Yuri Genre
aka: Girls Love

Since homosexual males are called "gay," homosexual females should be called "ecstatic".

"Yuri is a blessed thing. The refined and subtle actions, the warmth, of a world where only girls reside...yet also the pain of interpersonal politics and selfish intrigue. And finally, those strong emotional bonds before which no hardship is an insurmountable obstacle. Verily, a finely-honed mental and spiritual realm for transcending the crude conceptions of the male mind!"
Hanadera Keisuke, Yuri Danshi

Yuri, the Japanese word for "lily", refers to a genre in Japanese media based on sapphic romance. Works often focus either on romantic or sexual feelings, but some have both. Fans will sometimes use the term shoujo-ai ("girl's love") as a way to identify less explicit works that focus on romance and/or emotions between the characters. Note however that in Japan, shoujo-ai refers to liking little girls.

Yuri is a genre (or a collection of overlapping genres) distinguished by tropes and stereotypes. The term "yuri" is sufficiently strongly associated with those tropes and stereotypes that some Japanese lesbian manga fans use a different term, like "bian" (short for lesbian), "Onna x Onna" ("women x women"), or "Onna-doushi" ("women together") for works which are actually by/for lesbian women. Yuri is commonly an idealized and unrealistic portrayal of lesbian relationships, and is not representative of actual LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, the plus sign standing for "et cetera") culture and experiences, owing in part to its high Fluff content.

In Japan, yuri is also known as "Girls' Love" (in English), or GL, a term created in common with the male version, "Boys' Love" or BL.

See this short glossary of yuri terms, as well as Matt Thorn's "What Japanese Girls Do With Manga, and Why" essay and the Wikipedia's "Yuri Genre" page, for a bit more context.

There are a few different types of yuri, depending in part on the target audience:

  • Yuri for men, "seinen yuri", tends to emphasize sweetness, femininity, girlishness, innocence, purity, and Moe generally. It usually has a very romanticized view of what it's like to be a teenage girl. This is in contrast to the standard Girl-on-Girl Is Hot scenarios (lustful women making out with each other for the viewer's delectation, often mixed with heterosexual content in fanservice-driven shows) which are usually not considered yuri. Men's yuri typically fetishizes femininity and youthfulness and rarely focuses on long-standing relationships or adult characters, much less LGBTQ culture and social issues.
  • Yuri for girls, "shoujo yuri", may also be hyperfeminine and "pure" but may feature some degree of gender-bending or cross-dressing, with the bifauxnen in a more traditionally male role. In either case, it's usually focused on fantasies of female solidarity, idealized femininity and gender transgression, not with lesbian identity, culture or actual life in Japan. Here's an academic essay that discusses the history and looks at some modern stories (warning: one of the images near the end is NSFW).
  • Yuri for adult women, "josei yuri", is usually less stereotyped and fairly realistic, like most fiction aimed at adults. Yuri for lesbians is the most likely to be realistic, and to deal with LGBTQ culture and social issues, but is a very small portion of all yuri produced. As previously noted, some readers use a separate term for "yuri by/for lesbians" to distinguish it from the more common types.
  • "Background yuri" is a new type of yuri gaining a foothold in Japan. These mangas portray female protagonists (usually Action Girls) in lasting lesbian relationships, without actually being about these relationships. Though this element has the same status that a Romance Arc in non-romantic fiction does, such mangas are classified as yuri in addition to whatever genres they primarily belong to.

A disproportionate amount of yuri stories have, in the past, ended tragically or inconclusively, but this is changing as more fictional couples are allowed to have happy, committed, and canon endings.

In yuri, you'll most likely find relationships which play on Tomboy and Girly Girl or Sempai Kouhai dynamics. The first usually emulates a heterosexual couple, while the latter emphasizes the difference in maturity between the girls. Teacher/Student Romance is also found, but less commonly than the other two.

Note that entry is for the genre. Couple-specific examples should only be listed below if they're the focus of the series. For yuri-style couples (and unrequited crushes) in other genres, see Token Yuri Girls. Note also that Romantic Two-Girl Friendship (that is, when the yuri relationship doesn't last and the girls involved end up with boys) is a completely different trope. Also see: Slash Fic, Everyone Is Gay, and Schoolgirl Lesbians.

The Spear Counterpart of this genre are Yaoi (the explicit version of BL) or Shounen-ai/Shonen-ai (the PG-13 version) both targeted towards women, and the Bara Genre, which is targeted towards gay men.

