Lena’s already listed her Top 10 Yuri Anime, so I figured it’s about time I follow suit and do the same. I just recently crowned my choice for Best Yuri Anime of the 2010s, but plenty of yuri anime were released in the decades prior, so expect to see yuri anime both new and old. Much like L’s list has done multiple times, I think I’ll update this list at some point in the future, but for now, let’s just go ahead and get started~
Flip Flappers is an anime that’s really hard to describe, yet throughout the surreal adventures of Cocona and Papika, you can’t help but get the sense that you’re watching something special. A lot of yuri anime play it safe, but this is definitely not one of them, and even though there are plenty of hints throughout the series, it isn’t until late in the series that you really realize how gay Cocona and Papika are.
This entire anime is so much more imaginative and different than most anime out there, so even though the story might leave you a little (or very) confused (as it did me), the grand adventure and unpredictability of it all leaves you glued to your screen. Flip Flappers may not be a very popular choice for favorite yuri anime, yet this is a wholly unique trip down the rabbit hole that will probably stick with you for a while after watching. “Yuri anime” and “avant garde” don’t go together at all, but if any anime fits the bill, this might be one of the best examples.
When fans think of yuri anime, Strawberry Panic is probably one of the very first ones that come to mind, yet I’m only placing it at number nine on my list. My reasoning behind that is that, over time, my fondness for it has simply wavered a little bit. Maybe that’s due to comparisons with more recent yuri anime (like the trio from 2018) or an anime like Oniisama e… doing a lot of what Strawberry Panic did, but doing it better (in my opinion). Similar to MariMite, I also think that this anime seems more pretentious than most of its contemporaries, and the inability to relate as much to the characters and situations ends up affecting how much I enjoy this.
But enough about why I don’t like this as much as some other shows. This yuri anime does do a lot of great things, with the best being the two main relationships involving Shizuma x Nagisa and Amane x Hikari. Personally, I was hoping that Tamao and Yaya would find a way to Nagisa and Hikari’s hearts, but these two pairings are nevertheless very nice, and I’m not too disappointed in how things ultimately played out. This is definitely not lacking in the romance department, and even though this isn’t my favorite yuri anime or anything, if I had to recommend one yuri anime to someone, this would very high on the list.
A lot of people seem to have forgotten about this anime, yet Simoun is one of the few yuri anime that challenges your idea of what a yuri anime can be. This is a mostly serious anime that revolves around war, and while there is some sci-fi and a little fantasy involved, Simoun is far more grounded than what you might expect from a female-led military anime. In other words, KanColle or Symphogear this is not, and I think that’s definitely a good thing.
Compared to some of those other military or action anime, Simoun has the distinct honor of being a lot more yuri-friendly than those shows. It’s not just subtext here, and one need only look at our List of Yuri Anime Kisses for proof of that. Simoun has more yuri kisses than any other anime on that list, and that’s because kissing their partner is how they power up their ships. That’s a fantastic power source, if you ask me. 😛
The story in Simoun is also one of the most intriguing and interesting stories on this list, so it’s a lot more than just a standard military anime. People usually have a really narrow view of yuri anime, but anime like Simoun show that yuri anime can be a lot more than just romance between schoolgirls, so this one has a special place in my heart.
Ah, Yuru Yuri. On the surface, you’d think that your typical comedy/slice of life wouldn’t have what it takes to place higher than yuri anime pioneers like Strawberry Panic, yet YRYR managed to strike a near perfect balance of comedy and yuri hijinks. Yeah, YRYR doesn’t really do actual romance, but it’s just so funny and has such great characters that people can completely overlook that. Other anime like KinMoza can somewhat mimic Yuru Yuri‘s style, yet I remain convinced that this comedy is in a league of its own.
