Thank you all for your patience. The wait was a long one but at last the votes of this poll were tallied and together, Her Holiness Yuri Mother and I, agreed to co-host/discuss the results. For readers who do not remember or are not in the know, after seeing the results of the Akiba Research Institute’s Best Yuri Anime Poll Yuri Mother approached me and was like “Why don’t I host a poll of my own to get an idea of the difference between Western and Japanese fans’ preferences in yuri anime”. Thus, as mentioned, we teamed up for a collaboration post. The anime voted for go up to the end of the Fall 2018 season. A fun little tidbit we noticed as we wrote down our thoughts is the difference between how we expressed our opinions. Think of this post as a discussion between a chill (and naughty) optimistic guy and a most wise woman. So without further ado let us take a look at who fans and visitors from both our blogs (along with some others) voted for.
OG: On my end this is Part 3 of a trilogy where I discuss the results of yuri anime polls. Part 1 was the Akiba Research Institute poll and Part 2 was the goo Ranking poll. Readers will notice that being the reason why it feels like I talked about these results before.
Right then. Take it away Your Holiness!
Yuri Mother: We put out a poll to see what the top yuri anime series are in public opinion. Respondents could submit up to five different anime titles as their picks for the “Top Yuri Anime” There were no limits on if the series had to be recognized as yuri, subtextual, or have yuri as a main theme. Respondents were free to submit whatever titles they considered to be yuri.
1287 people responded submitting 4999 entries into the poll. The top 20 results and our thoughts on them are as follows:
1. Bloom Into You – 692 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Be it East or West the YagaKimi took the world by storm. Citrus and BiY once again taking the top two spots remains unsurprising.There is something undeniably fascinating about our leading ladies consisting of an asexual slowly coming to love her senpai back but restraining herself for various reasons. The biggest one being said senpai having a deep case of self-loathing and a fear of romantic reciprocation, also for various reasons. She is like “I love you but please do not love me back”. Then there is one of the most popular “cursed” lesbians of all time in Sayaka, the fantastic adult side-couple (The world needs an anime starring lesbian adults/mothers) and the various other characters who have their own interesting tales to tell. The series absolutely deserves a spot in the Top 10 though it would not be in my personal Top 3. Oh and as Yurimother said the presentation was fantastic.Visually stunning from start to finish in my opinion. Special mention goes to the criminally underused first-person “camera”. So cool.
YuriMother’s Response: I agree with this series deserving a spot in the top ten even if not the number one slot. For me, it was good but not great. Moments such as the aforementioned adult couple as well as stellar art and a phenomenal score made this series enjoyable but they were not enough to overshine the problems of the narrative. For the love of the Yuri Goddess, this series is crying out for asexual representation but insists on carrying on with its confused romance. Enough complaining though, many people love Bloom Into You despite its faults and I agree. The characters are interesting and lovable and it manages to tell a yuri story more real and complex than the typical fluffy girl meets girl narratives.
2. Citrus – 452 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Here we are again with BiY and Citrus at #1 and #2. As Her Holiness is about to explain these anime are based on the two most popular yuri manga of the 2010’s so it is no surprise they ranked so highly in many Eastern and Western polls. My thoughts on the series remains the same as in the previous two lists I discussed, overrated. Good soap opera/telenovela-esque series but my feelings on the cast are mixed (which I imagine was the writer’s intent). My main issue has always been the obstacles repeatedly challenging Yuzu and Mei’s feelings for each other instead of it focusing on “Hey. We like each other but our parents got married. What do we do? Can we keep our desires for each other in check?”. Instead it is one newcomer after another who want to eat either Yuzu or Mei and Yuzu repeatedly asking herself if she really wants robo-stepsister patties? I will give the anime adaptation credit. The story was easier to enjoy animated than drawn. It also helped that I grew up in a telenovela loving family. The characters’ actions, reactions and emotions were depicted better in the anime. I still consider the show’s greatest accomplishment being the humanization of Mei-Tron. In the manga it took a post-epilogue continuation to show readers “Hey everyone. Mei-Tron was human all along.” whereas in the anime I sensed the small bit of humanity quicker than in the manga where I continued seeing her as a block of wood with a brain up to the point where I dropped it. Harumin though is the greatest regardless of anime or manga adaptation. Bless her. Regardless of how I feel about the series I get its massive popularity. After all, were the rest of the story to get an animated continuation I would gladly pick it up…Not the manga though.
