Yuri Manga and Anime Fanlisting

Last year I did a round-up of free legal anime streaming services where you could watch Yuri anime. Recently I was name-checked on Twitter when someone discovered an older legit channel for the first time. And, since this happens regularly and old services close down and new services pop up, it seemed apropos to go […]

Today’s review begins with my very heartfelt gratitude to Okazu Superhero Ivan L. Upon reading in an earlier review that my computer had crashed and taken my Blu-ray player with it, Ivan generously donated one to Okazu. And so, because of Ivan’s kindness, I am able to report on Sailor Moon S, Part 1, Disk 3 on BD. […]

When I say that I could not have written this list without you, my dear readers, I am not being hyperbolic in the slightest. If it hadn’t been for your guest posts and suggestions on Twitter, this list would have been three series – and two of them would have been Sailor Moon. ^_^ So, […]

Well, here we are at Yamibou, Disk 3. The disk begins with an ark that immediately has the potntial for being extremely good or extremely horrible, but manages to thread between them for something that doesn’t need to be in this series at all, but isn’t terrible, about a colonization ship that would have just failed […]

Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito anime was originally released in 2003. Based on an ero-game visual novel, in 2004 when I reviewed it, I said, Hazuki was one the “most openly lesbian character in all of 2003.” It’s quite extraordinary how much changes in 13 years. There are series I loved when they debuted, […]

The current season of Sailor Moon Crystal isn’t my only show of the season- but it’s a refreshing drink of water to an extent that most shows can’t touch. There is more than one reason for that: it’s a vast improvement over Crystal‘s first two cours, it’s Sailor Moon in the first place, and it’s Sailor Moon with Haruka and Michiru.
I was ridiculously excited about Sailor Moon Crystal before it premiered, even willing to forgive those first two cours’ obvious direction and production shortcomings… despite what they signaled about how much whoever helmed them clearly did not really give a shit about Sailor Moon. But certain changes to the story from the manga it was adapting, ohoho. I gave up on it.
Then I heard cour two was an improvement, and indeed it was. It better conveyed at least some of what I originally enjoyed about Sailor Moon, and its art suffered from less inconsistency. But this season. This season is the real deal. The characters/my babies are allowed to be expressive and goofy and gel as a group of girls who hang out more naturally than they did in those first two cours. They can do funny faces and be campy. And, like, the ones who aren’t Usagi can do effective attacks. Usagi loves Mamoru and vice versa, but this new season’s shiny new director (also notably one of the few successful female anime directors) Chiaki Kon clearly knows that fans are watching for the girls.

Like every other SM fan watching this, I am also happy about this season’s new, more animation/emotion-friendly character designs, and its transformations not being in 3D. 3D transformations are not a deal-breaker for me and I know Toei likes using some 3D in their Precure franchise, but I’m not a fan of the plastic-y doll look.

Comparisons to previous Crystal aside, this is Sailor Moon. Like so many nerds in my age range, especially nerdy women, Sailor Moon is a very formative series for me. It is my gateway anime, and I’ve bonded with a lot of people over it. Haruka and Michiru were my earliest yuri couple. Though I was not self-aware enough to come out because of them, and the cousin/censoring bullshit they got in English told me “Yo, society doesn’t even like heroic queers”, they did provide me with a positive early example of a lesbian couple. I am so glad Crystal at least got its shit together by the time it got to these two. It’s really a joy to see Usagi, everyone in this reboot, finally getting a director who gets it, though.

As for the story itself- the first two episodes, which I’m reviewing here, cover the first chapter of the manga. I assume that is why the full transformations/attacks for every Inner Senshi were all used once each episode. It’s faithful to the 90’s anime approach and I do like the new transformations and attacks, but it’s something that I can do without seeing in full every episode. I assume they were meant to pad the content out a little so these episodes could cover one chapter.  There are nine more chapters for this arc going forward, but I’m not sure how they’ll be spread out. Episode 3 looks like it will cover the next full chapter.
Transformation and attack reuse aside, though, I have no complaints about the pacing so far. The story is moving briskly, effectively setting up plot threads like “here is the new enemy and what they want”, “some weird stuff is happening with Hotaru”, “Chibi-Usa’s is befriending Hotaru” (which really is Chibi-Usa’s best storyline- she’s better with a foil and a significant good friend, and it helps her demonstrate her growth since her introduction to the franchise), “weird stuff is happening with Mugen Academy”, and “omg the two ~mysterious~ Mugen Academy students who are awesome at swimming and violin-playing and race car-driving and apparently travel by helicopter are being ~mysterious~.” Not to beat the “Crystal has improved” horse to death, but the first two seasons didn’t suffer from not being plotty enough. This season’s strength is that it’s leaning more strongly on the appeal of its cast while, so far, not making any story tweaks that mess with what folks have historically loved about Sailor Moon.

My girlfriend and I watched my Blu-Ray copy of Takarazuka’s Phantom this past week and started the Rose of Versailles anime (a rewatch for me- I am so damn excited to see what she thinks as it becomes increasingly good), and it drove home the obvious Takarazuka influence on HaruMichi, particularly Haruka. There isn’t much actual in-story romance for them yet, though they are obviously a couple and their classmates know it. The show’s current ending theme plays them up, too.

I am loving this season of Crystal, but should note that it is clearly aimed at folks who are already familiar with Sailor Moon. Unlike the 90’s anime, Crystal makes no attempt to hide who the mysterious new Mugen Academy couple are. And I am okay with that. This season is pandering to me as a Sailor Moon fan and as a HaruMichi fan, and I am eating it with a spoon and licking the spoon. Then getting another serving.

Take a deep breath. Via YNN Correspondent and the First Lady of Yuricon, and from Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Twitter account, the trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal‘s 3rd season is here! 本日は「美少女戦士セーラームーン」第3期デス・バスターズ編新キャラクター海王みちるのお誕生日です!こちらのツイート1000RT達成で“海王みちるオリジナルバースデー画像”をプレゼント!#海王みちる生誕祭#セーラームーン3期 pic.twitter.com/9s2Rc0adb8 — セーラームーン20th公式 (@sailormoon_20th) March 6, 2016 Breathe. Then notice how well Haruka and Michiru have been drawn – especially when compared with […]

Of everything I do here on Okazu, this list is always the hardest. Even when there is so much amazing stuff I can barely contain myself, it’s hard. On years where there was very little of note, it’s almost impossible. I’ve commented over the years that Yuri anime is cyclical. We get a lot….then we […]

“The tears, they will not stop.” We hear this sentence at the end of of every preview, but do we listen? The tears, all the tears which have not been shed by Rei, by Kaoru, by Fukiko, and by Nanako are going to come gushing out in the most horrible lancing of a wound possible. […]

It’s so fascinating, isn’t it, when something that was life-crushing 40 years ago is pretty normal now. There is a movie, Stella Dallas. It is about a poor mother who has a child out of wedlock. She raises the child while working, but when a rich sophisticate falls in love with her daughter, the mother […]