Yes. I know it is pretty late talking about 2018 in February 2019 (as of the date of this post). Thing is that 2018 was such an amazing year for yuri fans across the globe that it is still worth talking about for years to come. It was such an incredible year it received the nickname of “20-Gay-Teen” commemorating how much lesbian representation there was in media that year. The other letters of LGBT also got representation but of course we will only be talking about the “L” (and a bit of the “B” where necessary). In this edition of Yuri Talk we will be taking a look at some highlights of this bountiful year. Some notes before we begin:
- This will be a highlight reel, not a post discussing whether the shows, movies, games etc. were good or bad. There will be some personal shows. games etc I hold dear but that does not mean everyone will love them as much as I.
- These are things I have seen, played and read. There are plenty of other stuff I will not mention due to not having experienced it myself. Feel free to include other 2018 yuri highlights in the comments.
- I will be jumping around, meaning the shows will not be talked about in order/the season they aired.
- As always all kinds of yuri will be included, from soft or hard to shiro or kuro yuri.
- MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING…obviously.
Let us start at the beginning with the show that kicked off this magnificent year. Say what you will about Citrus as a series but it getting an anime was huge. It was a faithful adaptation all things considered with a melodramatic soap opera plot and raunchy PG-13 scenes.
We had a show about two women smaller than otters who may as well be a married couple.
An insane/nonsensical variety comedy featuring a female duo voiced by male and female seiyuu/voice actors who many times showed feelings for each other no matter how crazy of a relationship they had.
Another (not as) insane comedy that was even gayer than PTE.
Oh…right. There was also Jashin-chan…Yup…Moving on.
A show about four adult women who enjoyed having snacks and drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol = Awakening of inner gayness while drunk in one episode.
A show about a girl falling in love with/becomes addicted to another girl who is in love with/addicted to ramen. Expect to learn A LOT about ramen and seeing sexy girls eating lots of ramen.
A yuri harem show that could have been fantastic but suffered due to its episodes being short. (It was more enjoyable uncensored at least). One day we will hopefully have an ecchi yuri harem dream anime. On the bright side stealth and softcore yuri harem anime are available here and there so all is not lost.
Left to right:
- Slow Start
- Comic Girls
- Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san
- Anima Yell!
Girls Club (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things) shows with yuri goodness per year are nothing new but the ones that aired in 2018 were very special, embracing yuri in more ways than just “I love this girl but am too nervous to tell her directly” or “I’m not ready to take our relationship to the next level on screen”. Of course those kinds of yuri were included but each one had their own special kind of yuri alongside them, such as direct confessions and exploring/reflecting on your sexuality to name a few.
We had a continuation and successor of “Cute Outdoor Girls” shows both having its nice moments for Nation members to enjoy: Yuru Camp and Yama no Susume 3.
I am certain at this point readers will be like “But OG. Those are all school-life/slice of life shows. Isn’t there something with an extra spice added to it?” Patience dear readers. I was just getting to that.
We had a show about shrine maiden warriors with superpowers. Several of the heroines and villains were gay. Not all were lucky though.
A show about an intense MMO Battle Royale/Death Match style action/shooter with some lesbians here and there. The ending was both expected and unexpected at the same time.
A show that was prematurely thought of as “just another idol show” but was actually Fight Club Theatre where EVERYTHING had a story to tell, the duels were crazy and the gayness delightful. #LAmourFrancais #BaKaren #BackToTheBanana etc.
A show about gay ninja spies drawn by Namori. Just keep in mind it is not as complex as Princess Principal. Something many failed to realize.
The second season of the Oppai Shinobi Show with several of them being as gay as ever.
A show about traveling through the Multiverse/Alternate Universes and meeting different versions of yourself while fighting an evil force threatening to consume all universes. Not time travel mind you.
The 15th anniversary season of Pretty Cure was one of its gayest to date (Mind you there were other super gay seasons before it like DokiDoki, Suite and Mahou Tsukai). Ending makes sense if you do not think too hard about time travel. It is a kids show after all. Also there is no need to have seen previous seasons. The interested can jump in no problem. Think of it as a good starting point in the franchise for newcomers.
Speaking of magical girls we had one of the strangest rom-coms in Mahou Shoujo Ore. There is yuri in it. Trust me.
Another legend in yuridom made her return this year as well.
- Uma Musume -Pretty Derby-
- Harukana Receive
Alongside the above mentioned Anima Yell! (Cheerleaders) we had other sports anime with lovely gay athletes from horse girl racing to beach volleyball and badminton. Best of which being beach volleyball as I mentioned in my Top 10 Anime of 2018 list.
Of course where there was light there must also be darkness. Magical Girl Site and Happy Sugar Life delivered. I have not yet finished the Lostorage WIXOSS sequel but I am almost certain it too had its fair share of yuri moments.
A show centered around the relationship of two gorgeous girls and everyone around them. Patience and a keen eye are required. There are also numerous homages to the tokusatsu from Ultraman and various kaijuu series.
20-Gay-Teen started with an adaptation of a mega popular yuri manga and ended with another one.
We could not have a year of anime nowadays without idol shows. 20-Gay-Teen included idol shows of both…
…the living…(There were other idol shows besides this one).
…and the undead.
On a personal note I would like to thank 2018 for embracing the magnificence that is “Muscle Babes” at full force. Absolutely glorious.
