Yuri Talk: Being a yuri fan is suffering, and I love every second of it (By Kai)

Len shipping hard.

Len shipping hard.

Greetings, Kai of Deluscar here once again, and I’m here to talk a bit about yuri shipping.

Note from OG: To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Kai (and to avoid being added to the List of Kai) the king has graced us with a visit to share his toughts on being a yuri fan and the trials and tribulations of there being more subtext/soft yuri than canon yuri…yet still finding bliss from it. I personally am used to it and work with what I get but let us see what King Kai has to say about the subject.

Now, being a yuri fan is suffering, because of one thing, yuri subtext, but at the same time, it has become a sort of magic within the yuri anime culture.

If you’re familiar with yuri anime, or hell, “seemingly” yuri anime, yuri subtext is a huge thing in these shows. The problem with these anime is that they are always a huge tease, they will never show the couple actually hooking up, although the hints are clear to see-this is yuri subtext, signs that indicate two female characters may have a thing for each other, but is never shown canonically. I don’t know why but it just seems that the anime industry is really restrictive of showing bona fide lesbian couples, and ones that do are really few and far in between. Even Sakura Trick, the most explicit yuri anime of all, basically avoided this “confrontation” in the last episode (those who finished it would probably know what I mean).

Super blatant sign

In the end, viewers would have to ship, which has really become a major component within the yuri anime culture. Shippers would ship Character A X Character B in a yuri anime-between two female characters who never actually confessed, but exhibited obvious signs of loving each other. It’s pretty ironic too because at first, yuri shipping actually derived from the lack of canonical yuri pairings, but it had really evolved into a fun and endearing component of the yuri anime culture. After all, leaving things up to your imagination is a much exciting way than just hoping for things to happen in the anime.

At the same time, because yuri subtext is so subtle sometimes, we may see two female characters who have so much chemistry with each other that they could very believably ended up as a genuine couple-obviously, this couple would gain a tremendous amount of support and shipping from the yuri fandom (KumiRei *ahem*). See, this magic would be hard to replicate if we just show these two characters blatantly make out with each other for one season straight- repetitions would ruin the subtle magic. I always sing praises for Sakura Trick, but unfortunately, this may be the one problem I agree with, even though I’m fine since I luckily didn’t marathon it. This is why personally, I prefer consuming my yuri media sporadically, and not frequently.

Sakura Trick doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

Sakura Trick doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

Anyway, I digress. But what I wanted to point out from the above paragraph is the magic of “not blatantly pairing up your couples officially”. The vagueness, the teases and the hints, are all the ultimate whetstone in sharpening the ultimate weapon that is known as your imaginative mind-the mind where all sorts of wonderful, possible scenarios are all made possible. The vagueness let our minds run wild, but anime like Sakura Trick doesn’t leave much to the imagination, even though I do appreciate the blatant explicitness of it which is an extremely rare trait in the world of yuri anime.

As you can see, the yuri anime culture is one ironic ride. There are a lot of “restrictions” imposed at first-not having a canonical yuri couple, and just teasing us with subtext, but these turned into a fun shipping culture later on. In the end, us yuri fans suffer a lot, but admittedly it’s some “fun suffering”. Maybe us yuri fans are just masochists, at least, I feel like I’m, since I’m loving every single second of these teases.

Note from OG: KumiRei fans will attest to this man speaking truth.

About Kai

Anime watcher, games/VN player, LN/manga reader & Aniblogger. Also a Hatsune Miku fan.
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12 Responses to Yuri Talk: Being a yuri fan is suffering, and I love every second of it (By Kai)

  1. Oh shit, I completely agree. Extremely well worded.


  2. Reblogged this on haveyouexperiencedshitsurakuen and commented:

    Oh shit, I completely agree. Extremely well worded.


  3. onkelharreh says:

    I like that you’ve framed one of the worst things about yuri anime in a positive light. Everybody loves a good game of Battleships, and anime like Yuru Yuri really make it fun.

    That said, I would definitely appreciate more canonical yuri romance. Economically speaking, everyone (myself included) loves these high-subtext/no-cannon shows so it makes sense to make them.

    I guess what I’d like more is Erunas, and to some extent, most of the characters in Yuru Yuri. Characters that are a bit or a lot more upfront about their sexuality. Even if they don’t get fully fledged romance. I’d just appreciate that this trope of “girl-love is a phase” to just die the horrific death it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fipse says:

      “Girl-love is just a phase” has been dying for a very, very long time now and is almost dead. Even in the most simple subtext shows we at least never get a “and then they married some random guys” endings anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Zuneko says:

    Oh dang, this is so true. Subtext is great, but I sometimes do want to see a canon couple every now and then but I am thankful for what I get. And being a yuri fan really does hurt so good.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. cirno9fan says:

    After Lily Lyrical I can’t think that way. Canon yuri is SO MUCH better. Like crazy better. Ship wars are not nearly as fun when you know nothing will ever be solidified. There’s a difference between “making out every episode” and just making out twice in a season. That means a lot, and does NOTHING to dull the experience. Sakura Trick’s main problems were: It literally had nothing but “girls making out” as its “substance”, and, like you pointed out, that cop-out on the final episode. It could have done fine if it focused on some other things a bit more.

