Yuri Talk: Soft Yuri

This term was brought up by Dimdom89 who mentioned that it was the new term for yuri subtext in Japan. Let’s briefly go over what classifies as soft yuri. For this post I will be using examples from 2015.

Aya and Yoko

Soft yuri is in the simplest explanation, two (or three) girls engaging in romantic situations or fantasies that come off as soft. It can go so far as even a kiss being soft, basically a kiss without tongue.

The power of friendship-love prevails once more

Any yuri pairing whose televised encounters are limited to holding hands, lots of blushing, exchanging words with each other that can easily be interpreted as romantic, touching cheeks very softly, staring longingly at one another…

I'm here for ya honey

…sleeping together in the same bed, the subway, etc.

Jaw dropping momentDamn it all

every single KumiRei moment no matter how steamy, all soft yuri.

If a kiss on the lips without tongue is as far as it goes, soft yuri. As far as physical contact goes: No breast fondling, no licking body parts, no biting/nibbling, nothing beyond gentle caressing or teasing. Blowing in the ear is okay though.

That’s pretty much the extent of soft yuri. Soft Yuri is basically the replacement for shoujo-ai because if readers look up what shoujo-ai REALLY means then it makes sense to stop using it.

Readers who are accustomed to using shoujo-ai can freely continue doing so so as to avoid confusion.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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20 Responses to Yuri Talk: Soft Yuri

  1. automaticimperfection says:

    Nice and LOL at shoujo ai, i did use the term,when I was 15,then I grew up and well the internet and I was like “wow I so own’t use it anymore”


  2. mirrorpurple says:

    I need hardcore yuri like Sakura Trick… So far only Sakura Trick manages to score a record of 20385737rewatches…


  3. MarkS00N says:

    First time encounter the term “soft yuri” is in a non-yuri doujin (technically the yuri part of a non-yuri doujin) so I was thinking is it a new term he invented or a legit term?

    Thanks for bringing up that it is a legit term…

    Though I am pretty surprise that kiss still in ‘soft yuri’ realm, because I am pretty sure that’s no longer subtext, but I guess it returns to the YuriKuma divide of bear (sex) vs human (no sex)…


  4. Recyyesr says:

    In my opinion, it’s nothing new per se in regards to Japan. The Japanese Yuri fandom views the genre somewhat differently then from the West. I wasn’t sure of this initially. But after reading another translated article from the Eureka magazine study of Yuri, it pretty much confirmed my thoughts. The Japanese are big on subtext. They love “reading between the lines, picking up on subtle cues, and using their own imaginations to weave rich tapestries of meaning from small threads.(direct quote from the article)”

    Of course, canon Yuri is canon. There is no doubt about that. Western fandom (or folks outside of Japan in general) likes Yuri as a direct correlation to Romance. As such, the international fandom is rather nit-picky on Yuri, at times to the point of getting disputive and argumentative about it, instead of enjoying and letting one’s imagination flourish.


  5. Dimdom says:

    I think is difficult and take a long time for use term soft yuri or friendship yuri in international yuri community outside Japan, some people do not agreed because a long time use term subtext (some people in my country still use term shoujo-ai) and some people would reject if friendship is called yuri.

    In Japan, term “subtext” not exists, if anime or manga will be friendship between girls (like Saki or Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise), character yuri (like Eruna in Mikagura or Ran in R-15) or fan service yuri (like Queens Blade or Maken Ki!), it’s still called yuri (some people in Japan say soft yuri or friendship yuri) and there are rating of yuri, the rating is usually 0-5, E-A/S or 0 star-5 star, for example you can check the website Japanese yuri:

    I have Megami Lily Magazine (released just 1 volume), anime like R-15 or Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise discussed in the magazine.

    For more details about yuri in Japan, you can asked to trinder_yuri or yuri fans in Japan who could speak English.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Recyyesr says:

      Actually in Japan, the people there only use 百合(Yuri) or GL. You can scan websites/blogs of Japanese who talk about Yuri, and these are the only terms you will find in regards to calling “Yuri”. Very few will even use “soft yuri”. Frankly, I’ve only seen this term used here on the OG-man blog, nowhere else. Even your friend Trinder confirms this by saying there is no real terms for “subtext”, and that is because the Japanese view Yuri differently from the Western/International community at large. To them, Yuri is more than just Romance.

      And as you said, for the Japanese, either something is Yuri or it isn’t. And when something is Yuri, it is described as containing a “lot” of Yuri (Heavier Yuri shows) or a “little” Yuri (lighter Yuri shows). Of course the English Yuri fandom at large can come up with it’s own terms, if they like!

      The Eureka magazine did an “academic-like” study of Yuri in Japan. You should read that for more factual information. OG-Man did a post about it a short awhile back. And Okazu also covered this on her blog and the essays on the Yuricon website.


      • Dimdom says:


        That’s right, in Japan, the main term is 百合 (Yuri) or Girls Love (GL).

        I’ve have explained in above, in Japan if anime/manga/game will be yuri element (like friendship or fan service only) it’s still called yuri, for example I’ve attached a photo Megami Lily Magazine and there are rating of yuri (I’ve given two examples websites).

        In Japan, the main term that is often used is 百合 (Yuri) & Girls Love (GL), for friendship between girls it’s still called yuri but some fans call soft yuri or friendship yuri and some people don’t consider friendship as yuri, it returned to the opinion of each person and also in Japan there is still debate the difference 百合 (Yuri) and レズ (rezu).

        So I don’t say term soft yuri or friendship yuri is often used by many people for description friendship between girls, I just say some fans call friendship between girls is soft yuri or friendship yuri (according the information from trinder_yuri)

        trinder_yuri is senior yuri fans, I’ve see his website since 2007 (I loved yuri genre around 2007), at the time (2007) website/blog about yuri is not much, I check Yuri na Hibi (yuri amagasa, now hiatus), Shirayuri no mori (kujo-eina) and trinder_yuri blog (glfan.seesaa) for see news about yuri, sometimes I read the okazu blog too.

        This hopefully can clarify the discussion, thank you for your attention.


      • Dimdom says:


        I agree, the Japanese view Yuri differently from the Western/International community, sometimes I’ve seen people in Japan think one of the anime is have yuri element but in west most people not considered yuri, as an example Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru or Da Capo.

        Okay, thanks for advice, I will read article study of Yuri in Japan.


  6. yurimylove says:

    again my motto is any yuri is good yuri. having said that, I must say I prefer canon yuri but I’d definitely take soft yuri/friendship yuri/shoujo-ai yuri any day XD


  7. Zhepyr Valentine says:

    I’m going to think of soft yuri as failed yuri dream. The characters are there, the hints are there, the hand holdings are there, but the kiss of faith isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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