- Bolded terms are defined in the Anime Terminology Entry.
- My Ultimate Anime List contains shows that are/will be reviewed.
- I've also written an in-depth Introduction to this Journal for more info.
This entry is full of yuri-good-ness. I'm in a payapaya mood.
Alas, still no time for reviews. :-( However, I have been looking at/through various anime and manga for later viewing. I think I have serious ADD when watching anime. I tend to skip around and watch multiple shows at once before finishing others. I'd still like to watch the second and third season of "Aria" at some point, but I'm always in more of a mood for a fast-paced comedy with a splash of yuri. Speaking of "Aria", if I did live on the planet Aqua, I'd definitely have a poster of Alicia on my wall. I don't really know what that has to do with anything, but yeah... Haha. Also, I don't know if it's just me, but I continue getting confused by their names. Why must they all themeatically start with "A"?! Akari, Alicia, Akino, Anna, Aika, Akira, Ayumi, Alice, ... Just to name a few. I'm not skilled enough in Japanese to hear the difference in some of those names, but I'll continue watching. "Aria" is very lovely after all. It's not really a yuri, but it has shoujo-ai aspects. Recently, I rewatched all of "Ichigo Mashimaro" (Strawberry Marshmallow), and I have to say that it was twice as funny this go around. Since I skip around so much, it's quite a compliment for me to actually watch an entire show twice. Love Nobue. Her slight Lolicon ways are amusing. Female Lolicons amuse me way more than they probably should... Haruka from "Kanamemo" = Hilarious too. I feel like I've seen more, but I can't recall at the moment.
I really should stay on top of updating my Ultimate Anime List. I think I have several shows that aren't even on there yet, that I've already watched all of the way through. I think I'm a few episodes away from finishing the 26 episodes of "Gokujou Seitokai" (Best Student Council). It's just too hilarious for words. I thought the tsundere puppet would get on my nerves, but he's grown on me. There's not really much yuri in it, but if I put on my yuri goggles, there's some definite chemestry between the two vice presidents, Nanaho and Kuon. I know I'm not the only one who sees it either. Although, I'd have to say that my favorite character is the kawaii little Rein who likes to say things in "threes". Anyway, it's definitely a welcome comedic anime. I wish I could find more like it and "Minami-ke", "Azumanga", etc. I'm actually considering giving "Lucky Star" one more shot since I've only seen it once (and really didn't care for it). It's such a huge hit with a large slice-of-life fanbase, maybe there's something in it that I'm missing. (As a side-note, I don't only watch shows that have yuri or shoujo-ai in them. I love watching any anime that's funny and hits my particular sense of humor.)
Lets see... I watched all of "Hyakko", and YES it was a success at being humorous as well. I wish it had more character development, but I'd say it's currently even with "Gokujou Seitokai". "The Ring" references were so wonderfully out of place. The character Nene Ando is what makes this show the most amusing to me. Flaming pink hair, crazy clothing choices, and a slight horndog. She openly proclaims that she is a bisexual, so it somehow gives her the right to flip up another girl's skirt or leap on them. Haha... I really do like the character pervs. I like female pervy characters because they amuse me. Perhaps I'm biased. Male characters who act that way towards female characters get on my nerves though... However if a male character acts comedically pervy towards another male character, then that amuses me too. I'm weird. I guess it really depends on how they are portrayed too.
A couple of other anime torrents that I've saved on my lappy, that I haven't had time to view yet are "Hitohira" and "Tantei Opera Milky Holmes". I've heard really good things about "Hitohira", so I'm looking forward to watching that. As for "Tantei", I watched the first couple of episodes, and I'm completely aloss at what to think of it so far. It's... just so Moe. And I didn't think it could get any more Moe than "K-On" or "Ichigo Mashimaro"... and yet it is. I really don't know if it's suppose to be a Magical Anime or a fan-servicey Magical Anime and Slice-of-Life Parody. I hope it's the latter because it doesn't seem like it has much of a plot. I do feel like there's this "Sailor Moon" Tuxedo Mask parody moment at the beginning of each episode, but I'm not sure if that was on purpose. I also have "Kannazuki no Miko" saved on there. I've been skeptical to watch all of it because of some of the negative things I've read about it. Plus I have a feeling it's going to make me weep. Just a feeling, but I'm going to suck it up and watch it all of the way through anyway. That's really all of the anime that I've been viewing as of lately. Well aside from downloading the Reo x Mai Diaries and "Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo Anata to Koibito Tsunagi" from Shin-gx's Subs. *ahem* But I probably shouldn't even discuss that since I'm always saying how much I hate fanservice and ecchi. Although, I have to say that despite the content of this yuri OVA being a tad (more than a tad...) explicit, the characters are really well done and likeable. Moving along quickly... I've researched a couple of different shows, but I haven't decided if I'm going to pursue watching them. I looked into "Ga Rei Zero", but I think it's going to be a little more dramatic than I like. Although, the sisterly chemistry between Yomi and Kagura looks really compelling. I suppose if I survive "Kannazuki", I might give it a shot. Another anime that seems interesting is "Taisho Yakyu Musume" (Baseball Girls). That show sounds really promising and possibly right up my alley if it's anything like "A League of Their Own" with Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. We shall see.
