Another year has passed and it yet again went by so fast again…
Luckily, we were yet again blessed with some quite nice yuri, be it in anime, in manga, and especially in visual novels. So following old YuriReviews tradition, here are our yuri awards for 2017, enjoy!~
This was by far my favorite show of the entire year. Who would have thought that an anime from KyoAni would EVER feature more than only queerbaiting? Not only that, the anime features several couples, with a main cast that is pretty much completely gay and open about that, too!
Tooru, for example, never made a big secret out of her love for Kobayashi and rather screamed it out for the whole world to know whenever she felt like it. And even if this might sound like the yuri was only depicted in a comedic way, the heartfelt moments of the show proved that it was in fact not only that, but true love instead, seeing that they would both go to great lengths to be with each other.
In short, I was seriously surprised by this show, in all the right ways~
I know. Kuzu no Honkai isn’t a yuri anime, but the yuri in it was so damn good that I had no other choice but to pick it for this award! When most other anime seemed to cast its yuri in a comedic light, Kuzu no Honkai did the opposite and cast a harsh light that surprised pretty much everyone.
Hana & Sanae’s relationship was like a rollercoaster that had gone out of control, and there were times when the tone of the show became so weighty that it was actually really difficult to watch. Despite all of the drama, this was very well-done, and watching the incredible highs and devastating lows of their romance play out is something that I won’t forget anytime soon.
All the het and other unsightly aspects of this show mean that it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you prefer a more mature and intense look at a lesbian relationship in anime, you can’t really do much better than Kuzu no Honkai, in this or any other year~
Honorable Mention: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
I remember starting to watch this anime simply because I was bored, and the cover art looked nice. Looking back at it now, that was a freaking great decision.
Not only does this anime feature one gorgeous female lead, namely Yumeko, it also comes with top-notch entertainment, just the right kind of crazy plot to keep me wanting more, and, of course, some subtle yuri moments. Awesome!
I guess you could say it was a little too crazy at times, but then again, this was pretty much one of the aspects that just kept the show as interesting as it was. I seriously want a second season!
Honorable Mention: Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul (First Half)
As much as I wanted to give this award to Shingeki no Kyojin, Made in Abyss was just too deserving to leave out. This show just seemed to come out of nowhere and commenced to blow me away. Between the beautiful visuals, the incredibly charming characters (❤ Nanachi ❤), the awesome soundtrack, the intriguing story, and the expansive world that just screams adventure, it didn’t take this show very long to become one of my favorite anime of all-time~
To make matters even better, it’s been announced that Made in Abyss is getting another season. I don’t think I can get any more hyped for this, so until the second season starts airing, I’m just gonna go ahead and rewatch this first season for the 814th time. 😛
Honorable Mention: Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2
I admittedly didn’t read that much this year. Especially in the second half of the year, you could say I didn’t even touch one new manga. Was it for a lack of new, interesting-looking ones? Partly, but more rather for the fact that time is short lately. So for this one, I have to stick with the ones that I started reading earlier in 2017, and there are quite a few good ones. What definitely got me the most interested was tNmR’s My Unrequited Love.
It’s heartfelt, it’s filled with good drama—some believable drama even—but what’s best about it is that it’s a new concept, or rather, it just feels new and fresh to me.
Uta is left with this constant feeling of not knowing how to deal with her feelings, which is especially hard since she not only lives with her person of interest, but it’s also her sister-in-law. It’s a seriously messed up situation for her, and I still don’t know how it will all get resolved, which makes it even more exciting!
Honorable Mention: A Secret Just Between You and Me by Nekomura
Guess what? I loooooooove cute characters with cat ears! And guess what Yuki is. That’s right, she’s got the rare catulus syndrome, where you get the cute cat ears and a tail, plus you might occasionally fully transform into a cat.
This kind of sickness is (unfortunately) not real, but you gotta admit, it sounds quite nice… well, for as long as you’re not the one affected by it, but rather your partner.
So, yeah, literally being half-cat, plus having this cute and kind of irresistible tsundere personality…. HNNNNNGH. I mean, come on. Your girlfriend can transform into a cat! Literally the only two things in life I need are a girlfriend and a cat, and you get it in one person! Okay. Well, guess I might be a little weird…. 😛
Honorable Mention: Nanami Touko (Bloom Into You)
Tooru is by far my favorite character of the whole year, yuri or not. She was not only fun to the extent of being hilarious, she was also caring, protective, and on top of that, the best maid you could ever wish for.
I guess I wouldn’t want tail meat sneakily mixed into my meals, and I’d also like my laundry being washed with normal water instead of her spit, but the rest seems absolutely perfect.
Just imagine being able to go on a little vacation while not having to worry about the horrible traffic that’s probably awaiting you? You just hop onto her back and fly to your desired destination dragon-style. Thinking about it now, maybe a half-dragon would make an even better girlfriend that a half-cat?! Damn, how conflicting!
I can’t say all that stuff about Kuzu no Honkai and choose anyone but her, can I? It’s kind of fitting that My Unrequited Love wins an award, since that’s something that Sanae is all too familiar with. To some degree, you could argue that every character in Kuzu no Honkai is scum, but it’s hard not to feel for Sanae and all she has to endure. She seems like a good-hearted person, yet she has to deal with a lot of emotional baggage that can feel all too relatable for people who have ever dealt with unrequited love themselves. Yeah, all of the other characters have to deal with similar circumstances, but I think her love just comes across as more genuine.
Then again, she takes advantage of an equally emotionally-damaged person in Hana, so she’s not totally blameless either. However, at least she realizes this fairly early on, even if her desire to be with Hana doesn’t prevent Sanae from continuing to hurt Hana (and herself).