YuriMother’s Response: The presence of Citrus and Bloom Into You prove two things to me, the importance of recency, as both anime aired only last year, and the sheer popularity of these series. Both had established and extremely successful manga runs which were adapted into English by the publishing masters of yuri, Seven Seas. Citrus is a contentious series, to say the least, as it includes elements of (non-blood related) incest and non-consensual actions as part of Mei and Yuzu’s “relationship.” However, if you possess the magical power to turn off the part of your brain screaming at you that those aspects are deeply problematic or if you seek a different interpretation then Citrus can be downright WONDERFUL. I actually loved this anime series for its characters, amazing animation, and salaciousness. As OG said, it is an operatic concussion of emotion (seriously everyone in the series needs therapy) but my is it fun to watch. The Citrus anime also holds a special place in my heart, as the first serious piece I ever wrote was a review for it over on Okazu (nice plug)! Citrus is certainly not for everyone but those that stuck with it and overlooked some of the problems ended up loving it.
3. Sakura Trick – 342 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: There are yuri fans who will understandably disagree with Sakura Trick’s praise but I will always defend the series and its anime as one of the very best in the genre. First off it aired at a time where animated on-screen close up kisses (specifically consensual ones outside of het harem shows that were romantic and not sexy) between ladies were rare. Haruka X Yuu’s relationship was believable for the most part. Even their season finale resolution, them not getting what being “in love” meant at the time, made sense though I get why it left some scratching their heads. Probably not the best “manga lure/bait” end I suppose. On the bright side Kotone X Shizuku’s story definitely did not have the two doubting their true feelings for each other. I do hope Kaede X Yuzu eventually hooked up in the manga as they too had potential to be a lovely couple.
YuriMother’s Response: Sakura Trick has no real narrative, no great insight, and offers little intellectually. As a teacher, it makes me furious, as a fan of yuri, elated. The anime is beloved for its plentiful soft service, presenting a plethora of kisses, cuddles, and awkward thigh shots (ew). However, it was one of the first anime to include this much explicit yuri service without being pornographic. All the characters were cute and fun, even if there was little in the way of development or complexity, it worked for the series. If you want something to make you think or to learn about yuri, pass over this one. But, if you want a cute and meaningless anime definitely watch it.
4. Yuru Yuri – 337 Votes
YuriMother’s Thoughts: OG may not be a fan of Yuru Yuri but I certainly am, which is fairly obvious to anyone who observes that a solid 20% of my communications occur in the form of gifs from this series. It is hilarious, cute, and playful. Just like Sakura Trick, this anime is an easy watch with ultimately little substance. However, the part of me that is not rolling of the floor laughing every time I watch Yuru Yuri lives in a state of pained existence with the knowledge that this work of all things ended up being so popular when people are telling interesting stories about queer women and people in actual relationship that manage to still be funny and adorable while having something to say.
OG’s Response: The undisputed most mainstream friendly yuri series there is. It is also one of the funniest. My one gripe is that excluding a select few the main draw of the show besides the comedy and yuri is the ship wars, meaning (almost any girl can be shipped with each other). Not a fan of that but hey, it is one of the many reasons it brought Namori big bucks so who am I to judge? In any case not much else to add. It deserves all the adulation it gets but the free for all shipping irks me. Reminds me of how they botched Chika X Riko in the Love Live! Sunshine!! Anime. If you were going down the Riko X Yohane route from the start then why give us Chika X Riko in the first half? Ship wars yo. Tch. Hopefully I properly explained myself…Apparently not as Her Holiness misinterpreted my gripe with the flip flopping of ships as me disliking the series. Like I said it is ultimately a nitpick. I never said the show sucked. I said I found it hilarious and cute and and more than worthy of a Top 10 spot.
