While BL or Boys Love anime is immensely popular among fangirls, GL or Girls Love otherwise known as Yuri is emerging into a widely known anime genre. If you’re wondering where to start, we’ve covered 20 of the best yuri anime to watch in 2022 in this article.
In case you missed it, Yuri anime or Girls Love explores the romantic relationship between two girls. It is the opposite of BL or Boys Love that centers on two boys falling in love with one another. Unfortunately, both genres have been controversial and are considered a sensitive subject among demographics up to this day.
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Adachi and Shimamura
Based on the light novel series by Hitoma Iruma, Adachi and Shimamura is a yuri anime that tells the story of two high school students, Sakura Adachi and Hougetsu Shimamura, who become friends after meeting in the school gymnasium.
As they grow closer together, Adachi becomes attracted to Shimamura despite their contrasting personalities. Unfortunately, Adachi is having trouble expressing her intimate feelings towards Shimamura, while the latter only wants to remain friends.
With cute character designs, enjoyable and relatable moments, Adachi and Shimamura is about friendship, close bonds, and sometimes sub-alien plots. With a rating of 7.1 from MAL and 7.3 from IMDB, Adachi and Shimamura focuses on a realistic approach towards lesbian relationships.Advertisement
Based on the yuri manga of the same name by Akihito Yoshitomi, Blue Drop is a sci-fi, mystery, and drama anime that is set in the year 1999 when amnesiac Mari Wakatake is forced to enroll in an all-girls dormitory school known as Kaiho Academy.
Unbeknownst to others, Mari has a traumatic history. Prior to her enrollment in the academy, Mari was the only survivor after all of the citizens of the island where she lived died on one unfortunate night.
In the present time, Mari meets the school idol and class representative, Hagino Senkoji, with whom she had an intriguing encounter. Torn between her hatred and growing affection towards Hagino, Maki is set to find out the truth about her lost past.
Candy Boy is an original net animation (ONA) with a romantic school comedy genre. It explores the budding relationship between twin sisters Kanade and Yukino Sakurai, as well as the love triangle courtesy of freshman Sakura Kamiyama.
With only seven episodes as well as two DVD episodes, and a runtime of 12–20 minutes each, Candy Boy focuses on anime tropes about incest, family bonds, and love triangles. Hence, if you are not comfortable with incestuous relationships, then this anime is not for you. However, if you are willing to at least watch one episode of this anime, then you will be served with its sweet and heartwarming take on the slice-of-life romantic comedy genre.
NTR: Netsuzou Trap
Based on the yuri shoujo manga series of the same name by Naoko Kodama, NTR: Netsuzou Trap explores the peculiar relationship between two high school girls and childhood friends named Yuma and Hotaru. The story has an interesting and controversial plot narrative as both of these girls cheat on each other behind their boyfriends’ backs.
Released in 2017, the anime has received different opinions from the anime community because of the NTR trope. In case you’re wondering what an NTR is, it pertains to "netorare," which translates to "cheating."Advertisement
Whispered Words is a romantic comedy yuri anime based on the manga series written and illustrated by Ikeda Takeshi. The anime centers on two high school best friends, namely Sumika Murasame and Ushio Kazama. Sumika is in love with Ushio. However, Sumika is an athletic, tall, and outgoing girl, the opposite of Ushio’s preference for small, shy, and cute girls.
With a 7.07 rating from MAL and a 6.8 rating from IMDB, Whispered Words depicts the realistic perspective of someone’s unfortunate position of loving another person who doesn’t feel the same way as well as society’s perspective towards gay or lesbian identity.
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
Based on the romantic comedy four-koma manga series of the same name by Kuzushiro, Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san follows the story of the dog-like girl who’s into cats named Yachiyo Inugami and her opposite, Suzu Nekoyama, who is also into cats. The two of them began to get attracted to each other due to their contrasting personalities.
Because of the ridiculous antics and running gags, the anime is a heartwarming and entertaining show for viewers. The anime is also beautifully animated despite its short length.
