Between February 26 to March 13, 2019 the Akiba Research Institute of Japan conducted research to determine which yuri anime/anime with yuri content were the most popular in Japan, up to the year 2018 of course. It was obviously in Japanese but luckily ANN (The site sucks but beggars can’t be choosers) translated the results and I am here to briefly talk about every single poll result.
Note: The following are MY OPINIONS. ME, YO, IK, MOI, AMI, EU, BOKU. Nowadays certain readers need to be reminded of this to avoid unnecessary complaining.
- Bloom Into You
- Kase-san and Morning Glories
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Liz and the Blue Bird
- Strike Witches
- Sakura Trick
- Konohana Kitan
- Destiny of the Shrine Maiden
- Maria Watches Over Us
- Netsuzou Trap -NTR-
- Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid–
- Sasameki Koto
- Sweet Blue Flowers
- Candy Boy
- Strawberry Panic!
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Love To-LIE-Angle
- El Cazador de la Bruja
- Hidamari Sketch
- Yuri Kuma Arashi
- Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn
- Kurau: Phantom Memory
- Maria Holic
- The Girl in Twilight
- Blue Drop
- Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
- Black Rock Shooter
- Seraphim Call
Right then. Let’s get to it starting from the bottom.
Seraphim Call: Honestly forgot this show existed. If I can find it anywhere I might give it a watch at some point.
Black Rock Shooter: An enjoyable Moepocalypse show. Some prefer the standalone OVA to the TV anime. I liked both equally.
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san: Fun little short yuri show, yes. I guess it being the gayest of the shorts with yuri in them is why it is one the list. Hmmm. Maybe I should make a list of “OG’s favorite short anime” in the future? I’ll keep that in mind.
Simoun: Given the choice between it and Houseki no Kuni I would say Simoun is superior, though both are excellent in their own ways. I imagine several Nation members would argue this one should have a higher rank.
Blue Drop: I guess for people who really like dramatic yuri it’s worthy of being on the list. Not a personal favorite yuri drama but it’s cool.
Akanesasu Shoujo: One of my surprise hits of 2018. Had a slow start but once the 2nd arc kicked in and a certain game changing character was introduced it became something memorable. It also delivered an epic moment near the end.
Maria Holic: …Now…I know this show has its fans and maybe it gets better over time…but I tapped out at episode 4. Plenty of better anime with pervy lesbian protagonists out there. First show that gets an X from me.
Kurau Phantom Memory: Another show I need to watch at some point. I imagine it’s another one the Nation would argue should be higher.
Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Speaking of better shows with pervy lesbian protagonists, here is one right here.
Yuri Kuma Arashi: My favorite Ikuhara show. I personally would argue it should be higher.
Hidamari Sketch: There are a lot of wonderful Girls Club anime out there worthy of making a list like this. I would argue Hidamari Sketch is an elite Girls Club show. One of the very best in the genre. Is it one of the funniest and gayest in the Slice of Life subgenre? Not really, but what it does it does fantastically throughout its multiple seasons and OVAs.
El Cazador de la Bruja: My favorite of Bee Train’s “Girls with Guns Trilogy” (Madlax, Noir, El Cazador). Love the story and most of the cast. Nadie is badass and super hot while Ellis is the adorable love interest. Mr L can shove it though.
Tachibanakan Triangle: What I hoped would be the ecchi yuri harem show I had longed for quite some time turned out to be a rushed short yuri adaptation that didn’t need to be short. Just because it worked (I feel) for a show I will talk about later doesn’t mean it would work twice with even shorter episodes. One thing it has going for it is it being more enjoyable uncensored. Still not worthy of being in a “best of recent memory” list. You get an X.
Kuttsukiboshi: Unnecessary 1st episode plot twist aside this show served its purpose of being a delicious yuri OVA series with an arguably better manga follow up. But like Tachibanakan Triangle not “best of” worthy. You get an X.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: I imagine this would be in the Top 10 (or 5 for) for many readers. For the impact it made in yuri history, sure. A classic.
Strawberry Panic: Like it or not this is another yuri classic and for myself and many my age the 1st 100%/Grade 1 yuri series. It will always hold a special place in my heart and is in my own Top 10…if I ever made one…which I don’t feel confident doing.
Oh and I’ll continue saying this till the end of time.
