Yaoi vs Yuri. Which is More Popular?

yaoi versus yuri

I think I’m not the only one wondering what people enjoy watching more: yuri, yaoi, or maybe even both equally?

Just looking at the amount of yuri and yaoi anime/manga that has been released, everyone would probably agree that solely based on this information, yaoi definitely wins in terms of popularity. But is it really true that people like yaoi more, and what are the preferences of the genders?

To find answers to these questions, I decided to start a poll on a popular anime forum called MyAnimeList. I decided upon this one because of its huge community, and of course, because it’s an anime-related forum. Asking the question on a forum that isn’t anime-related would probably not delivery any kind of usable information.

I also took into account whether this forum has an equal amount of male and female users, but that’s pretty hard to look into. So the first thing I looked for was a poll that told me the distribution of female and male users on this forum.

Unfortunately, I only found a poll that just a few people answered. Furthermore, I think we can’t really take this as real evidence on the matter, since it seemed most people didn’t really take this poll seriously in the first place. Still, here you have the poll results, showing that we can assume that there are slightly more male users than female ones. Please note that despite the fact that we can’t take this poll very seriously, this assumption is most likely true, and there are likely more males than females on MyAnimeList. This will, in the end, also affect the results of the Yuri vs. Yaoi poll.

myanimelist gender poll
click to enlarge

But before I’ll present the results of my poll, let me give you some basic information. Yaoi is a genre that mostly straight girls watch. It is directed at this audience, as well as at homosexual males. Yuri, on the other hand, is not only targeted at straight males and homosexual girls, but also at straight girls in general. In this case, it’s also a little harder to decide which of the mentioned groups has the biggest influence on the genre.

So here you have the poll results. We have 4 different choices and a total of 183 votes.

myanimelist yaoi versus yuri popularity poll
click to enlarge

To my surprise, yuri received the biggest amount of votes. I honestly expected yaoi to win, but I was pleasantly surprised with this outcome~ I know I’m repeating myself, but please note that there are slightly more males than females registered on this forum. Additionally, I also asked everyone to give us a little explanation of their choice and also tell us their gender. While mostly girls voted for yaoi, males and females equally voted for yuri.

Furthermore, there were also many people that voted for neither of them, and most of them gave reasonable explanations for why they chose this answer. If you wanna read all the posts to this poll, click here to get redirected to the thread. So far, there are a total of 138 replies.

I hope you found this blog entry interesting. If you have any suggestions on possible future posts, please let me know.

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32 thoughts on “Yaoi vs Yuri. Which is More Popular?

  1. I would say a dominant victory for The Nation but that would be unfair to our Yaoi State neighbors. I guess the power of yuri had slowly grown stronger than yaoi…somehow. In any case, all we can do is continue supporting the lovable genre of animated girls and women falling in love with each other.

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  2. Yuri definitely is much more better than yaoi in term of sales while Yaoi is much more popular in term of popularity .. as time goes by. .yuri seem to be domination because of the Fans are willing to spend on Yuri goodies while Yaoi fans enjoy freebies.

    and “yaoi” in real life is dirty since you can be infected with a lot of disease while Yuri in real life is pure. ..

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  3. Hm I'm not quite sure if Yuri does a better job in terms of sales, I actually think that Yaoi sells better at the moment. On the other hand I believe that the genre Yuri is becoming more popular pretty fast, so maybe someday we will really surpass Yaoi, but who knows…?

    And Yaoi in real life is dirty, while yuri is pure? I'm afraid that I can't agree with that.

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  4. People surrounding me generally love Yaoi, I've neither seen Yuri nor Yurikon in my real life. In China it seems the same way, that who loves Yaoi are generally girls, and who loves Yuri are equally males and females. But there's a term “伪腐女”(Bogus Fujoshi), also a term “伪百合控”(Bogus Yurikon). It might be a little complicated, but in my opinion, Bogus xxxx does put himself/herself into Yaoi/Yuri play even if he/she is not a female/male (maybe i am wrong), just like Harem. Although there're many girls like Yaoi, but a number of them are Bogus Fujoshi. (Well it seems this isn't the main problem? Yuri is master, haha…….

