In case you didn’t know, we’ve had A LOT of yuri manga recommendations over the years, but when it comes to yuri anime recommendations, not so much. Well, it’s about time we change that~
But us anime fans know that we just don’t have it as good as the manga fans do, so instead of a multi-part series, we thought it might be better to simply break down our recommendations by genre/subgenre in one giant post. I’m guessing the average YR reader will already know about pretty much all of these shows, so I guess you can say that this post is skewed more towards newer yuri fans that have finally seen the light and discovered that yuri is the purest form of love. 😛
So what genres are we talking about here? I’m so glad you asked that! When it comes to anime, it’s often hard to pigeonhole a show into one specific genre, but we tried to sort these anime into the one genre we think they best represent. So without further ado, here are the genres we’ll be highlighting.
^^ You can just click on any of those genres to jump ahead to that specific part of the post, so without further ado, let’s get started~
A C T I O N
It’s undoubtedly cool when people fight each other. Doesn’t matter if it’s with swords, guns, super powers, or anything else. Just bleed! 😀
Akuma no Riddle had a simple premise: all students in class are tasked with killing one of their classmates in order to get their wish granted. If they fail to kill her, they’ll be expelled themselves. Sounds cool, and even though the story does get pretty silly at times, this show is entertaining as can be. There are a lot of girls out to kill Haru, and their personalities are often so over-the-top and ridiculous that you can’t help but love them.
Tokaku and Haru get most of the yuri attention, but there are so many other twisted girls to ship in this show, and it’s so great that we have such a messed up anime in which to enjoy them all. Clearly, this show deems senseless violence as what’s most important here, and given how much fun it ended up being, I’d say that was the right choice.
The thing I remember most about Mai-HiME was ShizNat (Shizuru x Natsuki). Everybody seems to love them, and they’re absolutely one of the best reasons to watch this show, but there are other reasons as well. The action was good, the characters were good, the production values were good, and thanks to ShizNat, the yuri was good.
But then the show was at its final episode, and it just didn’t end well. This wasn’t YamiBou levels of bad or anything, but instead of going out with a bang, this show went out with a whimper, and it was really disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, Mai-HiME was still a good anime, yet I just expected a much better ending.
Mnemosyne was only six episodes, but they were long episodes (around 45 minutes each), so this isn’t a short anime or anything. That said, the story was really interesting, and Rin’s immortal nature (as well as the angels that devour these immortal women) was very awesome as well. Once we learn a lot more about the story, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much, but it is pretty bleak, so that might be the reason right there.
Rin is bisexual, so even though her and Mimi have an very close personal relationship, Mimi isn’t the only person that Rin is involved with (and vice versa). So, sorry if you were hoping for a pure yuri anime (they are adorable together, however). Besides Rin and Mimi, there are only a few other noteworthy characters, but that means more screen time for the two main girls, so that’s not a bad thing at all. Overall, I liked this anime, even though it wasn’t anything special.
Talk about a pleasant surprise. As an original anime, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Princess Principal, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this anime was actually really good. The story about a group of young spies going on various missions was a lot more entertaining than it sounds, and that’s probably because the action was good and girls had such enjoyable personalities.
Dorothy, Beatrice, and Chise all brought something unique to the table, but while I thought they were really nice, Ange and Charlotte stole the show for me. They’re very close, and their stories intertwine in such a great way, so it’s easy to understand why their relationship almost feels romantic at times. Later on, that relationship is at the center of the story, and it’s great. We’re supposed to be getting SIX follow-up movies, though no new info has come out since the announcement. Still, that’s amazing news, and I for one can’t wait for them~
For years, Symphogear was a franchise that I just never got around to watching, but when I finally did, the combination of music and action turned out to be the anime equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter. It just goes so well together. For the first season, I remember the story being pretty mediocre, but I think it gets a little better in subsequent seasons.
The action is what most people are here for, however, and that’s where Symphogear shines most. Battles are over-the-top and all kinds of exciting, and that continues throughout the entire series, which is now on the currently-airing fifth season. Most of the girls are cool and kick a lot of ass, and there’s a bit of yuri involved to add to the enjoyment, so action fans might take a liking to this.
A D V E N T U R E
Adventure anime aren’t as numerous as action anime, but I think the good ones might feature stories that are better than their action counterparts, or at least more ambitious.
I’d say that Madhouse is arguably one of the best anime studios out there, so when you see their name attached to an anime, you take notice. But despite me noticing senpai, the synopsis for this show didn’t make me want to immediately start watching. A trip to Antarctica? It sounded kind of meh to me, however, this eventually turned into arguably one of the best anime of 2018.
What made this anime for me was the girls and their individual stories. This was a really character-driven show, so while there weren’t a lot of major events that dramatically shifted the story, the transformation of the characters was superb, and it hammered home why Madhouse is so good. The yuri is not what you might expect, but it makes a lot of sense, and I enjoyed that as well.
From one of the best anime of 2018 to maybe one of the best anime of 2016. Flip Flappers is an anime that’s kind of hard to explain. It’s kind of like a surreal fairy tale brought to life in anime form, and it’s just so strange and unique that it stays with you long after you’re done watching.
Of course, Cocona and Papika were a great duo, and their love for each other plays a big part in the story. And I can’t forget about Yayaka, Cocona’s best friend, who also seems to have a thing for Cocona. But Cocona x Papika was just as great as the world of Pure Illusion itself, and even though this show is different and a little hard to understand, yuri fans should absolutely watch this.
Out of the 101 anime on this recommendation list, this one is probably my very favorite. Given the cutesy look of the characters, you’d think this would be mostly cheerful and fun… and you’d be dead wrong. Made in Abyss is dark and sinister, and I absolutely loved the sense of adventure and mystery that came from exploring the depths of the abyss.
That sense of wonder is so great, and then you throw in some lovable characters that you can’t help but root for, and you have an instant classic on your hands. Nanachi and Mitty were so sweet together, and in case you’re interested in watching, there are two compilation movies already released, and a movie sequel is set to premiere in January 2020, so I’d highly recommend giving this anime a shot~
C O M E D Y
There are way too many good yuri-ish comedies, so some good shows ended up being left out, but the ones that were included are very much worth your time.
This show centers around some young mangaka of various genres, and part of the reason I liked it so much was due to it being about something that most of us are at least a little familiar with, manga. But the biggest reason? It’s because the characters (and comedy) are so entertaining.
I loved Chaos, who was definitely my favorite character in the group, but even though Chaos is secretly a little pervy, Koyume and Tsubasa were the main yuri attraction and the pairing that you were required to ship. Ruki and Suzu were also great, and it’s just an embarrassment of riches and fun characters. Because of the subject matter, it’s obviously kind of similar to Hidamari Sketch, but I found this to be a little funnier than that.
If you don’t immediately think of Kanamemo when you think of comedy anime, you’re not alone. It seems a lot of people missed/overlooked this one, which is unfortunate, because it goes heavy on the yuri. And this is more than just subtext, since Kanamemo has a canon yuri couple that are all over each other. Oh, and these aren’t side characters either. They’re part of the main cast~
But while the yuri is great, don’t forget that this is a really funny show. I haven’t even mentioned Haruka, the drunkard loli hunter that just can’t keep her hands to herself, but she’s one of the major reasons why the comedy is so much fun. Having an actual yuri couple sets this show apart from the others, but if you just want an anime with a great sense of comedic timing, this’ll fit the bill quite nicely.
Sometimes, all it takes is one PV to convince you that an anime is going to end up being really good, and that’s how it was with this one. Obviously, the story was unique and led to all sorts of hilarious moments, but the characters were every bit as great, and together, they helped make this one of the best anime of 2017.
To me, this show was right up there with Yuru Yuri, but the fantasy elements gave this a little something extra, and that was huge. The characters were very memorable, and between Kobayashi x Tooru and Kanna x Riko, you have super cute and entertaining pairings. What more could you want? A second season has been announced, but given KyoAni’s situation, let’s hope that they’re able to rebound and continue producing high quality shows like this one.