The Hunter of the Witch
The Hunter of the Witch, otherwise known as El Cazador de la Bruja, is a 26-episode TV yuri anime that is a mix of adventure, drama, girl love, and mystery genres. It follows the tale of an amnesiac and troubled girl named Ellis and the bounty hunter Nadie, who set out on a journey together in order to unlock and recollect Ellis’ past memories.
With a 7.22 rating from MAL and a 6.9 from IMDB, The Hunter of the Witch relies on its ability to engage the viewers with its well-thought-out storytelling and the likable dynamic between the two characters.Advertisement
If My Favorite Pop Idol Make it to the Budokan, I Would Die
Based on the comedy manga series of the same name by Auri Hirao, If My Favorite Pop Idol Made it to the Budokan, I Would Die is a yuri anime that follows the story of Eripiyo, an obsessive fan of the idol Maina Ichii, who proclaimed that she would die if her favorite idol played at the Budokan.
In Japan, obsessive fans of idols who would literally do anything for their simp are called "wotas". In case you’re wondering, it is not unusual for idols to have wotas in real life. Meanwhile, "oshibudo" is the term used by the Japanese when fans become involved with an idol. Hence, this anime depicts wotas and oshibudo.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is a yuri anime produced by Xebec and Genko that combines action, murder, horror, sci-fi, and supernatural elements with a girl love theme. It tells the story of Rin Asougi, an immortal private investigator who has been the subject of countless attacks and grisly assaults because of her immortality.
With only six episodes on its slate, the anime provides an original story that takes place from one timeline to another in every episode. Although the story seems to be confusing and complex at first, the premise falls into place as the anime concludes its last episode.
With a 7.58 rating from MAL and a 7.7 from IMDB, Yuru Yuri is a comedy slice of life shoujo and yuri manga by Namori. Having spawned three seasons, tv specials, and an original spin-off animation, Yuru Yuri is an accomplished anime that headlines the yuri theme.
The anime follows the daily lives of the Amusement Club at Takaoka, Tayama's fictional Nanami Mori Middle School. The club is composed of childhood friends, classmates, and the student council. It is a must-watch for fans, regardless of whether they love Yuri or not.Advertisement
Bloom Into You
Based on the yuri manga written and illustrated by Nakatani Nio, Bloom into You is a yuri anime that explores the story between two amateur high school students named Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami as they learn and understand romantic relationships by bonding with each other’s similarities.
It is an anime that delivers self-realization and self-discovery about one’s identity as well as the complexities brought by the human element called love. If you like some romance anime with some element of drama in a high school setting, then Bloom into You is a decent watch.
Maria Holic is a ridiculously funny yuri anime with a parody theme. It follows the eccentric Kanako Miyamae as she becomes entangled in an all-girls school in her search for true love over the course of 12 episodes.
Inspired by the love story between her parents, Kanako yearns for true love with the beautiful Mariya Shidoe. Unfortunately, Mariya has a secret that no one should ever find out until Miyamae’s appearance.
With an interesting concept and a unique plot twist somewhere in the middle of the anime, this show will keep you entertained with its out-of-the-blue jokes, hilarious scenes, and fascinating characters.
Happy Sugar Life
If you are into horror anime, then Happy Sugar Life has got you covered. It is a yuri anime that is a mix of horror and drama with a psychological theme. Despite the seemingly heartwarming title of the show, the anime’s plot narrative tackles psychosis, trauma, and even violence.
The anime follows the beautiful high schooler Satou Matsuzaka and her obsessive-compulsive love for a young girl named Shio Kube. In a nutshell, Happy Sugar Life’s premise revolves around a high school girl keeping a young girl hostage at her house! If you are expecting sugar and flowers in Happy Sugar Life, then you are in for a disappointing surprise.Advertisement
Sweet Blue Flowers
Written and illustrated by Shimura Takako, Sweet Blue Flowers, or Aoi Hana, is an 11-episode yuri anime that centers on the lesbian high schooler Fumi Manjome and her childhood friend Akira Okudaira, whose defining characteristic is her congeniality.
Unfortunately, life happens, and the childhood friends got separated after Fumi and her family moved away. The story then follows the two friends juggling their high school lives together as they reunite. Sweet Blue Flowers takes a more dramatic approach to hide one’s true identity as well as a personal discovery.
Citrus is one of the community's most well-known yuri anime. Released in 2018, the anime has 12 episodes for fans to experience the peculiar relationship between step-sisters Yuzu and Mei Aihara. The story follows the carefree, outgoing, and fashionista Yuzu Aihara as she gets entangled with her overly strict, obedient, and over-achieving step-sister Mei.
While Citrus is criticized as an anime that romanticizes sexual assault as a form of love as well as the subject of Stockholm syndrome, the anime’s plot narrative tackles insecurities, problems, and psychological and mental disorders.
Maria Watches Over Us
Maria Watches Over Us, or Marimite, is a yuri anime based on the Japanese light novel series by Konno Oyuki. Notably, critics consider Marimite the front-runner of modern yuri animes. It is also viewed as the anime that revived the Class S genre of anime. In case you missed it, Class S is the Japanese trope for romantic friendships between girls.
The anime revolves around the popular girls Sachiko Ogasawara and Yumi Fukuzawa, who have recently enrolled in the prestigious all-girls Catholic school Lillian Girls Academy. Since Sachiko offers Yumi the chance to be her sister and guide in the academy, she needs to address the increasing rumors about the relationship between the two of them.Advertisement
With a rating of 7.29 from MAL and 7.1 from IMDB, Strawberry Panic focuses on the transfer student Nagisa Aoi at an all-girls Catholic school, St. Miator’s Girls Academy.
Upon arrival, Nagisa ends up in the infirmary after meeting the charismatic and elegant student named Shizuma Hanazono. Apparently, Shizuma is the "Etoile", the title given to the most exceptional student on campus. From here on, Shizuma began favoring Nagisa with her attention and affection, much to the surprise of the student body.
If you’re curious about yuri anime shows, Strawberry Panic is a decent watch for beginners. It is a compelling anime that shows the right amount of drama and emotions that will keep you engaged from start to finish.
Due to its interesting premise that involves a lot of action and sci-fi elements, Mai Hime deviates from the usual yuri-themed anime on the list. The story revolves around 13 girls who have the ability to summon mecha-like guardians called "Childs" in order to stop the evil threat of creatures known as "Orphans".
While the anime focuses on the main protagonist, Mai Tokiha, Mai-Hime has a lot of romantic tension between the girls, which makes it worthy of this list. It is a compelling anime that needs a lot more attention from fans who are into mecha, action, supernatural, and drama.
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is part of the three original projects of Valkyrie Drive, which also include a PlayStation Vita game called Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni and a mobile game for iOS and Android called Valkyrie Drive: Siren. A word of caution: this show is borderline lewd, and the animation has numerous ecchi scenes.
The story follows the atypical tale of ordinary 16-year-old Mamori Tokonome as she wakes up on the exotic island of Mermaids. Fortunately, Mamori is accompanied by a fellow castaway, Mirei Shikishima, who can transform into a battle-clad warrior. However, there’s a catch to Mirei’s transformation! She needs to be aroused by a kiss between her and Mamori.Advertisement
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Originally released in 1997, Revolutionary Girl: Utena is a masterpiece created by Be-Papas. Although it has been released for quite some time now, Revolutionary Girl Utena remains one of the most important milestones in the anime industry. Not only does it break gender stereotypes, but it also promotes gender equality, self-discovery, and women's supremacy. The anime, as the title implies, is so revolutionary that it garnered a record-high 8.18 MAL rating and an 8.1 from IMDB.
The story follows the orphaned teenage girl, Utena Tenjou, as she aspires to win the hand of the "Rose Bride," Anthy Himemiya, in a series of sword duels to possess the power to revolutionize the world. Trust me, this masterpiece will change your perspective on yuri-themed shows.
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