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  5. Most of my female friends who are into anime, love Yaoi and always try to get me to watch it with them. I think I have so far never even met a female yuri fan in real life, it's kind of frustrating…

    I'm sorry but I don't fully understand what you mean with these two terms, it seems I'm a little confused about it. Did you want to say that a yuri or yaoi fan doesn't necessarily want to engage in real lesbian or gay actions?

    And you're absolutely right, Yuri is the best (at least for us yuri fans) 😛

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  6. I'm actually the same. There're too many female Yaoi fans and they always recommend me to watch some Yaoi animate or read some Yaoi novel, oh yuck..!
    You are right, some Yaoi or Yuri fans only enjoy Yuri or Yaoi in ACG, but not in the real life. (Well anyway I don't care lesbian in the real world (though I've not seen any confirmed les yet….), but I feel a little disgusted with gay.)
    By the way, as far as I've seen, most male anime fans like Harem while female anime fans like Yaoi. This phenomenon is exactly reflected on Tieba(the largest Chinese communication platform). The top of the “animate” contents is always “Fujoshi” or “Harem Animate”. So I've seen someone said that “…It seems that Yuri fans are digged out from Fujoshi and Harem fans.”

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  7. I can't really confirm anything, but from my experience I can say, that many male anime fans really are into harem anime.
    I usually don't mind as long as the character that has the said harem actually deserves to be loved so much (which is unfortunately mostly not the case) 😛

    So you say you are a yuri fan, who is not ok with “real life homosexuality” or are you only talking about gay men?
    Because it would be quite rare to find someone who is only ok with homosexuality as long it's 2D.

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  8. I got curious about the relative popularity of yuri and yaoi because I've also never met someone in real life who likes/reads/watches yuri as much as I do. I mean, I do recommend stuff for some friends to read but they're not like me who's always in the hunt for new material. My two girl cousins love yaoi and well I've tried reading it but I just really find yuri more sexy. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm into girls, but I'd like to think that it's because yuri storylines and panels are more expressive… even without words.

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  9. I have not read that many yaoi manga, but I've watched quite some anime. Well more like I was forced to do so, but I mostly didn't hate it.

    What I noticed is the fact that many yaoi anime focus solely on the relationship, while one of the characters is usually the dominant one, while the other just goes along with it.
    It feels a little forced sometimes and at least from what I've seen, the story in general is usually not as innocent, showing a lot more kissing and touching than what I'm usually used to.

    Yuri on the other hand often comes as a side plot or if it is the main theme of the story, there are other themes involved as well, just like in Kannazuki no Miko.

    Also I think, the feelings of the characters play a bigger role, at least in some yuri anime, while yaoi focuses more on the actions, if that makes sense.
    Hm this makes me want to write a blog entry about the differences between yuri and yaoi in general, but I don't want to upset any yaoi fan 😛

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  10. You know.. almost my gay (male) friends really like Yuri. How weird, right? I think if they're gay, they will read Yaoi, but they told me, Yuri is much more chemistry and ecstatic. I know it sounds funny =]. My straight sister like Yuri, too. She reads shoujo-mang and Yuri-manga together.

    Whatever the results come up, it's a happy feeling to know Yuri is slowly growing stronger than the past :).

    P.S: Do you think your blog will be safe since you post this entry :))? As far I know, Yaoi-female-fans are aggressive :)). They won't forgive you if you compare Yaoi with any genre. Be careful xD *I've experienced, trust me*

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  11. I'm very sorry for the WAY too late reply, it seems I didn't get a notification when you posted this…

    I think, even though I'm obviously a yuri fan, I didn't try to hate on yaoi, in fact I've already read and watched a few yaoi titles as well and I don't think they are bad at all 😉
    Also as you can see, there's no hate comment on this entry yet, so I guess I'm safe 😛

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  12. Yeah. This is a late response, but I felt like putting my two cents in. I personally prefer yaoi, but I actually don't mind gay men in real life. Since I actually have a gay (male) friend in real life, I think it's adorable when two guys are a couple. But surprisingly, I don't mind yuri either. I mean, it's not to my taste, but I don't hate or want to bash on it either. Since I also have a lesbian friend in real life, I've learned to accept lesbian relationships in real life as well.

