The growth of yuri anime has been slow but steady throughout the last decade. With an increasing number of shows and films finding favor through a more realistic and normalized portrayal of young women coming to terms with their sexuality in the likes of Kase-San and Morning Glories and Bloom Into You, the genre's future is looking brighter than ever. Enter Adachi & Shimamura, a brand new yuri anime premiering on October 8 which will be available to stream via Funimation. If it lives up to its source material, the widely popular light novel series authored by Hitoma Iruma, this slice-of-life series will be well worth the hype.
Adachi and Shimamura are two girls in their first year of high school, viewed by others as delinquents because they often skip class, meet in the loft above the school gym one day and begin to bond through games of ping-pong. The story shares some similarities to Bloom Into You, in its pacing and the approach of one girl becoming aware of her feelings before the other, but also has plenty of differences that set it apart.
Adachi is quiet and aloof, not much for conversation or friends in general. But she starts to open up after meeting Shimamura, who has a more laid back, go-with-the-flow approach to life. As the two spend more time together in and out of school -- also making a pact to attend classes and be better students -- Adachi grows more awkward around Shimamura as she starts to question her thoughts and feelings, and what exactly they mean. Her desire to figure them out leads to some adorably and comedically clumsy interactions between the two as Adachi tries to toe the line between what's considered "acceptable" versus the risk of scaring Shimamura away. For the most part, Shimamura remains blissfully ignorant, though she indulges Adachi's whims -- holding hands, sitting in intimate positions -- without overly questioning them.
Perhaps what sets Adachi & Shimamura apart most of all is the inclusion of a young cast member named Yashiro, who dresses in a spacesuit. She claims to be hundreds of years old and from another planet -- with some curious visual evidence that just might prove her right. While her role in the story hasn't been fully defined yet in the novels, Yashiro befriends Shimamura and her younger sister and often speaks in a mature manner that belies her youthful appearance.
The main cast is rounded out by Shimamura's friends and classmates Hino and Nagafuji. Hino is an oddball who tends to be bluntly honest while her best friend Nagafuji is dense with a poor memory but has an earnest heart. The two provide comedy and hijinks -- and occasionally helpful advice -- to balance out the increasingly complicated friendship between Adachi and Shimamura. It's a heartwarming coming-of-age story that should delight fans of yuri anime and romance series in general.
The anime is being produced by Tezuka Productions and directed by Satoshi Kuwabara (Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Case Closed). Adachi will be voiced by Akari Kitō (Demon Slayer, Classroom of the Elite) while Shimamura is voiced by Miku Itō (BanG! Dream, Armed Girl's Machiavellism). The light novel series, currently up to Volume 3 in English, is being published both digitally and in print by Seven Seas Entertainment.