Just like every year, we’ll of course pick our favorites of what 2018 had in store for us. And just to make it a little more interactive for your guys as well, we’ll let you decide for your winners in these categories in next weeks post, so please look forward to that~
Now, without further ado, here’s our picks for 2018~
Did you guys expect me to pick Citrus? Actually, I thought so too, but then Bloom Into You just hit so hard that I just have to go with that one instead. I’m still all for cute Yuzu going crazy over stoic, emotionless Mei, but oh man, how can you resist the charms of Touko and her cute ways of showing her love?!
Yeah, Yuu is all fine, but damn. It was definitely Touko—and not to forget Sayaka—who rather made the show for me. And while I might have rooted a little for these two instead of the more obvious couple, the blooming relationship between Touko and Yuu was a pleasure to witness as well. It just felt like a breath of fresh air, something that has never been done before quite like that, and I enjoyed the living hell out of it. So needless to say, I’ll probably re-watch this quite a few times and most likely enjoy it just like the first time. That’s how good this one is~
Honorable Mention: Citrus
It was a really great year for yuri anime, but it all came down to the big three, and for me, I have to give it to Asagao to Kase-san.. It threw out all of the unnecessary stuff and simply focused on Yamada and Kase, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a healthy dose of drama, and I like a slow-burning romance, but what I like even more than those things is a straightforward romance that’s as cute and sweet as you’ll find in any anime. The short six-minute OVA from last year got everyone hyped for this, and the movie managed to be everything I was hoping for. I’d say the only negative thing was the fact that it was only an hour long. Let’s just hope that the movie was successful enough to get another one made. Or two. Or three… 😛
Honorable Mention: Bloom Into You
This one kind of came out of nowhere. I watched a video compilation of the fall anime season and decided to give this a try, simply because I liked the ending song. And what can I say, this is an outstanding anime, in my opinion.
It felt like a mix between Bakemonogatari and Angel Beats! and manages to transform the rom-com genre—that over the years started to bore me more and more—into something fun and exciting to watch. Basically, all characters, no matter how annoying they might have seemed in the beginning, managed to one way or another get me to like them. Of course, Mai came out on top, but that’s for another award.
Honorable Mention: Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3
This was a tough choice! While this was a great year for yuri anime, I don’t think it was that great for everything else, and choosing between shows that are—at best—just “very good” was really difficult. There are several shows from 2017 that I’d take over the stuff from this year, and even highly-anticipated sequel seasons like Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 and Steins;Gate 0 ended up falling short of expectations.
I was really tempted to go with A Place Further Than The Universe, but I’ll surprise even myself and go with Hinamatsuri, which had great characters and comedy, as well as a fun and weird story that always seemed to throw something unexpected at you. To me, the single best thing about it was the comedy, which was more nuanced than a show like Asobi Asobase and arguably even funnier. Hopefully 2019 will bring us more shows that seemingly come out of nowhere and blow us away with their originality and charm as much as Hinamatsuri did for me.
Honorable Mention: A Place Further Than The Universe
Is it just me, or did we actually not see too many bigger manga releases this year? It felt like this time around, the pool of possible choices was rather small, but I guess not at all lacking of many, many good titles. One of which would be A Letter From The Marching Puppy.
I actually went through somewhat of a reading slump this year, only rarely finding time or interest in picking up a new work, or even an ongoing one. When I saw the cover for this one, however, I got interested and started reading, which pretty much ended with me being hooked after the first few pages alone. I even wrote a tweet about how this single chapter got me excited enough to finally start reading more:
Honorable Mention: Lily Love 2 ~Frosty Jewel~ by Ratana Satis
Whoops. Am still talking about how much I love A Love Letter From The Marching Puppy? Yeah. well, I guess I am, and for good reason! I mean, did you see Kagami Fujino?! Did you?!
She’s gorgeous, for one, straightforward from what we saw so far, but also a big mess. She’s still quite mysterious, as she goes back and forth between treating poor little Shinobu like a strict instructor and something far more similar to a caring partner. It’s strange to see, but quite intriguing. I want more!
Honorable Mention: Ice (Lily Love 2)
I know what I said about Touko and Sayaka, but, oh man, Yuzu is just like a national treasure. Yuzu is easily one of the cutest, most hilarious, and most charming yuri characters the world has seen up until this moment, and seeing (and, well, hearing) her in the anime adaptation just solidified this image I had of her.