Love Lab has the distinction of being only one of two anime to have ever received a 10/10 score from us in terms of total enjoyment (the first season of Shingeki no Kyojin is the other), so what does that tell you? Yeah, it tells you that L is sometimes a generous grader, but it also tells you that Love Lab is simply a whole lot of fun. 😛
The bad news is there’s only some yuri subtext here, so this isn’t something like Yuru Yuri. Still, the characters and comedy ended up being so good that it’s a non-issue. The premise of the show was ripe for comedy, and the show delivered in spades, so where’s my second season? The manga got an anime adaptation seven years after it’s debut, so is it going to take another seven years to happen? Love Lab 2020? I’d vote for it~
There are a lot of funny anime on this list, but to me, the Yuru Yuri franchise stands above them all. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that I think this is one of the best anime comedy franchises period. I think part of all this success is a result of a great cast of characters, and it helps that most of these girls are gay. Lesbian hijinx ensue, and it’s all so hilarious.
In addition to this first season, there’s also been a second season, an OVA, a special, a third season, and there’s also another OVA on the way. Time and time again, the series just delivers tons of laughs and tons of yuri, so if I only had one comedy to recommend to yuri fans, it would definitely be Yuri Yuri~
D A R K M A G I C A L G I R L
Magical girls not edgy enough for you? That’s where dark magical girls come in. It’s almost the same thing, but dark magical girl anime makes our dull lives seem not as bad in comparison. 😛
You’re not going to find many anime that are as acclaimed as Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, and for good reason. This franchise is excellence personified, and I wont be that surprised if there’s never another magical girl anime that’s as good as this one. This is a lot of praise, but ask anyone who’s watched it and they’re likely to agree.
I won’t spoil anything, but the story is great, and it’s a great source of discussion, because you’re probably going to be left stunned at what ends up happening. This is even more true in the movie sequel, and this TV anime is also available in the form of two recap movies. The characters are great, but bad things happen in the story, and you’re to get attached, so prepare to witness a lot of hardship on their behalf. Just know that pretty much everything about this show is great, so there’s no need for me to keep saying it.
Mahou Shoujo Site is not going to win any awards for originality or quality, but it’s dark and messed up, and for those reasons alone, I think some people will like it. Episode one is already so depressing, and though the story doesn’t continue at that pace, the remainder of the episodes are incredibly gloomy. Despite this gloominess, the second half of the season sees Aya and Tsuyuno get very close, and though it’s nothing more than strong subtext, they’re a brief respite from the unrelenting darkness.
I may not love this show, but it is entertaining, and I think it’s able to hold your attention pretty well. The story is very forgettable and nothing you haven’t seen done much better elsewhere, but some of the characters are interesting, and the little bit of yuri that we get isn’t bad at all.
What makes this magical girl anime so dark? Torture. And a lot of violence. Yeah, that’s pretty dark. What make this show unique was how the girls weren’t really fighting supernatural monsters or something like that. They were predominately battling terrorists who use these beings for their own purposes, so needless to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the story.
But what I was a fan of was the yuri, which was pretty plentiful. And this is exactly why Kurumi was so great. She’s clearly gay for Asuka, and despite how it may seem on the surface, she’s actually a really twisted person that’d go to the ends of the Earth for Asuka. The yuri’s not enough to keep this anime from being mediocre, but it helps make the show a lot more enjoyable.
Since they’re playing a card game, this could’ve easily made it on the list in the “Game” genre, but this is a pretty dark franchise, so I feel like it fits best in this genre. There’s so much bad mojo involved with this show, and even though I had no idea what the hell was going on with the card battle matches, I knew that the end result was probably going to be someone in a lot of agony.
The story could’ve made more sense, but there is sequel after sequel after sequel after sequel that further flesh out the truth behind the card battle game. Don’t expect much yuri from this season, and that’s probably going to disappoint a lot of people.
D R A M A
Almost every anime has some drama, but there’s drama and then there’s DRAMA. These two shows served up a master class in the dramatic arts.
You’re not going to find a more controversial anime on this list than this one. That’s due to the relationship between a teenage girl and a little kid. Yeah, I know. I didn’t have a problem with Satou being a twisted psycho that doesn’t hesitate to kill people, but seeing the nature of her relationship with Shio just makes me uneasy, and after reading the comments across the internet, it seems a majority of people feel the same way.
Say what you will about the yuri in this anime, but this was still a really entertaining show, and I think it definitely could’ve qualified as a guilty pleasure. That’s mostly because Satou is so deranged, and watching her go into yandere mode was morbidly fascinating. But some people will avoid this due to the obvious, and I can totally understand where they’re coming from.
The thing you should know about Kuzu non Honkai is that, for the one yuri relationship in this show, you have five, yes FIVE, het relationships. But if that’s not a dealbreaker for you, be assured that the yuri couple is a pretty damn good one. This anime deals with all sorts of relationship topics, and to be perfectly honest, this isn’t an easy anime to watch.
But even though this was tough to watch at times, it was fascinating to watch all of these relationships develop and implode, especially that of Hana and Sanae. Their relationship is, like all the other relationships in this show, rooted in unhealthy circumstances, but I loved how it’s kind of like a rawer version of the lesbian drama we see in shows like Aoi Hana.
E C C H I
Fanservice. Some people love it, some people hate it, but like it or not, it’s become a pretty common thing in anime. For some people, though, a bit of fanservice isn’t enough. Their anime has to have A LOT of fanservice, so here are the yuri-ish ones that they should be watching.
Before there was Valkyrie Drive and Queen’s Blade, there was Ikkitousen. This ecchi anime is a little more grounded than those other two, as it focuses more on martial arts than weapon-based combat, but there are some fantasy elements that manage to keep things interesting.
If you’re really craving an ecchi anime with a lot of yuri, then this shouldn’t be your first choice, since there’s really only one yuri pairing (and they’re just supporting characters). I reviewed this one recently, and I’m planning on reviewing the others in the coming weeks, so all those Ikkitousen kisses in our yuri kisses post? Many of them are coming up in later seasons.
For me, Queen’s Blade is the first show that comes to mind when I think about ecchi anime. It came before Valkyrie Drive, so even though it’s not quite up to that perverted level, the level of fanservice is still very high. I liked how fantasy-oriented this series was, and while the story might not be particularly good, it is entertaining.
Back in the day, this was actually a really big seller, so it’s no surprise that we ended up with a lot of sequels and spin-offs, and they all were just like this one: extremely ecchi. If you measure the quality of these types of shows by boob count, then this series is one of the best to ever do it.
Compared to the other ecchi shows on the list, I think that Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai feels inadequate. That’s a weird thing to say, but it just seems to get lost and forgotten amongst the flood of ecchi anime, and nobody really remembers it that well. It’s every bit as lewd as the others, the story is every bit as bad as the others, and it’s every bit as yuri as the others, but for whatever reason, it’s just an also ran.
Still, if you want TONS of yuri and fanservice in your anime, this show should be on your radar. I doubt anyone would prefer it over something like Valkyrie Drive or Queen’s Blade, but ecchi anime fans probably don’t have the highest standards anyway, so they probably won’t really care. 😛
“Lewd yuri action.” L’s description sums up this anime perfectly. The story is absurd, there are way too many boobs to count, the fanservice is through the roof, and yet this show still manages to be major guilty pleasure. You know what you’re watching isn’t good, but you just can’t pull yourself away from it, and every new episode leads to you doing this.
Like all of the other ecchi shows on the list, this is mostly just another example of style over substance. It has all the yuri and nakedness you could ever ask for, but I think it’s covering up a pretty mediocre show. Still, it was really entertaining, and that’s more than you can say about a lot of other anime.
F A N T A S Y
There are quite a bit of shows like this as well, but they usually fit in other genres better. Still, these might appeal to yuri fans more than some of the others.
As a spinoff to an anime that most yuri fans probably didn’t watch (Luck & Logic), I wasn’t expecting much from this anime, and while I didn’t exactly love it, we ended up with a whole lot more yuri than I was anticipating. Really, that’s by far the biggest reason to watch this show. The story is very forgettable, but the yuri undertones are much less so.
Lion and Nina were as cute as can be, but it was also very fun to see Mizuki try over and over again to win Yuuko’s love and affection. Between those four girls, the yuri is a good combination of cute and funny, and that also pretty much describes the rest of the show.