    I personally support both genres and hope that the fandoms will spread even more.

    I guess you can say I'm one of those rare fujoshi that's rational and understanding. (yes, I'm a straight female) 😛

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  13. I think it's so rare to find people who can enjoy both.
    For most it's like you have to decide between the two, while really, I feel like they kind of go hand in hand in some weird way.
    Well, of course I enjoy yuri far more, but I also watch and read some yaoi works and don't see anything wrong with it.

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  14. I've grown up with some pretty strange friends and a few of them enjoy yuri, while a few more like yaoi. So basically, I got to see both sides of the coin.

    And I wish more fujoshi can learn to accept both. They don't necessary have to love it, but they should stop whining and complaining about it. I mean, yaoi and yuri are almost the exact same thing, just change the gender. Maybe one day yuri will be better appreciated.

    -same straight fujoshi

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  15. I'm also a girl and I like Yuri, I'm not a lesbian. I don't like Yaoi because there are a lot of dirty things unlike Yuri, I found Yuri more on love and drama, that's why, I'm thunbs-up for Yuri. I also hate Yaoi because biys are more horny than girls (I asked my friend [a boy], don't worry he's smart).
    In my opinion, Yaoi is more popular because girls are interested in love and on the other side, boys love Hentai.
    P.S this is merely my opinion.

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  16. I'm a yaoi lover big time. But I dislike Yuri because I think that I'm disgusted with females being sexual… If that makes sense… I'm not against it, but I feel women are too sexualized, unlike men. I find yaoi hot and Yuri not. But that's also because I'm a trans guy who dislikes his female body. I hope both continue to get bigger. I also want to see more acceptance for gay men. It seems that lesbians are a sexual object, or that they're just more accepted, unlike gay men.
    I think the best part of yaoi is the build and acceptance in its world. 🙂

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  17. I don't think there's anything wrong with women being sexual, it's just often done in a way that doesn't do the yuri genre any favors (e.g. Valkyrie Drive). If it's somewhat tastefully done and isn't just there to attract sexually deprived boys, then I don't mind at all.

    It does seem that way, but we can only hope that times will change, and society will grow more accepting of everyone in the LGBT community.

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  18. I think anyone is free to enjoy watching a romance between 2 people regardless of those persons gender, right? So a girl can enjoy watching the love between 2 girls without being a lesbian. I wouldn't agree with your “boys are more horny” statement like that but I totally get what you mean and the meaning behind it is also a reason for me to prefer Yuri over Yaoi^^

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  19. I dislike Yaoi a lot. I'm a female and I absolutely LOVE Yuri. Usually because I find it to be more classy in the way that it presents itself. I'm a lesbian, and there are lots of ways that I relate with Yuri. Now I don't dislike Yaoi because I'm a lesbian, it's because of, you guessed it, the fandom. There are actually Yaoi titles and pairs that I absolutely love, but I can't help but to DISLIKE Yaoi, because most of the girls I know love Yaoi and cram it down my throat every day. Honestly, I don't mind Yaoi at all, but Yuri makes me…I don't even know how to explain it. Especially when we have authors like Nishi-Sensei (Nishi Uko) who do an amazing job at adding a sense of realism. When it comes to Yaoi, I find it to be too sexualized and cutesy to enjoy, which is also a problem with majority of Yuri admittedly, but it is definitely easier to find a realistic Yuri than say a realistic Yaoi, which I guess is most of the appeal in Yaoi for heterosexual women. I am pretty sure I contradicted myself a lot and made this post confusing, but I kinda just put everything I though at once into this post.

