Akuma No Riddle (2014)

AKA Riddle Story of Devil (that english)

The manga is currently on-going, however I do assume that the series has ended (at least this Arc). This review will only be covering the anime.

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The story takes place at Myōjō Academy, a boarding school for girls only. thirteen girls are transferred into the academy’s “10th Year Class Black” who are all actually assassins. Except for one.

They must all try and kill one girl, Haru Ichinose, who is completely oblivious to what is going on. They all want to kill her as they have been told if they do,  any wish requested will be granted to the killer. However, one of the legendary assassins, Tokaku Azuma is drawn to Haru and instead ends up protecting her.

Overall thoughts, it was a pretty good anime. unfortunately there seems to be lots of subtext though. Except for one scene..which really…was still sbutext. It is quite short as it’s typically 1 episode per assassination attempt, so, as you can guess there’s actually only 12 episodes. It’s an interesting concept, although, not very memorable to be honest (had to rewatch. Twice.)

I’d also like to point out that although it has a very dark premise, I don’t think it ended up being very dark at all. The ending actually left me unsure if there would be continuation, but with out spoiling anything, I will assume it won’t be…

Due to the lack of actual Yuri, I did have to dock major points for the overall.

Yuri Rating: 4/10

Overall: 6/10

YOU KNOW THE DRILL. SPOILERS BELOW

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Shattered Angels (2007)

Also known as “Kyōshirō to Towa no Sora” or “Kyoshiro and the Eternal Sky”

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From the makers of….you guessed it! Kannazuki no miko! Comes: Shattered Angels.

Kannazuki No Miko watchers can easily recognizes Chikane, or in this world, “Kaon”

And yes! Himeko is involved as well, or in this world, Himeko! However, this is under a different life. And they are not yet together.

It revolves around these fighters, called “Absolute Angels” who can summon mechas (usually things that look more like gundams) and can fight each other. Uniting all the angels together can create the ULTIMATE GUNDAM— I mean Angel.

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Shiratori Kuu

Shiratori Kuu, the main girl in this series, has NO IDEA that she is in fact an absolute angel, until one day her prince, Kyoshiro Ayanokoji, that she’s always dreamed of coming to save her, does so when in fact he just wants to collect these angels too.

Fight breaks out between Kyoshiro and his other siblings that also own Angels, and blah blah blah blah blah straight plot.

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The real reason you’re watching this series

Onto Himeko and Kaon. So, Kaon is actually owned and controlled by a woman named Mika, who is the ruler of a Witch Academy (more like priestesses) and has many slaves and servants. All female. She is also sister to Kyoshiro.

Mika, is actually in love with Kaon, but Kaon has no feelings for her. Whenever Kaon does something wrong, she will punish Kaon. Mika is a certified lesbian. She makes love to her various servants. (I wish I had this life) She is a cruel ruler. However Kaon, for mysterious reasons, is in love with a servant named Himeko. This makes Mika jealous, and Mika tries to punish both kaon and Himeko.

Overall, plot is not terrible but there are many plot holes and questionable actions. It’s also kind of boring….

There isn’t that much yuri, but it’s there. Unfortunately, Kaon and Himeko are not the main couple in this story =/ I do have to dock points since it’s not exactly pure shoujo-ai/yuri

Yuri rating: 6/10

Overall rating: 4/10

WARNING. WARNING WARNING. WARNING. SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

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Ga-Rei Zero (2008)

I was recommended this anime by a friend. Who had tricked me into thinking this was Yuri.

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I want this more to be of a “warning” post rather than a “review” post (although I guess I can do that too.)

This was recommended to me by a FRIEND who SAID IT WAS YURI. AND TRICKED ME INTO IT. COMPLETELY. 100%.

The story revolves around Kagura and Yomi. Two girls who aren’t biological sisters, but are as close as one. Both work for a supernatural hunting agency. Yomi trained Kagura when she was just a recruit. However, tragedy strikes when Yomi suddenly goes missing. At the exact same time, the Agency is struggling to battle a new, powerful supernatural entity that can summon other supernaturals, as well as a hidden power that greatly affects Yomi.