I seriously just want to see her happy and lovey-dovey with Mei. That’s just all I wish for.
Yuzu, you are the best.
Honorable Mention: Touko (Bloom Into You)
There were a lot of good options to consider, but there was only one way to go for me. When you compare Yuzu to the main characters from Bloom Into You and Kase-san, it’s night and day, but she also has some depth to her that you have to admire. The conflict between her and Mei really brought the best out of Yuzu, and whether it was her rebellious side or the softer side that was trying to help Mei, she’s a character that’s hard not to like.
I read a portion of the manga, so I had a good idea of what to expect from Yuzu, yet I was still a little surprised that she turned out to be such a caring big sister. Given Mei’s personality, it’s a good thing that Yuzu was sweet instead of sour, and it helped her sweep this award, so way to go, gyaru girl!
Honorable Mention: Sayaka (Bloom Into You)
Was it the bunny girl costume that first captured my attention or was it her brilliant personality? Or maybe I just like beautiful characters with long, dark hair, seeing that last years pick was Jabami Yumeko.
I seriously can’t decide, but it’s probably just a mix of all of these. Now, adding a beautiful voice, and on top of that, her “pervert resistance”, as I like to call it, and she ended up not only looking good, but also just being interesting and fun to follow as a character. It’s not that surprising that I now want to see a character like her in a yuri scenario, is it?
Honorable Mention: Manager (Zombieland Saga)
Back during our summer Final Thoughts post, I mentioned how Hanako’s voice actress should get an award for her performance, and lo and behold, I’m the one who’s going to do the honors. But it’s not just for the voice actress, it’s for the character as a whole.
I could go on and on about why Hanako deserves this award, but no matter what I say, it could never compare to this video, which just shows you why. 😛
Honorable Mention: Chaos (Comic Girls)
Did you think I would forget about the cutest of all the yuri anime couples that this year brought us?! Surely not!
What we got might have been a bit shorter than the rest, but it was nevertheless the most beautiful of all the yuri content we got this year, both a pleasure for the eyes, the ears, and the heart~
Kase and Yui were depicted perfectly, and the soft animation style delivered the feeling of the manga in a way that I simply didn’t expect, with a budget that was probably more on the lower end. I really couldn’t have been happier with how this one turned out, and I believe, or should I say, demand, that Kase and Yui get more screen time in the coming years.
Honorable Mention: Mei x Yuzu (Citrus)
That’s right, not only did I pick Kase-san as my Best Yuri Anime of 2019, I went with Kase and Yamada as my pick for Best Yuri Canon Pairing as well. As much as I liked Yuu x Touko, there was no denying these two, who were absolutely adorable together, and it was a pleasure watching them share the screen.
It was a nice change of pace to see absolutely no resistance between these two, and it helps that by the time the OVA started, they were already a couple, giving them a big advantage over the other pairings.
Pretty much the entirety of the movie was just them being cute together, and for all the drama we saw this year in yuri anime, it was nice just to be able to sit back and watch two people who are in love~
Honorable Mention: Yuu x Touko (Bloom Into You)
Actually, in this episode, there were quite a few kisses, all happening in the same spot, but with a good deal of variety. Kisses to charge a certain person’s energy, kisses as a reward for working hard, and kisses to experience something new.
Now what makes these kisses so nice is not only the great way they were presented to us, but the way it’s the first time that Yuu actually shows that she doesn’t only like what is being done to her, but that she actually wants more and pretty much goes after that need by kissing Touko back.
It also feels as if this scene—and especially their last kiss—just goes on forever, as if the two just shared their first a little more intense make-out session. I guess I can call it that.
Honorable Mention: Yuzu x Mei (Citrus)
For me, this was it. It was at this moment that the years of hype surrounding a potential Citrus anime adaptation were no longer needed, because it was finally right here in front of us. We all knew this moment was coming, but it still surprised me with how perfectly it was handled. The uncomfortable silence, Yuzu’s struggle to free herself from Mei’s lips, Mei’s cold declaration that that’s what kisses are like, and the aftermath of it all further reminded me why I prefer anime over manga, because it seemed much more impactful to me in motion than it did on paper.