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  20. Oh you don't even know how much I can relate to this. Back when I didn't even watch anime some of my friends were really extreme with their love for yaoi. I didn't and still don't hate this genre, as I view this as something that should go hand in hand with yuri, though the way they just shoved it into my face back then, writing fanfics that they wanted me to read, drawing pictures and making me watch stuff that I simply didn't want to see… I might be extreme with my love for yuri as well, though if I see that someone is not interested, I don't do anything about it. So yeah, having friends like this can be a problem, and I also understand what you mean when you say the fandom is similar, because that's the feeling I got as well. Though, I guess there are problems with the yuri fandom as well. Though, that's not the question here 😛

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  21. I dont hate yaoi, I hate the small percentage of its fanbase who say shit like this.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–
    “I’ll be honest, as a straight dude that’s watched some yaoi and some yuri here is my veredict:

    -Yuri: It is fucking boring, nothing ever happens, every thing is EXTREMELY innocent and it’s almost like what a little girl imagines of romance. I’ve seen plenty of Yuri, don’t try to tell me I haven’t, also, I’m looking at you Strawberry Panic. -_-

    -Yaoi: depends a lot, shounen-ai is much like shoujo-ai, however, while shoujo-ai and yuri are pretty much the same with a little more spice to it, the transition from shounen-ai to yaoi is extremely perceptible, it becomes more aggressive, MUCH MORE SEXUAL, and there are plenty more interesting stories and plotlines, even the characters evolve throughout the story. Junjou Romantica is a nice example of this, because though it has some cliches, it has hilarious moments, sad moments, you learn about the characters, and there’s “action” from the get go, as well as tension and drama.

    Also, why does yaoi have much more sex action than yuri, you’d figure men would write sex plots more often. Not problems here, I still think Junjou Romantica is awesome for anyone who is interested in it. Straight guys might be overwhelmed, I know cuz i was. :p”
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    Yeah, this dude did no research at all. All he did was watch the top 3 yuri anime’s and came to the conclusion, thats what all yuri is like.”fucking boring” he clearly hasn’t seen akuma no riddle.”extremely innocent” he clearly hasn’t read citrus ( that manga aint innocent). And his worst argument is that yaoi has better plots. Usually in a yuri our couple’s romance is a side plot so that the main plot can develop, while yaoi focuses on WHAT WHAT IN THE BUTT. Mainly the biggest problem with yaoi is that its to sexual to give us these so called “interesting stories and plot lines”

    And lets not forget the single most offensive insult you could say to a male yuri fan like me
    ” men can’t enjoy yuri because it has no penis involved ” this the only comment that really got to me when I first heard it. but it dosent phase me as much anymore. So in conclusion some yaoi fans
    ( not all of them ) are really close minded assholes. But hey what kind of fanbase dosent have a small majority people that act like that :P.

    – Zion.W

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    • Haha, okay well that comment made me laugh 😛 That guy is like so many others… watched 2 or 3 yuri anime and think he knows them all.

      Though, that’s how things are online. If you’re not a fan of it, than you basically rant about it, since it doesn’t meet your expectations..

      Personally, I’d like these two genres to go hand in hand, though I feel like this is not possible. We basically want the same thing, more gay stuff on TV. I’m not particularly rooting for yaoi to appear in more anime, but I don’t mind it either. It appearing more, might mean that people accept it more, which then again might mean that the same applies to yuri as well. I guess if you see it like that, it really makes it clear that we should be working together…

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    • The dude obviously hasn’t watched or read much yuri, but if the type of yuri he’d like is a “more aggressive, MUCH MORE SEXUAL” yuri, I’m glad he isn’t a consumer…I agree with RTV, there is way too much out there to attract the sexually deprived boys already. As for boring, I think the dude you’ve quoted simply lacks an appreciation for the (usually) more subtle dynamics and (usually) understated interpersonal politics in the relationships between women in the best yuri.

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