5. Kase-san and Morning Glories (Asagao to Kase-san) – 289 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Still wish this got a 12-13 episode anime. The glorious movie showed how much it deserves one. Whether it will happen or not remains to be seen. In any case the beauty of Kase-san X Yamada is how simple their romance is. No strings attached whatsoever. It is as straightforward as a self-proclaimed “ordinary” cutie, Yamada, having a crush on the super cool school beauty Kase-san. Said beauty is revealed to be just as “adorkable” as Yamada. The other highlight is their story not ending once they officially started dating (as is the case with many romance stories) but that being only the beginning, like real life. From then on, side-stories aside, the two biggest challenges for the two is Yamada accepting that it is okay for someone as “ordinary” as her to be the “cool babe”s girlfriend and Kase-san finding different ways to express her love/hunger for the cutie. As for the OVA, cramming the second part of the first series in an hour definitely had the downside of excluding some important moments, yes, but it at least covered some of the best moments in the manga. The first half of the story was summarized in a five-minute music video. One last thing. The animation, though a bit too bright for some, was glorious. It also had some long but effective pauses (The bus stop scene being the most infamous) but while I did not mind them at all even I will admit some of them went a bit too long. A small nitpick all things considered. Fingers crossed one day we either get that 12-13 episode anime for the first series, the sequel or both. That is one of my dreams. Kase-San is one of the best yuri series ever made after all.
YuriMother’s Response: At last, an anime that I do not have to react cynically to! Kase-san is one of the single greatest works of yuri animation to ever to be created and its glory is rivaled only by the manga from which it originated. Despite being only a one hour long OVA this adaption told such an engaging and realistic (finally) story of romance and personal growth. We get to skip the meatless girl meets girls arcs and get into the depth and complexity as Yamada and Kase work to further their relationship. They struggle with the fact that they are two different people who want different things out of life and love and have to actually work on their partnership. Kase-san also includes signs of physical affection and love that are never lewd, immature, or gross, I do not even think I could refer to them as “service”. However, for me, Kase-san’s greatest victory (both the anime and manga) is in its escape from school romance, which in this genre is often a shelter from reality, allowing for women to be in relationships without actually being queer. Kase and Yamada instead make an effort to continue their romance and build a life that includes their relationship once they graduate in a triumphant final act. This anime is a slap in the face to the class S stories and sloppily sexualized works which proliferate the yuri genre. Asagao to Kase-san shines as a holy beacon for the greatness that this genre can achieve.
6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Meduka Meguca) – 286 Votes
YuriMother’s Thoughts: Hurray!! For two entries in a row, I get to talk about series that I wholeheartedly adore without having to constantly attach caveats. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not considered by all to be yuri, and that is certainly not what it is best known for. PMMM is however famous for twisting the tropes of the magical girl genre and creating one of the most cohesive and thoughtful narratives ever put to screen. This series summoned a new era for the magical girl genre (what OG humorously referred to as the “Moepocalypse”) but no other title managed to top Madoka Magica’s runaway success. Every aspect of this work is highly polished including character designs, a phenomenal soundtrack, and superb writing. This is not only the definitive work of its genre but of all postmodern anime. Whether or not one is a fan of yuri every anime fan should give Madoka Magica a watch.
OG’s Response: Meduka Meguca. Its impact in the “Moepocalypse” (Shows where cute and sexy girls consistently suffering physically and emotionally. These are usually dark magical girl shows.) genre and legacy are undeniable. It made the genre popular again. It deserves all the praise it gets. It scarred many unfortunate souls, Homura is a legend in yuridom, Kyouko X Sayaka are glorious (Especially in Rebellion), Meduka’s Mom Junko is a Top Tier Sexy Mama, Charlotte the Witch is a very strange girlfriend and of course Hitomi is a walking anti-fun meme. The animation, especially the creepy doodle like monsters known as Witches are memorable. However, it is not my favorite Moepocalypse show. That honor goes to Yuki Yuna is a Hero. As Her Holiness said people wondering why there are so many Moepocalypse shows popping up are encouraged to give this show a go and find out.
