Yuri Awards: Best of the Decade

yuri awards best of the decade


*** SPOILER WARNING ***


Because it’s the end of the decade, we thought we had to have it go out in style by creating a star-studded award ceremony celebrating yuri’s best and brightest. If I wasn’t allergic to manga and visual novels (:P), this post would be even bigger, but as it is, there are over 30 awards up for grabs, so take a seat as we do our best Oprah impersonation and just hand out the honors.

Oh, and because it’s a super special occasion, there are also a few non-yuri awards handed out, but enough talking! Let’s get started~



HARDY’S CUTEST CHARACTER

karen kiniro mosaic

I think this was a pretty easy choice. There are a lot of cute characters, but there’s only one Karen Kujou. Nao Touyama is one of my favorite voice actors, and while a lot of people associate her with Kongou from KanColle, for me, she’ll forever be best known as Karen from Kiniro Mosaic. I haven’t done a good job of explaining why I chose her over other candidates, but just watch this and you’ll understand why~

Honorable Mention: Kanna (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)


HARDY’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

one punch man 2nd season

Season one of One Punch Man was every action anime fan’s wet dream come true. It rightly became an instant phenomenon, but I should’ve known that season two would let me down. I disregarded the change in studios and chalked up all the negative buzz prior to its premiere as nothing more than unfounded rumor… and then I started watching it. I’m gonna be bitter about this one for a while, and I don’t know how an entire franchise can go from hero to zero so quickly, but Saitama & Co. somehow managed to do it.

Honorable Mention: Steins;Gate 0


HARDY’S BIGGEST YURI DISAPPOINTMENT

amanchu advance

The first season of Amanchu! was so easygoing and yuri-friendly that it made me think that Amanchu! Advance would be more of the same, and then Kokoro and that entire “Peter” arc ruined everything. I wouldn’t blame people if they eventually dropped the show, because the reality of Amanchu! Advance turned out to be nowhere near as exciting as the expectation, and I’m not sure I’d even want another season at this point.

Honorable Mention: The Great Yuri Anime Drought of 2019


HARDY’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

asobi asobase anime

It’s easy to see why I was surprised by this anime by just watching the OP. That’s the type of anime I thought I had signed up for, and then the show starts… and it’s nothing like that. As it turns out, that’s a very good thing, because this was just ridiculously stupid (in a good way), and even though the rest of the season couldn’t quite live up to the surprise from the first episode, I thought it was super entertaining, and I kind of loved it.

Honorable Mention: Kaguya-sama: Love is War


HARDY’S MOST PLEASANT YURI SURPRISE

kuzu no honkai hana sanae

As much as I wanted to say Flip Flappers, I just had to go with Kuzu no Honkai. What was going on here was super easy to understand, and if you can somehow overlook all of the other het pairings, there’s this really great story involving Hana and Sanae. This anime is all about unrequited love, and even though their relationship was difficult to watch at times, this hard-hitting and intimate relationship kept me eagerly anticipating the next episode. People will write this anime off just because of the het, but it was a really good drama that I’d recommend to those seeking a good character-driven story.

Honorable Mention: Flip Flappers


HARDY’S BEST ANIME OP/ED

Honorable Mention: Hikaru nara (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso OP)


HARDY’S BEST YURI-ISH ANIME OP/ED

Honorable Mention: Soushou Innocence (Akuma no Riddle OP)


HARDY’S MOST EASYGOING ANIME

yuru camp

This was one of the easiest winners to choose. Yuru Camp△ was the little anime that could, and seemingly everyone that watched it, loved it. It’s hard for me to pinpoint why this anime was so pleasant to watch, but I’m guessing the lack of any drama and an activity as wholesome as camping had a lot to do with it. Season two will be coming our way at some point—and Heya Camp△ is already at our doorstep—so it looks like our future is looking awfully peaceful right about now.

Honorable Mention: Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?


HARDY’S WORST ANIME

mahou shoujo naria girls

I had enough bad judgment to watch Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls, and it was so terrible that it doesn’t even deserve any more explanation from me. It was bad. So bad.

