"But we're both girls!" - The Yuri Thread

Dai

Hunter
Searching back through the forum archives, it seems to be several years since there was last an active yuri thread. I'm sure forum membership has changed a lot in that time, and the genre has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years, so I'm curious if there are many other fans here at the moment. I'm using the broader definition of yuri here, so I'm mainly talking shojo ai romance stories rather than anything more explicit.

If you haven't taken an interest in the genre before, Anime News Network recently posted an excellent retrospective of its development that makes for a good primer.

I've been an anime fan for almost 30 years, but I only got into yuri last year. The stodgy, hierarchical convent school vibe of the genre's earlier works didn't really appeal to me, but it's moved past that now. Then again, I recently saw (and highly enjoyed) watching Dear Brother, so I'm planning to revisit some of the older stories. My current favourites are more recent anime though, like Kase-san and Morning Glories, Bloom Into You, and Adachi and Shimamura. The bulk of the genre still only exists in manga form though, so I figure using this as a combined discussion thread for both is probably most straightforward. I won't start waffling in more detail unless anyone else is interested.

So, if there's any yuri fans out there, report in.

yuri.jpg
 

ActionFaust

Combat Butler
Nice to see a yuri thread. Got plenty of favourites from the genre like Bloom into You, Flip Flappers, Mysteria Friends and Yurikuma Arashi. While most of the series I've watched are more recent, I'm quite interested in tackling Maria Watches Over Us. While it is a mid-00s anime adapted from a 90s Class S series it'll still be interesting to compare with more modern shows.

Manga-wise it's great to see publishers like Seven Seas licensing more yuri these days. With much of the genre lacking in anime there's still a mountain of works in manga waiting to be licensed.
 

D1tchd1gger

Flame Haze
I've seen (and read) Bloom into You and I saw (and have purchased the manga version of) Adachi and Shimamura.
Looking at this list of shows with Shoujo Ai as a tag (the Yuri list seems to be mainly hentai):
I've also seen: Citrus, Happy Sugar Life, WATATEN, Konohana Kitan, Otherside Picnic, Ms Vampire Who Lives in My Neighbourhood, and If My Favourite Pop Idol Made it to the Budokan, I Would Die.

Most only have hints of attraction, and aren't romances. A couple are a bit on the disturbing side with lolis involved, HSL and WATATEN, one played for psychological drama, so as the MC's a bit damaged, shall we say, makes some sense and the other for laughs which I found tolerable enough, but others might not.

Citrus is most like the others in terms of actual attraction between girls, but tried to be a bit more edgy with it. Budokan is a comedy about Idol fans which was very funny and actually pretty interesting angle on the whole Idol genre. The MC really likes one of the idols in the group which is hinted at as attraction.

Manga wise I've been reading Yuri is My Job. Volume 7 recently came out, but haven't read yet. It seems to be moving quite slowly at the moment with only a few hints at who likes who among the group of characters.
I've brought a few from this list, but haven't got round to reading them yet:

One I discovered recently (on a Trash Taste live stream!) is called Young Ladies Don't Play Fighting Games, which sounds like Hi Score Girl, but yuri. I have the first volume on pre-order, out at the end of September:
*Affiliate link
 

DragoStark

Student Council President
Oh huge yuri fan here. I unfortunately got into it after I ran out of space to hold physical manga copies and publishers actually started to license more series so I only own a few, namely Kase-San, After Hours and a few one shots volumes like Secret of the Princess and Now Loading. Also got an anthology called Whenever our eyes Meet. (I recommend all of these btw. Wasn't a fan of After Hours ending personally but I appreciated the journey nontheless and it was still a great read)

I've read loads though. I even enjoy a few web comics. I honestly consume most Yuri I come across. Yuri is really the only kind of manga I bother to read nowadays. I don't really keep up with anything else except maybe one or two series outside of the genre aha.
As for anime, if it's got yuri I'll watch it. Although I need more than just very subtle subtex these days. (I'm looking at you Otherside Picnic.)
 

ActionFaust

Combat Butler
Oh yeah speaking of the whole naming situation. It's kinda interesting how the western fandom has assigned their own subcategories in the genre which are basically non-existent in the Japanese fandom. In Japanese yuri and girls' love cover everything and don't really specify whether it's more wholesome or explicit.

