Pride Month: My Favorite Yuri Anime and Manga

Hi everyone, it’s PRIDE MONTH!!! And for this year, I have decided to write about my favorite yuri series. Although I’m always talking about how much I love yuri, I realized I’ve never really done a post about my favorite girl x girl series. So, here are the best yuri series in my opinion.

I could literally talk about yuri forever, but I tried to narrow this done as best I can. Hopefully, I will have time to write about more yuri in the future.

Favorite Yuri  Anime: Yurikuma Arashi

Yuri Kuma Arashi Yuri Beginning

This might come as a shock considering I try to steer away from fan service or sexual themes… but I love this anime so much.  Yurikuama Arashi is as crazy as its name: “Lesbian Bear Storm.” Among all the abstract storytelling are lesbian bears, “invisible storms,” weird fan service, and tons of other insanity. However, mixed into all this chaos are important social themes. In Japan, homosexuality relationships are not really seen as legitimate, especially lesbian relationships. The main character Kureha, the “bears,” and some other characters have to face discrimination in order to freely love other girls.

Admittedly, it does get really confusing at times and the fan service can be a little much; however, at least some of the fan service has a deeper meaning. If you can get past the first three episodes (and the ecchi opening), I highly recommend this anime. If needed, go back and rewatch the first three once you’ve got further into the series. It will help things make more sense.

Yuri Kuma Arashi Lulu Gif

Overall, the series is truly one bizarre yet awesome yuri-filled ride.  If anything else, the bear characters, especially Lulu (<3), are adorable and you will see some legit yuri throughout the series. And personally, I love its weird surrealism.

There are so many yuri-related series I like, and one day I will make a giant list of all my recommendations. But some recent 100% yuri anime I enjoyed. even though they have their issues, are Citrus, Netsuzou Trap, and Sakura Trick.

Favorite Yuri Manga: Pretty Much Anything by Milk Morinaga

Even with more yuri anime series coming out, it still kills me that none of Milk Morinaga’s work have been animated. I absolutely love her manga because they show legit yuri and capture what it is like to be a queer teenage girl who is trying to figure out their sexuality.

Girl Friends

Mari and Akko Girl Friend Manga

Morinaga’s manga Girl Friends is the first official English yuri tankoban I ever bought. It depicts the story of Akko and Mari, two normal Japanese high school girls. The two girls become friends and slowly begin to develop feelings for each other. The two of them flit around their feelings for each other as they try to cope with their identities. Overall, the story is realistic, heartwarming, and just… go read it see for yourself! It is a yuri masterpiece. Mari and Akko’s journey will send you on an emotional roller coaster- and you probably won’t be able to put the manga down.

Kisses, Sign, and Cherry Blossom Pink

Kisses, Sighs, And Cherry Blossom Kisses

They look similar, but these two girls are NOT Mari and Akko lol

Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry Blossom Pink is a short collection of one-shot yuri stories, where all the characters and their love stories are somehow related. Some stories in this collection are Morinaga’s very first. You can tell that they’re her earlier work just based on the artwork and the storytelling, but that doesn’t change how great it is. In a weird way, Morinaga’s innocence makes the story more innocent and adds to its overall heartfelt appeal. If you want some fluffy, touching stories about girls being in love, check out this manga.

Secret of The Princess

secret-of-the-princess-manga-chapter-cover.jpg

Secret of the Princess (sometimes called The Princess’s Mirror) is one of Morinaga’s newer works, and although it’s pretty short, it’s phenomenal. In this manga, the main character Miu is a girly girl, who only really cares about being a “princess.” Gender roles and what a woman is “supposed to be” are embedded in her. But then she meets Fujiwara who is a tomboy and doesn’t quite follow gender roles. Because of certain circumstances, the two start “pretend” dating. However, Miu says the relationship isn’t real and that she just wants to practice dating before she gets a “real” boyfriend.” Depsite this, as they spend more time together, Miu realizes that their relationship isn’t so fake, and she begins developing feelings for Fujiwara. In the end, the gender roles are set aside and they become a couple. As someone who is genderfluid, I really appreciate the focus on gender roles in this manga. On top of that, it is funny and beautifully done.

I also REALLY love the Bloom Into You manga and a lot of unknown yuri manga, but Morinaga-sensei needs some extra attention! We should start a campaign where her work is turned into an anime.

Favorite Yuri Character: Tomoyo Daidouji

Tomoyo and Sakura Gay Gif

At first, I had trouble thinking of my all-time favorite yuri character, and then it hit me: TOMOYO~!

If you aren’t aware, Tomoyo is from Cardcaptor Sakura. She is Sakura’s best friend, and she has a very obvious crush on Sakura. She’s constantly taking pictures of and recording Sakura as she goes on her magical adventures. Tomoyo also regularly makes Sakura’s battle costumes from scratch (it is labor of love). Additionally, she’s always saying how cute Sakura is and other very yuri things. Tomoyo’s yuri moments happen all the time in the original and new Cardcaptor series, and yet it never seems to get old. One thing I like about Tomoyo is that she is never too forceful, unlike other yuri characters. (I love Kuroko from A Certain Scientific Railgun, but she can be a bit much at times). She respects that Sakura is straight and that she has feelings for Syaoran. She even does her best to get them together.

On top of everything else, Tomoyo is also always wearing the cutest outfits and has an adorable oujo-sama speech pattern. She is truly my favorite gay daughter.

First Encounter with A Yuri Character: Mint Aizawa

Mint Aizawa Tokyo Mew Mew Gif

Although I loooooove Tomoyo, there is another influential yuri character I want to write about, the very first one I encountered. That character is Mint Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew, one of my favorite manga ever. Technically, I was exposed to Tomoyo first, considering Cardcaptor Sakura premiered earlier. However, the Sakura dub I watched on Toonami watered down Tomoyo’s gayness, and even if they didn’t, I would have been a little too young to understand that she was gay.

