Yuri Talk: OT3s

This kind of yuri shipping has been getting a lot more support lately and I figured now would be a good time to discuss this particular kind of ship in yuridom.


The trio that started it all for me.

The above ladies, Madoka, Lan and Muginami from Rinne no Lagrange, are the ones who started it all for yours truly. They were the first trio that made me go “Yes. I can see this kind of relationship working.”. Before we go any further a quick explanation of what an OT3 ship is. Basically it is when one person is paired up with two potential love interests. However, what sets OT3s apart from love triangles are that the two love interests reach an agreement where they happily (or sometimes begrudgingly) are willing to share the affections of the one they both love. The two may also develop feelings for each other that, while nowhere near as strong as the feelings for their beloved they can find comfort with each other as well. Now for this kind of ship to work some quota have to be met:

Tsugumi be pimpin' again

Tusugumi X Anya X Meme from Soul Eater NOT!

  1. There must be several instances on the show/manga/game where the leading lady shows both love interests intimacy without it escalating to all-out war among lovers.
  2. Like with sisterly-love ships/couples, the shipper must be okay with polyamory… at the very least in the world of fiction.

Let us discuss common trends while shipping OT3s:

Sumireko X Mahiru X Shinya.jpg

Sumireko X Mahiru X Shinya from Akuma no Riddle kind of counts as an OT3

Image source: http://mylovelydevil.deviantart.com/art/HPBD-475340375

1: First of all the most common trait that sets up an OT3 is a charismatic love interest for both ladies. The girl/woman oozes with charisma, kindness, beauty, cuteness or flirting power (or in some cases all those traits) to make both girls yearn for her affections.

Chika broke down


Chika, Riko and You from Love Live! Sunshine!!

2: Next up is how most of the time there is a varying degree of tension where one of the girls gets more affection from the central cutie than the other but later on Central Cutie/Hottie shows that she loves the girl who got less snuggling initially just as much as the other. The balance remains somewhat similar to when it started but at least both lovers get sufficient snuggle time after the main issue was resolved.

Honoka and Kotori with a supportive Umi

Honoka, Kotori and Umi from the first Love Live!

3: The third common trend with OT3 shipping among yuri fans is having fun or intensely debating which of the two girlfriends is superior, meaning which of the two has the best chemistry with the central hottie/cutie.

Akari the sinful angel

These 3 do not meet the OT3 quota per se but set up a perfect example for my next point. Akari, Shino and Urara from Hidan no Aria AA.

4: Lastly there is the OT3 trend where fans prefer seeing the two love interests hook up with each other rather than share the Central Cutie/Hottie. A well written OT3 has all three girls/women having great chemistry with one another, meaning there would be no need for the thought of shippers wanting to see the other ladies go off on their own.

Hinako Note OT3

Hinako, Yua and Kuina from Hinako Note. As of this writing this trio falls under the third trend of OT3 pairings.

OT3 shipping is not a common and like “Sisterly Love” it is for the best that this kind of ship is not commonplace. Like any other good yuri pairing, the writing and chemistry between the three girls/women has to be really good for it to work, otherwise it will be seen as either a love triangle, “the two love interests should hook up with each other” scenario or worse a crack ship. The pairings I brought as examples in this post are more recent ones. Perhaps there were subtle ones in the old days or in other recent anime. Either way feel free to share your thoughts on OT3 pairings and if possible bring up your fav OT3.


Yui, Yuzuki and Yukari from Yuyushiki.

I am ashamed for having forgotten these three the first time I wrote this post. They are the epitome of an OT3 in yuridom. Perhaps even more than Madoka/Lan/Muginami…though some will argue it is more a yuri harem revolving around Yui than an OT3. Either argument has valid points.

Check out another post discussing OT3s courtesy of Lena K HERE.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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36 Responses to Yuri Talk: OT3s

  1. cirno9fan says:

    It really is tough to pull off right, because the chance for it become a nasty love triangle is too high. But it’s something I could see as a nice “closure” to a classic love triangle situation. Stil, it’ is incredibly rare. One of the rarest sort of things really. Even if you go outside yuri, it usually always feels strongly like a love triangle/harem. One game (this isn’t pure yuri) that actually implemented the OT3 would be Grandia 2. Starts off like a love triangle, but the two love interests become very comfortable with each other, and have no issue with snuggling with each other and the MC by the end. Had quite a lot of buldup to this conclusion in hindsight, but still surprised me greatly, as I never had seen it done before.