Candy Boy: The show that got me into Wincest. Besides that it’s an adorable show without a doubt and worthy of being on the list.
Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto. I put these two together because they somehow go hand in hand despite one being a drama and the other a romantic comedy. It’s similar to the #1 and #2 shows on the list. Perhaps if they had come out a little later when yuri was becoming more popular in the mainstream they would have fared better…Then again they may have helped set the groundwork for future yuri shows so it’s just as well they came out when they did. In any case both good shows worthy of “best of yuri” lists. I would love to see the rest of SK get animated but alas.
Valkyrie Drive Mermaid: Not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s one of my all-time favorite ECCHIMANIA shows. Worthier of being on a “best of yuri” list than Kuttsukiboshi. Funny enough both have a moment/scene that’s best left forgotten.
Netsuzou TRap: Oh I’m sure for many Nation members this one should get an X. Not me. I still stand by this series being good. Not great, but good. Specifically a good telenovela/soap opera series. I also stand by the anime adaptation being good despite the episodes being less than 9 minutes. Despite omitting some stuff it got the point across just fine. Plus it was delicious. Not Top 10 worthy though.
My/Mai-Hime: Unlike NTR this show isn’t as lucky. While I get its appeal and ShizNat are an iconic couple, the rest of the show didn’t age well for me. Same goes for Mai-Otome. Solid shows but not worthy of being on a “best of yuri” list. Besides, ShizNat are more of a subplot than a major side-story. Then again it’s thanks to them other shows like Akanesasu Shoujo took notes and did it better I feel. I will say ShizNat are at least “Top 10 Best Yuri Couple” worthy for that reason. The show though, X.
Maria-Sama ga Miteru: Like Strawberry Panic this is a “Like it or not it’s a classic” show. Despite being a Class S show it did its thing and became a pioneer. It’s also responsible for the many yuri jokes related to all-girl schools in anime. Oh and ShimaNori 4 Life BAYBEEEEEEEEEE! YumiSachi are great too.
Does anyone know where I can download MariBato PLUS?
Kannazuki no Miko: Oh yes. The other stuff on the show is still not that great but ChiMeko will forever stand the test of time as far as I’m concerned. Top 10 for their love story alone. Yes. I know THAT ONE SCENE continues being controversial and talked about every time a new Nation member witnesses greatness…but I will forever defend Chikane because I get where she’s coming from. Would I have done something different? Yes. The thing is you need to put yourself in her shoes and understand what she wanted to accomplish and how far she would go to get it done.
Now we get to the Top 10.
Konohana Kitan: As I mentioned earlier there are many wonderful Girls Club shows out there. This being one of them. Also like Hidamari Sketch it is an elite class. Definitely Top 10 worthy.
Technically the show is classified as a fantasy iyashikei but it also has Girls Club elements, so yeah.
Sakura Trick: I get why some would disagree with its positioning but I defend it by saying it aired at a perfect time. A time where yuri kisses were quite rare. I enjoyed Harupopo X Yuu’s many smooches along with Kotone X Shizuku’s more serious romance. Of course Kaede X Yuzu was a delightful 3rd pairing. Point being it would be in my own Top 10 despite my acknowledging it not being a masterpiece..
Strike Witches: An interesting choice for the Top 10. Do I consider the series good? Absolutely. Is the yuri good? There is one iconic couple in Eila X Sanya and two great ones in RAMBO (Yoshika) X Lynette and Mio X Minna. There are other pairings as well. Thing is…is it a Top 10 worthy yuri show? That is debatable. I can’t confidently say “yes” or “no” myself. I suppose it depends on how the couples progess in the upcoming 3rd season. Brave Witches is a good too and I’m curious about the 3rd Division that’s getting an anime.
Liz to Aoi Tor and Kase-Sani: I thought this was an anime series poll. I count stuff like Kuttsukiboshi and Black Rock Shooter because they had more than one episode each. But these two are movies. Now if Kase-San had an anime series and Mizore X Nozomi were the main protagonists of Hibike! Euphonium instead of Kumiko and Reina then absolutely their shows would belong in the Top 10 (Kase-San would be in the Top 3). As yuri anime movies they are Top 5 without question.
