Unfamiliar with Yuri anime? Well then, I can assure you, you have come to the right place! Yuri is a very unique and popular genre in all aspects of the anime universe and continues to thrive to this day. Over in the Western fandom, Yuri is sometimes referred to as “Shoujo-Ai.” Yuri series, or anime, are brought to animation and explores the relationships between the female main protagonists and the affectionate partners they meet along with their youthful lives. Some of the first works in history on the origin of the Yuri genre are used in old Japanese literature.
One of the first Yuri authors was a novelist named Nobuko Yoshiya from the Taisho and Showa periods of Japan. Nobuko was one of the first authors to bring to fruition the true nature of Yuri early on and influenced the twentieth century to start producing Yuri manga. Here top 10 best Shoujo Ai (Yuri) animes.
It was love at first sight with these two opposite girls; Nekoyama Suzu, a withdrawn girl who has an interest in dogs who gives people the impression that she’s a tsundere, and Inugami Yachiyo, who is quite a clueless, but an outgoing girl that has an interest in cats. With polar opposite interests, both their lives change forever upon the first contact with each other. Let’s just say, actions speak louder than words when it comes to these two girls. Aki, a friend they both hold dear, always tries to keep Inugami safe and to herself, while also ridiculing her friends when they get into some weird and crazy predicaments. Four carefree girls will ensue on fun escapades, having fun with hilarious times along the way in their youth.
Genres: Comedy, School, Shoujo Ai
19. Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
A gentle boy, in touch with his feminine side, Hazumu, has very unique interests, such as gardening, collecting herbs, and getting good ol’ fresh air while walking by the mountains, care-free and observant. One day, he confesses to his crush, Yasuna, though he is unfortunately rejected, which makes him go back to Mt. Kashimayama, where he first laid eyes on her, and he is caught up in an accident that puts things into motion from here on out. Hazumu had wished upon a shooting star and is shocked to find out his life has been unexpectedly turned upside down. Upon waking up one day, he finds himself to be transformed into a girl! Now, he returns to school and realizes his true potential and what his true calling is as the opposite sex.
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai, Slice of Life
18. Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Futari no Elder The Animation
A gentle and fragile boy, Chihaya Mikado has always been afraid of other boys and is always harassed and ridiculed by them. With his lack of trust in men, his mom comes to the realization that he should go to Seio Girl’s School, and that he crossdresses as a girl from now on. With his sensitive side and amazing looks, he is transformed into one of the most beautiful girls at school. Popularity and flawless grades at school are just a few of the perks he has gotten upon transferring to his new school as his new name, Chihaya Kisakinomiya. Among the peers that are attracted to him, he stumbles upon a girl that has rescued him before, Kaoruko Nanahara. This is Chihaya Kisakinomiya’s story and where she begins her new life anew into the world that is her new school, Seio Girl’s School.
17. Kannazuki no Miko (Destiny of the Shrine Maiden)
At Ototachibana Academy, Himeko and Chikane are two girls who are bound together by fate as they are polar opposites when it comes to personality. Himeko, our soft-spoken and innocent protagonist, and Chikane, a very sophisticated and daring girl who can make anyone fall for her upon first glance. Both girls share a common thing together, and that is their love for each other. Nothing could break these two girls apart until their birthday comes around, and discovers that one of their friends has turned evil and decides to attack them. Upon realizing this is no fantasy and actual reality, Himeko and Chikano are branded as girls that possess unusual powers and now take on the task of working together in order to stop others who dare to come and attack them. Even if those people are the ones they sincerely care about, these two girls will stop at nothing to let anyone or anything trample on the love they towards one another.
16. Candy Boy: Nonchalant Talk of the Certain Twin Sisters in Daily Life
Yukino and Kanade are two sisters who discover that love can be a very powerful entity that can push people closer to one another. Both sisters live together in the dormitory at their high school and enjoy their youth as high school girls every day. Their fellow kouhai, Sakuya Kamiyama decides to pursue Yukino to get more closer to her. Following this, Kanade finds out about this and does not seem to like that one bit, and realizing that she cares more deeply for her sister, Yukino, than she ever knew, sets out to pursue her sister for herself. Will these lovers end up having a happy ending and will Sakuya Kamiyama allow these sisters to ensue in their love or will she take the opportunity to have Yukino all to herself?
15. Maria Holic
Kanako Miyamae is a girl in search of someone she can fall in love with at the girls-only school, Ame no Kisaki Catholic School. Her love cannot be for a man and she vows to find a girl that is willing to be with her due to the fact she breaks into hives whenever she is close to men. Mariya Shidou is a beautiful girl, a student that attends the same school as Kanako and is really a boy dressed in woman’s clothing. Upon meeting Mariya, Kanako is faced with a predicament of blackmail. Due to her desperate attempt at making sure nobody knows she is actually a boy, Mariya blackmails Kanako upon knowing her true goal. Now, Mariya has become Kanako’s roommate in order to keep a close eye on her in order to ensure Kanako does not reveal that she is actually a boy to anyone at school. Under these circumstances, Kanako has to find true love at her all-girls school and maintain the secret for the cross-dresser, Mariya. How will Kanako find true love at her school now?