Honorable Mention: Pupa


HARDY’S BEST CHARACTER STEREOTYPE

kiniro mosaic aya

Who doesn’t love tsunderes? They try so hard to hide their true feelings, but it seems the only one who doesn’t notice is the object of their affection. Honestly, I probably should have picked something else, but one brave girl is responsible for this win, and her name is Ayaya. KinMoza was great, and Aya played a major part in that. Tsunderes are cute, but she’s undoubtedly the cutest, and I’ll never get tired of watching her stutter and blush while calling Youko a baka.

Honorable Mention: Magical Girls


HARDY’S BEST YURI-ISH MUSIC ANIME

shoujo kageki revue starlight

Yeah, I’m not giving it to Love Live!. LL! really brought the genre to the masses, but ever since then, it felt to me like music anime had been in endless cycle of meh… until Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight. It was much more ambitious than the likes of The iDOLM@STER or BanG Dream, but I think it delivered (at least) a similar level of music and more than enough yuri pairings to go around. It’s not the most popular music anime in town, but I think Revue Starlight is the one that’s most deserving of the award, and I can’t wait for the new movie.

Honorable Mention: Love Live! School Idol Project


HARDY’S SADDEST ANIME

anohana menma

Every. Single. Time. Throughout the year, I always find myself going back and rewatching the final third of the last episode of AnoHana, and each and every time, that pesky onion ninja shows up to torture me. Menma was like the sweetest character ever, and as much as I would have loved to have seen her grow up beside her friends, her loss brought everyone together (including those friends) and made this anime really special.

Honorable Mention: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso


HARDY’S MOST WTF “ANIME”

It’s listed on MAL, so that’s why I included it, but other than that, just watch it to know why I chose it…

Honorable Mention: Cat Shit One


HARDY’S MOST WTF YURI ANIME

kuttsukiboshi

In addition to being a really bad anime, Kuttsukiboshi had the distinct honor of being an anime that made no sense whatsoever. Really. There’s rape, there’s sex involving siblings (as a dying wish no less), and, of course, there’s interplanetary travel. It’s the holy trinity of WTF-ness! Japan gets a bad rap for some things, but sometimes (like this one) it deserves the criticism. 😛

Honorable Mention: Yuri Kuma Arashi


HARDY’S BEST CAST

yuru yuri cast

How many times do I have to teach you this lesson? So far, we’ve had 5 different Yuru Yuri reviews, and in each of them, I’ve probably mentioned how much I love these girls. I can’t help it! Together, they’re just so entertaining, and despite sequel after sequel, I just can’t get enough of them. I really hope they never go away, because like a fine wine, they get better with age (even though they actually don’t age at all :D).

Honorable Mention: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun


HARDY’S BEST ANTAGONIST

kyuubey mahou shoujo madoka magica

Do I even have to explain why this was my choice? If you’ve seen Madoka Magica, you’ll know why this little alien cat rabbit-looking thing is so universally hated. Gen Urobuchi and Shaft did a masterful job of keeping Kyuubey’s true intentions secret, so all the suffering it caused was eventually turned into never-ending loathing that’s sure to flare up again during Magia Record.

Honorable Mention: Suishou (Granbelm)


HARDY’S MOST DISLIKED CHARACTER

kuzu no honkai akane

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s Donald Trump. But if there are two things I hate, it’s Donald Trump and manipulative characters. Akane from Kuzu no Honkai is the definition of a manipulative character, and for that, I absolutely despised her. She didn’t care about anyone but herself (and she probably didn’t even care much about herself), and she was so willing to hurt others that I hated to watch her. To make matters worse, she ends up marrying a good guy in Narumi… 😡

Honorable Mention: Fujiwara (Netsuzou TRap)


HARDY’S MOST DISLIKED YURI CHARACTER

netsuzou trap hotaru

Even though I think Sakura Trick would’ve been a much better anime if Haruka were dating Mitsuki instead of Yuu, Hotaru couldn’t be denied this award. As horrible a person as Fujiwara was, Hotaru wasn’t that much better, mostly thanks to her repeatedly forcing herself on Yuma. If Hotaru had been a guy, he’d be universally hated for that, but that’s unfortunately not the case, so the least I can do to show my disapproval is award her this infamous award. 😛

Honorable Mention: Yuu (Sakura Trick)


HARDY’S BEST MAGICAL GIRL ANIME

mahou shoujo madoka magica

Another no-brainer. This series has arguably been one of anime’s best over the last decade, and over the course of the TV anime, two recap movies, and movie sequel, the Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica franchise has blown every other magical girl anime out of the water. It’s really in a league of its own, and instead of competing with other magical girl anime, any future installments will be competing with the franchise’s own legacy. Magia Record is next up, and if history is any indication, expect it to be really good.