    So, while I get it might be ‘fun” for some still, after i’ve experienced all those drama CDs and that visual novel, which felt just like Kiniro or Gochiusa, that actually made relationships REAL, and gave actual substance to everything, didn’t dance around the subject, and had some of the most adorable kiss scenes/love confessions i’ve seen/experienced before….I just cannot be happy if something won’t cross that barrier. Doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the shows/mangas/etc, but I will never see the good in it, outside the business side of it. And I will never be sad if that wall gets broken down. You can have cute shippy moments, and even cute subtext in a canon yuri work. But it doesn’t have to stop there. it can be so much better.

    We can all have so much better. There are plenty of yuri manga out there that could fulfill everything you talk about in here, but still cross the barrier. All except for never going the last stretch.

    Though, i will say that romance in Japanese works in general has a large history of keeping from actually committing. Still, things can get better, and I welcome those days

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kai says:

      I admit this post is kinda late. 2015-2016 has especially been crazy if we are talking about yuri anime, and I can only see it getting better from here. But from what I have seen, the only thing that’s improving, is that the subtext are getting more and more blatant.

      Also, I know I probably should have mentioned in the post, but I’m only talking about yuri anime in this post, lol. I know manga has some explicit ones that still remains to be adapted (if they ever plan to) and yuri on the visual novel side has been getting exceptionally good too. Even if yuri anime has been getting better, like I said, it’s just the subtext that’s getting more blatant, even now, I only know like two yuri anime that HAVE kiss scenes/confessions.

      Again, I want to say that it’s not like I’m pessimistic about the situation or anything. The situation of yuri anime’s been getting better and better and I can only see it improving from here. Sooner or later, I know yuri anime will go beyond the blatant subtexts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cirno9fan says:

        I kinda figured you were only talking about yuri anime, but it was a drama CD+V/N series that made me realize it can work, and not be awkward as can be. I was starting to fall into the trap that publishers have created that causes a fan to think that yuri can never get more serious, or it “ruins” the atmosphere and it can’t be taken seriously, and I really don’t know how to word this, but I hope you can get what I’m getting at. I was really falling far down that hole. And then Particle came along and showed me you can have a cute girls doing cute things story with girls that are actually in love with each other and it can be the most adorable, amazing, awesome thing ever. it doesn’t ruin the dynamics between other characters, and it still can be super fluffy, and hilarious too. And it can be ecchi at times as well. Everything that you get in those shows, plus actual commitment.

        Yuru Yuri kinda already does this, but Namori is moving very slowly towards the end goal I think she has. And it made me want her to make it to that point when it stops playing the ‘dance around the issue” game. While that series has long ditched the “subtext only” approach, it’s still pretty similar to a romcom wherein it takes ageeees for the couples to actually happen.

        Anyway, I just hope that there were creators out there that played it/listened to it, and took forth the idea that relationships don’t have to end at confessions either. They can continue and go further from there, and develop. All the while having the same sort of wonderfully fun and lighthearted story and character interactions that we as consumers have come to love.

        Still, i realize the market is the problem with that and there is actually a sizable part of the yuri fanbase that would hate it if relationships actually got serious. And I don’t blame them, they’re a product of a long marketing strategy that started many years ago. Even I almost hit that point.

        Liked by 2 people

    • TheBigN says:

      This so much.

      The vagueness let our minds run wild, but anime like Sakura Trick doesn’t leave much to the imagination

      And frankly, I wouldn’t want it to. Consummation happens in relationships too, and it would be great for more anime to actually show that part. But this could also be related to what people want to get out of watching anime in general, regarding realism versus fantasy.


      • Kai says:

        Yeah, but honestly, the ultimate point I want to make is that yuri anime is good, whether or not it’s soft/subtext, or canonical. I’m a fan of yuri regardless of both approaches and this post is just to show why the former is just as good as the latter.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Kai says:

    Reblogged this on deluscar and commented:

    “Being a yuri fan is suffering” — I know this statement is something a lot of people who watch yuri anime can relate to. At the same time, I’m here to claim that it’s actually not that bad, which I will allude to this guest post I wrote for Yuri Nation. Feel free to visit his blog and read on if you’re interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mutopis says:

    we like suffering


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