In case readers are wondering: Uma Musume, Uzamaid!, Harukana Receive and Goblin Slayer. Note: Goblin Slayer does not contain substantial yuri.
In 2018 there were four anime movies starring lesbians (Two of which were romances):
- Calamity of a Zombie Girl
- Liz to Aoi Tori
- Nanoha Detonation (Waiting for dem subs)
We had some delightfully scary yandere gays this year. The three most prominent ones being the crazies above.
We had two lovely transgender girls (Maybe there were more but these are the two I am aware of). Both great characters, both having different stories to tell about who they were. One about acceptance (Lily, Zombie Land Saga), the other about patient retribution (Kiyoharu, Magical Girl Site). Speaking of the latter, “Best Revenge Plan Ever”.
We had three weddings. Third one is coming up in a bit.
20-Gay-Teen showed us the official ice cream flavor of lesbians courtesy of Toji no Miko and Slow Start: Mint-Chocolate Chip.
We had couples ranging from the young…
…to the elderly.
We had glimpses of two mothers raising daughters together. Unfortunately both couples suffered a loss but at least it is nice seeing same-sex couples here and there.
Fortunately RWBY Volume 6 kept its yuri mamas intact. You know what else is funny? If I am not mistaken this is one of only two adult couples on the show who have a loving, healthy relationship. Everyone else is like “I married a crazy person”. Right Doc? For more on my thoughts on RWBY up to Volume 6 along with its yuri go HERE.
Speaking of the Western region of yuridom they too contributed to the 20-Gay-Teen extravaganza.
So in 2018 we had:
- Bubbline, who fans were waiting and hoping to see become TV Canon, finally do so.
- Ruby and Sapphire get married among other things.
- The She-Ra reboot blessed everyone with a potential main couple and a lovely side-couple (Who hopefully get more screen time next season).
- Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn get married in the Injustice comics. While it is an alternate universe and the Injustice series is known as one of the most unforgiving in the DC multiverse, it is nice to see one version of the couple tie the knot.
- KorraSami dating after the conclusion of the main series and near the end of the first sequel saga profess their love for one another.
As far as yuri manga, manhua/manhwa and webcomics go, there are A TON OUT THERE. Too many for me to keep track of. The three I have been keeping up with on a consistent bases are:
On to video games.
The three games that left the strongest impression on me this year were:
- Fatal Twelve
- Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk
- The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories
The irony is very much present. See, when it comes to Kuro (Dark) and Shiro (Light) yuri I will usually pick Shiro. However, all three of these games have a dark storyline…Trust me. None of these games are for the weak of heart, especially LoR.
When it comes to video games 20-Gay-Teen made an impact there as well. Besides more localized visual/kinetic novels (Steam and Sony censorship controversies notwithstanding) some other highlights include:
The Last of Us Part II having a lesbian protagonist in Ellie (It was marketed as such). This was known to fans who played the first game’s DLC, Left Behind, but the sequel getting an E3 trailer highlighting this fact was huge. Fingers crossed love prevails…
Another E3 bombshell was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey following the Bioware route by giving its male and female avatar several same-sex romance options. While the game was well received for the most part by yuri fans who picked it up there was some controversy with the recent (as of this writing) DLC content which forced the avatar, regardless of whether they’re in a relationship with someone of the same sex to hook up with a het partner…or something like that. On the bright side the developers acknowledged the complaints and took action to remedy the situation by making changes to the DLC story and assure yuri/yaoi players the rest of the planned DLC will not follow the het conclusion of this DLC campaign.
On an unrelated note: Thank you Ubisoft for Kassandra and her hot buff bod.
Atelier series has yuri again: The Dusk Trilogy of the Atelier franchise toned down the established yuri bliss from the Arland Trilogy. Then the Mysterious Trilogy came in and brought it back in full force starting with “Sophie”, ramping it up in “Firis” and ending with a bang in “Lydie & Suelle”. Furthermore, it was announced that in 2019 there would be a 4th entry in the Arland series along with an All-Star Atelier game. Expect even more yuri.
Marina X Pearl were confirmed canon in Splatoon 2’s Octo Expansion DLC campaign.
As far as live-action goes my knowledge is very limited because I hardly watch Cable TV outside of wrestling and late-night talk shows. When it comes to movies the one I have seen with yuri of some kind are Deadpool 2. Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio. They were only side-characters but whenever they were on screen they were adorable and played a strong part during the final battle of the film. As the first lesbian couple in a modern Marvel movie (Dunno if there were any before then) it is a good start.
Other things I noticed is a surprise yuri couple at the end of “The Runaways” TV series and Batwoman possibly getting her own TV show in 2019. She made an appearance in the 2018 “DC-CW” annual crossover event.
Still have to watch Wynonna Earp. I currently have no interest in Orange is the New Black nor the upcoming 2019 reboot/sequel of The L Word. That could change but for now not really.
I could go on about the various romantic confessions and other awesome yuri moments but my point is made. 2018 had so many different options for yuri fans. Whether they liked what was available or not is up to them. As for me…20-Gay-Teen was the best year of entertainment media in my life by far.
Feel free to talk about the year and mention anything I missed out on in the comments. Movies, manga/comics, games, etc.
Here is hoping 2019 will, not exactly equal, but at least keep on providing yuri goodness.