The following is a personally translated article from a Spanish blogger, Flame_Xavier. I only take credit for translating his article in English, because I feel he had interesting things to say about people who judge yuri fans for no good reason and BOY are their reasons for saying yuri is crap retarded. So grab a bag of popcorn because this is going to take a while.
Keep in mind that some of my trademark writing will be present in the article but the point being made remains the same. Also, after hearing the opinions of more experienced veterans, they’ve agreed this article is more directed towards newcomers to the yuri genre.
I was originally going to mention something about the difference between Yuri and Shoujo-ai, but my fellow nation members kindly pointed out that SA is a made up English term in the early anime years to separate the “non-hentai” stuff. Best examples being Sailor Moon’s Haruka and Michiru or Carcaptor Sakura’s Tomoyo being turned straight in Western Dubs.
Apparently, Shoujo-ai originally means child porn in Japan. Hehe, my mistake. Oh well, the more you know.
The actual difference between shoujo-ai and yuri is that shoujo-ai stands for child porn that can be heterosexual 😛
There exists a difference as deep as an abyss on the difference in opinions between a yuri fan who has a passion for the romantic side of it and those who follow said genre for the sexual content and nothing more. When yuri fans express their passion on an a fan site’s forum that doesn’t focus on this genre or talk about it with a distinct group unfamiliar with the genre, incomprehension and prejudice create absurd and nonsensical criticism. The following article is meant to bring forth arguments in defense of yuri and its loyal fans.
There are primordially two reasons yuri gets criticized:
-Lack of interest or desire to understand the genre by the public.
-Prejudice against the lesbian theme.
To start things off, let’s divide the genre between erroneous misconception of what yuri (or should I say, Shoujo-ai) is in the eyes of the general public and the anime/manga produced with said genre as the main focus.
The Yuri genre is primarily anime/manga with platonic romantic relationships between two women. By platonic, I mean the two women genuinely love each other so much that they will begin a romantic relationship. Sometimes we get sneak peeks at what they do privately but its usually kept under wraps, instead focusing on how they fall in love with each other, or if they’re already a couple the trials and tribulations of a lesbian relationship. How the anime/manga deals with this varies. It’s basically the same thing and despite the differences, is handled in similar ways as a romance between a man and a woman or two men. There are many ways how to portray the story.
As mentioned above, the sexual content, contrary to popular belief is quite minimal (There are a few exceptions but believe or not, are quite rare). Like any other romance focused genre, some authors will insert a love scene to increase believability, some only increase touching and kissing while others don’t insert anything at all. It all depends on the author rather than the genre. Let’s take for example Aoi Hana and Maria-Sama ga Miteru. In the former the sexual conduct is only mentioned in a few scenes and doesn’t show anything more erotic than the semi nude scene in the OP. In the latter it isn’t even mentioned at all.
Part of this confusion is due in part to some Hentai with minor Yuri scenes catering to the H demographic but more on this later. Sites with a lot of ecchi Yuri images also play a part. (Yes, I know I also post SOME ecchi yuri images but not as extreme as Emptyblue. Heck, I think even he’s tame in this regard.). Most of these ecchi images have the two (or more) girls engaged in erotic poses staring at the viewer removing all context of them being romantically interested and just in it for raging ring boners. However, there ARE images portraying the women elegantly embracing and lovingly staring one other but these are usually overshadowed by the ecchi pics in non yuri sites.
As mentioned earlier, yuri is known for having a more calm atmosphere, in contrast to yaoi where it’s usually more…direct. Yaoi fans (Mostly female) criticize yuri for being “slow” and “uneventful”, making them lose interest in the genre, preferring the more “spicy” content yaoi is known for delivering (Or so I’ve been told). This is in no way bashing yaoi or its fans, they just have a different approach is all. At the end of the day, it’s just another genre.
Back to yuri, it’s time to defend it against the more shameful critiques that are usually considered trolling or people with a thorn up their derriere. The yuri genre’s fan base, worldwide, has a mixed audience where neither gender overpowers the other (Believe it or not), while Yaoi has a dominant female demographic. Both male and female yuri fans are attacked for various reasons so let’s begin with the men.
It’s absurd how haters primarily base THE ENTIRE male fandom solely on “sexual fantasies”. It’s an undeniable fact that a large percentage of men have had these kinds of fantasies (Myself included). However, yuri isn’t based on these “sexual fantasies”. There are many comments on various sites labeling yuri as nothing more than male “entertainment” or a “fetish” relegating their urges for animated porn. a curious lad, who notices an H with yuri content such as Shoujo Sect and the Sono Hanabira OVA where they only care about the sex scenes and move on without noticing or caring that there’s more to the OVAs than that. (SS isn’t a work of art in terms of passionate yuri storytelling but SH on the other hand…). But what about the men who watch and enjoy shows like Sasameki Koto, Simoun, Strawberry Panic, Candy Boy or the aforementioned Aoi Hana and Maria-Sama ga Miteru?
As for women…unfortunately they get the lowest of blows. They usually get the cliched “lesbo” or “dyke” insults thrown at them. These trolls border from plain dumb to retarded with these pointless insults. When it comes to yuri, women’s sexual orientation is irrelevant, they could be in it for the cool story, favorite author, interesting characters, wonderful setting etc. Other girls who are one with the lily can perhaps identify with the story and characters or are merely looking for something fun to watch. Why, I haven’t heard people criticize them for picking up shows like Lovely Complex, Love Actually or Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare (Yes, Romeo X Juliet as well) and being heterosexual.
Point is, there are thankfully those who do understand the yuri nation’s ways and accept them, sometimes delivering constructive arguments. That’s fine, but when it comes to trolls who dare insult not only your tastes but also your very lifestyle, pretend they don’t exist.
Yuri isn’t a bad thing, much less is being a member of the yuri nation. Everyone has their tastes and there’s absolutely no reason to be ashamed of it. We the nation members have every right to laugh, cry, squee, have doki-doki moments, stare with awe, get excited watching these shows and delve deepr into the light bein emanated by the sacred white lilies.