Yuri is anime that's focused on relationships between two female characters. This can include anything from cute and romantic stories known as shojo ai to steamy and explicit hentai series. Yuri is one of the only places where LGBTQ+ relationships take center stage. While it can occasionally include tropes that aren't reflective of gay people in the real world, it's still great to see same-sex love flourish in the anime world. Let's take a moment to celebrate a few of these wonderful yuri couples.
Who are the best yuri anime couples? That depends on what you like in your romance. If you like wholesome, loving couples, you'll probably be delighted by Tomoka and Yui of Asagao to Kase-san, If you prefer your relationships a little more messed up, you might prefer Mei and Yuzu from Citrus. While these couples are all quite different, all of them are interesting in their own way - and most of them are couples that you want to see succeed.
Chikane Himemiya & Himeko Kurusugawa - Destiny of the Shrine MaidenPhoto: TNK
Just because you're a yuri fan doesn't mean you're exclusively interested in romance. Sometimes you want your lady x lady couple to come from an anime that blends romance with something else, like fantasy or mecha. Destiny of the Shrine Maiden is a mecha anime with a major yuri component. Chikane and Himemiya love each other passionately and would do anything to protect one another - and their love will be tested dramatically when the incredible celestial powers that dwell within them are awakened, and they wind up on opposite sides of a terrifying battle of good versus evil. Will their relationship transcend the fighting, or will they be torn apart? It's this tension that makes them such a compelling couple.Is this a great couple?
Ushio Kazama & Sumika Murasame - Whispered WordsPhoto: AIC
Whispered Words is an underrated romance anime that features a particularly charming couple. Sumika Murasame is wildly in love with her classmate, Ushio Kazama. While she's delighted to learn that her crush also likes girls, that isn't enough - Ushio is oblivious to Sumika's feelings for her, and continuously falls in love with other girls who reject her. Sumika consoles her every time but hopes that one day Ushio will turn her attention to Sumika and fall in love with her. Watching these girls slowly progress toward a relationship that will truly fulfill them is a delight.Is this a great couple?
Anthy Himemiya & Utena Tenjou - Revolutionary Girl UtenaPhoto: J.C.Staff
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a classic anime that should be on everyone's to-watch list - but it's an especially important show for yuri fans. Utena Tenjou is a teenage girl with one burning ambition - she wants to be a prince. In keeping with her goals, when she gets to Ohtori Academy she ends up dueling for possession of the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya. Rather than possessing her or using her for magical purposes, she intends to free her and discover the secrets behind her captivity.
Their relationship is more explicitly romantic and even sexual in the movie spin-off, The Adolescence of Utena, but their feelings for each other are clear enough in the series proper.Is this a great couple?
Suzu Nekoyama & Yachiyo Inugami - Inugami-san to Nekoyama-sanPhoto: Seven
Suzu Nekoyama and Yachiyo Inugami's relationship may be based on a gimmick, but it's a really really cute gimmick. One girl is deeply introverted and has a catlike personality, while the other has an extroverted, doglike personality, but is a huge fan of cats. Naturally, the two are drawn to one another. If you like your yuri cute and wholesome, this couple is perfect for you.Is this a great couple?