This Week in Anime
Mysteria Friends is this Winter's Secret Steamy Yuri Romance

by Michelle Liu & Steve Jones,

Cygames' Mysteria Friends languished in production hell for three years before finally airing under the radar this season. This week, Micchy and Steve sing the praises of this adorable slice of cheesecake.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


Steve
Hey Micchy! Thank you for joining me to talk about the highly-anticipated second season of Forest of Piano!
Micchy
Now hold on a sec, I thought we were here to talk about Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, one of the best anime about gay dragon girlfriends.
That's certainly a genre with legs! And wings! And tails! And we can look no further than this season's Mysteria Friends (our actual topic) for evidence that it's not going away anytime soon.
Now content aside, Mysteria Friends has a fascinating production history.
Yeah, I was about to say. We were supposed to get this over two years ago.
Almost three! Adapting one arc of the smartphone game Rage of Bahamut, Mysteria Friends was supposed to air all the way back in spring 2016. Info about the series was suspiciously scarce, and the series was postponed just days before its scheduled premiere. Now, long after the game's North American server has shuttered, Mysteria Friends finally resurfaced, and my question is why. I'm not complaining or anything, but just, why???
It's deffo a weird situation. There were character designs and everything for the anime's original intended release, but something must have happened, because it looks like they scrapped everything and started from scratch. I am disappointed that they got rid of Grea's shoulder windows, which seems to be the choice costume decision of many a Granblue character.
 
Oh yeah, this is also produced by Cygames, so it's yet another anime created from all of your gacha salt. Ultimately, they dropped the Rage of Bahamut angle (probably for the best considering the extremely yikes second season of the anime), retooled the anime in various untold ways, and finally delivered some dragon titty three years in the making.
I guess the big question is: was it worth the wait?
Well, there's dragon titty, so there's your answer. Honestly though, putting aside its wonky history, Mysteria Friends is an odd experience. It's high fantasy, but also slice-of-life, and at 13 minutes an episode, it excises anything resembling an overarching plot. The result is this weird thing that's more or less paced like a standard TV anime, but with a truncated first and second act. Any given episode only has a sudden third-act emotional climax, which is to say the show has a lot of nice scenes, but the story is incredibly threadbare.
It has pretty nice production values! (Thank you to all those brave souls sparking in Granblue.) But yeah, it's fluff of the highest caliber. In theory, I'm into a story that clearly has a larger fantastical world that's only tangentially relevant (and surely elaborated on in some mobage somewhere), but it still needs a strong core to center itself. And Mysteria Friends never quite establishes that.
It's pretty though! If you want lazily-paced vignettes about a pair of disaster lesbians, you could definitely do worse.
 
 
Anne and Grea are pretty thin on character; we hardly know anything about their motivations or histories other than that Anne's a princess and Grea's half-dragon. But the show focuses on these moments between them that are honestly quite sweet. Like the first episode's revelation that Grea waited all day to finish having lunch with Anne is just adorable.
I might not know much about Grea's background, but this bit where she curls her tail in embarrassment gives her plenty of personality. Mysteria Friends kinda thrives on these little moments.
If the worth of any dragon girl anime is measured by how well her feelings are communicated through her tail (and it should be imo), then Mysteria Friends definitely passes. Anne tends to be the more rash and outgoing of the two, while Grea gets swept up in her friend's plans and ideas. They both turn into big awkward doofuses around each other though, which is absolutely accurate to the crushes I've had.
Luckily, there are ways of getting around that awkwardness when one of them is a dragon. Too nervous to hold hands? Just grab her tail!
And fall into her boobs too, I guess.
Weird how that keeps happening!
When are they gonna kiss? I demand at least that much from my dragon lesbians. More importantly, when are they going to have their matching pajama party?
You mean when will Anne finally learn Grea's dark secret: that she cuddles with her own tail like it's a hug pillow each night.

Incidentally, that will probably be the episode where Anne dies of shock at how cute her gf is, so maybe they're saving it for the finale. It should be mentioned that Anne is a thirsty little flower.

Not that Grea's much less so...
I too want to see Anne's summer event alt costume.
Like I said, they're both disasters. But Anne tends to go above and beyond. I can't help but respect her moxie in trying to smuggle Grea's shed tail-skin. That's some galaxy brain horny-ness.

I'm sure they'll be a happy (and exhausting) couple in the future, but there's def an alternate timeline where Anne fell in love with Tohru instead.


Oh my god, you're right!
Let Anne eat her gf's tail. That's all I'm saying.
Speaking of parallels to anime whose queer subtext is basically textual, how 'bout that piano scene?

If there's one thing Eva 3.33 taught me, it's that piano duets are never heterosexual.
I'm not saying four-handed piano is automatically gay, but it's pretty gay. I wonder if they get asked which one is the piano lesbian and which one is the tea lesbian?
We already have irrefutable evidence of which one is the sword lesbian.
Anne as the magical shield lesbian makes so much sense.
I think it's nice to have an anime that's explicitly textual about its two girl leads being in love, but it does get silly with the horny gaze at points. Like the second episode that Grea spends the bulk of naked and moaning in bed.
Or the episode that's 30% cheesecake shots by volume.
Oh, you mean Mysteriass Friends?
 
 
Though that episode also has a girl win at beach volleyball by voodooing her friend into hitting the ball with her face, so it's impossible to dislike.
Yeah I mean it also features their teacher passed out drunk on the beach, which I find viscerally relatable.
Speaking of side characters, we have to applaud the real star of the show:
I'm pretty sure Owen's the only male character in the show who speaks more than one line. He has like two! Otherwise he's just there doing his bodyguard thing, chaperoning the princess and whatnot.
He's here to do two things: keep Anne safe and stay out of sight. And he's really good at the latter!
I'm pretty sure each episode has at least one sight gag with him hiding somewhere while protecting his liege, and I just love the goofy "Where's Waldo" quality of it.
He's everywhere!
THAT'S THE BEST ONE.
Owen's great because when he's introduced as Anne's personal bodyguard, you think he's going to be an important character, but no, he's just this random sight gag in the background of every episode.
I think one of Mysteria Friends' best qualities is that it doesn't take itself too seriously.
Definitely. While it barely shares any continuity or staff with the other two Rage of Bahamut anime, Mysteria Friends does have a similar kind of irreverent humor. Genesis had Favaro, Virgin Soul had Nina, and Mysteria Friends has Anne.

Mysteria Friends also kinda has Favaro. For one endcard. And he's a girl.
But yes, Anne is a little stinker and proud of it. Sometimes you gotta orchestrate a library-wide hide-and-seek competition just so you can motorboat your big titty dragon gf, and that's valid.

And then they even HELD HANDS. It's too much.
Okay, I know we've been posting some racy images in this thread, but we might have to censor that one.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm trying to remove it. But yeah, Mysteria Friends was a long time coming, and I'm digging it. Was it worth a three-year wait? Probably not, but the dragon titty is much appreciated nonetheless.
As the most recent iteration in the horny ouroboros that surrounds gacha games and anime: it's fun, it's fluffy, and it's a lot cheaper than trying to pull either of these characters in Granblue!
May we all be able to grow past such worldly desires as anime girl pngs.
Get ready to swallow your words once they let you buy this costume for Grea, though.

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