Honorable Mention: Flip Flappers


HARDY’S GUILTY PLEASURE

shimoneta ayame

Given the insane amount of lewd jokes in Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai, I knew exactly what I was getting into with this show, but I didn’t know I’d enjoy it so much. Lots of anime have dirty jokes, but the characters and comedy in this one were always so over-the-top that I couldn’t help but love them. If you enjoy juvenile humor, Shimoneta is pretty much must-see TV, and I have a feeling that you’re going to love these characters. BTW, the main character kind of reminds me of L… 😀

Honorable Mention: Prison School


HARDY’S YURI GUILTY PLEASURE

akuma no riddle anime

Akuma no Riddle is an anime that I occasionally forget about, but when I remember it, I remember how ridiculous it all was. This was as cheesy as can be, but all the attempted murder, sadistic girls, and odd yuri pairings kept me watching intently. Since then, there have been yuri-ish anime that have tried to steal AnR‘s cheese crown, but to me, all have failed. And how can I forget the Ojou-nator?!

Honorable Mention: Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid


HARDY’S BEST YURI FANSERVICE

sakura trick anime

Normally, people associate fanservice with T&A, but don’t tell that to Sakura Trick, which instead gave us all the yuri kisses we could ever hope for. Seriously, there are 40 Sakura Trick kisses in our List of Yuri Anime Kisses post, and you’re going to have a hard time finding an anime that’s as gay as this one. This anime didn’t care as much about story as it did about giving yuri fans what they want to see, and for that bold decision, this award is very well-deserved.

Honorable Mention: Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid


HARDY’S MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED YURI-ISH ANIME

akuma no riddle anime

Houseki no Kuni (TV) is currently sporting a MAL score of 8.44, which is good enough to rank as the 129th highest score on the site, but this should be a series that’s much more popular than what it is. It’s gorgeous, sounds great, a super interesting story, awesome characters, yuri pairings, and more. No pun intended, this remains a hidden gem that many more people need to discover, so if you haven’t seen it already, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Honorable Mention: Granbelm


HARDY’S BEST YURI SHORT

kase-san

Before the OVA came out, this Kase-san short gave us a taste of what was to come, and it was absolutely glorious. There was no dialogue at all, so this was basically just a glorified music video, yet it’s everything you could ask for in a yuri short (not to mention the song is really good). It’s less than seven minutes, so just watch it again for the hundredth time~

Honorable Mention: Neon Genesis Impacts


HARDY’S BEST YURI SHORT-FORM ANIME

manaria friends anime

After a couple of years went by with no update, I’m sure a lot of people assumed that Manaria Friends was scrapped, but then it emerged from the ashes in spectacular fashion. In terms of yuri, I think it exceeded everyone’s expectations, and even though it only features yuri subtext, it’s a ton of subtext that almost makes this feel like an actual yuri anime.

Honorable Mention: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san


HARDY’S BEST NON-YURI ANIME CHARACTER

watamote tomoko mokocchi

WataMote was an entertaining anime, but it was Tomoko who stole my heart. Her crippling social anxiety made WataMote a hard anime to watch at times, but throughout it all, she remained adorable and lovable. You have to feel bad for her, yet at the same time, she always finds ways to make her unfortunate situations worse, and you can’t help but laugh. To some degree, I think a lot of people can relate to her issues, which makes her a lot easier to love and root for.

Honorable Mention: Okabe (Steins;Gate)


HARDY’S BEST YURI ANIME CHARACTER

yuru yuri toshinou kyouko

Say it with me… TOSHINO KYOUKO! Kyouko had a lot of opportunities to show why she should be named my best yuri anime character, and time after time, she made the most of those opportunities. To me, she’s simply the most entertaining character in anime, and that includes non-yuri anime as well. In addition to being hilarious and adorable, she’s also incredibly gay, but it’s just a shame that Ayano is too much of a tsundere to get closer to Kyouko. Someday…

Honorable Mention: Sayaka (Bloom Into You)


HARDY’S BEST YURI-ISH MOVIE

when marnie was there

This is an anime that I probably would’ve completely overlooked, had it not been for YR readers like you. From the legendary Studio Ghibli came this movie that was absolutely dripping with yuri subtext, and then the plot twist happens, and you’re left asking yourself if this should still count as a yuri-ish anime. Either way, this was a really touching anime movie that I enjoyed a great deal.