THIS IS NOT A YURI ANIME. DO NOT WATCH. DO. NOT. WATCH.

So if your “friend” ever recommends this anime to you, YOU PUNCH EM IN THE FACE AND TELL THEM TA GO TA HELL.

However because there is that super sleazy peppero/pocky kiss, I gave it 1 point. (infamous scene below =/)

The rest of this review will mostly contain raging at the non-yuri content as well as perhaps the overall plot.

But I digress, if you can get past the fact that it’s actually NOT YURI. The story isn’t half bad.

Yuri rating: 1/10

Overall rating: 4/10

WARNING. THERE ARE VERY IN DEPTH SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT AS WELL AS CAPS LOCK SCREEMING.

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Shin Sekai Yori (2012-2013)

Also known as “From the New World”

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Originally a novel, it has been adapted into an Anime AND manga. However, this review will be based on the anime.

The story revolves around 5 friends, 3 boys and two girls which takes place 1000 years from now, where humans now have the capability to possess psychic (more like telekinetic)  powers, after war broke out and humanity was close to being destroyed by PK users (telekinetic people). The story mainly revolves around Saki.

We start out with Saki being in the middle of what looks like an earthquake. It turns out though, it’s just the effects of her Psychic powers coming in! Her parents then burst in, proud and relieved that she can now graduate elementary school.

“What do you mean coming in? and what?…elementary school? How old is this girl?” Although humans are technically born with psychic powers, they don’t actually work until at a certain age. One is not allowed to graduate from elementary school until their powers come in.

We then go through these 5 childhood friends adventures, trials, life, (more like Saki’s life) and figuring out the mystery of what this “new world” is.

From left to right:

From left to right: Shun, Satoru, Saki, Mamoru, Maria

To be quite honest, this was one of the best anime’s I have ever seen. Ever.

Although slightly lacking in Yuri content (which is also not permanent =/), this was a really good Anime. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. Not just shoujo-ai/yuri readers.

The story line is dark, dramatic, mysterious, but compelling. It takes you into another society, yet the Anime itself is somehow a metaphor for our own society (or so I am told). This isn’t really one of those stories with gaping plot holes, or with an overly metaphoric and symbolic anime where the “deep” message goes over your head (unlike -cough SIMOUN cough-). It actually makes sense.

They don’t spell out everything for you, but the subtle hints and subtle things characters do or say, hints to an answer you feared they were hinting to. If you pay attention to everything (or even watch it over again) you can actually put the pieces together yourself, with out having the anime try and spell everything out for you.

But for those that couldn’t or were confused at some point, just like i did with Simoun, I do a bit of an analysis below.

It is compelling, dark, tragic, mysterious, yet incredible.

As for Yuri content, although it’s not actually a main element (nor is it a consistent one), the yaoi/yuri couples is more saying something about this new worlds’ society, rather than as a main romantic element.

So, despite the amazing story, this is a blog focused on shoujo/ai yuri.

The amount of Yuri/Yaoi is great, but unfortunately it doesn’t really last long. In general, relationships don’t really appear often (although hints of love is,) I do have to dock points for that.

Yuri Rating: 6/10

Overall Rating: 10/10

But, this is an anime I HIGHLY recommend, not just for yuri watchers, but for EVERYONE. It’s just THAT good.

MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

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Simoun (2006)

One of the more “well known” Yuri anime’s.

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The story takes place in another universe where a war is ongoing. The countries are fighting for the right to control these special type of machines, called “Simoun”. Simoun are considered to be sacred artifacts from the past, and is the country only source to “fly”. Nobody really knows how they work.

Since Simoun are considered to be sacred, they are called the “Chariots of God” and the people flying these, who must fly in pairs, are called “Sibyllae”, or the “priestess” of these chariots. Simoun, religiously, are used to offer prayers to the Tempus Spatium their god, but since it is the countries only way to fly, they are also used to be war machines. Their “prayers to the sky” called “Ri Maajon” are used for combat.