I think it’s great that anime has yuri characters like this that are more complex than we’re used to seeing, but it’s just unfortunate that it didn’t happen in an actual pure yuri anime instead.
Honorable Mention: Riko (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
This voice, this beauty, and also these kind of intense facial expressions that she put on… She was simply a freaking great main character for a show like this and possibly pretty much for any show, to be honest. She just added the right kind of entertainment by just being this wickedly innocent, yet by all means definitely not so innocent, girl who just loves to gamble.
That kinda sexy madness that lurks behind this beautiful face and calm demeanor… I can’t hide that I really like it, just like probably pretty much all viewers of this show, I’m sure.
Okay, I think I should stop drooling and finally state the best part: It might be wishful thinking, since, you know, I’m a yuri enthusiast to say the least, but man do I ship her hard with Mary!
Honorable Mention: Ange (Princess Principal)
Oh man. Where do I even start? It isn’t until episode ten that Nanachi is introduced, but she instantly becomes an integral character to the story of Made in Abyss. Speaking of story, her backstory is incredibly tragic, and I think that’s one of the many reasons why so many viewers took a liking to her. Nobody wants to see anyone suffer, but her strong will and determination help her survive in the harsh environment of the Abyss, and I’m sure her relationship with her dear friend Mitty warmed the hearts of everyone who saw this anime.
Obviously, she’s extremely adorable, and her cynical personality adds so much to the show. As dark as this anime is at times, she provides a lot of the lighter moments that keep things from getting too dark, so choosing her as my favorite non-yuri anime character was one of the easiest choices for me to make, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
Honorable Mention: L’s choice~
I didn’t even watch the anime, but I love this ending! DAOKO is the best~
Honorable Mention: Hardy’s choice~
Watching this OP again makes me want to watch the anime again, but then I remember how much I hated Akane and I changed my mind. 😛
Honorable Mention: Ugoku, Ugoku by Inori Minase & Yurika Kubo (Girls’ Last Tour)
Okay, first up, it feels like we didn’t really get that many canon pairings this year, which kind of sucks, so you could say that our choices were already pretty limited from the start.
However, as much as this anime might have sucked to some of you, what I think actually made this a million times better was definitely the relationship between Lucifer and Maria. There was something really gentle and special about the way the two of them interacted with each other, especially in the later episodes, and it was quite surprising to see, for obvious reasons. Lucifer, who is this seemingly ruthless evil force who takes Maria as her prisoner against her will, and Maria the… uh… boring and whiny goody two-shoes. Something about it just doesn’t fit. Lucifer just can’t be gentle and caring, and Maria just can’t actually break the chains of being a boring character by actually helping what seems to be pure evil.
This type of development just gets me in the right way, and it definitely hit even harder because I just wasn’t expecting anything like this from a show like… that.
Well, in the end, we didn’t really get what we were all hoping for, but I guess this just means I’ll have to come up with my own happy ending for the two of them—one that definitely doesn’t include that annoying Leviathan!
Honorable Mention: Yuma x Hotaru (NTR: Netsuzou TRap)
Wow, it’s a lovefest for Kuzu no Honkai, huh? I can’t help it! It’s pretty rare to find lesbian relationships in anime that are portrayed as anything more than a vehicle for some wacky comedy. There are also the more ecchi shows (like Valkyrie Drive) that seem to only exist to titillate, the ones that feature a more down-to-earth relationship that happens to be very sweet and innocent (like Candy Boy), and the ones that are more serious, but revolve around some crazy plot that we could seriously do without (like Kannazuki no Miko).
This one isn’t very comical at all, but there is a sex scenes, and there is a TON of interpersonal drama. Maybe too much, actually. Anyway, what I love the most is that it’s dealing with two people in a relationship that have a lot of problems. For the vast majority of people, life isn’t going to be rainbows and butterflies. Life is cruel, and this series embraces that and puts its characters’ problems front and center.
In a way, it kind of reminds me of Aoi Hana, thanks to it being a grounded look into the psyches of troubled teenagers. For not portraying Hana and Sanae’s relationship in a completely unrealistic and idyllic way, Kuzu no Honkai won me over, and I hope against hope that another anime will soon come along that depicts love in such an unforgiving way~
Honorable Mention: Kobayashi x Tooru (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
Some of you might be wondering if it’s even allowed to enter the same pairing I already picked last year, but guess what, I make the rules here, so yes, it is allowed! 😀
Well, the reason why I’d still go with Pharmercy is not only due to the fact that this couple is pretty much still standing pretty strong against all other official and unofficial yuri pairings that popped up this year. In fact, I’d say that Pharmercy might even be one of the biggest yuri pairings around right now. So yeah, they didn’t just appear this year, but for me, their influence over the yuri community has never been stronger.
Even Jeff Kaplan, Game Director of Overwatch and Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment, has recently revealed that one of his favorite pairings is in fact Pharmercy. So guess what I’m hoping for right now? That’s right, some more nice matching victory poses, or how about some suggestive voice lines? Hell yeah! Just thinking about the possibilities makes me giggle like a little girl~
Honorable Mention: Kanan x Mari (Love Live! Sunshine!!)
It’s questionable whether Nanachi is even a girl in the first place, but the popular opinion seems to believe it’s true, so I’m gonna go with this one. Their story is the definition of heartbreaking, and I’m not ashamed to say that the final episode had me crying like a little kid. Who would’ve thought that a show that looked so innocent and cute on the outside could be so cruel?
Still, that scene in the final episode may be my most memorable anime moment of the year (along with the reveal of the Armored Titan and Colossal Titan in SnK), and these two have one of the sweetest relationships that you could ever imagine. It feels a little weird including them on the list, but it’s honestly one of the most pure and innocent things ever.
Honorable Mention: Ymir x Krista (Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2)