So I finally got around to reading some manga, which I haven't done in quite some time. I got to have something to do between classes! ;-) I have so much manga saved in zip files on my computer, that I've completely forgotten was there. I go on these downloading sprees at Lililicious and there's no stopping me. Of course, Lililicious will take down manga that's been licensed, but I really appreciate this site for offering zip file downloads. It's easier to navigate and offers yuri manga as far as the eye can see. Anyway, back to what I was saying, I finished reading Strawberry Shake Sweet, and it was adorable. Actually I might have skipped a few chapters towards the end in anticipation (Lol.. ADD strikes again), but I intend to go back and fully read all 17 at some point. In my defense, it was late, and my eyes were getting tired... but I wanted to see the ending. Julie-chan is so... gay for Ran-chan. Her instant and insane attraction was addictive to read. It was humorous and just barely crossed into yuri from shoujo-ai. Although, it would have been better if they had more smoochies, in my opinion, but it was light-hearted and cute. Also, saved on my lappy is First Love Sisters Volumes 2 and 3. However, Lililicious took down the first volume because it got licensed. I don't want to start reading the second volume before I get to the first. I looked on Amazon and a new copy of the manga is $50 while a used is around $30... wth? I'm sure I could find a more reasonable price for it in a book store somewhere... someday. For now, reading First Love Sisters is on hold.
I really would like get the Candy Boy manga. I'm slightly confused how many chapters it includes... and how much manga is actually involved with the series. I have four chapters of Candy Boy: Young Girls Fall in Love, which isn't about the two main sisters. It's still cute. If I recall, it mainly follows around Sakuya. And then I have a random file called "Candy Boy Manga Ch 10" saved. Chapter ten?! I really need to stop staying up at God awful hours and downloading things that I can't remember in the morning. I have no idea where the previous 9 chapters would be. Maybe I'll try to research it more on Google and figure out how many pages and mangas are involved with this series. There aren't any signs that it's been licensed yet, unfortunitely, so buying it is not an option. Next on the yuri manga list is Girl Friends by Morinaga Milk. Someone suggested it to me in the past. All I knew was that it was called Girl Friends by someone named Milk. Typing in "Girlfriends Milk" in Google will get you a slew of curious websites, I'll tell you what. However, I manged to find all five volumes on MakiMaki Scanlations. I've also heard really good things about that manga, so I'm looking forward to reading that when I get some time.
Now that I'm looking over my Manga zip files, it's also occurred to me that I have five volumes of Marimite from Lililicious that I haven't read either. Shame on me! And I call myself a yuri fan. Of course, I really don't consider "Marimite" yuri so much as shoujo-ai, but I'm splitting hairs. In any case, those files had to have been downloaded years ago. Hopefully, I'll get around to them and add them to my "Maria Sama Ga Miteru" anime review (when I get to reviewing that anime). I have recently re-read the first Strawberry Panic! manga volume though. I actually purchased that one and the second volume, which is a shock since I'm such a download junkie. I have to say... I like the anime much better. However, I'm thankful that these volumes were written. Without them, there would be no Shizuma... There's something about physically holding a manga that makes it more enjoyable to read as well. If I could, I'd buy so much manga and anime that I'd end up in the poor house. Lol. However, in my case, it seems the majority of manga that I like hasn't been licensed in America yet though. Maybe there's just not a big enough yuri fanbase. :-( It's definitely not as big as the yaoi one. I know that for several reasons. Otaku USA magazine also agrees. There's a defined yaoi manga section in the magazine and when people write in asking for a yuri section, the editor of the magazine says that there's just not enough yuri manga being produced to have a monthly designated section. How sad is that? What's an obsessive yurifan to do? Ah well.