In this world, everyone is born a woman (HOORAH. That sounds like MY kind of world!) But because the world needs to reproduce, at the age of 17 these “girls” must go to a special, religious spring and choose to be either a male or female, permanently. If you do not know, the Tempus Spatium will choose for you. The only exception to this rule are the Sibyllae. In order to fly the Simoun, they must not have gone to the spring. So, in times of war, the Sibyllae are given permission to remain as they are.

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In terms of Yuri content, I’d give it a “meh”. I’m not particularly fond of the main pair, simply because it doesn’t seem like they’re “in love” at all. And honestly, I’m not sure if I really should consider this a Yuri anime since most of the pairings, either one or both usually wish to become a male (or have already changed to be male, but you don’t see it.)

The story on the other hand, is one I find quite interesting and complex. I don’t think 26 episodes give it enough justice.

Although this blog is technically a review blog, here is where I’ll try to make sense of all the symbolism, and whatever the heck everything meant.

For the Yuri rating, I’m quite conflicted as to what I SHOULD rate it because of the whole “gender bender” thing. But, since most of the pairings are before they head to the spring, I’ll give it points….but the gender bender shit pisses me off so I docked a couple =3=

For the overall rating, the beginning was honestly tiring, tedious, and boring to watch. It was really very character driven. It all is actually. The story line doesn’t really pick up until around Episode 13, where things become exciting. Soon you become invested in this series, and you CARE about these characters (unlike OTHER character driven animes -cough cough MARIASAMAGAMITERU cough cough-) So for the boring beginning I docked major points.

Yuri rating: 7/10

Overall rating: 7/10

ERRRRMMMMMM SO MANY SPOILERS BELOW. IF YOU FINISHED THE SERIES, READ MOAR

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Aoi Hana (2009)

This review will go over the Anime “Aoi Hana” or known in English as “Sweet Blue Flowers.”

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This anime is actually available to watch in English sub on Youtube. However this is only for episodes 1 & 2 =(. I’m sure you can find the other episodes floating around the internet.  It’s only 11 episodes anyways xD

It was originally a manga, but was adapted to an anime.

The main characters for this series  are two girls who have both started high school, but at two completely separate schools. (Both schools are all girls schools….HEHEHEHEHEHE). Akira Okudaira and Fumi Manjome (black haired with glasses) who were previously childhood friends, and have no been reunited. Together, we go through their trials and tribulations of an all girls high school.

For those who’ve watched a slew of Anime before, you’ll notice that the girl looks oddly familiar….which you’re right. She looks almost exactly like the girl from Sasemeki Koto.

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Left to Right: Akira (Acchan), Kyouko, Sugimoto, and Fumi

Now when you first watch, you’ll probably mistake Fumi, the black-haired soft spoken, tall, girl to have a crush on Chizu as she begs Chizu not to leave. Although it looks reciprocated, Just so  you know, Chizu is Fumi’s Older FIRST cousin…. We also find out in the first episode that Chizu is actually engaged to be married! O= WELP. THERE GOES FUMICHI. Fumi looks just as shocked as we do actually…if you looked shocked…which you probably don’t…. But she end sup getting hit on by a girl named “Sugimoto” who is the most popular girl in school (black haired, manly).

Akira on the other hand seems to be hit on by a smooth, pretty-looking, girl with short blonde hair. I find her relationship with her brother to be quite hilarious as it seems to be love/hate (mostly hate) relationship.

If you’re wondering where the Anime and Manga line up, the Anime is almost identical to the manga. The manga however, has little changes (as well as the Anime), but has more insight into the characters feelings and thoughts. So if you were wondering how Fumi or Akira felt about something, came to a conclusion, or reacted the way they did to something, check out the manga.

Volume 3 Chapter 17 “The Happy Prince Part II” marks the beginning of episode 11. However half of chapter 18 is excluded in the Anime (since it’s reached the end pretty much….) I DO RECOMMEND YOU READ THAT THOUGH. OK I’VE ALREADY SAID TOO MUCH. HERE’S MY RATING.

Overall Rating: 2/10

Yuri Rating: 8/10

I do not recommend watching the anime. Because it’s so close to the manga, go with the manga instead. It is much better, longer, and much more in depth.

Also, for the last Chapter 52, its supposed to be 42 pages. Make sure you find the full length one or it’ll get confusing, fast.

