The yuri or girls’ love genre in anime has long been popular with fans for all kinds of reasons. There’s the innate attraction to anything that is “forbidden”—think Netsuzou Trap, where the two female leads engage in a secret forbidden relationship behind the back of no less than the boyfriend of one of the leads. Or it could also be the ever-popular yuri trope of an all-girls’ Catholic school setting, where girls get into either outright romantic relationships (think Strawberry Panic), or a supposedly platonic mentor-protégé relationship with some not-so-subtle romantic undertones (think Maria Watches Over Us). Or there is also the yuri anime with just pure fluff, all flowers and first kisses and the innocent joy of first love, unburdened by society’s view on girl-to-girl relationships (like Kase-san and Morning Glories).
Indeed, there is much to love about the yuri genre and as such, it is hard to come up with a definitive ranking or list of what is the best.
A poll done by the Akiba Research Institute, however, somehow gives us a good feel of the rankings in Japan. The research institute held a poll among anime fans from February 26 to March 13 to determine the yuri anime fans love the most. The two-week voting gathered a total of 52, 742 votes. Note that some titles in the list are not outright classified as yuri, however, these anime were seen to have pronounced yuri elements that made fans declare them as such.
To start off, let’s look at the top 5 in the list. Of these, only Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not outright classified as yuri.
1. Citrus is the story of stepsisters Aihara Mei and Aihara Yuzu, who are also total opposites: Mei is student council president, smart, stick to the rules, and pensive; whereas Yuzu is carefree, outgoing, skips class, and is cheerful. When Mei (out of spite) gives Yuzu her first-ever kiss, the latter is left feeling confused and bothered. As Yuzu tries to open up her stepsister, their blossoming relationship is complicated by a lot of things.
2. Bloom into You centers on Koito Yuu who wants to feel how being in love feels like, yet fails to reciprocate a love confession she got in junior high. Upon entering high school, she witnesses student council president Nanami Touko turn down a confession. They initially bond because of their shared sentiments toward love, when suddenly Nanami herself confesses her feelings to Yuu.
3. Yuruyuri is a comedy slice-of-life yuri anime about the Amusement Club, a school club composed of four girls who spend their time drinking tea and fawning over each other.
4. Kase-san and Morning Glories tells the story of the timid, flower-loving Yui Yamada who falls for her senpai and her school’s track and field star, the boyish and exuberant Tomoka Kase. The special 58-minute OVA explores their new relationship and the challenge of being apart from each other as Kase enrolls in a university in Tokyo.
5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the story of ordinary student Kaname Madoka, whose life turns upside down upon the arrival of the mysterious Akemi Homura in her school. An encounter with the magical creature Kyuubey poses a choice to Madoka: is she willing to become a magical girl in exchange for a wish? While pondering on this question Homura consistently dissuades Madoka from accepting Kyubey’s wish, as the life of a magical girl is full of despair. Unknown to Madoka, Homura has sacrificed much just to stop her from making that wish.
Here are the rest of the yuri anime in the list:
7. Liz and the Blue Bird
8. Strike Witches
9. Sakura Trick
10. Konohana Kitan
11. Destiny of the Shrine Maiden
12. Maria Watches Over Us
14. Netsuzou Trap
15. Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid-
16. Sasameki Koto
17. Sweet Blue Flowers
18. Candy Boy
19. Strawberry Panic!
20. Revolutionary Girl Utena
22. Love To-LIE-Angle
23. El Cazador de la Bruja
24. Hidamari Sketch
25. Yuri Kuma Arashi
26. Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn
27. Kurau: Phantom Memory
28. Maria Holic
29. The Girl in Twilight
30. Blue Drop
32. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
33. Black Rock Shooter
34. Seraphim Call
Source: Anime News Network
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