Ever noticed how romance in yaoi or yuri anime go either balls deep in the relationship or are even more beta than your average shoujo anime? Really, there is no inbetween. The year 2014 has definitely sparked the comeback of these two genres and, personally, I couldn´t be any happier. It´s not just the anime that are tagged as these genres, either, I mean when have we ever gotten an anime where there is a serious, non-comedic lesbian character who is not the focus of the show? Well, the cutesy and innocent Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha did it and man, was it good. Unfortunately, there´s still a lot of dirt to be found, and you just have to wonder if Nitro Chiral adaptations have a curse on them, right, DRAMAtical Murder?
Hands down my favourite yuri/yaoi production of the year is the Sekaiichi Hatsukoi movie, I have already praised Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Yokozawa Takafumi No Baai to the heavens and back in my 12 days of anime post but, hey, why not praise it some more?
To be real, I´m not the biggest Junjou Romantica fan, I think the romance is pretty repulsive and most of the characters just struck a wrong chord within me. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi -the series- however, I liked a lot more. Unfortunately it still shared some of those eye-rolling, annoying yaoi tropes like, I don´t know, pinning your lover to the floor against their will and kiss them (or suck their dick, whatever) while they yell ´yamete! baka!´ and cry. I don´t know man, but unless it´s Junketsu Drop (God, I love that manga) that shit ain´t cute and I generic Uke #1 should call the cops.
Anyway, I´m getting off topic. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi the movie however, which is centered around my least favourite Sekaiichi character laughs at these tropes and instead does romance right.
Yokozawa Takafumi No Baai is a heartwarming, romantic, classy, comedic and even dramatic spin on the genre that´s filled with inmature characters and melodrama, indeed, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, Yokozawa Takafumi No Baai got me by surprised, and am I glad it did.
Going from a classy fourty-something minute movie I´ll move on to my second favourite yuri or yaoi series of the year, Sakura Trick. This show is filled to the brimm with delicious make-out scenes whilst also shoving the middle finger to the pseudo-yuri series a lá Yuru Yuri that have become all the fad lately. Granted, there were moments where I was bored, but the downright hilarious comedy moments and the quirky romance between a group of friends that are all conveniently lesbians outweights the bad.
All in all, I really, really liked Sakura Trick, more than I ever expected to. Sidenote, the opening boob jiggles have better animation than the entirety of the rest of the series.
Moving on from the two top DEEN productions this year (I for one actually really like that studio) we have Love Stage. If you´ve read my blog before you might have noticed that I´m a big yaoi fan, so naturally I´ve read the source material before knowing that an anime was even green-lit. Honestly, I was shocked that a yaoi manga that´s not adapted from a Nakamura manga or a Nitro Chiral game got green-lit in the first place, but the fact that it´s adapted by J.C Staff of all studios?!
Anyway, Love Stage is simply charming from start to finish, treated with a lot more finesse than most yaoi anime in the past. Love Stage was fun, the main character is basically me in a nutshell and the ending theme had me bouncing on my bed for 10 seconds before it got boring. One way or another, Love Stage is a lovely addition to the yaoi genre and, really, if anyone is trying to get into yaoi, Love Stage is their best bet.
With that said, honorable mentions go to Akuma No Riddle, which was strangely addictive but incredibly unsatisfying what with the fact that we´ve seen exactly zero yuri kisses, Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha for being awesome and including a lesbian character in a non-yuri show.
As for the yearly trash, I can only think of one and, well, a half. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san was completely unfunny to me, while DRAMAtical Murder was hilarious, bad, but still hilarious. The thing is, I think that if NAZ had done this project a year later, it could´ve been a lot better than it eventually turned out to be because there were some moments that showed, but then just fell flat on its face what with questionable production choices. Anyway, the game is still amazing in all its gory glory, so I´m cool.
As always, thank you for reading, and sorry for rushing but I really, really have to go.