Honorable Mention: Liz to Aoi Tori


HARDY’S BEST UNOFFICIAL YURI PAIRING

pharmercy pharah mercy overwatch

Across various accounts, I’ve probably clocked in over 2,050 hours of Overwatch so far, with no end in sight (besides Overwatch 2). Part of the appeal is how great the characters are, and the first pairing you need to mention is Pharmercy. In the game, their synergy together is perfect, so it’s no surprise that fans brought that magic of theirs to artwork, fanfics, cosplay, you name it. They’re not canon, but don’t tell that to the legions of fans that swear by them.

Honorable Mention: Kyouko x Ayano (Yuru Yuri)


HARDY’S BEST YURI CANON PAIRING

asagao to kase-san anime

This was a pretty easy choice for me. Sometimes, you just want something cute and fluffy to pass the time, and when it comes to yuri, there aren’t many things as cute and fluffy as Asagao to Kase-san.. This wasn’t about drama or anything like that, so what we ended up with was them just being adorable together, and that’s all you really need. And some kisses. Those are really nice as well. 😛

Honorable Mention:  Yuzu x Mei (Citrus)


HARDY’S BEST NON-YURI ANIME

kill la kill ryuko satsuki

I feel like I’m splitting hairs here, because while I wouldn’t exactly call Kill la Kill the best non-yuri anime of the last decade, it is my favorite non-yuri anime of the last decade, and I just want to list this one.

I have so many great memories of this show. The action and animation were way over-the-top just like other Imaishi anime, the characters were very charismatic and memorable, the music was one of the my favorite anime soundtracks of all-time, the voice-acting was spot-on and every bit as entertaining as every other aspect of this anime, and there is a little bit of yuri subtext to be found here. This was appointment viewing every single week, and I still find myself going back and rewatching scenes and episodes every now and then. I just love it so much~

Honorable Mention: Steins;Gate


HARDY’S BEST YURI ANIME

bloom into you anime

There have been some really good yuri anime in the last ten years, but I gotta go with Bloom Into You. There simply aren’t a lot of yuri anime that are as thoughtful and sensible as this one. If you’re looking for a pure yuri anime that has it all, I think Bloom Into You should be at the very top of your list. Great romance, believable characters, relatable situations, drama (minus the melodrama), cute moments, and solid production values were just some of the things this anime had going for it. So in my eyes, this anime stands tall as the best yuri anime of the past decade and probably beyond.

Honorable Mention: Asagao to Kase-san.


Feel free to tell us your picks as well~


19 thoughts on “Yuri Awards: Best of the Decade

  1. Best Magical Girl Anime for me by far is Madoka , and it might even be my favourite anime.

    Most WTF Yuri Anime im telling this just to laugh , probably wasteful days of high school girl , tanaka 1.5 joke had me dying , etc etc

    Worst anime would be citrus by a lot , overrated , tried watching it couldn’t get far .
    On another note , i hope this page doesn’t list a lot stuff with rape or sick trash like that .

    Like

    • I could tell by how ruthless you were about Granbelm… 😀

      I doubt it. In anime at least, there isn’t that much sick yuri stuff, and in the rare occasions it does happen, people usually just seem to ignore it and focus on the good stuff instead. 😛

      Like

      • Haha , yeah sometimes im like that , but i do hope that yuri anime with nice story and animation start appearing more

        The new site navigation on phone while it is on vertical orientation is better , im not a designer so i have no idea how this stuff works , does this site have a youtube or something? Might help getting more ppl

        Like

        • Nah. Nothing like that.