Although this manga doesn't really have to do with what I'm talking about... I'd like to mention Voiceful by Nawoko, since I'm yuri chatting it up tonight. It's a manga that I've purchased in the past and just to throw my two cents in. It's fairly cute, if not slightly uneventful, as well. I really liked the way that the characters were drawn. It's simple yet stylish. I really don't remember there being much yuri in it. I think there was some slight shoujo-ai, but the manga is definitely listed under the yuri catagory for... probably the same reason "Marimite" is (a reason that I'm unfamiliar with). Lol. Honestly, I'm not even sure that Voiceful was "out" enough to be considered shoujo-ai. I had to put on my extreme yuri goggles, and I see yuri in non-yuri things. It's a curse... or a gift of mine, depending on how you want to look at it. ;-) Also, if I remember correctly at the end of the manga volume, it has a two different 9-10ish page previews of Kashimashi and (would you know it...) of First Love Sisters. What a tease. I'll find you Volume 1: First Love Sisters! One day! As for Kashimashi, I'm just not a big fan of gender bender based anime/manga. This is especially the case if yuri is involved. I don't even want to get started on the rant, "If it's really a boy involved with a girl, then how is it still yuri?!"
I might be here all night if I do. I'm actually amazed at how many gender-bender animes that I've ran across too... "Kashimashi", "Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru", "Kampfer". Those are just off the top of my head. Is it really that popular? I guess I shouldn't complain since I haven't actually seen those shows. I've just read reviews and the occasional anime synapsis of them. I have to say... I didn't mind "Princess Princess", which is technically a gender-bender anime. However, the show doesn't focus on the male characters being involved with female romances while cross dressing either. They actually had a job-related purpose to dress as girls, and it was hilarious. I just don't think I'd be amused by female characters randomly falling in love with/getting involved with male characters who are pretending to be female. One of the reasons why I haven't watched "Simoun" is because I read that all of the characters begin their lives as females and then later choose to be male if they wish. I think it just takes away from the yuri aspect of a show, but I'm also just weird and picky about certain things. I feel like the gender bending anime is saying, "Yuri is only okay if one of the characters is actually a male who turned into a female or is pretending to be female, etc." On the flip side, I definitely wouldn't want to watch a yaoi where a boy used to be a girl that got magically turned into a hot guy either. I was one of those people who was happier after all of the characters in "Ouran High School Host Club" discovered the main character's actual gender. Now I'm getting way off topic though. Lol.
It's hard to find a good pure yuri these days. :-( Well, maybe not hard, but there doesn't seem to be many. There are much more shoujo-ai's. In fact, there are also shoujo-ai's that claim to be yuri which is misleading if you're expecting actual relationships and not just blushes and giggles. There were a couple of shows that I watched a few months ago that I expected to contain more yuri due to the hype about them, "Aoi Hana" and "Sasameki Koto". That isn't to say that they weren't enjoyable though. There was enough of the romance aspect in these shows to be considered yuri. *cough* Unlike Marimite *cough* Haha, I attack "Marimite" way too much. Honestly, I believe "Marimite" is very important to the yuri community. Without it, I doubt we would have gotten shows like "Aoi Hana" and "Sasameki Koto". I keep getting "Aoi Hana" (Sweet Blue Flowers) and "Sasameki Koto" mixed up with each other when trying to recall them for some reason. Maybe it's because the main characters of the show look freakishly similiar. Just look: Sumika Murasama from "Sasameki Koto" and Fumi Manjōme from "Aoi Hana". I have a theory that they're actually the same person. ;-) Anyway, there is a HUGE hype about "Aoi Hana" in the yuri community, but I personally liked "Sasameki Koto" better. The pacing in "Aoi Hana" was a bit too slow for me. In any case, I love that the romance and emotional aspects in these shows are being enhanced while slightly lowering the fanservice. To me, it means that yuris are being more accepted and recognized by more people other than by an all-ecchi fanbase. Hopefully, this means that more shows will be produced that hold a balance between the barely shoujo-ai "Marimite" and the fanservicey overly yuri "Strawberry Panic".
Anyway, that's really all I had to say for the time being. Just a
quick extensive update. Wow... that was WAY more than I was going to say, but I tend to ramble. Anyway, I'm off!
Shizuma: "Who says I can't?"