Saki: I really should start working on that “OG’s Favorite Women’s Sports Anime” list at some point. Anyway, Saki. The first and best entry in the franchise. Achiga-Hen and Zenkoku-Hen, while good, weren’t able to capture the magic of the first season. The intensity of the matches, the cast and of course the gayness were at their peak here. As for it being a Top 10 anime? I completely understand why. It’s fun, exciting and super gay…unless the viewer is someone who does not understand the rules of mahjong and feels they NEED to in order to enjoy it.
Meduka Meguca: I will give it to this series. It was the start of the Moepocalypse renaissance. It single-handedly made dark magical girl/female centered anime cool again in a time where they were stagnating. It is thanks to this show that there are so many more getting anime adaptations nowadays. Here’s the thing for me. When I first saw the show it was incredible. It’s still pretty good to this day. However, while I get it’s high rank, I don’t consider it one of the best yuri anime. Heck many of the ones that came after I deem better as far as yuri goes. The underrated Daybreak Illusion, Magical Girl Site and Magical Girl Raising Project. Heck even Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka…and of course my favorite, Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru. Again I get why it’s ranked so high and its significance can never be devalued…but it wouldn’t be in my Top 10. Guess people REALLY liked the Legend of Homura. It’s a pretty cool and somewhat inspirational legend (Not counting the events in Rebellion). I’ll give it that.
Update: I gave this show an X at first but some fans reasonably told me it wasn’t right and I should respect its accomplishments. So I’ll be fair. It wouldn’t be on my Top 10 List but Top 15 for sure.
Now the top 3.
Yuru Yuri: This being ranked so high is a no-brainer for one reason. YY has always been the most mainstream friendly yuri anime of all. The thing is it focuses more on the comedy and moe than the gayness (which of course there is plenty of). The yuri is lighthearted in tone and the ship wars make sure no viewer is left out on seeing their favorite ships get the spotlight…which has always been something that irked me about this series. Then again the ship wars thing is one of the biggest selling points of the show. It’s also one of the most successful yuri anime in existence so can’t take that away from it.
I doubt anyone here is surprised Citrus and Bloom Into You are in the Top 2. They are the current two most popular yuri manga. Whether that means they’re two of the greatest of all time I leave readers to decide. As for me I think BiY is really good and Citrus is overrated, though what the anime covered was done better than in the manga, meaning that if the rest of the story gets animated I’ll watch it. I have no interest in reading the manga. Same goes for BiY. Because of that I think Citrus is a good telenovela/soap opera and BiY a great character drama. Whether they are good love stories overall I again leave up to readers. Now would I have picked them as my own #1 and #2? No. BiY would be in my Top 10 though.
So there you have it. My brief thoughts on every anime and their rank. Here are some anime I would replace a couple of the picks here with:
Izetta: The Last Witch: I am known for loving shows people do not think as highly of. Izetta: The Last Witch is no different. Besides how certain events transpired some complained about the depiction of WW2. Basically think about people ranting about storylines and content featured in certain Call of Duty and Battlefield games. Here however, it’s clearly a fictional great war inspired by WW2. That’s it. I was invested in the following:
- The cute and sexy ladies (DUH).
- Seeing two badass lesbians lead an army against an evil empire.
- FiZetta’s romance. This of course being the major highlight. I love FiZetta so much. My sexy lesbian babies and Anne X Grea’s mentors.
Flip Flappers: Very trippy action-adventure sci-fi show with a lot of cool and creative imagery along with an excellent romance/kinda love triangle added for good measure. Also the main couple’s nickname made me think of this song.
Replace “Chulo” with “Coco”…I am a simple person.
Rinne no Lagrange: My favorite mecha anime and the reason I embrace OT3s when the signs are there. Not the greatest but man was it fun. Plus Madoka Kyouno is still sexy.
Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku: Eruna Ichinomiya is an underrated yuri icon.
Symphogear is love, Symphogear is life.
Harukana Receive: The greatest Women’s Sports Anime ever made. “OG’s Favorite Women’s Sports Anime” SPOILER ALERT.
Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru: My favorite Moepocalypse anime. Yuna X Togo taught me to love and trust some people outside my closest family again.
Mouretsu Pirates: If someone were to ask me “Hey OG. What to you is the perfect anime?”. I would tell them Mouretsu/Bodacious Space Pirates.
Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl. Thanks to the first fan commenting and reminding me of it. Definitely worthy of a spot. #HazumuWasAlwaysFemale
And done. Talk about the poll results in the comments below.