At last the time has come to go over Yuri in the year 2020. We all know 2020 was…well, 2020. Despite all that had happened it was an interesting year for all things yuri animation, video games and written media. So, like 20-Gay-Teen I figured why not sum up some of the media I consumed and a couple of interesting observations throughout the year.
- Note 1: I will mainly go over animation and video games. I did not keep up with live-action or comics/manga as much. Pay a visit to Euroninja-chan, Her Holiness, The One Called Ach and G-Man (No relation to Gas Turner) for other yuri I did not mention here.
- Note 2: As mentioned in note 1 there was more yuri animation and games in 2020 than what I will discuss here. These are the things that really stood out to me basically.
- Note 3: SPOILER WARNING
First let’s go over several yuri video games released and localized in 2020.
- Death End re:Quest 2
- The Last of Us 2
- Curse of Kudan
- Remothered: Broken Porcelain
- Eldritch University
- Quantum Suicide
Do not ask me why but for whatever reason a lot of games were released or localized in 2020 featuring or starring lesbians in a horror/suspense/thriller setting. Whether it be a hotel, town, space station, school or country full of monsters, sociopaths and psychopaths the ladies had to face and potentially find comfort with each other or something more throughout their quest for the truth and survival.
I am not here to discuss how good each game is. I leave that to the curious to find out themselves. It’s just an interesting observation: Besides Visual Novels and Dungeon Crawler RPGs lesbians also seem to have a thing for survival horror games.
(There was a 7th game but it is best not to talk about it in this post. Another time perhaps.)
We had, quite possibly, the first Point and Click Adventure Yuri game (that I am aware of) in Rose Seed Replica.
A Visual Novel where the love interests were a chick magnet female monk or a shape shifting snake woman (Note; Yes. There is a brief glimpse of a love scene in her default form) in Mizuchi.
A Cyberpunk love story before Cyberpunk 2077 (Which also features a yuri romance option by the way) came out in Synergia.
Technically Yuri Goddess of War: The RPG, in Virgo vs The Zodiac.
We got the anime in 2019 so naturally we would get the Kandagawa Jet Girls game it promoted localized in 2020.
We got a remake of what used to be part of the Harvest Moon series but is now Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town where players were not only blessed with same sex marriage options but raising a child together too. This will also be carried over into the next game, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. Hopefully Rune Factory 5 took the hint and added it to their game too.
A “New Game!” style Visual Novel in Yumeutsutsu Re:Master.
I could go on mentioning more Visual and Kinetic Novels like FLOWERS 3, A Summer’s End -Hong Kong 1986-, Highway Blossoms: Next Exit, National Park Girls Episode 3 and Wicked Willow but we would be here all day mentioning VNs. Just wanted to highlight certain titles to show that there are several yuri options for those who look.
I thought about talking about Western yuri animation next but this is mega spoiler territory so let us stick with Japan for now. This may include some minor spoilers but nothing major.
The Fragtime movie premiered in cinemas in 2019 but was released digitally in the West in 2020 so I count it as a 2020 highlight. Twas worth the wait and one scene stood out to me quite a bit. Hint: “Top of the table”.
My Next Life as a Villainess was not on my radar at all initially, even when The One Called Ach hyped it up. It was not until one of my close friends encouraged me to give it a go did I discover a highly entertaining bisexual harem. Usually in otome/reverse harem series there MIGHT be one female pining for our heroine but here it was almost evenly split with several guys and gals falling for our heroine. Best of all for me was she EARNED their affection. No “They fell for her at first sight or because of one good deed”. Much appreciated. Hope they keep the spotlight on the ladies in S2 like they did in S1.
There were not many female sports anime this year but the ones we got I quite enjoyed. The best to me was Tamayomi. I finally found another girls’ baseball anime I enjoyed as much as Taishou Yakyuu Musume. Once the animation got its act together and maintained a solid pace for the rest of the show it was lovely yuri moments and constantly ramped up baseball (and thighs) action with a delightful conclusion.
We had three enjoyable anime about/featuring gay cuties and hotties fighting against mechanical alien invaders of varying origins in Assault Lily Bouquet, Strike Witches: Road to Berlin and Warlords of Sigrdrifa.
We had another Studio Trigger yuri pairing in BNA: Brand New Animal.
- Maple (Nekopara TV)
- Catra (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power)
- Himeko (Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh!!)
- Karyl (Princess Connect Re:Dive)
Staying on the topic of lesbian kemonomimi we had four gay tsundere cat girls this year. Maple is bi but close enough.
- Love Live! Nijigasaki
- Dropout Idol
- Lapis Re:LiGHTs
Yuri in most idol anime is something a lot of cultured idol animeniacs are well aware of but 2020 seemed to kick it up a notch from OshiBudo all the way to Fruit Tart. Yuri idols reigned supreme this year, yes.