See also our guide on how to Write a Yuri Manga.

Subtopes associated with the Yuri genre

This is an East Asian-only genre. Please limit examples to East Asian and Animesque media only.

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    Prolific Creators 
  • Go Nagai. While not known mainly for it, has proven himself partial to yuri.
  • Natsuneko. Has only written one-shots so far (see full list on her page).
  • Hiyori Otsu:
    • Aqua Blue Cinema
    • Clover
    • Orange and Yellow
  • Kaoru Sudoo. Disappeared from the industry for five years due to health problems (leaving OKG unfinished), before finally returning in 2016 with a new (very NSWF) series.
  • Jin Takemiya started working on original yuri doujin in 2007 and eventually debuted in Yuri-Hime, winning their Division Prize for her one-shot "All My Love and Lies" (later included in the Love Flicker collection) in 2009. Writing primarily in the Slice of Life genre, Takemiya is incredibly prolific, and her works have been featured in every issue of Yuri-Hime since her debut.
    • Chouchou Nannan (lit. "Call and Reply", which is a Japanese idiom for light-hearted flirting) follows a Four-Girl Ensemble with way too many hidden Love Triangles between them.
    • Fragments of Love, Takemiya's biggest work to date, follows Mika, a confident and serious high school girl with a preference for older women, on her daily life and relationships. The tie-in Love & Piece (sic!) serves as an Origin Story for the main plot's not-quite-Beta Couple.
    • Game concerns Chiriko, who finds herself the target of the Foreign Exchange Student Rebecca's affections, because she happens to look exactly like her favorite Dating Sim character.
    • Girlish Sweet is somewhat of a Concept Album: it follows several mostly unrelated couples, but with a few pervasive motifs (the author refers to it as her "Red Seifuku Series", after the school uniforms most characters wear) and themes (various allusions to sweetness and sweet things).
    • Irrational Us stars two Office Ladies sharing a very emotionally unhealthy relationship.
    • KiLa KiLa follows Saya, a Fangirl of the Idol Singer Ria, who finds herself falling in love with the latter's insecure twin sister Mari. This story has thematic overlaps with My Beloved—another Love Triangle involving two sisters vying for affections of the same girl.
    • Love Flicker was Takemiya's first collection of previously published one-shots.
    • Perfume of Love is another Concept Album, united by the theme of scents and aromas.
  • Akihito Yoshitomi. Is well-known for his contributions to the genre, though he tends to take weird approaches:
    • Blue Drop, although the anime is much less explicit with its Girls' Love than the first and third manga of the series. The second manga Tenshi no Bokura moves away from Girls' Love, as the focus is on a heterosexual pair.
    • Sisterism is a GL manga about two childhood friends falling in love with each other's little sisters. Who are both 12. Although it's hinted that they're actually attracted to each other and misinterpreted their feelings.
    • Two and Two is a slightly different take on a similar setup, with two schoolgirl roommates discovering their attraction to each other only after they independently start dating older women. Both of whom are childhood friends, so it's complicated. Also, at least one pairing is into domination/submission play.

    Original Manga 
  • Maka Maka is a yuri hentai manga about two college aged girls.
  • Otome No Teikoku: Also known as Virgin's Empire, a Slice of Life series about school girls and their relationships, with more than a little nudity. Created by the author of the Cult Classic Maka-Maka.
  • Pieta: A josei manga that contains a dark psychologic yuri story.
  • Poor Poor Lips: A Gag Series Yon Koma with surprising depth about the lives of a rich, lesbian employer and her poor employee.
  • Plica is a slice-of-life four-panel comic about adult lesbians (so it's not really girls' love, but...)
  • Prism is a manga about a girl who fell in love with a 'boy' in elementary only for them to be reunited years later with the revelation 'he' is really a very pretty girl. Written by the same mangaka as Stretch.
  • Saki is a yuri subtext Mahjong anime that holds the record as the series with the most yuri themed blushing. One interesting note is that the anime plays its Girls' Love up more than the manga.
  • Sakura Trick Two girls try to keep their friendship unique and special. By kissing each other. A lot.
  • Sasameki Koto happily marries relationship angst with school life comedy.
  • Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai, a shojo manga that follows the relationship between a schoolgirl who wishes to rely on no one but herself, and a self-proclaimed mermaid who must find true friendship in one month's time or she will fade away forever.
  • Shinozaki-san Ki wo Ota Shika ni! About a girl who is in the closet... about being an otaku. And sure, she may have some weird fantasies about her friend Kaede, but that's just because she's so cute it's a crime that she should be an otaku. So Akina must save Kaede from that terrible lifestyle... and maybe get a special thank you when they're alone.
  • Shiro

