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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Octave (2008 – 2011)

Written and Drawn by Akiyama Haru

Link

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This is actually one of my favorite manga’s.

The story revolves around a former idol of a not-so-popular group when she was a teenager, Miyashita Yukino. Not willing to endure the bullying of high school after her failure, she decided to work in the industry as an assistant manager. Through her struggles, she meets a fairly successful song writer, Iwai Setsuko.  Seduced by Iwai’s beauty, she explores her sexuality and eventually falls in love. However she struggles with her relationship as she is not only confused by her sexuality, but has taken on the toll of being a manager and coming to terms with her past.

I really enjoyed this manga. You go through Yukino as she has to come to terms with many things in her life, with love being one of them. It’s a great coming of age story I think and perfect for our generation. The story is very deep though and very….angsty to say the least. Not VERY angsty where you want to cry, but the kind of angst where you’re kind of irritated.

I enjoyed the artwork. It’s simple yet detailed enough. I do encourage anyone to give it a shot!

Art: 6/10

Yuri Rating: 8/10

Overall: 7/10

WARNING THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

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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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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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