Aoi Hana is proof that god loves us and is a yuri manga fan.
And wants us to be happy, by the way.
If you’re looking for the promo, click here, and then click the blue button which says ‘Play’.
I was away when the Aoi Hana anime was announced, so I belatedly discovered this fact and was instantly delighted. Thankfully, J.C. Staff obliged my crazy blogger self by releasing a promo and thus giving me the opportunity to squeal about the whole thing despite having initially missed the boat.
Sadly, though, the promo doesn’t give us any actual animation – just pictures from the manga set to music. But I figure some people may want to see it nonetheless, particularly those unfamiliar with the manga.
Anyway, I have to admit I feel like the promo is a wee bit misleading – our female leads, Akira and Fumi, are not involved with one another in the slightest. Fumi does end up in a relationship with a female sempai, and there are a few other yuri-tinged relationships floating around the show, though, so it certainly is a yuri title.
Usually, I can’t stand shows that make every cast member (or nearly every) cast member homosexual – it just simply isn’t realistic, unless the show is about the local gay bar or something of that sort (for example, The L Word gets a pass because the ladies in it know each other because they specifically associate with the gay community; if you want me to believe that every single member of some random school is gay, it just isn’t gonna fly). But Aoi Hana, despite having much of its main cast be homosexual or bisexual, works because everyone is just so normal. It also probably helps that all the minor characters shown so far are not homosexual or bisexual, so it doesn’t seem as absurd as it could.
I would describe Aoi Hana as a MariMite with more yuri and less melodrama (which is by no means a criticism of MariMite, which I love in its own right).
I’m cautiously optimistic about J.C. Staff getting the nod on this one, as I do think they’ve been fairly solid as of late (when they have good source material; sorry, folks, Zero no Tsukaima doesn’t really count). That the director of Honey and Clover is doing the directing here also makes me feel confident. My only concern is that Takako Shimura’s artwork won’t translate over too well into animated form – as you can see from the first volume of the manga’s cover, she uses a pleasant sort of style that I’m not entirely convinced will work in animated form. But! We shall see.
Anyway, Aoi Hana is a great manga, and I strongly encourage you to go read it. And, obviously, watch the anime when it comes out (July). The characters are very likable, and the yuri is legit and not bizarre (I’m looking at you, Kanako). It might be weird thing to mention, but another good thing about Aoi Hana is that the girls actually act like girls, and not like harem leads who have been just arbitrarily given a pair of boobs. For anyone who is tired of fake yuri (see: anything where girls stand within two feet of each other) and crap yuri (Strawberry Panic, Shoujo Sect), but also feels that MariMite isn’t exactly scratching their yuri itch, this is a show to watch out for.