I almost forgot to add this show to the list! That would have been horrible, because I think this might just be one of the best anime on here. The story is pretty unique, and I found the ongoing war between the Gems and Lunarians to be really compelling stuff, especially when we get more details about the story.
Yeah, you can easily ship some of the Gems together (Phos x Cinnabar and Bort x Diamond were my favs in that regard), and the CG action scenes were EPIC. Seriously, that Bort vs Shiro fight in episode 10? So gorgeous. This anime is so good that it would be a crime if we don’t get a second season at some point. So even if it might takes years, it would be well worth the wait, if this season is anything to go by.
Back in 2013, the original Little Witch Academia was such a resounding success that it led to a short movie sequel, but the real treat was the TV anime that finally came in 2017. It took everything that was good about the first two movies and made it even better. This was a really rich fantasy world that seemed to get better and better, and it had to help that Trigger had more than 26 or 53 minutes to work with.
The characters were also pretty great as well. You can’t help but love Akko, and you can’t mention Akko without Diana, who’s Akko’s main rival, so you just know they’re bound to eventually get close (and they do). This is the kind of anime that you don’t want to see end, and I hope that the story (and characters) can continue on in some form. Lastly, if you like Harry Potter, you stand a good chance at liking this.
For a while, it seemed like we’d never get the chance to watch Manaria Friends, but lucky for us, it finally saw the light of day, and it actually turned out to be surprisingly good for a short anime. This anime is absolutely dripping with yuri subtext, so even though there isn’t a kiss or anything like that between Anne and Grea (but there was this), it feels like a yuri anime.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that you should probably expect to see Anne and Grea again on our end-of-year Yuri Awards post. They’re so great together, and the (mostly) calm and easygoing mood of the show suits the heavy subtext perfectly. In short, we NEED more of these two!
And the award for Worst Yuri Anime Ending of All-Time goes to… YamiBou! Seriously, it’s that bad. The story had potential, but I think it was all wasted away by the time the show had finished, and it’s definitely a lowlight of the show.
The yuri content is high, despite Hazuki always having to chase after Hatsumi. Would it have killed the creators to get rid of some of the many unimportant characters and just let the two of them have some personal time to themselves? It feels like the show could’ve been so much more, but it’s just mediocre at best.
G A M E
Different games for different dames. This isn’t a genre you often see feature some meaningful yuri, but these few shows immediately come to mind.
While the other game-related anime on this list are generally pretty light and fluffy… Kakegurui is not. At all. High-stakes gambling is the what this anime is all about, and at the forefront is one of the most twisted and entertaining characters on the entire list, Yumeko. She’s one of our Yuri Anime Legends, and her extreme passion for gambling is well worth the price of admission.
Season two is more of the same (which is a good thing), though it does double down on the yuri a bit more than season one, so yuri fans should dig that. Kakegurui may be dark and over-the-top, but that’s exactly what makes it stand out so much, so these wicked games are very entertaining.
“Yo, dawg. We heard you like game anime, so we made a game anime about a group of gamer girls who develop games.” I’m sorry, that was terrible, but adding this show to the list was a no-brainer. This should probably be in the slice of life category, because it had all the good things you’d expect from those kinds of shows.
As is usually the case, the story is simple and straightforward, but the characters do the heavy lifting and make this show as pleasant as it is. They’re all cute, but Rin was clearly the best girl, and her best girl was clearly Kou. To make matters better, the second season debuted the following year, so we didn’t have to wait very long to get more of this good stuff.
G I R L S W I T H G U N S
I feel like there aren’t a ton of really good girls with guns anime, but a select few stand head and shoulders above the rest, and here they are.
Bakuretsu Tenshi doesn’t get the attention that the other shows in this genre get, so while I would rate it behind those others, I think fans will like that it’s just as action-packed and kickass. For me, I’m willing to overlook some story deficiencies in a show like this, as long as the action is good, and luckily, the action is good in Bakuretsu Tenshi (but the story is also not so good).
Shows like this usually don’t have a ton of yuri, and the same is true here. Jo and Meg are the pair to ship, and they fall in the familiar roles of protector and protectee. That’s fine, if unoriginal, but Jo’s stoic nature doesn’t lend itself that well to romance, and we’re left with Meg being the one to show a little affection. So this isn’t the best yuri-ish girls with guns anime you can watch, but it’s a welcome addition that fans should still enjoy.
Everyone knows about the Bee Train trilogy, but as we all know, those aren’t the only yuri-ish game in town. In my eyes, Canaan compares pretty favorably with those shows, and I’d definitely give it the edge in terms of pure action. Unlike the Bee Train shows, the supernatural doesn’t as big a role in the story. It’s mostly military this and bioterrorism that, and I think the story actually turned out to be pretty decent.
Canaan and her nemesis, Alphard, are as badass as you’re going to find in these kind of shows, and then you throw in Liang Qi, who’s as crazy as crazy gets, and you have yourself a good cast of characters. Canaan x Maria and Alphard x Liang Qi are what you’ll be looking forward to in terms of yuri, and although both situations are very different, they each bring something enjoyable to the table.
El Cazador was the final piece of the trilogy, and like its predecessors, it shares a lot of the same themes and subject matter. I think this ended up being my least favorite of the group, even though it’s definitely a lot cuter and has a better sense of humor than the other two shows.
I guess the formula was getting too familiar to me, right down to the fairly subtle yuri subtext between Nadie and Ellis that takes place in the second half of the season. But unlike Noir and Madlax, there isn’t another female character that comes along and shows interest in either of our leading ladies. Maybe Bee Train just forgot about it?
Because of the military involvement, I feel like Madlax is the most straightforward of the trilogy series on the surface, but there’s still a heavy supernatural focus on the story. Said story had its share of plot twists, and I think I remember it being more out there than the other two shows.
Madlax and Elenore can be shipped together, but I thought that Limelda was a better suitor for Madlax, and Vanessa was great with Madlax as well. There was a little less action than I was expecting, however, that wasn’t a problem, and I think this was still nearly as enjoyable as its older anime sibling.
This is where the Bee Train trilogy began, and it’s arguably the best one of the bunch. Whereas El Cazador stars bounty hunters, and Madlax stars mercenaries, Noir stars assassins, and I found the story in Noir to be more interesting and compelling than those other two. I think that’s largely due to the main characters, Kirika and Mireille. The subtext between them is generally pretty light, but it’s present, and where the real overt display of female affection comes from is Chloe, who clearly has a thing for Kirika.
Noir is a different kind of girls with guns anime than Canaan. It’s not as action-oriented and it places a lot more emphasis on mystery, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat (poor cat), and both of these anime are great in their own way~
G U I L T Y P L E A S U R E S
Everybody has certain anime that they’re a little embarrassed to admit that they like. The following anime have something about them that are just like that.
About a year ago, I was mentioning how bad this OVA is, and while it is very bad, it may be so bad it’s good. It’s campy and strange, and I don’t know if the anime itself is in on the joke, but it’s more fun to think that it was sincerely trying to be something serious and entertaining.
Unintentional comedy is the order of the day, and I haven’t even mentioned zombies yet! Well, the only “zombie” is Euphrosyne, and she doesn’t eat brains or anything, so that’s false advertising! Anyway, as a comedy, Aru Zombie is fun. As anything else, it’s bad. Really bad.
In case you couldn’t tell by the pic or bother to look at the list of genres, Loveless is primarily a yaoi show, but don’t let that fool you. It actually has a really good yuri couple that you can argue are handled better than some other yuri couples in other yuri anime. That’s some high praise, but for about three episodes, Kouya and Yamato deliver the yuri that makes sitting through all that Ritsuka x Soubi nonsense worth it.
Yeah, their arc lasts only three measly episodes, but it’s really, really good. The rest of the show is okay, but there isn’t a real ending, so the story doesn’t end up being as good as it could have been. People give this anime a bad rap just because of the yaoi, but if you can tolerate that, there’s a lovely yuri relationship waiting for you, which is why I’d recommend this.
