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|
I am surprised that Citrus isn’t here at all, but to each their own. Oniisama e… was not one of my favorite watches, I watched it because it reminded me of Maria-sama Ga Miteru (which btw was my 1st yuri anime) and it was kinda similar, but not my cup of tea. Strawberry Panic gets little love from me since I was hoping for TamaoxNagisa, I knew the outcome was obvious but I was devastated nonetheless (the other side couples were great though).
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Thought I was the only one hoping for (Tamao x Nagisa). Shizuma is such a drama queen who makes herself the center of attention. Could not warm to her at all or her angst. Worst yet is watching Nagisa’s submission to this giant ego to the point of deeply hurting Tamao (The Picnic Affair). Agree that all the other side couples/characters were great!
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I thought about adding a couple of Honorable Mentions, and if I did, Citrus would’ve been mentioned, but I don’t think I could’ve put it higher than #10. I don’t know, I guess I’m kind of one of those people who aren’t in love with it like other people are…
Awww. I haven’t seen many (or any :D) other people on here who’ve seen Oniisama e…, and I finally find one, and they don’t like it. Just my luck. 😀
And I think part of me has forgotten MariMite, or at least I mix the different seasons up. But at least I remember that it needed a lot more Sei~
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Yes indeed! Sei Satō is one of the great characters in anime not just in yuri! She is the most perceptive of the feelings of others and she loves pushing everyone’s buttons. She also feels more intensely as the failed affair with Shiori Kubo demonstrates! And its unfortunate that we couldn’t have more of S3.EP5 The Trip to Italy where the girls meet Shizuka Kanina (Rosa Canina) and there is a rumor of Sei being in Italy. As Shizuka has confessed to Sei previously, why would Sei be in Italy? Hummm, thoughts wander. It would have been wonderful to see a happy ending for Sei in a (Sei X Shizuka) pairing. Also liked Rosa Canina much better than Shiori. If these were real people, Shiori would not have been good for Sei, but Shizuka would have been a very good match for Sei. Marimite certainly needed more Sei so that we get that warm and fuzzy, happy ever after ending. The author seems to have been thinking that way in placing Sei next to Lillian in the woman’s college. Oh well, we have what we have. It would have been neat to see Yumi as Rosa Chinensis in her third and final year, trying to handle pepper Touko as her En Bouton. That would have been hilarious and completely unlike her relationship with Sachiko.
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Doesn’t Citrus have boderline incest and non consensual stuff? Not the best lesbian representation…
Ok will give this a try
10.) Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
sorry hit the wrong button so…
10.) Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Who doesn’t like dragons?
9.) Asagao to Kasa-san
So so cute
8.) Sasameki Koto
Funny and shows all kinds of wonderful girl-girl relationships
7.) Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana)
Very serious drama which shows girls can hurt girls just like guys do
6.) Yuru Yui
So cute it curls the toes
Even without the girl love, this would be great sci-fi. A world where all
the humanoids are born female and by science and mysticism, some girls are mutated into males!
Would do anything to turn on a Simoun
4.) Flip Flappers
Wild and crazy, extreme transcendent love across all dimensions, wonderful animation
3.) Yurikuma Arashi
Almost incomprehensible on first viewing. Densely packed symbolism layered on symbolism. Took 5 viewings to understand.
One of the most beautiful yuri kisses ever. Come on….a kiss to the background music of Ave Maria with thousands of Lilys floating
down from Heaven like rain, as they climb The Stairway to Heaven,,,, pass me the smelling salts
2.) Maria-sama ga Miteru
The grand dame of all forms of love. Intense emotions, wonderfully played on the sporting fields of love according to all the rules!
1.) Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Don’t mess with great works of art.
Bloom into you is incomplete in the Anime and may never be completed
Oniisama is so 20th century. Did not like for exactly the reasons in the Rock’s spoiler alert above
Strawberry Panic did not like Shizuma. Wanted (Tamao x Nagisa) instead
Kannazuki no Miko The two ending EPs were some of the finest in all anime, but to get there you have
to traverse a lot of mecha and het dreck
I have to say, that’s a pretty good list!
So many of those seem like obvious picks, but when those anime are that good, it’s hard not to choose them. 😛
As for the why’s, it helps that I haven’t read the manga.
I liked everything else so much that I could overlook that.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Shizuma either, so maybe it could’ve been higher if I did like her as much as other people seem to have.
And I don’t remember the EDs at all, and while I’m one of the few people who didn’t mind whatshisface, the story was just so bad. 😀
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Even incomplete as it is, Bloom is utterly magnificent. Not just for the story, which is so amazing, but direction, animation, soundtrack are all top notch. Of course, one can always grab vol 6-8 of the manga and finish off the story, which elevates it even more. I hope to goddess that we get the rest adapted ;__;
Glad to see Yuri Kuma Arashi on the list, it seems to get overlooked a lot :(I think on my own list, if Im *only* include anime adaptations and not manga, Arashi would probably be #4
I don’t think I’ve ever come across a yuri fan that didn’t love Bloom Into You. Whether it’s Citrus, Strawberry Panic, Candy Boy, or even Yuri Kuma Arashi, there’s always at least a little something to nitpick. Pretty awesome that the praise is universal~
Yuru Yuri has a spin off manga called Oomuro-ke , and it has an actual couple (but they are hiding it) , and Sakurako is hilarious
I need to finish bloom into you , but i have to give you a lot of points for not adding the anime that i hate , citrus haha
Sasameki koto has a meeeh ending in the manga
I hope you add wasteful days of high school girl in the yuri list since that anine sadly went a little underrated (and the anime is better than the manga version)
Then they totally need to adapt that! Although if I were to choose a character to base a spin-off on, I’m not sure my first choice would’ve been Sakurako. But I wouldn’t complain!