14. Sasameki Koto (Whispered Words)
For her exemplary skills in academics and sports, Murasame Sumika is the most popular girl in her high school, capable of getting good grades and achieving what most can’t, though she is smitten by another girl. Unbeknownst to her peers, she is actually in love with Kazama Ushio, a girl that shares the same feelings towards other girls, who Sumika tries to get close to, but unfortunately, her classmate Ushio doesn’t notice her at all. Follow Murasame Sumika on her path to true love and to see what becomes of our young and beautiful lovers.
13. Yuri Kuma Arashi
The world in which humanoid bears and humans once lived in harmony but after a meteor shower, this changes and bears now crave for human flesh, and humans now hunt for bears. A separation of the two races was made, upon the creation of the “Wall of Severance,” which separated the bears and humans and their rivalry. Two girls in love with each other, who find themselves in the middle of trouble at Arashigaoka Academy, Kureha Tsubaki and Sumika Izumino, discover two bears that breached the Wall of Severance and have joined the academy. These two loving bears, Ginko Yurishiro and Lulu Yurigasaki see Kureha as someone they can get close to, but Kureha is not too fond of the bears themselves. Ginko and Lulu try to get more close to Kureha, which reveals secrets that Kureha may not be ready to hear. The Invisible Storm, a group that maintains order within the school, finds out about the girls’ relationships with the bears, making these girls defend themselves and setting off to understand the relationships between bears and humans more closely.
12. Sakura Trick
Misato West High School will become non-existent in the near future, giving our high school students the little time that they have to make friends and enjoy their youthful lives as students. Haruka Takayama and Yuu Sonoda, two close best friends since middle school, have become classmates once again and attend Misato West to pursue the wonderful and joyful times high school will bring them. Yuu is a cheerful and gentle girl who wants to make friends with her classmates so that she can enjoy her time more at school. Though Yuu and Haruka share the same class together, Haruka is jealous of the fact that Yuu wants even more friends, even though she has Haruka in her life already. Two best friends come to the realization to do something that no ordinary pair of friends would do and that is to share a passionate kiss with each other. With their current relationship becoming even more closer and romantic, the only obstacle in their way right now is an older sister who sees this as an unusual and potential problem for the girls’ future and well-being. As overprotective and nurturing as the older sister maybe, Haruka and Yuu must now prove to themselves and the world that their love is true and pure.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance, School, Seinen, Shoujo Ai
11. Aoi Hana (Sweet Blue Flowers)
Can a broken heart set you on the path of something that will surely make you happy in the near future? Fumi Manjoume recently got heartbroken from a relationship right before her first year of high school. Upon entering Matsuoka Girls’ High School, she forms a closer bond with her childhood best friend, Akira Okudaira, a girl who she has known for 10 years. Both girls are on a path to find true happiness and love and must now help each other fill the hunger in their hearts while trying to hold on to their dear friend.
10. Strawberry Panic
On Astraea Hill, there are three associated all-girl pristine Catholic schools that attract many students every year. Aoi Nagisa joins St.Miator’s Girls’ Academy and soon finds that she will need to adjust to fit right in at her new school. A system is in place that ranks all students and Nagisa also learns that of the three Catholic schools, they are represented by two Etoiles. While Nagisa figures out how to get accustomed to the rules that are in place at St. Miator’s, one of the Etoiles has taken a liking to Nagisa and is now the center of attention of the beautiful and sophisticated, Shizuma Hanazono. As Shizuma and Nagisa get well acquainted with one another, Shizuma, upon meeting Nagisa finally, must come to the conclusion that she must face the past she has left behind her long ago, and tackle the inner demons that lie within her heart.
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai
9. Maria-sama ga Miteru (Maria Watches Over Us)
Sachiko Ogasawara is the most popular girl at Lillian Girls’ Academy, a distinguished Catholic school in Tokyo, and usually is reserved but remains beautiful and breathtaking in anything people witness her doing. Our new transfer student at Lillian Girl’s Academy is Yumi Fukuzawa and for some reason has caught the eye of Sachiko. Sachiko has proclaimed herself as Yumi’s “sister,” and will help her throughout her high school years, ensuring that the experience at Lillian Girl’s academy will surely be a time she will remember for her entire life. Yumi is taken aback by such a gesture because of the fact that Sachiko attracts so much attention and that attention follows Yumi around whenever they are together. Yumi must now make a decision to accept such a straightforward and enticing proposition from her fellow “sister,” and will need to become more accustomed to the attention from her peers.
8. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
A third-grade student, Takamachi Nanoha, hears the cries of an injured ferret’s through its telepathic prowess and has her future changed from that moment on, after rescuing this strange ferret from death’s clutches. Yuuno, the name of the ferret that Nanoha saved, explains to Nanoha that there are several fatal Jewel Seeds throughout the planet and that if these Jewel Seeds are not collected in due time, then the planet will soon be in deep peril. It is now Nanoha’s task to overcome extraordinary and strange monsters to retrieve the Jewel Seeds, but if that was not enough of an obstacle for our third grader protagonist, there are also other forces out there that wish to use those Jewel Seeds for their own dark purposes. Now, Nanoha must rise up to this task as a magical girl, equipped with a red jewel, gifting her great powers to fend off monsters and any evil that may lurk in the shadows.
Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Super Power
7. Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-Tachi (Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne)
A woman, capable of withstanding the most gruesome torture, the most catastrophic deaths, is a private detective and immortal. Yggdrasil, the guardian tree, possessed the “time fruit,” which is a fruit that gave Rin Asogi immortality upon consumption. Rin has become the target of various organizations and individuals who want to take her down and wipe her out for good, but to their surprise, she keeps coming back and ready for a fight every single time. Rin must now face even worthier adversaries that are capable of hunting down immortal women. Koki Maeno, a girl with amnesia, falls into the palm of Rin Asogi’s hand and now the story begins of their trials and tribulations.
Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Shoujo Ai, Supernatural
Here at Simulicram, the female gender is the gender everyone is born with. Once they turn 17 years old, maidens are given the choice of the gender they would like to spend the rest of their lives with. Simulicram must be defended by Pairs of maiden priestesses that must harmonize with their flying ships, known as the Simoun. Now, with the Pairs of maiden priestesses created and the use of their Simoun, they must defend against enemy nations that threaten the peaceful times they share together. If these Pairs want to keep piloting their Simoun, they must not continue with this ceremony of synchronization and must be ready and willing to become one with their Simoun. After the Chor Tempest squadron has been wiped out, a new recruit has been selected for the Simoun pilot. Aer, the new recruit, will now approach the skies with courage in order to protect her nation. Neviril, lost her own pair in a devastating battle, after trying out a tactic that was a forbidden Simoun maneuver. Aer must now become one with Neviril, Regina of Chor Tempest, so that they can pilot Simoun together as a Pair.
Genres: Military, Drama, Magic, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo Ai
Why is it that these girls fight so hard? For the love, they share for one another, who will they protect when the time comes to fight? Fuuka Academy is home to thirteen extraordinary girls who possess incredible powers that are used to confront and take down unknown creatures known as Orphans. These thirteen girls can summon metallic guardians, known as “Childs,” and have the ability to materialize “Elements” to their own will, and must now use their powers to take on the Orphans, all the while trying to find the reason that they fight and just who they should be protecting. Mai, the new transfer student at Fuuka academy has come with her sickly brother and must now decide her fate of becoming a Child. Will Mai choose the path of a Child in order to protect what is closest to her?
Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Mecha, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai
4. Yuru Yuri
Once again with her adorable and mischievous childhood friends, Yui Funami and Kyouko Toshinou, Akari Akaza attends their all-girl school and joins their club, the Amusement Club. At the Amusement Club, these girls can feel at ease and hang out while having fun together. While mistaking the Amusement Club for the Tea Club, Chinatsu Yoshikawa, is now their new member and they set out to have some amusement together while being the closest and cutest friends possible.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, School, Shoujo Ai
3. Oniisama e (Dear Brother)
Nanako is of common blood, not coming from a wealthy or distinguished family, and is the victim of vile and mischievous acts from her female peers at her new school. Upon joining the Sorority, as a common-born, girls see her as somewhat of a nuisance and are envious to no extent of the position and luck Nanako has. During her youthful time at high school, Nanako learns many things about the proclaimed popular girls at her school, while creating friendships along the way with her childhood friend. As time passes, Nanako will learn of the secrets her family has kept away from her all her life, the love that she will experience throughout her time in high school, and all of the drama that will ensue in her life all in a short time.
Genres: Psychological, Drama, School, Shoujo, Shoujo Ai
2. Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
Upon the death of her parents, Utena Tenjou now understands the despair and cruelty of the world but can find a gleaming light illuminating from a prince that comforts her after this life-changing event. This prince gives a ring, which contains a rose crest, to Utena, proclaiming that this will not be their last encounter and will soon meet again. Years after this event, now at Ootori Academy, Utena soon finds out there are students that are in possession of the same type of ring and learns of a game involving individuals known as Duelists, and that they are competing to obtains the prize, the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya, including the unknown and extravagant powers she possesses. Upon winning Anthy in a duel, Utena, now understands that if she wants to free Anthy and uncover the secrets that lie within the walls of her new academy, she must take this world by storm and see to it that it changes to her own will.
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Psychological, Shoujo
1. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
In a world where magical girl powers are granted to girls who want their wishes to come true, no matter what the cost, Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are offered to fulfill a wish of their choosing. Kyuubey, an adorable creature that they save from their cold and serious classmate, the transfer student known as Homura Akemi, offers them a deal to become magical girls in order to have their wishes granted. Though the deal seems as great as Madoka and Sayaka believe it to be, Homura warns both of them, especially Madoka, to be wary of Kyuubey’s existence and of the dangerous trials and tribulations that a magical girl will face if they decide to go down that route. These girls must now make an immense decision that will change the rest of their youthful lives forever. Will they sacrifice their normal lives in order for their one wish to be granted?
Genres: Psychological, Drama, Magic, Thriller.
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