I began reading the Tokyo Mew Mew in 2004 or 2005, when I was in middle school. And at that time, I understood right away that Mint was gay, like SUPER gay for another female character, Zakuro. To do this day, Mint is one of my favorite yuri characters. She helped introduce me to the idea of yuri and girls liking girls, right around the time I was starting to realize my own sexuality. Ironically, I later developed a crush on Ichigo, which further proved my own attraction to girls O_O;

Mint and Zakuro Yuri Moment

I never really watched the English dub of Tokyo Mew Mew because it was terrible, but I did watch the Japanese sub as an adult. And Mint is super gay in it too. I actually began writing a yuri fanfiction about Mint and Ichigo, but never finished it 😦 Maybe when I retire…

Favorite Yuri Couple: Nibutani x Dekomori

Nibutani x Dekomri

I tried to think of just one yuri couple that is all my time-favorite, but it is just too difficult. This post would like 5,000 words if I talked about every single yuri couple I like. I’ll make a separate post (eventually).

But for this one, I decided to focus on one of my favorite couples that isn’t that well known: Sanae Dekomori and Shinka Nibutani. This couple is from my favorite anime, Love, Chuunibyou, and Other Delusions. And Dekomori is one of my favorite characters of all time. So, naturally, I love her and her (non-canon) girlfriend, Nibutani!

Nibutani and Deko Fighting Gif

Dekomori is chuunibyou and is always doing crazy stuff that annoys Nibutani, who tries to deny her chuunibyou past. In fact, in a weird twist of fate, Nibutani is secretly Morisummer, an online personality that Dekomori  practically worships. At first, Dekomori doesn’t believe Nibutani is actually Morisummer. The two constantly bicker over this and just fight in general, However, underneath it all, they deeply care about each other and Kyoto Animation has even thrown in some yuri moments on purpose, such as an accidental kiss between them.

Dekomori and Nibutani are truly adorable. I also started writing a yuri fanfiction about them, but also never finished it ;~;  One day…

Dekomori and Nibutani

Dekomori is the greatest :3

And that’s everything for this post! I’ll attempt to write more general yuri posts in the yuri, if I don’t get too busy x_X For more info and recommendations for yuri series, check out my other yuri posts, or visit the Yuri Nation, the Lily Garden, and Yuri Reviews.

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8 thoughts on “Pride Month: My Favorite Yuri Anime and Manga

  1. LitaKino says:

    Awwww I extremely enjoyed your post Rai. I haven’t read bloom into you or girlfriends they have been on my list for so long, I’ll pick them up at some point. Excited for bloom into you adaptation. That will be good hehe. Mentioning mint Tokyo mew mew i have only ever seeing the first five episodes lol I’ve been meaning to watch the whole show. I watched it in the dub but think I’ll watch in sub version now. Mint was cute I liked her.

    I’m dying to read the secret princess as you spoke so highly of it 😚

    Like

    • Rai says:

      Hi Lita, thanks so much! :3 Yes, please buy and read anything by Morinaga-sensei. She deserves it! And yes, yes, yes to Secret of the Princess. Out of all her work, that one is my favorite. It’s just… perfection.

      I highly recommend watching Tokyo Mew Mew in Japanese! But actually, I recommend the manga even more. Although I like the anime, they geared it toward children, so the manga is a little more mature. And I love Mint and her sass 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OG-Man says:

    Lesbians + bears + symbolism up the wazoo = bliss. Personally my favorite of Ikuhara’s works…because gay bears.

    Milk Morinaga is a gifted genius and it is an injustice that none of her works got an anime yet. Maybe one day our dream will come true.

    Tomoyo is a living legend. Hopefully she will FINALLY find her happy ending in the current sequel. She of course looks cuter than ever in it.

    Very glad to meet someone else who enjoyed Tokyo Mew Mew and was enthralled by Mint’s quest for Zakuro’s love. I don’t run into many Tokyo Mew Mew fans, let alone lesbian fans.

    I REALLY hope we get more NibuDeko in the movie that came out. Waiting for dem subs. Dekomori is awesome (Death) and Nibutani is a major hottie. Their relationship was one of the series’ biggest highlights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rai says:

      Gay bears = the greatest thing ever. I need to check out more of Ikuhara’s work. I have actually never seen all of Utena ^^;;

      And I am glad to have found another Tokyo Mew Mew fan as well! But I’m not a normal fan (the whole gay thing aside)… Tokyo Mew Mew is me and I am Tokyo Mew Mew! It has impacted my life in so many ways since it is one of the first manga series I ever really got into.

      Yeah, I am dying for sub and for more of my babies. I agree that Nibutani is gorgeous and I just can’t get enough of Dekomori’s insanity. Although I love the series as a whole, their relationship made it even better :3

      Liked by 1 person

      • OG-Man says:

        Neither have I.

        TMM is my all-time favorite magical girl show I admit…that is before the Pretty Cure franchise came and changed my life. Before that I was all “Mew Mew style. Mew Mew grace. Mew Mew Power in your face!”

        Pumped for those subs, we are.

        Like

  3. gloriagordon says:

    Oh wow, this was awesome, Rai! I just love reading all of your posts. I’m more of a yaoi fan than yuri, so this was enlightening for me! I can’t wait to go check some of these out!
    -The Nerdy Girl News

    Like

    • Rai says:

      Thanks so much! :3 I am glad you liked it and plan to check out some of them.

      I’ve nothing against yaoi, but I am not really into it considering I am not interested in guys that way ^^;; But I am willing to take suggestions for series that aren’t too ecchi :3

      Like

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