7. Strawberry Panic – 224 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Like it or not Strawberry Panic is a yuri classic. I have a strong feeling that like many readers around my age (31 during this writing) this was their first 100% yuri anime. The cheese is real but it is the yummy kind of cheese and I loved almost every minute of it, except Amane X Hikari. That was the weakest of the romances. Poor Yaya trying too hard (Not saying this in condescending way. She literally tried too hard). It is like a young adult lesbian novel but more fun. I mean Nagisa X Shizuma might as well be “Lesbian Twilight but not crappy”. Let us be real, we all can agree Shizuma is a vampire. Chikaru is an undisputed goddess and Kagome (with Oshibaru) is the cutest.
Oh and I will repeat this statement till my last breath…
I freely admit the series is a hot mess…but it is a glorious one.
YuriMother’s Response: I may be almost a decade younger than OG but even for me Strawberry Panic was my first yuri and it more than earns its nickname as the “gateway yuri,” although last year’s Citrus and Bloom Into You may be presenting serious contenders for this title. If for no other reason than nostalgia, Strawberry Panic remains my favorite yuri works but this ridiculous soap-opera of an anime does deserve a fair amount of recognition. I see Strawberry Panic as the culmination of the S subgenre revived by Maria Watches Over Us. However, this work succeeds at both parodying many of the tropes of S and yuri while breaking a few. However, its greatest accomplishment is introducing many of the young western fans of yuri to the genre. Strawberry Panic, you are an overly dramatic mess but thank you for all you have done.
8. Revolutionary Girl Utena – 176 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: I must confess. While I saw the movie long ago and thought it was cool I have yet to sit down and finish watching the main series. I cannot say much about this show other than it is another yuri classic. Possibly one of the biggest. I think I will leave this to Her Holiness because even if I had seen it I do not consider myself someone who possesses the necessary intellect to properly explain why this is a legendary show.
YuriMother’s Response: Another gem of the yuri genre, actually scratch that, if works like Kase-san are gems then Utena is the minerals from which gems form. I think that is how it works, I am not a geologist. My poor analogies and subtle nods to Steven Universe aside, Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the single most important works of yuri anime, possibly even more so than Sailor Moon. These two works were the dawn of the current age of yuri, an era spurn on by social progress and the internet into a place where more yuri works featuring honest depictions of homosexuality are flourishing. Utena laid the groundwork for queer representation in anime and for that I remain forever grateful to this masterpiece.
9. Flip Flappers – 132 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: I would need an essay to explain why this show is legendary. Let me see. It is a story of a girl who discovered her gayness thanks to her growing attraction to a lovable idiot/genki. There are references to Western media, dimension hopping (including Class S Hell), self-discovery, a sexual orientation journey, a tree, armored wedding gowns, crazy third wheels, Ku Klux Klan stand-ins…You know what? Just watch Flip Flappers. It is a hot mess of random, crazy, creative and thought provoking awesomeness with a wonderful dose of gayness. Glory be to PapiCoco. However, as Her Holiness mentioned this is essentially Ikuhara-san levels of weirdness (though not as complicated I feel) but as the plot thickens it all (sort of) starts making sense…eventually. That tree yo.
YuriMother’s Response: Flip Flappers was almost too strange and abstract even for me, and that is saying something. However, upon further examination, one of the most interesting works of yuri is revealed. This heavily stylized anime delves deep into the sexual maturation of its protagonist while examining the yuri genre and representation in media. Flip Flappers is the perfect marriage of heavy visual style and intellectual substance. Definitely give them one a.. err better make that three watches, as you will want to be sure to get everything out of this beautiful series as possible.
YuriMother’s Thoughts: This series is the closest anime fans have to a lesbian couple having a family that we have, and that is a shame. I LOVE these types of narratives, outside of the yuri genre Usagi Drop is my favorite anime. To me, seeing women balance life, a relationship, and children is some of the best queer representation there is. However, for every point in Kobayashi’s favor, there is also a glaring fault. Kobayashi is a modern woman in the workforce providing for herself and her “family,” but is borderline abusive to Tohru. Kanna is an inquisitive child being raising by two women, but there are weirdly sexual scenes featuring her. As previously mentioned on this list, if one can silence the reasonable part of the brain this work becomes enjoyable, hilarious, and adorable. Unfortunately, its faults prevent it from being more than an amusement and I seriously doubt that they will fade in the second season. But hey, it sells a ton of figures so… YAY!