Cannot forget the heavy hitter on the anime front. AdaShima spoke to me personally because Adachi reminded me how I used to be in my high school years. Not 100% the same but she hit many bullet points of my average social skills…that are still average offline. 2020 was the year of slow burn romances and most of them were quite enjoyable viewings I feel.
- Maki X Yumeri (OshiBudo)
- Negafuji X Hino (AdaShima)
- Garnet X Emilia (Lapis Re:LiGHTs)
- Sayo X Nono (Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls)
2020 confirmed something I knew at the back of my head but became clearer than ever this year, how powerful yuri side-couples are.
Next is a personal eye opener. While I am aware it is not for everyone I am glad I not only fell back down the “rabbit hole” but deeper than before. Not deep enough to watch 7+ hour streams but still deep.
Image source HERE
Genki X Tsundere duo of Kiara X Calliope
Yup. VTubers. I know VTubers are, at their core, online streamers projecting themselves through cute and sexy anime girls (and boys or whatever else they feel like) but I find VTubers more entertaining. Many female Asian VTubers are a lot of fun and more importantly several of them are either gay or bi but lean more toward women. Some openly profess their love for women while others keep it subtle. What I find amusing is how many kinds of relationships there are. There is good reason why a “Hololive Yuri Anime” would not feel out of place at all…
Image source HERE
Some couples like Tomoe X Sukoya are open with their relationship.
Image found HERE
Others like Noel X Flare are on the right track but not quite there yet.
Then there are “Hunters” like Marine who are always looking for sexy ladies to cuddle with and others who seem to value polyamory. Some like Silvervale and Veibae who may be an item but do not collab together often and freely strut their stuff with others or jelly girlfriends like Lamy and Noel who are always defending their spot as Botan’s and Flare’s respective #1 even though they deny aggressive action. There are all kinds of yuri in the VTuber world, be it Hololive, Nijisanji or even Western groups like VShoujo, Tsunderia or Virtuality Project.
Speaking of Western VTubers like Silvervale and Veibae they are a mixed bag when it comes to ones into yuri.
You have some like Yuma Yamano and Nitori who may or may not be an item (yet) but openly embrace the gay. They are also fun chums when they have time to chat. Most I have seen are all over the place. Many address their gal pals as “wives” so it is hard to pinpoint which ones are legit or not. I do not mind behind the characters as that is something else entirely but, for example, I do not know who Artemis’ #1 is or if she even has one. Does she have a harem? Stuff like that basically. They are still fun to watch of course. Just do not know what relationships to keep track of with Western VTubers who embraced the gay.
The only two Webcomics I kept track of consistently in 2020 were Mage & Demon Queen Season 2 and Magical Girl Academe. The former is, as far as I know, the biggest yuri webcomic currently and the latter shows a lot of promise. As mentioned above I do not keep track of comics as closely as anime and video games. Same goes for live-action media. There were movies and shows featuring yuri couples but most I have not seen as of this writing.
Okay. Now we’re getting to the mega spoiler stuff. Turn back if you have yet to watch these Western series.
- She-Ra and The Princesses of Power
- Harley Quinn
- Adventure Time
- The Owl House
- The Loud House
Spring and Summer 2020 were somewhat barren in the animated Japanese yuri front due to “you know what” forcing studios to push back shows to later seasons or delay episodes aired. This gave the West ample opportunity to show yuri fans their stuff in epic conclusions and bright beginnings or continuations.
So She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ended with a bang, which is putting it mildly. Was rooting for Adora X Glimmer at first but as the show progressed it became clear CatraDora was the plan all along. No worries. They were had a spectacular “finally” moment in the finale so the buildup was worth it. Plus we got two lovely bonus couples. So happy for my main girl Scorpia.
Harley Quinn or as I like to call it The Harley Quinn Show took advantage of the Harley X Poison Ivy relationship in the comics and went for it in the 2nd season of the Rated R animated series. The signs appeared and disappeared during S1 but S2 went for broke as it went on culminating in a wedding crash as fun as in Super Mario Odyssey. Not a fan of Kite Man being the “sad panda” of the show but it was what it was. Fingers crossed they stick together in S3 and not break up, because mainstream comic relationship code of ethics.
The Owl House, aka Murican Little Witch Academia gave us Akko X Diana’s apprentices in Luz X Amity, more so Amity going all disaster gay for Luz and Luz potentially embracing the lady side of her bi-ness. We shall wee what happens in S2.
In The Loud House Sam X Luna are still going strong but episodes about them or their relationship remain rare.
The highly anticipated Adventure Time: Distant Lands 2nd episode starring Bubbline premiered. In it the couple were called to action but their latest adventure brought back painful memories of why it took them so long to get together (besides the usual mainstream stuff). Fortunately their love for each other grew stronger in the end.
And I think this is a good time to wrap up my look back at 2020. As readers can see it was an eventful year for yuri fans. Feel free to share your own 2020 highlights in the comments.