    Manga I’m starting to read that just released actually, might be going an OT3 route. Should be interesting! Too bad that love triangle manga pretty much just throws the childhood friend under the bus, and makes it obvious no OT3 is happening 😦 Had some good hopes for that one (but it could change, I guess)

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Precisely. It is not easy to pull off an OT3 without having it come off like a love triangle.

      You mean Ryudo, Elena and Milenia? I haven’t beaten the game so I’ll take your word for it.

      Ah yes. You have informed me of that recent manga. Sounds interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rory says:

    Yuzuki, Yui and Yukari from Yuyushiki work pretty well as an OT3.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. LuzeriP says:

    I’ve got to say OT3 is my least favorite yuri shipping. Not because I don’t like it, but because I have a hard time separating between OT3, love triangle or just a couple and a third wheel. Of course I can see it on the Rinne girls and YuYuKari. Other than that I have no idea until someone pointed out.

    So what about Papika x Cocona x Yayaka and Ilya x Miyu x Kuro. Are these OT3?

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Illya X Miyu X Kuro is currently a maybe though Illya will more than likely marry Miyu.

      PapiCoco are a couple. Yayaka will look for someone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. appbeza says:

    What is it called when they love each other equally? I would prefer shipping trios with this type of relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. zcfrqeriop[aldfjaf says:

    Well Lan x Muginami x Madoka becoming a threesome was an accident as Muginami was going to die in the original story draft, and Lan and Madoka were going to marry guys and still be in love with each other.


  6. Lena K. says:

    I’m actually starting to warm up to the idea of OT3s a little.
    Just a bit longer and I might as well start liking RikoxChikaxYou…. not just yet though 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Okami says:

    Never heard of a term OT3 before, I heard of terms as poly love V and poly love triangle. I suspect Night of Azure 2 will be like this. Also Plachta X Sophie X Firis ending from Atelier Firis could be considered OT3.

    On the other hand Chika, Riko and You I found to be more of a classical love triangle because You was jealous of Riko and there is even that line “Who is it going to be Me or Riko”.

    PS: Didn’t know Rinne no Lagrange had Yuri in it, thanks for letting me know about one more anime I should watch 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Nights of Azure 2 could be an OT3. We shall see.

      You wasn’t jealous. It was more like she didn’t feel needed.

      Give Rinne no Lagrange a go. It’s pretty good imo.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nights of Azure 2 started off as an OT3 but thanks to constant delays it has become a “””rare””” yuri harem game.

        RikoxChikaxYou is one of the better yuri OT3s that I have seen.

        And yes, Lagrange has yuri.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Alexis says:

    Saludines. Tiempo sin comentar pero siempre estoy pendiente en el blog. Este es un tema interesante y la mejor manera de llegar a un final feliz sin tener que llegar al perturbador Makoto end. Sin duda el OT3 puede ser una veta para que l@s autores ofrezcan buenas historias, sobre todo se debe de tener ingenio para justificar que dos contendientes al final firmen tratados de paz y compartan a la misma chica. Sin duda alguna Love Live Sunshine tiene buen potencial en darnos OT3’s: You x Chika x Riko; Dia x Kanan x Mari y Ruby x Yohane x Hanamaru. Un trio que tal vez pueda ser considerado OT3 sería el de Otone x Eruna x Seisa de Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku.
    Si el OT3 puede ser un buen tema ahora imagine como sería el yuri si se incluyera el end harem, incluso se me hace extraño que en SonoHana no hayan explorado esa opción. Si alguna historia lo hiciera lo único que diría es Shut Up And Take My Money.

    Nos escribimos y espero más seguido.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Ha sido muchisimo tiempo Hemos extrañado su presencia por aqui.

      Exactamente. Un trato razonbable entre contendientes que quizas pueda resultar en ellas disfrutar su compania un poquito cuando su amada no este o mientras…usted sabe…teehee.

      Por ahora ChiRiYou es la OT3 mas segura de Aqours. Entre las del tercer año es claro quien ama a quien mientras que entre las mas jovenes no estamos seguros aun.