OG’s Response: This is one of the closest series yuri fans have to one starring a lesbian couple with a daughter and it is wonderful. Is is the tale of an eternally grateful dragon who wanted to repay the human who saved her life, albeit drunk, by becoming her live-in maid. Tohru being a dragon girl had incredible power and could easily crush everyone in sight but preferred to try and understand humanity so she could live in peace with the woman she loved. It of course was hard at times but thanks to Miss Kobayashi slowly growing to accept her back (romantically she had a ways to go) and the two raising the adorable bundle of mighty puff known as Kanna they became a happy family. How long this relationship will last and whether Miss Kobayashi would come to fully love Tohru back romantically remains to be seen. I have high hopes it can and will happen. Kanna X Riko is precious (Yes. Even that scene). We even have a potential BL couple, which is nice. Not a fan of Lucoa X Shouta the shota. Not because of the age gap but it not being my kind of romantic comedy. It is the same reason I have a hard time buying Tsubame X Misha from UzaMaid. Mya-Nee X Hana from Wataten…maybe. At least Mya-Nee showed she is patient. Back to Dragon Maid. Great series. A bit too naughty for some, yes, but great.
11. Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) – 119 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Megane girl falls for a cutie but has a hard time confessing to her to the point she gives a relationship with another girl a try. Said other girl has troubles of her own courtesy of her own views on what love is. Do not get me started on the OTHER girl who likes megane’s girlfriend. I did not even mention megane girl’s first love interest who she herself eventually begins questioning her feelings for the glasses wearing maiden. While this is well known throughout the history of yuri anime Aoi Hana made it clearer than ever that Yuri + Classical Music go hand in hand. Plus the show is quite pretty. Ultimately enjoyment of this series depends heavily on viewers’ patience.
YuriMother’s Response: Aoi Hana was ahead of its time in many regards. Most yuri during the early twenty-first century was unrealistic and melodramatic, especially with the revival of S stories. Aoi Hana instead presents a calm and realistic story that we still rarely see in yuri anime today. Instead of relying on tricks like service or comedy Aoi Hana presents a serene and character-driven story which is matched by equally calming scenery. It is certainly not the most thrilling watch, but a slow and beautiful slice of real life that remains one of the all-time strongest yuri works.
12. Yurikuma Arashi – 99 Votes
YuriMother’s Thoughts: Yurikuma Arashi is strange, to say the least, but this is not out of the ordinary for legendary director Ikuhara, who also directed Utena. Parallels are easily drawn between this work and Flip Flappers, as they are both complex and encoded with enough symbolism to drown a bear. Yurikuma is one of my favorite works in the yuri genre and I have had more than a few heated discussions about interpretations of the work, including one memorable occasion when I was visiting a college professor and we ended up in a shouting match in the middle of the hall. However, while Flip Flappers holds a high degree of polish the same can, unfortunately, not be said here. Yurikuma Arashi has more than a few scenes of fanservice many of which overly fetishize the characters and relationship and some of the symbols, particularly lily flowers and the word “yuri” are practically beaten to death with an object I refuse to come up with because I am starting to have my fill of symbolism. However, despite some of its sloppiness, Yurikuma is one of the single most interesting and well-formed anime out there and analyzing it is practically a right of passage for seasoned yuri fans.
OG’s Response: Yurikuma Arashi is my favorite of Ikuhara-san’s series. To me it was the least complicated of his works but even so I needed help to understand the show. Luckily I had plenty of assistance. The meat of the story is more complicated but put simply it is about a war between a group of bear girls (and some human girls) who want to freely express their love and/or desire/hunger for each other and another group that amounts to Right to Censor from WWF. Like I said it is far more complex than that but that is the gist. The anime is quite ecchi and it has good reason for it. Again the gay bears are the more liberated of the two groups and them getting more sexy scenes is meant to showcase that. Our heroine has good reason to be grumpy and a divine entity was introduced alongside a certain someone from a certain dark anime we already discussed.