That kiss changed everything for the two of them, and who knows, had it not have happened, maybe Yuzu’s lie about getting a boyfriend after her transfer would’ve actually come true… 😛
Honorable Mention: Yuu x Touko (Bloom Into You)
Yeah, I’m still playing Overwatch, and yeah, I still pretty much suck at it. 😛
Nevertheless, I guess I just can’t help but ship every other female character in the game, and since Brigitte joined this year, I finally got someone else I could pair D.Va up with. And what a great pair they make!
God, I really just love the gay fandom of this game. In-game toxicity aside, what players of this game create is simply amazing, so, for the third year in a row, I’m featuring some yuri pairing from this game.
Honorable Mention: Touko x Sayaka (Bloom Into You) It’s not really fitting, but oh well. I would have loved to see them happen…
No, it’s very fitting! While Yuu and Touko were pussyfooting around, Sayaka was always the one who was by Touko’s side, and even though it’s not in the exact way I’d prefer, Touko and Sayaka seem to need each other. Sayaka’s fear of Touko finding someone else and moving on without her is heartbreaking, and even though she handles it about as well as you could, you still have to feel bad for her, and I wished Touko would have opened her eyes and realized what she had all along.
So far, this seems more like me going on about Sayaka more than anything, but these two seem like such a perfect match that even their super close friendship doesn’t seem like enough. Even if it’s only in my head, I’ll continue to see these two as something a little more than friends and wonder what could’ve been…
Honorable Mention: L’s choice~
Honorable Mention: Hardy’s choice~
Honorable Mention: Nostalgic Rainfall by CHiCO with HoneyWorks (Koi wa Ameagari no You ni)
Some interesting choices here and fun seeing the reason for the picks.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I guess it’s no surprise that the big three, as you call them, were featured in so many categories.
You can’t deny each of them were powerhouses in their own way. Citrus for being so energetic and over the top, Bloom for taking a more psychological approach, and Kase-san for it’s sheer cuteness and fluffiness! 😀
But why no Blooming Sequence? 😦
Will give Bunny Girl a look see too!
LikeLiked by 2 people
I actually really enjoyed reading Blooming Sequence, but at some point, it just got less and less interesting.
At some point I even hoped the main pair would split up and we’d see a second chance for a certain ex to shine 😛
(I forgot all of their names, bear with me :D)
LikeLiked by 1 person
I totally disagree with you.
On the contrary,the story has evolved in an original way,the Yuri needs it.
And about the ex,it’s one of the worsts b.tch I’ve ever seen in a Yuri.She is annoying and unpleasant.
And in addition,she doesn’t show any respect for the only person who accommodated and who loves her (the blonde girl;the manager).
Yeah I think I couldn’t write a review about this one yet. I think I stopped reading at the point where we see how their relationship played out back then.
Pretty much agree with you here although you may get your wish (Touko x Sayaka). That pairing makes much more sense. Both have a very long successful working relationship, and some fundamental understanding of each other. All of that leads to factors for a successful permanent relationship, and we learn that Sayaka does indeed love Touko. Is Touko’s crush on Yuu just playtime or does she really love Yuu? Poor Yuu could end up very badly hurt in this triangle, but in any case, its obvious that one of the three, or maybe all three, are going to end up hurt in some way. Triangles always do. We will see where Miss Nakatani takes this one.
LikeLiked by 1 person
While the manga leads us to think it’s gonna end with Touko and Yuu, I think that Nakatani will probably go with something totally different. Probably not an opposite direction, but I have a feeling it’s rather going to be something sad and surprising instead of an happy end with either couple.
I actually do hope for Sayaka and Touko to be a thing… they work so well together.
Mhmm! Interesting list!
Bloom, Kase-san and Citrus are really unsurprising to see all throughout this list. They’re some of the biggest yuri works and have had suitable adaptions (though I would have liked Citrus’ to go on a bit longer).
Bloom is the one stealing the show for my personal lists, in-and-out of yuri awards – and I’ve already been rewatching it. Sayaka’s cafe scene just fills me with happy tears, and it’s probably the most important Coming Out scene I’ve seen, proving that support is everything. For that reason, she’s stealing the Best Character title from Yuzu even. Best pairing is probably going to the official pairing too – that, or Kase and Yamada who were just too cute.
I couldn’t get into any of your non-yuri shows this year, sadly. Well, I dropped Rain; I didn’t bother with Bunny Senpai (it’s been compared to a myriad of shows and none of which I like) and Hinamatsuri didn’t do enough for me. My personal non-yuri anime of the year is the oddball choice of MoDaoZushi – a Chinese anime, featuring Boys Love (though, that stuff was offloaded to later seasons, and China’s new laws are likely to be mean it won’t go beyond subtext now), but mostly succeeds on the back of its epic, and tragic, fantasy story.