Maria†Holic is a pretty divisive anime mainly because of the relationship between the main character, Kanako, and Mariya, a boy pretending to be a girl. Mariya is cruel and a total asshat to Kanako, and at one point early on, he threatens to rape her if she reveals his secret. Suffice it to say, he’s very easy to hate, and hate him people do.
But the great thing about this show is that Kanako is extremely gay, and that gayness manifests itself often, so she’s super entertaining to watch. She’s often the butt of the jokes, and not everyone might like that, however, she is hilarious and the main reason to watch this anime in the first place.
I know, I know. Yuri fans are going to see “Harem” in the genre list for this show and immediately dismiss this anime, and I wouldn’t blame you for it. But if you were to do that, you’d miss out on a Yuri Anime Legend (Akane). You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
Yes, Akane saves this show from the dumps by being what us yuri fans like best, a massive lesbian. She’s into the second best girl in the show, Celia, but to be honest, the characters are pretty forgettable (besides Akane). If you’re still having doubts about whether to watch this, just know that L loves Akane, and that’s gotta count for something, right? 😛
H E N T A I
We don’t normally watch or review hentai anime, so this list is probably going to look a little bare to those who are into it. Still, there were a couple of anime that even non-hentai fans should be aware of, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on.
When people think of hentai, they probably think of some low-quality crap that mostly just appeals to guys, but Shoujo Sect was proof that not all hentai has to be garbage. It didn’t win awards or anything, but compared to some other stuff out there, it seemed great in comparison. It’s pure yuri, and even if you were to take out the sex scenes, you’d still have a somewhat decent yuri anime leftover.
Those sex scenes were enjoyable, and this show had quite a bit of drama throughout its three-episode run (which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it). I’m glad that Shoujo Sect tried to do more than those hentai that only want to serve up mindless sex, and even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of hentai, you might end up liking this one a little.
If ever you needed proof that a higher power exists, the existence of a SonoHana hentai anime is all the proof you need. This is a match made in lewd heaven, and the only bad thing you can say about this is that it’s only one episode. I think I speak for everyone when I say that WE WANT ONES FOR EVERY COUPLE IN THE SERIES!
This stars Mai and Reo, and it’s just about everything you could ever ask for in a hentai anime. It’s sexy but not trashy, cute but not too cute, and it just leaves you wanting more. A lot more. At this point, getting more seems really unlikely, but at least we’ll always have Mai and Reo and the best reason to watch a hentai anime.
H I S T O R I C A L
So you’re telling me I can learn history AND watch anime at the same time? Sounds great, huh? Yeah, it does… except you’d probably fail history. 😛
I’m no history expert, but I totally missed the part where Akechi Mitsuhide was gay for Oda Nobunaga. Good for them! But seriously, Sengoku Otome obviously takes a lot of liberties with its retelling of history, and that’s what makes it entertaining. Feudal lords and leaders reimagined as girls? I know I’m not the only one when I say “count me in!”
The show is a little lighter on action than I thought it would be, but there’s more than enough comedy, and that comedy ended up being pretty good. I know the historical genre scares away some people, however, it’s shows like this that make it more enjoyable and lower the barrier to entry. I know I learned more about Japanese history by watching this anime, and that’s just sad…
Shuumatsu no Izetta also takes liberties with its historical storytelling, but unlike Sengoku Otome, there are no real-life historical figures and World War II is very different than what we read in school. I was totally hoping for something like this from their depiction of WWII, but whatever.
The melding of magic with history was interesting, but the real reason to watch this show was to see Izetta and Finé. There was quite a bit of yuri in this show, and by simply watching our two stars interact, it’s obvious that their relationship is really magical, pun intended. So the history aspects of this anime were fine, so if you come for the history, stay for the high level of yuri subtext between the witch and the princess.
H O R R O R
We need more of these. There just aren’t enough…
As this list’s lone representative of the horror genre, Devilman Lady ended up being a little bit better than I expected. Some of the time, horror anime is neither scary nor good, and while this one isn’t scary either, it’s definitely not bad at all. The yuri involving Jun and Kazumi was a little more than I expected, and overall, I was happy with it.
Going into this, I had never really watched any previous Devilman anime, but that’s not a requirement in order to watch/enjoy this. This is more than twenty-years-old now, and despite the older art style, I think it actually holds up well enough in 2019, so if you’re into some dark anime, I’d recommend this.
M A G I C A L G I R L
We already shown the bad girls of the genre, but what about the good girls? Lucky for us, there are a lot of options to choose from~
You have to start somewhere, so even though I haven’t actually watched the original Cutie Honey, I do know that later installments in the franchise have at least a bit of yuri, so why not start from the beginning in order to get to know everyone and understand the story a little better?
So this recommendation isn’t so much solely directed towards the first season as it is towards the series as a whole, using the first season as a springboard to future installments. A few years ago, I did review Re: Cutie Honey, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, and the most recent installment in the series, Cutie Honey Universe definitely had some yuri, but without seeing the first, I feel like I’m missing something. That’s where this rec comes in.
It might have taken a few years, but I finally got around to watching this anime, and oh was it worth it. I haven’t actually seen any of the other installments in the Fate series, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this show a lot. The characters are memorable, and the action is good, but holy hell is there a lot of yuri to be found!
Just take a look at our list of yuri anime kisses and you’ll see what I mean. Four seasons (forty episodes) and a brand-new OVA await those wise enough to start watching this, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that you’re not going to regret the decision to watch this one bit. Just know that there’s more fanservice than in the other magical girl anime on this list.
With the tons of yuri doujinshi starring Nanoha and Fate, you’d think that the anime would be unbelievably gay, but while there is some yuri, it doesn’t come anywhere near the levels seen in some of the lesser-known magical girl anime. I learned this the hard way, but fortunately, the entertaining clashes between Nanoha and Fate offset my disappointment.
NanoFate doesn’t really become a viable thing until later. installments. in. the. franchise, so don’t expect too much yuri here. At least the action and characters are good, yet those who are trying to figure out what all the NanoFate hype is about will still be left wondering by the time the season is over.
Similar to Cutie Honey, Sailor Moon is another yuri-ish anime franchise that I haven’t actually watched, but I know that there’s yuri in it. Because of the number of sequels, spinoffs, and movies, it’s really hard to get started, and more than twenty-five years after it’s premiere, the franchise is still going strong, which adds to the problem.
But because of its legacy and staying power, the Sailor Moon series should be on the radar of every single magical girl anime fan. Because I haven’t watched it myself, I can’t guarantee that this first season will be as yuri-centric as fans are hoping for, but at least it should start you off on the journey to greener Sailor Moon yuri pastures.
From the moment this anime was announced, the inevitable comparisons to Madoka★Magica emerged, and while that’s a lot to live up to, Yuuki Yuuna ended up doing alright for itself. It has some dark story elements that mimic it’s inspiration a little bit, yet there are also a lot of cute moments that should seem more than familiar enough to fans of more traditional magical girl anime.
But the cast of characters is perhaps where this anime is at its best, and Yuuna x Mimori is the pairing that’s going to definitely be in need of shipping. For lack of a better comparison, you could say that they’re this anime’s Madoka x Homura, but the other characters are entertaining in their own right, and these characters are really one of the show’s biggest strengths.
M E C H A
Giant robots beating each other up sounds pretty cool, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In related news, I’ve changed my name to Everyone. 😛
Out of all the anime on this list, this one is probably one of the worst. Back when it was airing, Regalia had production issues significant enough that the show had to take a hiatus lasting over a month, and the end result still was a crap anime. So why am I recommending it, you ask? Well… why am I recommending it again? 😀
At least the mecha action wasn’t bad, so if you’re looking for quality mecha anime… this is probably not it, but if you’re looking for quality mecha anime for yuri fans, Regalia isn’t that bad. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to non-mecha anime fans, however, that small niche that enjoys mecha with their yuri might appreciate this a little bit.
Compared to Regalia, Rinne no Lagrange is definitely a step up in quality, but based on its own merits, I think it’s just okay. The story felt like it was preparing itself for the second season (which came only a few months later), but at least the mecha action was fine and the characters were good.
Speaking of those characters, the main trio had really good chemistry together, though, there was only mild yuri subtext, and it occurred primarily between Madoka and Lan. Season two is no better in this regard, but I did enjoy the story more than in season one. Anyway, this was a serviceable mecha anime with slight yuri undertones, and there aren’t a ton of those, so fans might enjoy it.
