REVIEW: Bloom Into You (Episode 4)

Episode 4: The Distance Between Fondness and Kisses / Not One of the Characters | 好きとキス距離/役者じゃない

Bloom Into You is nothing if not a slow burn, but even “burn” has been an exaggeration when protagonist Yuu hasn’t had even a modestly lukewarm shade of attraction toward Touko. But are we slowly starting to see the beginnings of what could potentially become the suggestion of maybe perhaps an almost flickering of a cheap votive candle’s worth of flame, if the lights are out and we squint really hard?

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Ouch, but to be fair, this line makes an appearance in most yaoi and yuri series.

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REVIEW: Bloom Into You (Episode 1-3)

Bloom Into You | やがて君になる
Release: 2018

Nio Nakatani’s popular yuri manga-turned-anime has already drawn attention just three episodes into its 13-episode run. At face value, it’s hardly groundbreaking: a high school GL romance featuring a popular and intelligent student council president ‘seme’ with long silky black hair, and a younger light-haired ‘uke’ who stumbles around awkwardly and isn’t notably capable at doing anything except capturing the previous girl’s heart. But to hammer this show down to cliches would be to pulverize the delicate details that make Bloom Into You so worthwhile.

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REVIEW: Double Decker! Doug & Kirill (Episode 4)

Episode 4: Derick Returns! | 帰って来た、デリック!

If episode 3 sagged a little under the weight of its lackadaisical plot and character development, episode 4 shrugs that burden right off its shoulders, pops the pin of a grenade and jumps gloriously into action.

Part of this could be is that Doug and Kirill are stagnant until we a) learn more about Doug and b) Kirill is able to either advance the plot or personally level up, and the story doesn’t seem to be willing to budge on either point yet. So the best course of action is to swap MCs, ramp up the personalities of its side characters, throw in a few minors twists, and dial the comedy to an eleven.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Derick Deana del Rio!

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REVIEW: Double Decker! Doug & Kirill (Episode 1-3)

Double Decker! Doug and Kirill | ダグ&キリル (Episode 1-3)
Release: 2018

When I started this blog, one of the anime I wanted to rewatch and critically assign gay points to was Tiger and Bunny. Before I could get around to it, Double Decker came crashing majestically into view. By the same studio and rumored to be set in the same universe, Double Decker is a spiritual successor, if not literal sequel, to the colorful, cartoonish crime-and-cape comedy and a hot tip says this time, it’s gay. Um, gayer.

So crank up the jazz and grab your donuts because we are going full frontal buddy-cop. Move over, vigilante superheroes, because we bought these gainfully employed protagonists with our own damn tax money. Meet Kirill, the aspiring hero whom no one, not even the narrator, takes seriously, and Doug, the standoffish hyper-intelligent veteran detective who misses the killshot in the first three minutes of the show. Add a sparkling posse of lady detectives, at least some of whom are possibly lesbians and-

Wait, are we shooting for both BL and GL here? Aw man, this really is a double-decker!

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Guns are always dick jokes

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REVIEW: Citrus

Citrus | シトラス
Release: 2018

It was the probably the most anticipated yuri anime this year. Based on Saburouta’s popular yuri manga running from 2012 and concluding just last month. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that the 12-episode anime doesn’t cover the full story, but we’ll go with what we have.

Our leading ladies are Yuzu Aihara, a blonde and outspoken gyaru fashionista, and Mei Aihara, a beautiful but stone cold bitch. Yes, they have the same last name, and no, it’s not a coincidence, but don’t worry: they aren’t sisters. Sort of.

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There’s no point in a drum roll when the opening credits are comfortably explicit, but for the sake of thematic uniformity: is it gay?

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REVIEW: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena | 少女革命ウテナ (ANIME VERSION)
Release: 1997

The 39-episode animated masterpiece about the girl-prince and her Rose Bride is not only ground-breaking as a yuri anime, as a 90’s shoujo it is virtually unrivaled. Ostensibly a magical girl anime (that isn’t), or a romantic fairy tale (not quite), it burrows into a dark juxtaposition between fantasy and reality, tearing apart the motives and ambitions of its cast while the unknown actuality of the setting looms ominously over them, swaying between purgatorial and theatrical.

To review Utena with any modicum of authenticity is a heavy project for which I am unworthy. When engaging any media, I adore picking out parallels, meaningful transitions, reoccurring symbols and themes, and emphasizing the significance of the details. But Utena is so overwhelming on all accounts that a analysis of that sort would better be a thesis in format. Its wicked surrealism makes the whole experience metaphysical to the point that you’ll have no idea if the plot is what it is, or something else entirely, and its intricacies would be impossible to describe exhaustively.

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So first, let’s take a step back and focus on what’s really important: is it gay?

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