Yeah. It probably helps that I never finished reading Citrus, so I don’t have any kind of connection to it, and I don’t feel bad about just leaving it out entirely. 😛
And I keep forgetting about that show! But since some of these other posts are out of the way now, maybe I’ll finally end up reviewing it in a couple of weeks~
Haha , yeah i really hope it gets an anime version , it is good , it explores mainly Sakurako but also her whole family , i recommend it a lot
Whaa? No Symphogear!? 😛
My list is a bit of a mish-mash of you two’s.
Asagao to Kase-san
Shuumatsu no Izetta
Bloom Into You
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Honorable mentions to these:
Haibane Renmei (thank you for reviewing it, I don’t think I would have watched it otherwise 😀 )
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Symphogear just missed out. It was #11. 111, that is. 😛
Now the Izetta header makes sense! 😀
But that’s another list I can’t complain about at all. Good choices all around~
And that’s what we’re here for, shade! It’s our duty to do what we can to share the yuri love with everyone else, so don’t mention it. 😛
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great list rock! im super surprised you dont have citrus or kannazuki no miko on there. my list goes
10. asagao to kase san
9. sasameki koto
8. aoi hana
7. sakura trick
6. strawberry panic
5. yagate kimi ni naru
1. kannazuki no miko
I tried… 😀
I don’t know why I didn’t like Citrus as much as I thought I would, and I didn’t like the story at all in KnM.
And your picks are also like a combination of mine and L’s. Great minds think alike! 😀
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ah i see thats fair.
also haha yeah definitely! 😀
oh also do you have any honorable mentions on your list by any chance rock?
I didn’t list any, but just thinking about it, MariMite, Citrus, and Sakura Trick come to mind. When I first started putting this together, I had MariMite on the list, but there were too many good ones, so there just wasn’t enough room for it.
Did you have any honorable mentions? 😛
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OH! nice picks for some honorable mentions!!!
for me my honorable mentions would be marimite, simoun, tonari no kyuuketsuki-san, yuru yuri, symphogear, love live series (not sure if those two count but hey the moments between the characters in both symphogear and love live makes it yuri in my eyes) and the list goes on and on!
I originally wanted to publish this post last year, and in order to celebrate a new decade, include twenty anime instead of ten, but that was too much work, so I had to leave out some good ones. 😀
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that sounded like a totally fun idea! still even if you didnt do a top 20 list, your top 10 list is great!!!
Thanks. So is yours~
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“Liz and the Blue Bird”
It is a spin-off of Euphonium and an absolutely beautiful yuri movie. I am amazed it isn’t here.
I saw it and liked it, but I didn’t like it enough to put it into my top 10. L liked it even more than I did, but apparently not enough to have it crack her top 10 either. 😛
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Aoi Hana is by far my favorite yuri title to get an adaptation. I’m glad it made the list. 🥰
I think people still underrate it. It’s so good~
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I enjoyed several titles in this list, to some extent. But I would like to point out that the problem that plagues almost every Yuri anime out there is that they are adpted from mangas or light novels when they are not finished yet. And there is almost never a 2nd season. The result is absolutely infuriating, to me. I certainly agree Bloom into You is marvellous, BUT it does not end at all. The same can be said for Adachi to Shinamura (that I think it should have been in this list, and pretty high in the position too): you keep watching until the end, hoping to see the main characters finally kiss, declaring their love to each other, but no, it just ends with nothing resolved. Another anime with this problem is Sasameki Koto: very funny to the last episode, but, in the end, absolutely nothing happens. It’s infuriating. Mostly because the manga/light novel has a proper ending instead.
I am sure if Bloom into Yoy is going to have a season 2, it will be the greatest Yuri anime ever. But now, no, I disagree: the ending is terrible. The love story has not even really started when the anime ends.
For this reason, I believe there should be a separate Top 10 list of anime that have a proper ending.
And this is the reason for, to me, the best Yuri anime I have seen insofar is Strawberry Panic! It ends, it delivers, and the main romance has a proper ending (and it’s even bittersweet to the end, because of at least 3 good characters not getting their love interest).
Another great anime with a strong Yuri relationship that properly ended and that deserved to be in this list is Scum’s Wish. It’s extremely dark and depressing, though, so people should be warned in advance.
Finally, I think that Cirtus, to some extent, even if not really ending where the manga ends, has a much better closure than most of the anime in this list. So I was twice as surprised don’t seeing it here.
Kinda breaks my yuri heart seeing some of those animes in the list. Specially Oniisama E.
These animes are great as long as you aren’t watching them exclusively for the yuri. I guess i’ll be watching Bloom Into You as my friend recommended.
My issue with AOI HANA when talking about yuri only (not story or progression which is very unique for an anime and more when it’s yuri) is how Sugimoto looks, I don’t mind the tomboyish stuff, but she has a pretty boy face we see in many bishounen products, so I could see her in a straight relationship with a girl or homo with a guy. It makes me feel that the author wanted to have a more straight romance as the main theme.