Shoujo ai on the other hand is a right hornets nest and isn't even used in the Japanese context of yuri. The term was applied by western fans who I'm assuming weren't aware of its lolicon origins. It's so widespread now that it's gained a new, more wholesome meaning in western fandom I guess.
 

Dai

Hunter
I read a short 3-volume manga yesterday called Strawberry Fields Once Again that had a good time travel hook and a satisfying progression. It would be a perfect fit for a 12-episode anime... if only we could get yuri anime more frequently.

While I don't know if it would strictly be classed as yuri, since it's an autobiography, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is an important one to mention. It's as much about the author's depression and eating disorders as it is about her sexuality, and hits you with so much bitter reality that it's as painful as it is compelling.

While most of the series I've watched are more recent, I'm quite interested in tackling Maria Watches Over Us. While it is a mid-00s anime adapted from a 90s Class S series it'll still be interesting to compare with more modern shows.
That's the exact one I'm planning to try again. I gave up after an episode or two the first time because I got muddled by how many characters there were, and that they're all referred to by 3 or 4 different names/titles, which made it a nightmare to keep track of who was talking about who.

I saw (and have purchased the manga version of) Adachi and Shimamura.
I switched to the original light novels after the anime, since I think that's significantly further along than the manga adaptation. Volume 5 of the LN is the place to pick up after the anime, if you're interested.

The Adachi and Shimamura anime has a lovely soundtrack that I bought recently, and I find it makes good background listening for other yuri manga of the wholesome variety.

Also got an anthology called Whenever our eyes Meet.
Yes, that was pretty good. I think there's an anthology series called Syrup that focuses on workplace romances too.

Shoujo ai on the other hand is a right hornets nest and isn't even used in the Japanese context of yuri. The term was applied by western fans who I'm assuming weren't aware of its lolicon origins. It's so widespread now that it's gained a new, more wholesome meaning in western fandom I guess.
Count me as one who didn't know its dodgy origin. I knew shojo ai wasn't a term used in Japan, but didn't know the reason. Why does everything have to come back to lolis, Japan? 🤦‍♂️
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
The definition of yuri has migrated over the years; back in the day I read quite a bit of it but now the genre as we see it in the west has become much more male-targeted, which is an interesting situation. I tend to prefer titles with older girls or adult women. The cuter, more 'moe' yuri isn't really my personal cup of tea.

MariMite was one I really enjoyed back when it was new, even though it's barely yuri despite being soaked through in similar themes (I like Class S). There are a lot of girls (and they all wear similar uniforms) but they have very distinct personalities and I think you'll have favourites if you keep on going with it :)

I find the use of 'shoujo ai' confusing because of its ambiguous meaning. I usually just use GL/BL accordingly.

R
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Erica Friedman’s long-running blog about Yuri culture might be a useful resource for anyone looking to explore the genre. She discusses yuri-themed or adjacent content, creators and issues, as well as providing primers on where to start for newcomers and so on.

 

Lordhippos

Magical Girl
A lot of anime is yuri-bait rather than strictly yuri.

For example Hibike Euphonium definitely has a fair bit of yuri-bait in it, but it's worth a watch in it's own right anyway. Kobayashi kind of has it as well with Tohru but it's never really taken too far, and again worth watching anyway (I love it generally, but I don't love the Kanna-centric yuri stuff it has going on from time to time).

Some that I think are worth watching if you don't just want yuri-bait, varying degress of quality here, mostly fairly modern shows:

Scums Wish (Only partially yuri but it's trashy and worth a watch)
Miru Tights (I'm not that into tights but I don't think you need to be to watch this)
Bloom Into You (most serious/wholesome one in this list although no season 2 to finish the story)
Citrus (Trashy but I love trashy apparently)
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (Trashy and Edgy all in one but still I found it fairly interesting)
Netsuzou Trap (I've used the term a lot, but this is by far the most trashy one in my list)

Of course you also have stuff like Seven Mortal Sins and Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid that definitely have yuri as a central running theme.
 

ActionFaust

Combat Butler
A lot of anime is yuri-bait rather than strictly yuri.