I wasn’t even aware that this anime existed until it was brought to my attention in one of the comments of a post earlier this year, but this turned out to be a really good recommendation. The mecha action was good, I liked the characters, and the story was enjoyable as well.
If you liked Cross Ange, I think there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll end up liking this show as well. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more between Sara and Emily, but the presence of a dedicated yuri character made things better. There are a couple of male love interests for our main character, but let’s just say that things don’t work out, so don’t worry about that too much.
M I L I T A R Y
WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Actually, it’s usually pretty good for some action. Don’t tell that to Edwin Starr.
If Girls und Panzer has tanks covered, the same can be said about High School Fleet and ships. Compared to the other military-style anime on the list, however, I have to say that I think this comes up a little short. Like GuP, the yuri subtext is relatively low, but this is a little more dramatic than that, and the eventual plot twist seems really bizarre.
But even with some dramatic ship-to-ship action, there were a lot of lighter moments as well. The cast wasn’t bad at all, and while I would have liked there to have been more subtext than what we got, High School Fleet was still fairly enjoyable, especially if you’re into military anime.
Believe it or not, KanColle received one of the highest total enjoyment scores that YuriReviews has ever given out, and we have Lena to blame for that. It’s not that I dislike it or anything, it’s just that I don’t obsessively love it like she does. Still, even I can’t deny that with all of those ship girls, yuri fans should probably watch this at some point.
There are a ton of interesting characters (Kongou is the best), so prepare to ship anyone and everyone together (but Akaga is the best). Check Dynasty Reader and marvel at how many pairings are on there. It’s insane. The story was meh, but having a lot of good characters is a great way to cover that up, and if you demand quality yuri and quality characters from your anime, KanColle has got you covered. And season two is supposed to be on the way. Maybe someday…
Without question, I think Simoun is the best military yuri-ish anime on this list, and there’s no need for “yuri-ish” with this one. It’s a full-blown yuri anime, and that reason alone should be enough to get people’s attention. When it comes to the story, I think of this show as deeper and more thoughtful than most of the other anime on the list, and that’s one of its best assets.
Simoun has even more kisses than Sakura Trick, and since that’s how the girls power their flying ships, it should come as no surprise that the yuri level is extremely high. There are many pairings to enjoy, and unlike a lot of the other anime here, not everyone gets a happy ending, so prepare yourself for that.
The thing that has stuck with me regarding Strike Witches is how the girls don’t wear any pants. Yeah, that’s an odd thing to remember, but this is a surprisingly ecchi anime, and there are almost as many panty shots as there are shots fired. Still, the action was pretty enjoyable, and even though the story was not so great, this was an entertaining show.
Where this anime did particularly well for itself was with the characters. Look around on Dynasty Reader and you’ll find a lot of doujins and fanart, especially for Eila x Sanya and Erica x Gertrud. There are a lot of good characters and you can easily ship them together, and that’s one of the show’s biggest strengths. This series has spawned a ton of sequels and spin-offs, so if you like what you see, there’s more where that came from.
M O V I E
There are a lot of anime movies out there, but the criteria for these recommendations are that they have to be original works. So that means no compilation films of existing anime series or anything like that. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at a couple of films.
I know that we haven’t actually reviewed this movie yet (we are planning to at some point), but I have seen around a fourth of it, and I do know that there are some yuri elements present. But this anime deals with some serious themes, and it’s not lively at all, so know what you’re getting into if you decide to watch this.
From what little I watched of this movie, I can’t say that I was enjoying it all that much (which is probably why I didn’t continue). It was already becoming pretty heavy, and it looked like it was going to continue that way, so a serious and somewhat depressing anime experience is what likely awaits me when I start up again, but I just hope that the storytelling is good enough that it’s all worth it in the end. We’ll see.
After a couple of disappointing seasons that managed to infuriate yuri fans, KyoAni returned with another Hibike! Euphonium-related anime, and believe it or not, they actually hit it out of the park. There are no male teachers or students to worry about. This movie is all about Mizore and Nozomi, and despite the fact that KyoAni stopped just short of declaring them canon, this is about as much subtext as you can cram into an anime without it being full-on yuri.
What’s especially cool about this movie is how it not only tells the story of Mizore and Nozomi, it also delves into a fairy tale that mirrors their relationship a little bit. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the fairy tale is also yuri-ish. So if you watched both seasons of Hibike! Euphonium and swore to yourself that you were done with the franchise, maybe you should reconsider and give this movie a go.
Look at Studio Ghibli making it on the list! This was undoubtedly a very good movie that’s sure to tug at your heart strings, but there’s one thing (and it’s a MAJOR thing) that keeps me from wholeheartedly recommending When Marnie Was There to yuri fans. Getting into it would require me to spoil things, so I obviously can’t do that, but this has all the trademarks of a good yuri-ish story.
The relationship between Anna and Marnie is what yuri dreams are made of, and it’s just so sweet and caring that you can’t help but adore them. They become so close and openly state their love for one another, but just know that all of this should come with a huge asterisk. By the end, I’m not upset or anything at how things turned out, because the movie is still really touching and enjoyable, yet I can imagine some people being disappointed by it.
M U S I C
Because the show hasn’t finished airing yet, we unfortunately can’t add Carole & Tuesday yet, but you might as well consider it an honorary member, because I feel like it definitely deserves to be a part of the list. Once it does finish, I think we’ll add it, but until then, enjoy these other musical anime recommendations~
Unfortunately, this isn’t a pure yuri anime like so many people were hoping for, but there’s definitely still some subtext involving our two main characters. Compared to the other music anime on this list, C&T is much more ambitious in that it chronicles Carole and Tuesday’s journey to the top of the music industry. Also, this anime deals with pressing matters like xenophobia, so it’s not one of these anime that are basically a re-skinned version of Love Live!.
In addition to Carole x Tuesday, there’s an actual yuri character in this, but be aware that Tuesday eventually develops a brief crush on a guy, so that may ruffle some feathers.
In light of what happened to KyoAni, I probably should’t be too hard on them, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that the yuri bait frustrated us in part because Hibike! Euphonium was an anime that had so much potential. It looked great, had a lot of charismatic characters, and most of those characters happened to be girls.
But stringing us along and thinking/hoping/believing that Kumiko and Reina could possibly become an item? That’s just cruel, but it’s how both became interested in guys that really drew people’s ire. That’s the absolute worst way to crush the hopes and dreams and the yuri fans that are following your show… but the show still managed to be really good despite all of this.
Compared to the other music anime on this list, K-On! is a different breed of animal. Whereas some other shows focus mainly on idols, K-On! centers around a band, so that already makes it stand out from the crowd. But there’s more to this show than just the musical aspects, and I’d say that if you were to strip away the music, you’d still be left with a pretty entertaining comedy/slice of life anime.
Similar to these other music anime, K-On! is not super loaded with yuri, so just a little bit of subtext is what you have to look forward to from a yuri standpoint. That’s not bad, but the rest of the show is so entertaining that I don’t think that’s too much of a problem. So if idols aren’t really your thing but you still want a music anime to watch, I think K-On! might be the one for you~
This is where the Love Live! juggernaut began. What do you get when you combine a really good cast of characters, catchy pop songs, and sprinkle in a bit of yuri subtext? If you said the most popular music anime franchise in the world, you’d be correct. Seriously, Love Live!‘s popularity is massive, so even though the story is the very definition of generic, the rest of the show’s formula is executed to perfection.
There are numerous sequels and spin-offs that emerged from this, and even though they don’t deviate very far from what made this first season so popular, they’re still highly entertaining for fans of the original. There isn’t a ton of yuri, but it’s impossible not to ship these girls with one another, so this show should probably be at the very top of list for fans of music anime.
No disrespect to other music anime, but most of them seem pretty similar. This is especially true of idol anime, but Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight spit on that notion and delivered something that was fresh and sorely needed. That doesn’t mean that “traditional” music anime fans won’t like it, just that even some non-music anime fans might find this worthwhile.