In the end it is a show starring lesbian bear girls. I love love stories between women and i love bears. It was obvious I would end up enjoying this one. Like other complex stories it is not for everyone. Shows like Flip Flappers, Utena and Yurikuma have something of a learning people will have to get accustomed to in order to enjoy them.
13. Whispered Words (Sasameki Koto) – 88 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: To me Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto were always connected despite the former being a drama and the latter a comedy. Both star a female protagonist struggling with how to best tell the girl she likes her true feelings whereas their love interest for one reason or another makes it all the more challenging to get their feelings across. Both shows aired during a time yuri was not as popular of a genre as it would become over time. 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. SK has the dynamic of the megane in love and her somewhat airheaded love interest who specifically likes “cute girls”. Poor megane has a hard time figuring out what the airhead defines as “cute”. The show also features an amusing side-couple of an ojou-sama and her tsundere girlfriend. Not to mention the somewhat controversial side-girl who plays a more prominent role in the 2nd half of the anime. Heck, even Mr Crossdresser himself is cool. Let us not forget Miss “Ha Ha Ha!” Another really good show that I would love to see the rest of the manga get animated someday but considering most anime are essentially manga commercials and the SK manga ended the odds of a 2nd season are close to 0.
YuriMother’s Response: 2009 was a great year for yuri anime, with both Sasameki Koto and Aoi Hana, among other works, airing. But while Aoi Hana sought to resist many of the common tropes of the genre and tell a simple grounded story Sasameki Koto appears to have looked a the list of every convention possible and say “yeah I can do that.” It has melodrama, comedy, one-sided love, friend love stories, I worship this genre but even I think there is a limit. However, Sasameki Koto is one of the most competent yuri anime works of the current era. While all the tropes are present most of the problematic aspects of the genre are not. The story is well written, characters enjoyable, and art that is really well done for the time. I enjoy every watch and if I ever want to quickly download the genre’s tropes into another person’s head I need only duct tape them to a chair and throw on Sasameki Koto.
15. Revue Starlight – 72 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Gay theater girls who strive to become the top star, meaning the best actress or lead actor of the cast. How do they do it? By working hard and overcoming their personal hardships? Yes. That. What makes this show so wonderful despite being almost a year old as of this writing is not only do the ladies all have interesting stories to tell but so does the stage. Every song, prop, movement, dance, gesture etc. It is like the performers and performances are united. It is like in Spongebob where not only does the person in the boots tell a story but the boots as well.
Oh yes. I almost forgot to mention the mysterious underground theater and talking giraffe. Never forget the talking giraffe from Hell. #Wakarimasu.
Super cool and super gay.
YuriMother’s Response: Bushiroad continuously gets better at what they do, creating media franchises of cute girls filled with music and making mountains of cash from smartphone games. Inspired by the likes of Love Live, they created BanG Dream and last year Revue Starlight. However, where these franchises fell short Revue Starlight success. It never twists its characters to tell a story but rather creates compelling arcs around them. I thoroughly enjoyed and agree with its place on this list.
16. Konohana Kitan – 68 Votes
YuriMother’s Thoughts: I know of Konohana Kitan for its constant presence at yuri events more so than the anime or even the manga. It is adorable, relaxing, simple, and fun. While it does not add anything super substantial to the genre it does not take anything either or present any objectionable material. The “plot” is nonexistent but that does not matter, as it is not trying to tell a story or make commentary, just be fluffy and simple.
OG’s Response: Konohana Kitan to me is a Girls Club (Cute girls doing cute things) and iyashikei hybrid anime. It is visually stunning as it is relaxing with Yuzu being pretty much one of the cutest demigoddesses in existence who touches the hearts of many souls she encounters on the show. For more on that check out my G-View of the show. She of course is a chick magnet but her heart will forever belong to the tsundere Satsuki. Speaking of tsundere girls there is the pink diva Ren and her “prince” Natsume. My one nitpick is not getting the backstory for Sakura X Kiri’s relationship.