For example Hibike Euphonium definitely has a fair bit of yuri-bait in it, but it's worth a watch in it's own right anyway. Kobayashi kind of has it as well with Tohru but it's never really taken too far, and again worth watching anyway (I love it generally, but I don't love the Kanna-centric yuri stuff it has going on from time to time).

Some that I think are worth watching if you don't just want yuri-bait, varying degress of quality here, mostly fairly modern shows:

Scums Wish (Only partially yuri but it's trashy and worth a watch)
Miru Tights (I'm not that into tights but I don't think you need to be to watch this)
Bloom Into You (most serious/wholesome one in this list although no season 2 to finish the story)
Citrus (Trashy but I love trashy apparently)
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (Trashy and Edgy all in one but still I found it fairly interesting)
Netsuzou Trap (I've used the term a lot, but this is by far the most trashy one in my list)

Of course you also have stuff like Seven Mortal Sins and Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid that definitely have yuri as a central running theme.
To be fair I think a lot of series that are accused of yuri-bait are just wishful thinking on the audience's part. Like the currently airing Aquatope on White Sand I've seen a lot of people expecting it to be yuri when there's not really been anything to suggest this. Sometimes gals really are just pals.

Will agree that Sound! Euphonium sure does lean quite heavily into yuri-bait territory though.
 

Dai

Hunter
Will agree that Sound! Euphonium sure does lean quite heavily into yuri-bait territory though.
The way Eupho handles its romantic elements is the one thing that drops it from a perfect 10 to a 9 for me. It pushes the possibility of a yuri romance so hard in the TV series, which diverges from the source novels on that front from what I understand. That makes it all the more jarring in the Chikai no Finale (aka. Our Promise) movie when Kumiko and Shuichi abruptly start dating, after her treating him like irrelevant background noise for most of the TV series.

Of course, there's always the possibility that the yuri angle might go somewhere in season 3 if Reina gives up on Taki, but at this point I really fear that season 3 has been cancelled, since it was announced just before the arson attack and there's been no word since. It's possible that it might be Ishihara's next project after Dragon Maid S finishes, but I have my doubts for a lot of reasons. Violet Evergarden may be KyoAni's most visually striking show, but I suspect that Eupho is its most logistically complex. You have over 70 characters with distinct designs and personalities (there aren't any faceless filler characters in the wind ensemble), all the instruments, and the complex performance scenes. If many of the people who worked on the earlier seasons were among those lost, that's not talent that's easy to replace, and I certainly wouldn't blame the company if they decided not to try. Then with the pandemic there's the question of whether they could rely on being able to legally have 65 performers in one room to record the music.
 

DragoStark

Student Council President
If there's one thing I can't stand it's heavy hinting at yuri and then the girl/s end up dating a guy. Feels like more than just bait, feels like a proper punch to the gut. I generally prefer yuri without any men in the picture. Most manga series I read have little to no men except when they're used as a drama device (with a yuri ending) or bg characters. Which is the norm for Yuri series I know but sometimes, sometimes a curve ball is thrown and I'm not here for it.
I also avoid a show if the yuri is in the background and just a drama device (like Scums Wish IIRC?) Stuff like that is not for me.
I'd love to see some yuri anime with older women too. More manga has defo been released that's got this (and I'm thrilled) but anime's gotta catch up. Cute girls doing cute things with yuri subtext is ok but there's more out there that could be explored.
 

Lordhippos

Magical Girl
I really hope we get a 3rd season of Hibike yuri or not, I quite enjoyed the first 2 seasons and want to see the march forth to success in a finale season.
 

RadFemHedonist

Vampire Ninja
In addition to the various series already mentioned I love Revolutionary Girl Utena been rewatching that recently, and Yuri Kuma Arashi was awesome as well :) But I like just happy series about girl/girl pairings also. I feel like there's a really nice one I saw that I liked a lot a while ago but the title eludes me rn... unless it was a nice dream I had 🤣 🤣 🤣 🥰 I'm a femme bisexual woman who's felt major connections to other femmes before so I like stuff like that but I am curious about girl/girl or woman/woman pairings in anime where at least one of them is butch? I liked the playing with gender roles that was going on in Dear Brother in that regard, even if none of the girls had really short hair XP I did enjoy Dragon Maid even tho it's not my fave Kyoani show and tbh I think the Kanna pairing with her classmate is just sooo cute I used to get crushes on other kids at that age so I can relate tbh. OT but I'm still thinking the forum should maybe also have a thread for shoujo and josei anime and manga? Since we've started what will hopefully be the best yuri thread of all time?* I have also seen Sweet Blue Flowers which I did think was interesting but kinda painfully uncomfortable emotionally? I read and watch a range of anime and manga (as people here will have noticed) so I'm not just into yuri but I'm hoping to get back into reading manga and LNs as I've barely done any of that lately. Adachi and Shimamura is def on my list (thanks Dai!) and some of the other ones mentioned here as well, will be keeping an eye on this thread :)