I really need to read that Marching Puppy manga. I’ve already loaded it onto my tablet but I’m just… slow at reading manga! Still trying to wade through many other titles too, though this one is one I’ve got my eyes on for sure.
One final note… I’m not sure if either of you have been watching the currently airing Akanesasu Shoujo, and it’s final episode is dropping in 2~ hours from when I post this, but I’ll just give a hint: it was this show that prompted me to suggest Best Yuri Confession, because that 11th episode is giving the title a solid run 😉 The 2d art is really, really dodgy and it makes it hard to watch at times, but I’ve endured through because it’s charming, and I’m *so glad* that it’s risen far beyond yuri subtext to massive, cheesy, romantic confessions.
LikeLiked by 3 people
Actually, I’m not watching Akanesasu Shoujo, but now I think I should be! 😀
Now let’s see about this final episode. I might start watching this in the totally wrong order but gotta check its value first 😀
Thanks for the notice, can’t miss out!
LikeLiked by 2 people
You are one of the few people who point out the Cafe Scene in Bloom (CH12-#9-21) where Sayaka confesses if not to Touko then to Miyako of the Echo cafe. With this very heartfelt reveal, Sayaka moves from background to foreground big time, and we see the tragic triangle, She also moves to Best Girl as Miyako says because of the purity of her feels, and the steadfastness of her intent. She will not confess to Touko as Miyako suggests and run the risk of losing the “friend” relationship she now has with Touko. As Lena K. says, ” I wished Touko would have opened her eyes and realized what she had all along.”
From this point on, in Bloom we now have a Triangle romance, and those don’t usually end well. But that makes for a good story. Very interested to see what Ms Nakatani Nio will pull out of the hat!
LikeLiked by 1 person
For me personally, developing Sayaka is what moved Bloom Into You into my favourites. It was very heartfelt and showed great understanding of LGBT-Japanese issues, and furthermore showed us that happiness exists beyond romance, lesbianism exists beyond weird and somewhat unhealthy relationships and exists even when single. And, more than anything, it was really heartwarming to see a secondary character become a main character like you said.
I already loved Maki’s development but he never became a major player like Sayaka. For the story to resolve, I feel Sayaka needs to get some sort of catharsis and a happy ending, and I’m all for Sayaka moving on – even if it’s gonna be sad at first, I trust Nakatani-sensei to do her character justice!
LikeLiked by 2 people
I think Lena K. leans toward (Touko x Sayaka) ending, and that pairing makes sense to me. Touko and Sayaka are a balanced couple, similar to each other so there is a sense of equality in their relationship. Opposites attract but sameness stays together long term, the great inequality of love. My concern is that Yuu could be badly hurt and scared in this triangle. Does Touko really love Yuu or is she just crushing on a plaything? Touko could open up Yuu very deeply “The bloom into Yuu thing”, and then leave her hanging. EP12 was just amazing.
The bedroom scene was as beautiful as that in “Romero and Juliet”, and Yuu’s lips very subtle in their quivering which shows that love is beginning to stir in her.
Triangles are difficult to resolve without someone getting hurt, and sometimes all three take a hit in the heart. We will see where she takes us.
I don’t know how I missed this post.
I have so much to say but don’t know how to say it all lol.
As always, I am surprised by your choices, but at the same time it’s fitting. I just never see it the way you do… go figure ;p
Also, Touko and Sayaka for life… after reading all your positive things to say I guess I have no choice but to continue with the anime… aw.. Sayaka =(
However. Best canon couple… Mei x Yuzu… fur immer! =P
LikeLiked by 1 person
oh and one more thing… I think you made a mistake with Brigitte there…it should be D.va and Tracer 😉
Well that puts me at odds with you guys since I am on team Yuu 😦 Not that I have anything against Sayaka, I just can’t help but root for Yuu.
But with the events of chapter 37 now out, we might just find out pretty soon (hopefully) what Touko’s answer to all of this is 😛
Oh don’t worry shade, I think I’m actually rooting for both 😀
Though, no spoilers, I’m not caught up with the manga, but I think I’ll do that now…. 😀
@Tsun: No D.va x Tracer….