Anyways I have more ranty/spoiler things to say below.

THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. BLERGH

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Maria-Sama Ga Miteru (Season 1)

Also known as “Maria Watches Over Us” review. There are 4 seasons of this, I will only review the first.

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First off, I was very much tricked into watching this thinking it would have yuri. I mean, I did end up watching this right after I watched Strawberry Panic, so I guess my expectation of it was similar. However even to this day, I still cannot bring myself to complete this and I’ll tell you why.

It’s centres around a new student, Fukuzawa Yumi, to a catholic all girls school. This school has something called a “soeur system” which is basically older and younger sisters paired up. Cold, collected second year student, Sachiko Ogasawara takes an interest int he clumsy, self concious Fukuzawa Yumi (sound familiar?) and makes her Sachiko’s younger sister.

There are also various side-story’s and side pairings, but I’ll get into that later.

I’m first going to tell you why I don’t consider this to be shoujo-ai/yuri.

This was by far, the most frustrating anime for me to watch. Now I’ve sat through subtext before. I’ve gone through subtext and there were quite a few I enjoyed. This was not subtext, for me, this was just false hope.

Nothing happens. Now at first you think “well maybe after 4 seasons SOMETHING will happen.” Nothing happens.

I urge you to honestly stop while you’re ahead.

Let the rant begin.

Overall Rating: 3/10 (More explanation below, but contains spoilers)

Yuri Rating: 2/10

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! PAST THIS POINT. VERY ANGRY SPOILER RANT ABOUT TO HAPPEN

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Bodacious Space Pirates (2012)

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AKA Mōretsu Space Pirates/ Moretsu Pirates

While looking for new Shoujo-ai/yuri anime, I stumbled across this little gem on Crunchyroll.

Originally a light novel, it has been adapted into an anime, and a movie is currently in production.

Upon first glance, this seemed to be no yuri at all. I mean look at the plot summary.

It takes place is in the future, where space pirates exist. In an all girls’ high school on Earth (supposedly) is Kato Marika, direct descendant of the famous space pirate, Gonzaemon, Captain of the Bentenmaru. Kato Marika is told that her father, who she has never met, has passed and the only way to keep the Bentenmaru alive is if she takes over as captain.

I know what you’re thinking “this sounds stupid.” Yes, the name is retarded (well the english one at least…) and ok, it sounds more like a slice of life plot than a Shoujo-ai. What convinced me to actually watch it though was that I read it was recommended by ANN. And you know what they say about ANN….

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So, I started watching it. It is only 26 episodes long, (at least for now…) and you can watch it on Crunchyroll here .

Don’t worry, there are no possible male pairings in this one. The only one that’s good looking enough is thankfully, married.

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 I’m Kane McDougal. Btw I’m married so don’t fret your little hearts out.

In terms of Yuri content itself, there is not much. Most of it is subtext and implication, EXCEPT for one pairing which had no development (hints here and there) up to a point where it becomes officially canon (YAY). It won’t be hard for you to guess which one either….

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Me? A Lesbian? How dare you! I clearly do not look like a typical butch lesbian…

Looks like we’ll have to head off to fan fiction for this one folks…

Although also lacking in action (as in nobody ever dies or gets hurt) that doesn’t mean there was no action, there indeed was. But they’re not intense fights that leave you gripping to the edge of your seat, wondering if they’ll survive.

BUT the story line overall is light-hearted, funny and awesome.

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This scene was particularly hilarious

It was well worth the 26 episodes and I quite enjoyed it, even with the lack of Shoujo-ai content.

Overall Rating: 7/10 (more detail as to why below, but contains spoilers)

Yuri Rating: 5/10

THERE ARE DIRE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. AJSHDAKLJSHDSJDAASDSADSADA

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Strawberry Panic! (2006)

One of the best pure yuri/shoujo ai anime’s I ever had the honour to view. I review the manga separately as it is a separate storyline. The comparison will be in the Manga review.

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The plot centres around three highly prestigious sister schools.

St. Miator, known for being graceful and intelligent.