*not a guarantee
 

Dai

Hunter
Have Funimation ever done a home release for a yuri series? If Sentai had licensed Adachi and Shimamura I'd expect a US blu-ray at some point, but with Funimation I feel like the odds are pretty much zero. :confused:
 

ActionFaust

Combat Butler
Have Funimation ever done a home release for a yuri series? If Sentai had licensed Adachi and Shimamura I'd expect a US blu-ray at some point, but with Funimation I feel like the odds are pretty much zero. :confused:
They've done Citrus (via Crunchyroll) and Yurikuma Arashi. It's not outright yuri but they've also released Mikagura School Suite. Really recommend that one for fun fights and an incredibly gay protagonist lol
 

Dai

Hunter
I gave Maria Watches Over Us another go, and I'm glad I did. I've watched the first season so far. It's a charming show with interesting dynamics between all the various 'sisters'. The conflicts are quite low-key compared to the high drama of Dear Brother, so it maintains a pleasant atmosphere. It does take some getting used to how formally every speaks though. Even the girls who seem to be from fairly normal family backgrounds use that elevated ojou-sama diction.

I just about managed to wrap my head around all the names and titles that the first episode hurls around this time. What confused me the first time is that I hadn't grasped that some of these formal 'sister' relationships involve three girls (one from each school year), and that some of the almost identical titles refer to different people (eg. Rosa Chinesis, and Rosa Chinesis en Bouton, are two different people).
 

Dai

Hunter
Whisper Me a Love Song feels like it might have the potential to be the Next Big Thing in yuri. There's only three volumes so far, but the story is moving along at a fair clip. I'm especially enjoying its character web. The story follows the familiar yuri trope where one of the girls tries to figure out, "What is love?", but where some stories often just have the girl mull it over inside their head, this story instead has a varied cast of characters who each offer her their different perspectives, and help her understand her feelings. The artwork is lovely and has a dynamic sense of motion, and the whole tone is adorable. The only frustration is that music plays a large part in the story, so it's begging for an anime adaptation.
 

setokaiba

Brigade Leader
Admittedly I'm more of a straight shoujo romance fan, but I still indulge in and enjoy yuri works sometimes. I enjoyed Strawberry Panic in my youth and every now and then I pickup a yuri manga. The renaissance you mentioned has peaked my interest too, high school romances are nice and all (I still enjoy them) but I definitely prefer more mature ones.

Right now I'm enjoying After Hours as I recently got the final volume. Pretty nice, short yuri manga with a more mature tone.
I also particularly loved My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness so much that I own it in both Japanese AND English. Not sure if I'd call it a yuri or just a story with being lesbian as a main theme, but it's a story that's relatable to anyone who's ever struggled with depression or sexual identity.
I also picked up Kannazuki no Miko volume 1 not so long ago since I found it being sold for cheap, so I figured why not? I like it but it's probably too expensive to collect the rest.

That's about it for recent yuri pickups for me but I'll happily branch out if I find something good. Wouldn't mind some mature (and by this I mean about adults, not particularly sexual) manga recommendations if anyone has any.
 

Dai

Hunter
Wouldn't mind some mature (and by this I mean about adults, not particularly sexual) manga recommendations if anyone has any.
I've only read a couple of yuri manga that focus on adults (though I've got my eye out for more). I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up is a decent single-volume story, but felt a bit rushed. Whenever Our Eyes Meet was a pretty good anthology that's mostly office romances from what I recall. It's disappointing that nothing in this sub-genre has made the leap to anime yet (as far as I know).
 
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