The gags are great and consistently funny, however, I think it’s the overwhelming charm of the characters that really made me love this franchise so much. The chemistry between the characters is flawless, and I’ve already crowned TOSHINO KYOUKO as my favorite yuri character of the last decade, but almost everyone else has so much personality that they could probably carry their own spinoff series. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but I love these girls~
Nearly a decade after the premiere of the first season, YRYR is still going incredibly strong, and not a lot of comedy anime can say that, let alone yuri-ish comedy anime. I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy this series, and even though the story is pretty much inconsequential (like nearly every other anime similar to this), this series
This is an anime that I’ve been wanting to watch for years, but the length had always scared me away. When I finally set aside enough time to give it a go, however, what I found was that despite a somewhat familiar premise, Oniisama e… was simply a lot better than I expected. What instantly stands out is just how much drama is crammed into this show. Anime like Strawberry Panic get some flak for being overly melodramatic, but this throws even more drama at you, however, that somehow made this show even more entertaining for me.
I think the drama in Oniisama e… feels a little more natural and not quite as forced as the drama in Strawberry Panic, but what really stuck with me was how great the characters were. Thirty-nine episodes is a lot, but that undoubtedly helped to really flesh out these characters, and it’s practically impossible not to get at least a little attached to them. For all the good stuff this anime does, I feel like some people will still end up disliking it, and that’s due to how some of these yuri relationships play out.
SPOILER ALERT! Of course, you probably see that guy in the poster, and yes, he eventually plays a major role in the story. Over the course of the series, there are several girl x girl relationships that begin to form. Nanako x Rei, Rei x Fukiko, and Mariko x Kaoru are the standout pairings, yet despite flashes of romance between all three of them, none of these relationships have a happy yuri ending. In fact, one of the girls involved actually ends up marrying that guy in the poster, so in a way, you could probably call this yuri bait. It would’ve been great to see some of the girls end up with each other, but despite all this, I still enjoyed this show a ton, and it still has a lot to offer viewers.
Due to it being a fraction of the length of the other yuri anime on this list, people may argue Asagao to Kase-san.‘s worthiness of making it on here (and at number five, no less), but all you need to know is that this is a classic case of quality over quantity. Because the OVA is so short, it wasted no time in getting Yamada and Kase together, and the end result is just about the cutest romance that you’re going to find in anime. For most of this anime, chances are you’re going to have a goofy smile on your face from all the cute moments, so if you’re wanting to watch something simple and fluffy, you’re going to have a hard time finding something more enjoyable than this.
One of the benefits of the short runtime is that there’s a lot more material than can be adapted, and I can’t think of anything better than getting another OVA, or better yet, a full-length TV anime starring these two. Compared to some of the other yuri anime on this list, you could say that this is lacking in some departments, and while that may be true, I’d say the most important thing in a yuri anime is the romance, and that’s where Asagao to Kase-san. shines brightest.
It’s pretty impressive that an anime that’s not a pure yuri anime can finish ahead of the likes of Strawberry Panic and Kase-san., but Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica is simply that good. Out of all the anime on this list, this one feels the most like a big deal, and because of how complex and surprising the story is, I think you’re definitely going to want to watch this more than once. There’s this TV anime, the two recap movies that arguably tell an overall better story, and the controversial Rebellion that flips the entire franchise on its ear, so the story stretches across various installments yet doesn’t let up at all.
There’s a reason that this franchise is pretty much universally revered in the anime community, and at a time when a lot of magical girl anime were generally doing the same things with minor changes, this came along and reset everyone’s expectations of what they should expect from magical girl anime. Aside from the story, the characters
And of course, I have to mention the art style of the franchise. Art, that’s the key word here. There aren’t many anime that you can honestly say do anything out of the ordinary with their visuals, but don’t tell that to Shaft, who’ve given the franchise it’s own distinct look that creates a haunting atmosphere that further adds to its entertainment factor. And the music is great, and I can keep going on as to why this is so great, however, it’s time to wrap this up. Madoka Magica might not be the first anime that comes to mind when discussing yuri anime, but aside from a more straightforward romance, you can’t ask for much more, and I think it definitely deserves a ranking this high.