(left to right) Nagisa, Shizuma, Tomao, Chiyo

St. Lulim, known for being free-spirited and open minded. Focusing more on extra-curricular activities.

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(left to right)  Kizuna,Chikaru, Remon, Kagome

St. Spica, known for excelling at sports

(left to right) Hikari, Amane, Yaya, Tsubomi

Speaking quite frankly, they’re all cute and hot. They are also all girls school so you don’t even have to worry about boys. 🙂

I absolutely loved this anime. No boys? check. Swarm of girls i get to choose from? check. Cute pairings? Double check. Not to mention the plot aint bad.

It centres around a clumsy girl named Nagisa Aoi, a transfer student to the school. Her first day and she accidentally bumps into the mysterious, “cold” player Shizuma. Together with Nagisa, you go through her adventures of making friends, fitting in, and figuring out her feelings.

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This isn’t a spoiler. This happens in the first episode.

There’s quite a bit of nakedness too although it is nowhere near hentai enough for that. Its actually well placed. Although one scene I find questionable….

Now, onto an in depth review.

Overall Rating: 10/10 (more details as to why below, but contains spoilers)

Yuri Rating: 10/10

THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. LOOK AWAY!!!! IF YOU HAVEN’T, THIS ONE WAS WELL WORTH THE WATCH SO GO WATCH IT.

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Mai Hime Series (2004-2006)

My all -time favourite anime!

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(left to right) Mikoto Minagi (da cat) , Tokiha Mai (da boobs), Natsuki Kuga (da cool)

First, I want you to know that yes, there is a manga. No I do not recommend you read it. It does not have one single spec of Yuri in that thing. The anime however, is almost no way related to the manga. The only thing they have in common are characters.

I will be reviewing all of the series and it’s sequals/prequals to it as well. This includes Mai Otome, Zwei, and 0~S.ifr~

Although the Yuri storyline is not really the main plot line, it serves as in interesting and lovable side story that you just can’t help but “awwwe”. The main characters for this are Tokiha Mai, a hard working, caring, big boobed, and suspiciously powerful girl. Natsuki Kuga, the cold, tsundere, rightfully powerful, badass, coolness oozing off of her, with occasional embarrassing moments, and odd obsessions that prove she’s human. Mikoto Minagi, a childish middle school girl with a large, mysterious sword, and powerful usage of it. I don’t want to spoil too much. I’ll get in to plot later on.

I will only recommend that for Mai-Hime.

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Mai Otome takes place in the future of the Hime world, where most characters are re-incarnated in the new world, with the focus on another trio. Arika Yumemiya, Antsy because she looks like one, who has odd powerful powers cause her mom did (that’s not a spoiler, you find that out in like the second episode) a loud annoying dumbass who reminds you a lot like Naruto but with bigger boobs. Mashiro, the spoiled princess of a falling kingdom, and Nina Wang, no she’s not Chinese, but she’s quiet, cold, tsundere, and rightfully powerful cause you know, she worked for it.

Not a lot of Yuri in that. In fact it’s quite minimal to the point that….well…I’ll get into how much later but I mean there’s only really subtext and not a whole lot of that, might I add. There’s only about 3 minutes of reciprocated Yuri that is subtext. The rest is about 5 minutes of something that was un-reciprocated yuri that you wished never happened (Trust me on this one).

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Legit, i can’t remember who these people are…

Mai Otome Zwei is the OVA and 0~S.ifr~ is a pre-qual to Mai Otome (but still after Hime) and focus mostly on the mother of of Antsy—I mean Arika. Honestly, I can’t remember a lot of what actually happened. I personally didn’t feel like this deserved a rewatch on my part, but to each and their own.

It wasn’t bad, per se, but as for Yuri content, well there’s a whole lot more if that’s what you’re asking. Mostly one-sided but comical. I think there’s one pairing in this that isn’t and hints of an ex-pairing. Not much but I honestly just didn’t care much for this.

Overall Rating: 8/10 (more details as to why below, but contains spoilers)

Yuri Rating: 6/10

THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED IT YET, WTF ARE YOU DOING, CLOSE THIS AND GO FREAKIN WATCH IT.

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