17. Destiny of the Shrine Maiden (Kannazuki no Miko) – 65 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: 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 curious new yuri fans witness greatness…but I will forever defend Chikane because I get where she was coming from. Would I have done something different that evening? Yes. The thing is you need to put yourself in her shoes and understand what she wanted to accomplish and how far she was willing to go to get it done. Agree with her? No. Just get her state of mind. Kotoha is best side-character and Souma Ogami is real man’s man who does not deserve the hate. He was an honorable warrior to the end. He fought well and accepted defeat like a man. Plus his yell is inspirational.
YuriMother’s Response: My feelings on Kannazuki no Miko are incredibly mixed. It has many of the worst facets of early current era yuri anime, tropes include S, rape and… am I reading this correctly, demon mechs? Worst of all it presents a cycle, a never-ending loop that haunts the characters in the overarching plot and it does not resolve it. If a work ever presents such an element, like Puella Magi did, it must be overcome or confronted at least. Its presence makes the already cringy story feels cheap and lazy. However, I love the two female leads and their difficult relationship. I love the music, especially the hauntingly beautiful ending theme, and the final moments of episode 11 are some of the greatest seconds I have ever seen in an anime. I cannot wrap my mind around my view of this series but at the end of the day, I understand it. I do not believe that work like it would ever be warmly accepted today but for its time it does stand as a breakout piece of yuri anime.
18. Princess Principal – 61 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: Cute, sexy and badass gay spies in a dramatic British Steampunk setting. What more do readers need? Allow Her Holiness to elaborate a bit further. Currently waiting for the multi-part cinematic continuation.
YuriMother’s Response: Princess Principal is one of the best anime of the past few years. It had everything, an interesting premise, great characters, an incredible soundtrack. Alongside all this is the sharp writing and thrilling story. Princess Principal did everything Akuma no Riddle wanted to with an intriguing and action-packed story featuring strong characters. On top of all this, the animation is top notch. A six-part movie sequel is planned which has me somewhat concerned, but I am glad to see that it is being continued as the ending to the series was one of its weakest aspects. Now if you will excuse me, I need to listen to some jazz.
19. Izetta: The Last Witch – 60 Votes
OG’s Thoughts: I am known for loving shows people do not think as highly of. Izetta: The Last Witch is no different. I love this show so much. 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 is clearly a fictional great war inspired by WW2. I was invested in the following:
- The cute and sexy ladies.
- 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. They taught them everything they know after all.
It is similar to how I felt watching Kannazuki no Miko where my focus was primarily on the leading ladies’ developing romance. The difference is that unlike Kannazuki I was also somewhat entertained by our heroines’ enemies along with their allies. Basically viewers’ enjoyment of the show depends on how seriously they take their history and are willing to overlook the liberties this story takes with its depictions of the weapons, military and the familiar evil empire. FiZetta are one of my favorite lesbian couples of all time.
By the way, in that one famous scene, yes they did. Viewers just have to squint their eyes to see “it”.
YuriMother’s Response: Another show that I consider to have squandered its potential. I know that lots of people enjoyed this one, including OG but I could not bring myself to finish this constantly mediocre series. Perhaps I am tired of alternative light-fantasy European-war inspired plots. Trying to stand out in this bloated genre is difficult and Izetta fails. Izetta started strong and hooked many viewers with its amazing visual and auditory polish but this was quickly lost in the plot which, while set up well, struggle to gain any ground of pay off what had been established. On the yuri side, it did not really do anything interesting or satisfying, with plenty of scenes feature the character’s standing next to each other looking cute and one or two moments of actual yuri. I am glad that some of you were able to enjoy this one more than me at least.
20. Maria Watches Over Us (Maria-sama ga Miteru) – 57 Votes
OG: Like Strawberry Panic this is a “Like it or not” classic. Despite being a Class S show it did its own thing and became a pioneer for serious romantic yuri dramas, or something like that. It is also responsible for the many yuri jokes related to all-girl schools in anime.Shimako X Noriko best Grande and Petite Souer! Yumiko X Sachiko were great too as the two grew to better understand each other. Most memorable scene for me was the panda costume. Even Sei is a sleeper icon in all yuridom. Yoshino X Rei had a very interesting dynamic. I actually think they are the real pioneers of relationships between cousins. Thank you YoshiRei. HaruKana, Kaede X Sara and several other lesbian cousins are indebted to you.