The story is where this anime really differentiates itself, and although it might be a little hard to fully understand, I think it’s a lot more entertaining than other music anime. Then you add in the fighting and all of the pairings and you have something that all yuri fans should definitely consider watching.
P S Y C H O L O G I C A L
These shows are often times really interesting, and looking at these recommendations, I’d say that’s pretty true.
That image of an “angel” on the cover immediately attracted me to Haibane Renmei, and at the end of the show’s thirteen episode run, this was just as good and mysterious as I was hoping for. It’s really a fantastic coming-of-age story that I think ends up being a little more interesting than other shows of this type.
The characters were nice, and Rakka and Reki’s relationship was sweet, but what really drew me in was the world that the Haibane live in. It’s all so mysterious, and everyone goes to such great lengths to not explicitly reveal what’s really going on. The drama is more personal in nature, and I’d hesitate to call the show exciting, so I think some people might even find it a little boring. But it’s a thought-provoking anime, and I think it’s a little different than a lot of yuri fans are used to.
Utena. It’s an iconic title that even people who have never watched it recognize as a watershed moment in yuri history. The story is way out there and layered with all sorts of symbolism and metaphors, but I think that’s half of the enjoyment. Kunihiko Ikuhara and Chiho Saitou helped make something that’s as artistic as any anime you’re going to find, and even if you don’t fully understand what it is you just watched, you can’t fight the urge to look up theories and try and understand it better.
If thirty-nine episodes seems like too much for you, you can always watch Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena, which is an alternate version that’s not quite the same or as good as its TV anime counterpart, but it’s still worth watching. There isn’t enough space here to do the show justice, so trust that all the good things you’ve heard about this anime are true and give it a try sometime.
Just like Revolutionary Girl Utena, Ikuhara’s unique brand of yuri magic is on full display in Yuri Kuma Arashi, which is somehow even weirder than Utena was. You have lesbian bears, for crying out loud! This is so surreal, and a lot of the time, you don’t know what’s happening, but you don’t want it to stop. I’m sure not everyone will like how different and wholly unique the story is. It’s a spectacle, and it may be the most original story you’re ever going to see in a yuri anime.
Of course, this anime is all yuri, all the time, and even though they’re not the only lesbian characters, Kureha, Ginko, and Lulu (best girl) are some great characters that you’re going to fall in love with, especially Ginko and Lulu. You really have to watch this show in order to fully understand how special it is. Same way there’s only one Utena, there’s only one Yuri Kuma Arashi~
R O M A N C E
This is what yuri anime is all about. Other genres are nice, but we usually don’t get all of the benefits that we typically get in the romance genre. It’s no wonder there are more anime listed here than in other genres, because that’s what people want to see, and lucky for us, there are a lot of really good anime to choose from.
Up until last year, Aoi Hana was probably my favorite yuri anime of all-time. I loved how down-to-earth this show was, and it seems like it’s a more realistic take on adolescence than most of the other shows on this list. Yeah, it would have been better if Yasuko hadn’t spent so much time as Fumi’s love interest, and that ending was a glimpse of what could have been.
I like seeing really cute romances, but I think I like it even more when on-screen relationships more closely resemble the flawed and complex ones we usually see in real-life. Bloom Into You also shined in that regard, and it’s that relatability that I feel makes shows like these really special.
Another standout title from last year, the anime adaptation of Kase-san is hands-down one of the cutest yuri romances you’ll find in anime, and as good as the short OVA that we got in 2017 was, this fifty-eight minute OVA was just so much better.
Like Sakura Trick, Kase-san. was rather light on drama, instead giving us tons of cute moments between Yamada and Kase that made out hearts melt. The only bad thing I’ll say about this OVA is that it wasn’t a full anime season. That would have been even better, but if we’re lucky, maybe Zexcs will give us another OVA someday. Let’s cross our fingers.
Bloom Into You finished what Citrus started, and by the time that 2018 was over, we were blessed with two of the best yuri anime that you can watch. The romance and drama in this show made it a must-watch anime, and compared to Citrus, the romance is cuter and the drama is far more palatable and not as melodramatic.
So I’d describe Bloom Into You as a more thoughtful and well-rounded yuri romance anime than any other on the list. The love triangle between Yuu, Touka, and Sayaka was extremely well-done, and regardless of whether you’re on Team Yuu or Team Sayaka, the real winner was us, the viewers~
It’s kind of easy to forget about this yuri anime, but I think most longtime yuri fans remember Candy Boy quite well. The title is very misleading. It had nothing to do with boys, and it’s the relationship between twin sisters that is at the center of this easygoing and innocent show.
Compared to some of the other shows on this list, I thought that Candy Boy was a little boring at times, and some people might not be thrilled that we’re talking about a relationship between sisters, but this was sweet and an anime well worth watching. Sakuya also deserves recognition for her unrequited love of Kanade, and keep in mind that this isn’t quite a full-length anime. Once finished with this, there’s an ONA that aired before the main series, an OVA prequel, and a one-episode special to watch as well.
Despite the insane amount of hype that the anime adaptation of Saburouta’s yuri manga phenomenon brought with it, Citrus managed to actually deliver in a huge way. If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the story, so no need for me to talk about that.
Citrus was a really good example of an anime adaptation done right, and the combination of drama and romance was super compelling to watch, even though that high level of drama might not suit everyone’s taste and could be what keeps certain people from really embracing this title. Now can we get another season for Citrus+? Pretty please?
You can talk all you want about how the story and mecha portions of this anime aren’t that good, but when you have a couple as great as Himeko and Chikane, none of that stuff really matters all that much. They’re arguably one of the greatest yuri couples of all-time, and believe me when I say that they’re reason enough to watch this anime.
Just be warned that there’s a love triangle going on in KnM, and that third wheel just so happens to be a guy. Everybody seems to hate him (except me), but he managed to bring our two leading ladies even closer together, so be nice to him, people. I think this is a must-watch for yuri anime fans, so what are you waiting for? Watch it already!
What makes this show unique is that the main protagonist, Hazumu, is actually a male that gets turned into a female. It happens in an utterly ridiculous way, but just know that this is a gender-swap anime. I pretty much forgot about it after a while, and it helped that there’s a whole lot of relationship drama happening between our three main characters.
There’s also an OVA that follows this anime that sees a wedding happen between two of the girls, so if you’re planning to eventually watch Kashimashi, you really should watch the OVA as well. There aren’t enough serious yuri love triangles in anime, and as one of the few, I think Kashimashi is well worth the time of romance fans.
At the time, Sakura Trick was all that anyone who called themselves a yuri fan could talk about, and once you factor in how incredibly overstuffed with yuri this show was, it’s easy to understand why. Between Yuu x Haruka and Shizuku x Kotone, there’s an insane amount of kisses happening, and if you want romance in your yuri anime, this is easily one of the best options out there.
Simply put, Sakura Trick was a yuri lover’s dream come true. Thankfully, this wasn’t a drama-filled show like some of the other ones on the list. It’s just some girls who are in love with one another doing cute things together… and then kissing until their lips fall off. It sounds good, and it is~
This is another one of my absolute favorite yuri anime. The yuri at the heart of this anime is pretty much one-sided, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. Sumi may be my favorite yuri character of all-time, and her unrequited love of Kazama really brought out the best in her and helped make her so entertaining to watch. She’s hilarious, and for a romance anime, I think the comedy in this show was really good.
Of course, there’s another lesbian couple in the story, and Kazama is clearly a lesbian herself, it’s just that she doesn’t view Sumi as her type and is unaware of Sumi’s feelings towards her. Because of this, this show isn’t as traditionally romantic as the others on the list, yet I happen to think that it’s more fun than the others.
S C H O O L
Looking at the shows, it’s pretty clear that the School and Romance genres might as well be interchangeable. They’re very similar, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I don’t think anyone would argue that MariMite is easily one of the most influential yuri anime of all-time, even though it’s not actually that heavy in yuri content. Still, this show has inspired a generation of yuri anime, and you can find subtle references towards this show in other anime.
Even though the best girl and obvious lesbian (Sei) doesn’t play as big a role in later seasons (there are three full seasons and a five-episode OVA), the soeur system provides us with several pairings, with varying degrees of attachment between the girls. The yuri isn’t as in-your-face as some other anime, but the relationship drama is there, and MariMite still feels like a big deal all these years later.