          And because the search bar on mobile is way at the bottom of the page, I was a little worried about site navigation on phones, but it’s encouraging to hear you say it’s better on phones now. Almost everything I do on here is on desktop, so I have no clue. 😀

          Like

          • Oh i just saw the search bar , i almost never used it since i check the news and went to year 2018-17-16 yuri anime lists the first time i checked this site , but well since it is the first change of the year it will be having some tweaks i guess
            Btw on phone the home images , the ones that change every time the page loads dont appear properly displayed it seems (it is getting loaded a little lower?) , just letting you know

            Like

  2. Hummm, “When Marnie was There(2014)” is not yuri or yuri-ish. Marnie is an intense psychological drama of the first order. Anna loses her entire family and because no one wants her, she is sent to an orphanage with only her doll given to her by the Grandmother who shortly passes. Anna is eventually adopted and is loved by her new parents Yoriko and husband, but Anna cannot respond. She is sent to the Oiwa’s at Lake Mochirippu on the East Coast of Hokkaido to heal. The Marsh House and Marnie are the agents of that healing and without spoilers, you find out who or what Marnie is at the end. There is no romance whatsoever except for the Romance of haunting distant memories and the pain of changing in the now in order to heal. Magnificent movie but not yuri!
    Excellent list and I agree with most of it. Happy New Year to you and to all!!!

    Like

    • There’s plenty of subtext… as long as you don’t watch the ending or as long as you can ignore that that’s her grandma. 😀

      But there are people that don’t mind sister-sister relationships, so maybe there are others who are into granddaughter-grandma relationships? 😀

      And Happy New Year to you as well~

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because of your firm opinion on this, I went back and rewatched “When Marnie Was There(2014-Blu-ray)”. I see your point and raise you.
        The relationship between Anna and Marnie is an intensely emotional and mutually loving one. They confess their love for each other, and even comment that they are becoming each other which does happen in a very Romantic pair-bond, ANNA: “Funny, it’s like we traded places.” MARNIE: “How true.” (01:12:45)
        Marnie lends itself easily to analysis due to it’s deep psychological drama which is the story’s driving force, so das macht nichts, does it really matter a whole hill of beans how a work of art is categorized? I mean MAL calls “Bloom into You” Shoujo Ai!
        One ending subject is that the Marnie we see on screen in the blue dress is not the Grandmother because Marnie in her blue dress attends the Grandmother’s funeral (01:20:00) with 2 year old Anna who then lives the next 3 years in an orphanage until Yoriko and husband adopt her at age 5. Wonderful, wonderful movie no matter how it is categorized.
        Looking forward to reading more great columns in 2020!

        Like

        • You said it. Good is good, and that’s what matters most~

          *tries not to say anything self-deprecating* Good thing there are plenty of great columns on WordPress. 😛

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Sakura Trick, Valkyrie Drive Mermaid, Bloom into You and Kase-san were the top yuri anime of the decade for me!

    For fun guilty pleasure it would be Kuzu no Honkai, Strike Witches stuff and whatever yuri content we got from Queen’s Blade franchise.

    I will have to agree with you on Kuttsukiboshi being the most WTF yuri thing we got this decade. It is just so out there and not what I expected, especially the unsavory het incest but despite that I still enjoyed it. Especially the end where they end up on an alien planet. Can’t get more wtf than that! 😛 The follow up hentai manga were even better than the anime though!

    For my top yuri couple, it will have to be Haruka and Yuu from Sakura Trick. Yuri couples dont get much better than that aside from Chimeko of course! Got to love the hudreds of kisses they gave us too! 😀

    Like

  4. Madoka easily tops my list on basically everything. Favorite anime of the decade easily, with Rebellion being my favorite movie in general. There was so much that came out, but nothing has kept me invested over a period of years like Madoka.

    I like the inclusion of Kuttsukiboshi. That was definitely a weird one. Personally it defies rating and I’m still unable to say if I liked it or not.

    There really was a lot of stuff throughout the decade and it’s quite hard to narrow down what was great, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can’t go wrong with Madoka Magica. That’s one that’s universally respected, regardless of what people’s favorite genre is or even whether they’re a yuri fan or not.

      I may not have liked Kuttsikiboshi, but it’s one of those anime that you can’t forget, no matter how bad you might want to… 😀

      Yeah. There were a lot of anime that easily could’ve/should’ve been on the list, but at least it’s nice that there were so many good options~

      Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! It is hard to “…quite narrow down what was great”. But I agree with The Rock and your opinion on “Madoka Magica” which does the deed of basically topping the list. Easily one of the great works of art visually, and story wise. And Madoka is in the running with some really great other works. When one is dealing with one’s own personal lists, hard to rank a work of art as “this is better than that”. A great work of art touches so many different feels, its like saying which feel is better than another feel!

      Like

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