki. So I’m gonna check this out 🙂 I think it’s on hulu right now.
    Others with little to no actual yuri, but lots of shippiness and large yuri-shipping fanbases are ‘Fate/zero’, ‘Sound of the Sky’, ‘Koi Hime Musou’ (there’s a bit of real yuri here),

    Aaaand, there are others, but I don’t what they are at the moment =P

    **As for Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, I’m glad I saw the explanation of the general background and plot that you get from combining knowledge of the original Game, as well as having seen the anime at least once, before I watched the show. Otherwise it would definitely have been uber confusing, though still oddly enjoyable (but with the background info, I loved it ^.^)
    I’ll be quoting from the Miyuki-fansub group’s description (I’m sure it’s still on a thread out there somewhere).
    This was originally an H game released by ROOT at the end of 2002. This anime series might be surprising even to those who played the game since it does not exactly follow the game’s storyline.
    The story goes:
    Long ago, only a single being by the name of Adam existed in the universe. Adam wanted to create things to fill the universe with, hence Ririsu was born. With her, Adam created many worlds safe for people to live in. And for that purpose, Eve was born. With Eve, Adam created humans who spread across the worlds. But soon, other beings of great power [Gods] appeared and started to wage battle against each other. Fearing the universe would be destroyed forever, Adam created the Great Library, where each book was a record of a seperate world. And in order to protect the Great library, Yami was born…”
    But in the show, ‘Yami’ became the name of the keeper of the library. After Eve created the people with Adam, she was the Keeper of the Library. But over time she wanted to explore, and gave up her duties in the library to her older sister Ririsu. Then Eve set it so that she would be reborn in a new world when she turned 16 in her previous world, and chose to be mute during that time (though that is not explained. She CAN speak, even in those worlds, but she chooses not to speak).
    Ririsu is pissed she got stuck at ‘home’, and searches for Eve for hundreds of years. I think they mentioned it had been at least 10 millenia by the time Eve gets the hat back and become the “Yami’, keeper of the library, again.
    during that time, Ririsu meets Garganchua, and eventually locks him away in his little world. She looks for eve a bit more, then gives up. Hundreds of years later, Hazuki chases after Hatsumi (eve), and Ririsu get involved in the chase once more. And you know the rest 🙂

    I ended up really enjoying the show, and loved the bit where Hazuki and Hatsumi kiss. I rewatched that part a few times *grin*

    Aaaand, holy crap this is a long ‘reply’. um. I might was well have written my own blog post =P
    Sorry this is so long. Buuuut, Since I spent a lot of time on it (time flies =_= My break took longer than I…um…expected. ahem), I’ll just submit it 😄

    Thank you for your list, as it gave me a few more shows to try 🙂 I’ll enjoy watching them, even if they’re terrible 😉

    -Katerina

    • Wow, your reply is longer than a lot of my blog posts hehehe.

      >>Queen’s Blade

      I hate lots of fanservice, so I did not watch this one.

      >>Devilman Lady

      After reading the wikipedia I don’t think I can handle the horror and gore hahaha…

      >>RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne

      As I’ve said earlier horror and gore don’t go well with me.

      >>Kanamemo

      I think I remember reading the description for this and it wasn’t interesting enough for me.

      >>Mawaru Penguindrum

      Finished. Though I don’t remember much about any yuri.

      >>Last Exile

      Not sure where the yuri was. Was it the pilots? Hmm.

      >>K-on!

      Finished. Watched it out of curiosity, not for the rumored yuri.

      >>Cutie Honey

      Not sure where I’d start with this. Not really interested though.

      >>Rose of Versailles

      Started on this but gives me high blood pressure. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish hahaha.

      >>Sailor Moon

      I also don’t know where to start. And too many episodes to catch up on. I may never watch this.

      >>Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

      Finished. I did suspect something. Though maybe I just imagined things. 😛

      >>Yuri Yuri

      I was not impressed.

      https://cuteproxy.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/looking-backward-and-forward-spring-and-summer-anime-2011/

      >>Digimon Trainers

      The word Digimon just scared me off. Hahaha.

  7. El cazador was supposed to be implied yuri if you had finished you would realize that Elis didn’t feel emotion and in the last episode she sort of confessed to Nadia that and I quote
    ” I love the twinkle in her eye, love”

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