This show continues to vex me. It’s been on my “To Watch” list for years now, but I just don’t have the time to sit down and watch a thirty-nine episode anime. Oniisama e… predates other yuri trailblazers like Revolutionary Girl Utena and MariMite, so if you’re like our very own Lena and don’t like the look of older anime, you might not enjoy this as much as some other shows.
Sooner or later, I’m going to watch this, but my expectations remain pretty high that this might eventually earn a place alongside MariMite as one of the precursors of modern yuri anime (even though Oniisama e… came long before MariMite).
I like to think of Strawberry Panic as MariMite‘s younger, gayer cousin, and if you were to create a Mt. Rushmore of yuri anime, I think this anime has to be included. Quite simply, this show is required viewing for any self-respecting yuri fan, and with multiple pairings and more melodrama than you can shake a stick at, chances are you’re going to find this as entertaining as everyone else.
Whether it’s Shizuma x Nagisa, Nagisa x Tamao, Amane x Hikari, Hikari x Yaya, or some other couple, there’s nothing subtle about this. This show is a 10/10 in terms of yuri, and it’s one of the most beloved yuri anime of all-time for a reason. So if you didn’t know, now you know, and if you haven’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for?!
S C I – F I
Good sci-fi anime isn’t that easy to find, and the same thing can be said of good yuri-ish sci-fi anime.
For some reason, I think a lot of people overlook Blue Drop. It’s not incredibly old or anything, and even though it’s not the flashiest anime, it has some solid yuri and an interesting story, so I don’t know what the dealio is. Maybe it’s due to the slow start this show got off to, but more than anything, I think it’s probably due to the modest amount of yuri that also took its time to arrive.
Yeah, the ending was really nice, but a lot more focus was placed on the ho-hum sci-fi story than the relationship between Mari and Hagino or Ekaril and Tsubael. It doesn’t help that the show takes itself pretty seriously, and in light of all that drama, there isn’t much room for any meaningful comedy.
Speaking of flashy anime, that describes Cross Ange pretty well. The mix of mecha and dragons is cool, the level of fanservice is high, and the yuri is most definitely there, so not even the overly complicated story could keep this show from being thoroughly entertaining.
Everyone who has ever watched this show always seems to complain about Tusk, the male love interest of Ange that everyone loves to hate, so prepare yourself to hate him as well. But I think the rest of the show is entertaining enough to overlook him, and the yuri x sci-fi action combo should hopefully be able keep fans’ interest throughout the twenty-five episodes.
It might have taken longer than expected, but I eventually got around to watching Kiddy Grade, and it ended up being pretty interesting (if a little disappointing in terms of yuri). I say the yuri was disappointing because after seeing all of the kisses in the second season, Kiddy GiRL-AND, I was expecting something like that. But while Éclair and Lumière had some cute scenes together and are (and have been) extremely close (for a really long time), I wouldn’t really call their relationship explicitly romantic, and that’s what I wanted.
The story has its share of strengths and weaknesses, but the bad stuff sticks in my mind more *cough* Chevalier *cough*. Because of the second season also being twenty-four episodes, the review of Kiddy GiRL-AND is currently on ice, but I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point. When the time comes, I’ll be ready to talk all about those kissing that I’m sure will be present! 😛
If you thought that Mouretsu Pirates was going to be an action-focused pirate romp in space, you’d be somewhat incorrect. There’s a bit of action, especially later on, but there’s just as much (probably more, actually) slice of life moments. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think some more action and some villains that were a persistent threat would’ve been pretty nice.
At least there were some charming characters like Marika and Chiaki (who you can definitely ship together) and Jenny and Lynn (who you have to ship together, since they’re openly gay and involved with one another). But sadly, the movie sequel does away with both of these pairings, and while it’s still solid, yuri fans of the TV anime might question whether they want to watch it.
S H O R T – F O R M
Even short anime deserve some love from the fans. These next few anime may not be great, but they’re entertaining enough to recommend to yuri fans who are into these kind of shows.
If you’re looking for a mindless yuri anime that won’t take up too much of your time, look no further than Gokujo.. This is one of the most ridiculous anime on the list, but it’s also one of the most fun. It’s surprising how much dumb stuff the creators fit into such short episodes, and just when you think things couldn’t get any dumber, Aya and Co. somehow make it happen.
Aya was hilarious throughout, but I think she was at her best with Minami, who joins late and instantly clashes with Aya. Of course, their fighting eventually leads to them kind of liking each other, yet that doesn’t stop them from fighting some more. And I can’t forget about Madoka, who’s always having lewd lesbian fantasies. Yeah, this show was fun, so I watched it again just now. 😛
Because of how Inugami and Nekoyama sort of resemble their namesakes in terms of tendencies and personality traits, this short anime ended up being a very entertaining three minutes of yuri fun. As you’d probably expect, nothing terribly exciting really happens, but it’s the personalities of the girls that save the day and always keep things fun and interesting.
Despite there not being any sort of real romance, the yuri is strong with this one. Inugami and Nekoyama are perfect for one another, and their constant lover’s quarrels result in some great comedy that make each of the three-minute episodes a joy to watch. All in all, this was so enjoyable and funny that you can’t help wanting to see it as a full-length anime.
Even if you’re like me and haven’t actually watched any Evangelion anime, there’s still some entertainment to be had from Neon Genesis Impacts, which takes a break from all of the madness to tell a more personal story involving a random group of girls in a band. Of course, this wouldn’t be Evangelion without something bad happening, but you’ll have to watch for yourself to find out what that is.
Maybe I’ll actually watch Evangelion someday, but until then, I’m content with just watching this and calling it a day. I should mention that this was a CG anime made for the Japan Animator Expo, but I thought that the CG was pretty well done, and I have no problem with how it turned out.
Truth be told, neither L nor I actually liked Netsuzou TRap all that much. For me, it was the characters and the overall tone of the show that I really disliked. Fujiwara was a huge scumbag, and I hated how Hotaru took advantage of Yuma and seemingly went along with Fujiwara’s sick game for far too long.
At least Yuma and Takeda were decent human beings, but make no mistake, this was Hotaru’s show, and I hated that. The show was just really smutty, and if you don’t find that kind of stuff a little enjoyable, then you’re probably not going to like this anime either.
If you take a look at this genre’s recommendations, it’s easy to see that these anime simply aren’t that great. There’s only so much you can do with a 3-9 minute window, and in Tachibakan Triangle‘s case, it’s mostly just crude humor. But this show’s saving grace is that there’s quite a bit of yuri to enjoy in the short time frame.
As you can see up above, the show was pretty ecchi, but for me at least, that’s part of what make it a little interesting. The other thing that made it interesting was the love triangle between Hanabi, Konomi, and Iori. It’s shallow and simple (like the rest of the show), but they were kind of fun.
S L I C E O F L I F E
Slice of life anime is synonymous with yuri subtext, so there are a whole lot of shows to choose from, but after careful consideration, I settled on six that I feel showcase all that is good about this genre.
Before the second season nearly ruined things, the first season of Amanchu! was one of the yuri highlights of 2016, and it pushed its romantic two-girl friendship pretty far. The scuba diving angle was a nice change of pace from the more bland school-related activies that seem to dominate this genre, and because of that, this show was really calm and relaxing.
However, if you do plan to watch this, just know that season two is a major step back, and it wouldn’t hurt you at all to just skip it entirely. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it just takes the best thing about this show (Pikari x Teko) and threatens to mess it all up by introducing a male character that helps form a kind of love triangle. Worst. Idea. Ever.
If you’re looking for cute girls doing cute things, you’re not going to get much cuter than GochiUsa. This show mostly takes place in a cafe, and it’s every bit as easygoing as the other slice of life shows on the list. However, when it comes to the yuri, GochiUsa is admittedly a little bit lighter than those other anime. But since the rest of the show is so entertaining, that’s not a problem at all.
I don’t think a majority of people actually expect a typical slice of anime to have a lot of yuri, but as long as it has some, that’s more than fine. I think what people want more are good characters, good comedy, and something that’s easy and enjoyable to watch. That describes this show perfectly. After this, you can watch the second season and its movie sequel, and there’s also an OVA and a third season on the way.