Other than Yuru Yuri, I found Sasameki Koto to be one of the funniest yuri anime out there, and that’s all because of Sumi. Sumi’s madly in love with her best friend, Kazama, yet Kazama just doesn’t realize it, and instead, only seems to have romantic interest in “cute” girls. People who’ve experienced it would agree that unrequited love is by no means a hilarious topic, but Sasameki Koto managed to keep this from becoming too depressing for Sumi, and it was those little glimmers of hope that always brought a smile to my face. Like a true Yuri Anime Legend, seeing Sumi in her natural state was a thing of joy, and there’s no doubt I wouldn’t have enjoyed this anime so much if it wasn’t for her unapologetically lesbian self.
The balance of comedy and that awkward one-sided romance turned out really well, and as much as I would have loved to see Kazama return Sumi’s feelings and for this to become a real romance anime, this might’ve made the show lose a little bit of its charm for me. Still, even if this can’t match the romance level of some of the other shows in this list, the sheer entertainment factor ultimately helped make this one of my favorite yuri anime of all-time, and it has quite a bit in common with the next anime on the list…
For years now, this has been my number one yuri anime. Compared to yuri anime like Strawberry Panic and Oniisama e…, Aoi Hana is a down-to-earth and more realistic take on yuri romance, which is why I liked it so much. Aoi Hana starts off with Fumi already in a relationship with her cousin, and shortly after that, she’s molested on the train. That’s already not normal procedure for these types of shows, yet the rocky romances that follow kind of settle in to a spot that should be somewhat familiar to those who’ve experienced young love.
Fumi isn’t the only girl in this show that’s romantically involved with another girl, yet this relationship drama feels fairly natural and doesn’t come off as too forced like other anime. About the only issue I can think of is how it’s not until the very end that Fumi realizes that all along, it’s been Achan that’s been her true love and the first person she’s ever loved. It would’ve been great to see their romance really begin in earnest, but it’s hard for me to dwell on that considering how relatable and well-done the other romance aspects were.
Romance that’s more than just kissing, characters that feel more like real people than what you’d find in most other yuri anime, and actual growth from these characters are what ultimately have stuck with me the most regarding Aoi Hana. And those same qualities all managed to return for my new number one yuri anime…
So Bloom Into You pulled off the impressive feat of being both my choice for best yuri anime of the last decade AND my favorite yuri anime of all-time (so far), and it couldn’t have happened to a more worthy candidate. Much like Aoi Hana, Bloom Into You felt like a more realistic and personal trek through adolescence, but unlike Aoi Hana, this anime actually involves romance between the two main characters, and that’s kind of important.
I’m just putting it out there, but I was firmly on Team Sayaka, so needless to say, I’m not really pleased with how things turned out for my girl. That said, Yuu is a character that’s really easy to like, so there was no problem for me to embrace her burgeoning relationship with Touko. The love triangle played out so well and about as naturally as possible, and I think the characters felt more like real people than what you’ll find in most other yuri anime.
So I guess you can say that Bloom Into You is a complete yuri anime, and even if you’re a picky viewer, I don’t think there’s are a lot of cons to this show. You could say that other anime on this list lack genuine romance, or that their story is too straightforward and cliché, or any number of other gripes, yet in a lot of people’s eyes, BIY is able to avoid most of those pitfalls. It’s simply a great example of what happens when a studio puts a lot of love into their work, and it probably helps to have such strong source material to work with. Whether it’s your number one or not, I don’t think there’s any question that Bloom Into You did it’s part to push the genre forward, and it should be exciting to see where it goes from here~
So there it is, my Top 10 Yuri Anime (so far). To recap, here are the Top 10 Yuri Anime lists for both members of YuriReviews. There are quite a lot of differences in our choices, but it’s pretty great that there are plenty of worthy choices to make up lists like this, so no matter which yuri anime you’re passionate about, there are no bad choices. Except maybe Netsuzou TRap. 😛
|10. Flip Flappers||10. Cross Ange|
|9. Strawberry Panic||9. Sakura Trick|
|8. Simoun||8. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS|
|7. Yuru Yuri||7. Yuru Yuri|
|6. Oniisama e…||6. Kantai Collection|
|5. Asagao to Kase-san.||5. Strawberry Panic|
|4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica||4. Citrus|
|3. Sasameki Koto||3. Bloom Into You|
|2. Aoi Hana||2. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica|
|1. Bloom Into You||1. Kannazuki no Miko|