Different Kinds of Yuri in Anime

I think that there are 4 different types of yuri in Anime.

The first one could be described as the most obvious one, in which the relationship between the two characters obviously exists and in which the viewers can actually see the couple confirm their love, which doesn’t necessarily need to be with words only. The best examples for this one are Kannazuki no Miko or Strawberry Panic.

kannazuki no miko yuri
Chikane (left) and Himeko (right). In the anime, their feelings for each other are pretty obvious.

The second type doesn’t really make the relationship between the two characters very obvious. There are hints that lead the viewer to believe that there might be some romantic feelings, but it is never confirmed. There are quite a few anime with that kind of “yuri subtext”, such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (all seasons) or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. It also seems that magical girl anime are quite common here. 😛

magical girl lyrical nanoha yuri
Nanoha (left), Fate (right). Yuri subtext is all over the place.

The third type shows yuri as a one-sided love only. It’s made clear that one girl has romantic feelings for the other one, but it’s either that the other girl doesn’t realize or won’t return those feelings. In most anime, this one-sided love is presented in a humorous way, adding the fruitless attempts to make the target of affection fall in love with them and the ever-repeating rejection as a repetitive comedy element. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san are two of the best examples you can find here.

toaru kagaku no railgun yuri
Kuroko (left) and her beloved onee-sama, Misaki (right).

The last type can’t actually be called yuri at all, because in this type, there are no romantic feelings from neither girl involved at all. The point here is that even though it is made very clear that neither of the characters harbor any kind of romantic feelings for one another, their dynamic is so great that it leads (some of the) viewers to think of the characters as a good possible couple. Now this last one might sound like it’s really rare, but it absolutely isn’t. Deciding which characters fall into this category is, of course, completely up to the viewers themselves, but just looking at the amount of fan art some characters get, it is made clear that it’s not only a few.

Examples here are Nao x Reika from Smile Precure, Hibiki x Kanade from Suite Precure, Ichiko x Momiji from Binbougami ga!, and the most recent, Asuka x Mari from Evangelion 3.0.

precure yuri reika nao
Reika (left) and Nao (right) by Mura Mura Pocky.

Every mentioned anime will, at some point, get a review on this blog, but I really don’t know how long it will take me to finish them all. 😛


4 thoughts on “Different Kinds of Yuri in Anime

  1. Number 3 is always the one that's the toughest 😦

    But, Kuuko might have a chance! The second season might just work out for her. As that one girl was told she'd meet someone new that would help her, and not very long after, the new someone she met WAS Kuuko. and her and Kuuko seemed to hit it off at the end of the first season fairly well. The second season could shrug this off, but I'm hoping they don't!


  2. I'm definitely cheering for Kuuko, she was such a creepy yet very cute character. I was hoping all along that at some point Nyaruka would stop chasing after Mahiro and give Kuuko a chance, but after watching the first season, I think it's very unlikely that their relationship will change in any way.
    Still I'm looking forward to the next season, it will hopefully be as hilarious as the first one.


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