As the oldest slice of anime on the list, I think Hidamari Sketch can still stand hold its own against the titans of cute girls doing cute things anime we see today. It probably helps that this show takes place at an art school, which gives it a slightly different feel than your typical slice of life anime. It also helps that it comes from the mad geniuses at Shaft.
Compared to most of the others on the list, it’s a little light on yuri, but in addition to Hiro x Sae, Natsume eventually seems to take a liking to Sae as well. Since Natsume’s a tsundere, she’d never admit it, but there are some cute moments between the two of them and between Hiro and Sae. There are four proper seasons as well as a lot of specials to watch, so viewers should have a lot of fun with this one.
More than five years ago, Kiniro Mosaic was the very first anime that I reviewed here on YR (or anywhere else for that matter), so it holds a very special place in my heart. Not only did it give us two adorable pairings (Alice x Shino and Ayaya x Youko), it also gave us the irresistable force known as Karen Kujou, so this is easily still one of my favorite slice of life anime series out there.
And you can even ship Karen with Honoka, so that makes three pairings in a series that I really hope continues. In addition to the first season, there was an excellent second season as well as a fun little movie, but is that enough? No! With scenes like this, the final episode of season one is still perhaps my favorite episode in the genre, and I desperately want more~
Back when this show was airing, I actually ended up dropping it. I think it was only an episode or two that I watched, but it seemed even more easygoing and calm than a show like GochiUsa, and I wasn’t exactly feeling it. A year later, I finally gave it another chance, and that turned out to be a very good decision, because this was very cute and pretty heavy on the yuri.
This anime was a little more than just cute girls doing cute things. There are a few side stories that showed some heart and humanity, which is kind of weird, considering that these girls are fox girls. Yuzu x Natsuki was nice, but I was really here for Ren x Natsume. Their relationship is so sweet and wholesome, and it’s one of the best things about this show. Now give us a sequel already, you cowards! 😀
I could be wrong, but I believe Non Non Biyori translates to “super super adorable” in English. Okay, that’s not actually true, but that’s what it should stand for, because that’s exactly what this show is. This is an anime that’s as easygoing and soothing as you’re likely to find, and you can easily just put this on and watch all your worries melt away.
And if you needed more convincing, there’s Renge, who’s one of the cutest characters in all of anime. Hotaru x Komachi is a cute little pairing, and for slice of life fans, I think Non Non Biyori is pretty much exactly what you’re looking for. When you’re done with this, there’s an OVA, a second season, another OVA, and a movie to get started on. Oh, and season three is on the way, too.
S P O R T S
Regardless of the culture, almost everybody is familiar with sports, and below, you’ll find a diverse set of sports-themed anime for fans to cheer for.
Regardless of whether you believe that cheerleading is a sport or not, I don’t think you can argue that this sporty slice of life was surprisingly good. A major reason why I liked this show so much was the main character, Kohane. She was probably one of my favorite characters in all of 2018, and the entire group fits together so well.
The little quirks of the different girls are cute and funny, and as is expected of a cheerleading anime, the competition aspect isn’t as intense as the other shows on the list. It’s more about following your passion and doing what makes you happy, but the comedy makes up for the lack of intensity, and this is still an enjoyable anime.
Even though there are tanks involved, Girls und Panzer actually uses them for sport, hence its inclusion in this genre. It may not have tons of yuri (or any), but it’s simply a really entertaining show about the tank-based war games between different high schools. That sounds kind of serious, but it’s not really like that, and this anime has a really good sense of humor that I very much liked.
But what I liked even more was the characters. There were a lot of memorable characters in this anime (Katyusha was one of the best girls), and their big personalities were a joy to watch. There isn’t any real yuri in Girls un Panzer, but you can and will ship some of the girls together, and this was a really fun anime overall, so I’m sure some people won’t mind.
Did you really expect not to have an ecchi anime amongst these sports-related shows? To be fair, this show isn’t that ecchi, though the girls spend like 75% of the time in bikinis. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s the teamwork and coordination involved in beach volleyball that sets this apart from other shows on the list.
Because of this, the relationships between the various partners are important, and that leads to plenty of shipping. Other than the twins, you can probably ship all of the other pairs together, and that’s especially true for Haruka x Kanata, Kanata x Narumi, and Narumi x Ayasa. There could’ve/should’ve been more yuri, but at the end of the day, I was happy with how this all turned out.
Ping pong doesn’t sound like it’d be all that exciting, yet this ended up being a pretty entertaining time. It more or less follows the standard sports anime protocol, but the way it balances comedy, team-based competition, and fun factor is surprisingly good. What I liked best about this show was probably the characters, and in case you’re wondering, yes, there is a yuri character. 😛
In some ways, Scorching Ping Pong Girls reminded me a lot of another anime on this list, Saki. Koyori and Agari are totally Saki and Nodoka in disguise, and the show finds a way to take a sport/game that you might not think of as super exciting and it actually makes it exciting. Overall, this anime is fun, kind of cute, and serious but not too serious.
What is this witchcraft? Someone actually managed to make an anime about mahjong seem exciting. I think it’s the intense competition between schools that makes Saki really stand out. The slice of life elements of this show were cute and fun, but all these wicked mahjong players busting out special moves in order to beat their opponents was something to behold.
A lot of schools were involved, so there were a lot of good characters, but the ones that really got my attention were the ones you could clearly ship with someone else. That means Saki x Nodoka, Hisa x Mihoko, and Momoko x Yumi, who seem to be the closest thing to obvious lesbians. All in all, Saki was more fun that it had any right to be, and there’s a spin-off and second season that follow, so enjoy all of the matches.
One of the bad things about basing an entertainment property on real-life people is that the people are going to eventually die. It’s an unfortunate reality, and it even applies to non-humans, such as the real-life stars of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby. Since this anime aired last year, several of the race horses involved have died, so I don’t know if another season is really possible.
But this season was pretty fun, and with a host of enjoyable characters, the racing was quite entertaining as well. This is definitely the most strange sports anime on the list, but I think that’s part of its charm. If you’re wanting more, there’s a three-episode special that released following the TV anime, so that’s a grand total of sixteen episodes of horse girl racing action.
S U P E R N A T U R A L
I think a lot of people love the supernatural, and lucky for us, there’s a decent amount of yuri-ish anime for fans to enjoy. Here are the ones we recommend most.
In terms of action, this is probably one of my favorite anime on the list, however, the supernatural elements are nice as well. There are a lot of badass characters in this show, but it’s our two main girls (Kagura and Yomi) that really steal the show. They’re sisters (Yomi is adopted), and their relationship fuels the story and actually makes it super compelling.
Think of it kind of like Ghostbusters, but a really awesome anime version with lots of drama and kickass action scenes. Ga-Rei: Zero also does a good job of delivering the feels, as well as a villain that I really, really hate. Back in the day, I gave the show an 8.5 (with a 5/10 for the yuri), so that should tell you a little bit about how I feel about it. It’s awesome.
Looking at all of the anime on this list, Kuttsukiboshi stands out for just how weird and messed up it is. I’m not going to spoil anything, but just prepare to think “WTF” to yourself. Kuttsukiboshi is only two episodes, but it makes the most of that time and certainly leaves an impression on you, even if it might not be a positive one.
There are probably other “better” yuri-ish anime out there with supernatural elements, but I don’t know if any of them are as memorable as this one. So even if it’s mostly for the WTF factor, I’d recommend this anime to yuri fans who are into the supernatural. Just prepare yourself for some het…
There are a lot of things going on in Shinsekai yori, but one of the most enjoyable was seeing the relationship between Saki and Maria. It’d be a travesty for me to spoil anything about this show, so just know that there are other relationships involving the main characters, so theirs isn’t the only one going on. Still, some het never hurt nobody, and it’s a small price to pay.
Without question, I think Shinsekai yori is one of the best anime on this list, so if you’re in the mood for something deep and thought-provoking, this is one you definitely need to watch. The story is phenomenal and keeps you on the edge of your seat, and I just can’t say enough good things about this anime. Go watch it already! 😛