      Al contrario que a Lan y Muganmi con Madoka, no creo que Otone y Seisa llegaron a un acuerdo razonable. Basicamente ese sigue siendo un triangulo.

      Ese es una idea interesante para una nueva entrega de SonoHana. Me pregunto si lo haran?


  9. Iopuy says:

    In the game Chantelise – A Tale of Two Sisters, Chante and Elise end up in a threesome with Aira the store owner.


  10. OT3s everywhere! …I do tend towards shipping them occasionally when I really don’t feel like deciding between two ships I like that conflict, and it feels at least potentially possible for it to work. Like Tsubasa x Maria x Chris from Symphogear might be one such ship. Then again, I do sometimes go past even OT3’s, and into OT5 territory, like with one of my ships in Fate/Grand Order…

    Also, would Kureha x Ginko x Lulu (Yuri Kuma Arashi) count as a potential OT3, provided things in the series had taken a different path? Even if things didn’t end up going that way in the end, due to other…difficulties?

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the 4th and 5th seasons of Symphogear. Currently it’s still a love triangle.

      Yurikuma’s main trio kind of did but as you said circumstances prevented us from seeing if it could have ended that way.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Keitchup says:

    OT3s will always be an interesting topic for me. Like what other readers have mentioned in their comments, it’s hard to pull off without making it seem like a love triangle. I identify most with the two criteria you listed. First, when you don’t know who to ship with the central girl because both of them are great girlfriends. Second, when you just want the two girlfriends to be together because they have so much chemistry. The second criterion was actually my wish for Hidan no Aria AA.

    I’m not sure but OT3s might soon become the next trend for some yuri/yuri subtext shows because I know there are a lot of people enjoying it. Although I still prefer shipping one solid OTP for some shows, there are times when you just find it hard to choose because both ships have the potential so you end up shipping the OT3. I also guess it’s the odd number of girls that also allow fans for OT3 shipping. I notice this pattern with the two Love Live series.

    Nevertheless, OT3s have existed for quite some time and I don’t think it’s will disappear soon. It’s frustratingly enjoyable but it adds spice to the shows we’re faithfully watching.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Caimin says:

    Can we not? Seriously, poly is the spawn of childish fantasies and delusions of greed and lust. Are you people so greedy that you need 2, 3, or even 4+ people to satiate yourselves? Is one soul not enough for you? Just disgusting.


    • OG-Man says:

      Precisely why I said that one of the factors of OT3 shipping is if the person is okay with polyamory in fiction. You are not. Therefore it’s not your thing.


  13. Mamiina says:

    What about KinMoza? Shinobu x Alice x Karen can be considered a trio as well since Shino likes both. And there is also Yuzuka x Chiya x Mafuyu from Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Not really. Alice is still the the bride to be while Karen gets blonde-tention points from Shino. As for season2 of the Quiet Girl Show I’ll finish the 2nd season later tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. OT3 is one of the things that l love about shipping, particularly when it comes to yuri. A ship of three girls means there is bound to be a lot of chemistry going on. From two girls fighting over another girl to three girls expressing polyamorous love to one another. LanxMadokaxMuginami and YuzukoxYuixYukari are two popular OT3s. Love Live and Symphogear are OT3fest. Not so sure about Nights of Azure 2 though since it went from OT3 to ultra rare yuri harem. Of course, I love yuri harem.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. yurimylove says:

    The OT3 pairings i really like is when there’re meaningful interations between the two girls (in addition to plenty of snuggle scenes between the main girls and them of course). One good example is in a Larange episode where Lan had her soldiers arrest Muginami and put her in jail. At first glance it might look like she’s getting rid of her “love rival” while Madoka wasn’t around to protect Muginami. But then we found out later she wasn’t doing it out of malice, and in fact helped Muginami escape later.

    The scene tells us that, the two of them understood each other, without needing words. Lan knew Muginami would understand the reason she put her under arrest, and Muginami knew when Lan later created a distraction to help her escape. These kinds of interactions and scenes between the two “rivals” (for lack of a better word) make OT3s more enjoyable for me to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. haylE15 says:

    That kind of ship happens a lot in SOL anime with girls, where the subtext is really strong. Not my favourite kind but I learned to like it sometimes, while also shipping two of the trio a bit more x)

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      It may look like easy shipping at first but rarely can an OT3 ship work without actually being a love triangle.


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