YuriMother’s Response: Another great and significant series, Maria Watches Over Us, took the tropes of early yuri works, Catholic schools, a lack of men, piano scenes, and emotional relationship rather than physical ones and turned the dial up to 11. For better or worse, it single-handedly revived the Class S genre and was copied (and parodied) endlessly for over a decade. However much I complain about S I actually do not think that we would have the current age of yuri without its popularity and proliferation at the beginning of the century so I owe a big thank you to Maria Watches Over Us for that. Ignoring its historical importance and literary significance the anime still presents an engaging plot with wonderful characters and more butchered French than my last trip to Europe. It is certainly worth a watch and worthy of a place on this list.
What do you think should be on this list?:
YuriMother: As I previously said, this is a pretty perfect list. As far as missing titles I can think of the following.
Simoun – not the greatest in terms of plot or animation but it had cute service and a fun action-packed plot.
Note from OG: Some would beg to differ on it not being super awesome. Wait. Let me think. The cast was a mixed bag, Neviril took a long while before she became likable some of the stuff that happened was weird. Okay the main story was at least solid. Maybeit was the setting and aerial wargare that made the show stand out. Plus it gave us (me to be exact) Morinas X Waporif, Dominura X Rimone and Mamiina X Rodoraemon so it is a win.
Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl – This series may be strange and present the dreaded love triangle but it did its best to tell a transgender narrative in 2006, naturally this involved aliens, and I applaud it for its attempts.
Canaan – This series is light on the yuri but heavy on the suspense, action, and amazing character designs. The terrorist plot is exciting and the final train fight featured in the series is one of the greatest action spectacles in anime that somehow manages to remain grounded.
Note From OG: Bless you Liang Qui, you magnificent psycho bitch you. Alphard is Goddess Tier.
-Harukana Receive: Best all-female sports anime ever made. Plus the gayness is not subtle at all.
-Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku: Eruna Ichinomiya is an underrated yuri icon. While not the first of her kind (That honor, I think, goes to Galaxy Fraulein Yuna) she set the standard of cool and inspirational badass lesbian protagonists who are proud of who they are and…also happen to be super perverts. Eruna made it cool to be such a protagonist. It is nice seeing a lesbian lead who does not care what anyone else thinks. She is hungry for cute girl booties. While she often loses her control in the presence of pure beauty she, as an inspiration for others like her, has enough self-control to not go overboard (most of the time).
-Symphogear: Symphogear is love, Symphogear is life. Hopefully Season 5 will keep up the good work.
-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.
-Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru: My favorite Moepocalypse anime of all time. 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. Definitely worthy of a spot on any yuri list. Her Holiness already summed up why. #HazumuWasAlwaysFemale
OG: Pretty good list and close to what mine would look like were I to make one. Reason I have yet to do so is because I do not feel confident enough to pick a favorite yuri anime of all time. Favorite yuri manga and couples? That I can do, but anime always seems to give me a hard time choosing my absolute favorites. Like I said though, a potential yuri list of mine would look something like this. I also found it interesting how similar the Top 10 are between both our respective fanbases and visitors and the poll conducted by the Akiba Research Institute.
YuriMother: I may have done most the complaining and left the praise to OG but I actually am really happy with this list. I think that every title presented is a worthy addition and while I would certainly move some higher or lower than their current placing I do not believe that these are too far off from my own opinions, which is surprising for a popularity poll. More than anything I am thrilled to see that works I dislike that I thought to be popular did not make this list. Perhaps I should have more faith in people and their opinions. Everyone did such a wonderful job voting and I am so grateful!
(OG: Pssst. She’s probably referring to shows like Valkyrie Drive Mermaid, Netsuzou TRap and Scum’s Wish Hehehehehehehehe. Personally I am glad Maria Holic is nowhere to be found.)
Closing comments: Thank you very much to Her Holiness Yuri Mother for the visit and sharing her words of wisdom with everyone. Be sure to drop by her temple and pay respects to an honorable veteran. We could make a pretty commentary team with me playing the role of the play-by-play announcer and Her Holiness the color commentator. That would be neat.
Yuri Mother links: