Finding good LGBTQ+ anime can be hard, and finding ones that have a good ending can be even harder. To help, we've compiled a list of the best yuri anime with a good ending.
While anime frequently feature over-the-top fanservice elements, in some ways, they remain a surprisingly conservative medium.
Finding Boys' Love anime or Girls' Love anime is not impossible, nor as taboo as it used to be, and there are good options out there.
However, you still have to tread carefully. On one end of the spectrum, there are LGBTQ+ anime that feature inappropriate or predatory relationships that in no way reflect most queer experiences, while the other end is anime where queer relationships remain a subtext at best.
And then, there are those LGBTQ+ anime that feature pure romance, making queer fans feel represented, only to end in tragedy or else have a character "outgrow" queer relationships.
Note that due to how hard it is to find satisfactory sapphic representation in anime right now, some anime in this list won't be very explicit about their Girls' Love elements.
Unlike other school anime in which no same-sex friendship ever ventures into the romance territory, Strawberry Panic is a bit bolder with its representation, making it many fans' favorite yuri anime.
Extremely self-conscious, somewhat melodramatic, and often verging towards parody, Strawberry Panic isn't for everyone. But it can be good fun if you persevere.
Given the reputation of other works in this list (like Maria Watches Over Us) as well as the huge amounts of queerbaiting elsewhere, one might think that Strawberry Panic is another anime in which characters "grow out" of their queer attractions.
However, this isn't the case at all for Strawberry Panic.Advertisement
Yuru Yuri is another fun and lighthearted yuri anime that goes beyond subtext, featuring canonically queer girls in relationships.
Yui Funami and Kyouko Toshinou are two middle school girls who founded their school's Amusement Club, a club with no purpose other than to provide entertainment to its members.
In the abandoned building of the dismantled Tea Ceremony Club, the girls find a home for their club.
They're soon joined by other members of their all-girls school.
As a school comedy, Yuru Yuri doesn't have much of a plot to speak of, but that means you can't have heartbreak either, and a cheerful ending is guaranteed.
Bloom Into You
As a romance anime, Bloom Into You has its ups and downs and share of bittersweet elements.
However, for the most part, it's a positive depiction of two girls' relationship that ends on a positive note.
Yuu Koito is intrigued by the idea of romantic love as she'd experienced it in manga and anime. However, she finds herself unable to feel that for any boy.
In high school, she witnesses another girl, Touko Nanami, decline when a guy asks her for a date.
However, when Koito goes to Nanami for advice, she doesn't expect that Nanami will confess to her.
Slowly, Koito understands that she's perfectly capable of the feeling that eluded her.
Bloom Into You is a great coming-of-age story, especially if you're looking for LGBTQ+ anime!
Too many anime either play queerness for laughs or leave it as a very mild subtext, while cases of unrequited love are commonplace because one of the two parties isn't queer.
Whispered Words isn't that type of anime. While it's primarily a show about unrequited love, the anime treats the topic in a sensitive manner.
It depicts a girl who is secretly in love with a classmate, who is also queer but has been rejected by other girls and remains oblivious to the protagonist's love.
Whispered Words does break some tropes and it doesn't end in tragedy like other queer shows do.
However, we recommend reading the manga if you would like a more complete experience.Advertisement
Adolescence of Utena
Looking for yuri anime with action elements? Then Revolutionary Girl Utena and Adolescence of Utena are for you.
The former isn't fully explicit, but the movie is even officially considered Girls' Love.
Its story follows Utena, a female duelist who dreams of becoming a prince.
Eventually, Utena becomes one of many who duel for the hand of the Rose Bride, Anthy.
In the movie and anime series, Utena and Anthy are more or less considered married, since Utena has won a duel for Anthy's hand.
The feature-length film is rather complicated but very rewarding to watch.
Utena and Anthy have to earn their happy ending, but it's nevertheless a satisfying one for fans of sapphic romances.
Sakura Trick is a good mixture of comedy and romance. It is fluffy and fun but takes the romantic relationship seriously enough when needed.
Haruka Takayama and Yuu Sonoda are childhood friends who are excited to go to high school together only to find out that they have to sit on opposite sides of the classroom.
Due to her extroverted and easygoing personality, Yuu soon makes friends with other girls, making Haruka stressed and jealous.
Trying to comfort her worried friend, Yuu ends up kissing Haruka.
Afterward, the two girls start exploring the possibility of a romantic relationship.
Citrus will probably leave many fans with mixed feelings, especially at first, as the two main girls are step-sisters and their relationship starts off rather forcibly on one's part.
It probably averts going into entirely creepy territory as Mei and Yuzu only meet (and become legal relatives) when they're already in their late teens, though the concept still understandably leaves some viewers conflicted.
As yuri anime go, Citrus at least avoids adding unnecessary tragedy to its grievances as it's one of the few LGBTQ+ anime with a happy ending.
The ending is more ambiguous (but still satisfying) in the anime, and a bit more complete in the manga.
El Cazador de la Bruja
El Cazador de la Bruja is a rather niche anime with Western elements and not much of a focused plot, but it can still be very rewarding for Girls' Love fans.
Nadie is a bounty hunter, while Ellis is a murder suspect suffering from amnesia.
The two embark on a long journey and face many dangers as Ellis is wanted by everyone.
For some viewers, calling this a yuri would be a stretch, but others think that, while not ideal, the subtext isn't to be disregarded either. Moreover, there's plenty going on about Nadie and Ellis.
At the end of the day, El Cazador de la Bruja is about two girls who love each other and consistently choose each other.
The nature of their relationship isn't explicit, but after tragedy is thankfully averted, their story ends on a positive note in which Nadie and Ellis hopefully have a future together.
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
If you don't mind short-episode anime, Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san is a cheerful and light-hearted yuri anime you might want to check out.
Compared to other anime on this list, this one doesn't rely so much on action or plot as it does on comedic, slice-of-life scenarios.
The female characters in question are Yachiyo Inugami, an extroverted cat lover, and Suzu Nekoyama, a dog-loving introvert.
They unexpectedly find themselves attracted to each other's polar opposite personalities and start dating!
From there on, the anime follows their and their friends' everyday lives in many hilarious situations.
If you'd like a short yuri anime that isn't much of a commitment, you might want to give this one a try.
Maria Watches Over Us
Maria Watches Over Us unfolds in an all-girls school. Such settings are often queer-coded and this school anime is no different.
Lillian Girls' Academy follows the sœur system, in which an existing student takes a newcomer under her wing and guides her throughout her time in school.
As is the case with many similarly-themed shows, the yuri elements in Maria Watches Over Us are aesthetic rather than explicit or main plot points, but the anime is considered quintessential in setting the tone for other yuri works.
Moreover, Maria Watches Over Us has been credited with reviving the Class S subgenre which involves romantic girl friendships, and it's a nice-looking anime that doesn't end in tragedy.