    Original Anime 

    Original Light Novels 

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Akai Ito is a Girls' Love Visual Novel with a heavy fetish for vampirism and also goes very deep into Japanese mythology.
  • A Little Lily Princess is a retelling of A Little Princess with a yuri twist.
  • Amaranto is also all about vampires (and schoolgirl lesbians).
  • Aoi Shiro: The semi-sequel to Akai Ito which takes place in the same universe.
  • Atlach=Nacha
  • Flowers is a modern visual novel series with a classic, Maria-sama ga Miteru-style aesthetic, albeit with more overtly lesbian characters, and some light Mystery elements.
  • Her Tears Were My Light involves romance between female anthropomorphisms of time and space plus nothingness.
  • Highway Blossoms
  • Kindred Spirits on the Roof is a light-hearted, Slice of Life yuri visual novel based around a ghost lesbian couple recruiting a girl who can see them into helping bring together a number of other potential lesbian couples at their school. Unlike most yuri visual novels, this one feels much more aimed towards women. The art and character design style is more realistic and resembles fashion art more than Moe, and the game doesn't shy away from labeling the relationships as homosexual and dealing with issues like subtle homophobia.
  • Limit Panic
  • Maiden Panic
  • Nurse Love Addiction is about a 19-year-old girl entering nursing school, who, depending on the player's choices developes a relationships with one of her fellow students or her teacher.
  • Solfege: Sweet Harmony
  • Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo (pictured above) is presently considered the definitive Girls' Love Eroge series. It has had a hentai OVA based on it released.
  • Starlight Vega
  • Strawberry Vinegar is about a slowly evolving crush between two 9 year girls, one of which is a demon.

  • The manga Claudine, written by Oniisama e...'s author Riyoko Ikeda, is often wrongly classified as Yuri. However, this is a mistake. The main character, Claudine de Montesse, is Transsexual. He is female-bodied but identifies as a man, and searches for female love interests. He is referred as a man such by other characters. His Unlucky Childhood Friend Rosemarie, for example, describes him as "a true man, given a woman's body". Therefore, it'd be technically incorrect to classify this particular manga as yuri. Although homosexuality and transsexuality are both LGBTQ issues, they are different and, whilst they can overlap, it's not always the case.
  • Stellar Ranger Dark Star has the main romance and love triangle in the story fall between three Magical Girls.
  • Their Story, an original online yuri manhua by Tan Jiu about a tomboy who falls head-over-heels for a girl at a neighboring high school
  • Cross Heart, an original Spanish/English-language online manga by Ana-Christina Sanchez, about teenage girl named Haru who falls for the popular but aloof Kotomi. She soon learns Kotomi has quite a troubled past.
  • Fluttering Feelings, an original Korean manhwa by Ssamba, is a Slice of Life story about two Business University students, the average slightly immature Kim No-Rae and the beautifully captivating Baek Seol-A.
  • Lily Love, from Thailand by Ratana Satis, follows the life of Donut, a college girl who doesn't believe in soulmates. A chance meeting with her new neighbor, Mew, led to friendship and grows into something much more.
  • World Canvas, by Godley Malabanan, is about Sera, who was born with the power to see the little pieces of soul people leave in their art. She takes an interest on an artist, Rhiannon, upon finding out her power doesn't work on her art. Notable for being the first commercially published GL comic in Tagalog.
  • Magan&Danai, an original Chinese webcomic by ermuzibu, is a comedic Slice of Life series about a tsundere woman and her girlfriend.
  • Santiago Nights, an original English language light novel, about Lily Oda, a young werewolf mob enforcer and her human mate, Chelsea Heartfield.
  • These days, by goodboy64, is an original English web serial, focusing on Akiyama Lilly, who obtains super powers after her best friend, Haruko Rea, confesses to her. Things violently escalate from there.
  • Love Is Strange a Fan Remake of Life Is Strange which jettisons all of the angst and makes it a full-on Dating Sim between Max and the girl of her choice.
  • The Webcomic The Secrets Of The Afterlife defines itself as "yuri". Taking place in an all-girls environment, this story follows Anya and June, two teenage girls living together.

Alternative Title(s): Girl Love, Yuri, Shoujo Ai, Girls Love