Lesbian Animes are gaining increasing popularity in the mainstream world. Often called as Yuri, these shows capitalize upon the romance between two female leads, exploring their emotional journey which sometimes culminates into sexuality. Therefore, things can get a little steamy in lesbian anime but the genre offers so much more than these fan service themes. There are plenty of quality lesbian animes available which often tells a beautiful, heartbreaking, and emotional story. And of course, some lesbian anime may also prioritize showing the sexuality of the characters.
There is a wide variety of complex and different lesbian anime to choose from. At Squinoo, we will help you highlight some of the very best lesbian anime that has been made over the years. So here is a list of our top 21 Lesbian Anime which can keep your heart racing for quite a bit.
21. Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
In all fairness, Valkyrie Drive is one of the lesbian anime that prioritize their sexual scenes in place of developing their characters or their story. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad anime. Valkyrie Drive does not pretend to be an intelligent show and it exists purely for the sake of the Yuri fan base who likes the Ecchi genre. It does have lots of battle action along with the steamy Yuri scenes.
Mamori Tokonome, a sixteen-year-old girl is suddenly transported from her high school to a mysterious island inhabited by exotic mermaids. Lost and confused at the sudden revelation, she meets another castaway Mirei who seems to have a basic knowledge of the island. She kisses Mamori passionately which unlock Mamori’s powers, transforming her into a warrior fueled by her sexual arousals. All in all, Valkyrie Drive is something you should not watch with your parents but it does have explicit girl on girl action, making it the first entry into our list.
20. Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi
Mnemosyne is another lesbian anime that does not fear a little raunchiness. Apart from the highly explicit sexual scenes, the story has a well-rounded mystery plot that features the supernatural and science fiction with a twitch of horror elements. The premise is quite interesting which features mythical legends such as the ‘Yggdrasil tree’ and ‘Time Fruits’. The main character Rin Asougi eats one of the ‘Time Fruit’ long time ago which gives her the power of immortality. As a detective, that ability becomes very useful and she uses it to escape or survive death situations. It is strongly hinted that Rin is in a relationship with her secretary Mimi although the full extent of the relationship remains ambiguous. Mnemosyne finds a place on her list because of their pseudo-relationship as well as the explicit sexual scenes that are quite prevalent throughout the series.
19. Tachibanakan To Lie Angle
‘Tachibanakan To Lie Angle’ is a Yuri, reverse harem anime which is a rather odd genre in anime. The series can be a fun experience for its comedic effects and fan service but it doesn’t have any form of solid premise or story. After all, each episode span for only three minutes each, therefore severing any chance of developing into a bigger story. Yuri fans are initially annoyed by the series because of its hasty production. All in all, the story mainly features a young girl Hanabi who moves back to her home town and instantly attracts the attention of several girls. Hanabi’s harem basically has little shame and will do all in their power to get Hanabi in a sexually compromising situation. Therefore, you can expect lots of panty shots and boob shots but unfortunately, there is not much substance apart from that.
18. Maria + Holic
One of the more comedic shows, Maria + Holic revolves around a girl Kanako Miyamae who enters an all-girls high school in hope of finding a romantic partner like her parents did. Kanako has an inherent fear of boys, partly due to a childhood incident where her recorder and P.E uniform are stolen by some boys. From that moment on, she breaks down into hives whenever she comes into contact with the opposite gender. The reason why she joins an all-girls school is so that she could find a nice romantic girl for a partner. When she set eyes upon Mariya Shidou, Kanako is immediately convinced that Mariya is the one she is looking for. However, unfortunately for her, Mariya turns out to be a cross-dressing boy who attends the school in accordance with his grandmother’s wishes. Mariya threatens to expose her impure intentions if she ever spills the beans regarding his gender. Therefore in a comical turn of event, Mariya becomes Kanako roommate where he can keep an eye on her all the while searching for Kanako’s partner.
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17. Maria-sama ga Miteru (Maria watcher over us)
Lillian Girls’ Academy is a prestigious all-girls academy that has been described as elegant, graceful, pure, and clean. The academy has a system where a senior will choose a fresher as ‘souer’ (basically means sister in French) to help nurture their education and experience at the school. When Yumi Fukuzawa enlists in the school, she is bewildered when a popular senior Sachiko Ogasawara asks her to be her ‘souer’. She instantly becomes the center of jealousy and attention among the first year when she finally accepts. Yumi immediately joins the Yamayuri Council where she helps in delicate matters of the school. While she happily and busily assisted the Council, her relationship with Sachiko gradually deepens. Maria-sama ga Miteru is not a classical lesbian anime with frivolous panty shots and fan service. In fact, any form of sexual scenes is near to non-existent. The show has more ‘slice of life’ tune than a lesbian one. After all, a good Yuri show does not necessarily need to have drama and sexual content.
16. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has been often called the redemption of Kyoto Animation, the producers of the show. The comedic show is massively gaining popularity since its release in 2017. Even the show focuses more on humor and fast-paced action, it does have an undertone of lesbianism. It can also serve as a pseudo reverse harem, especially after the introduction of more of Tohru’s friends into the Kobayashi household. The show starts when Miss Kobayashi opens her door to find a huge dragon waiting to greet her. Horrified and baffled, the dragon continues to morph into a humanoid maid form and expresses her gratitude. It seems during a drunken frenzy, Miss Kobayashi has removed a sword from the dragon’s back although she could hardly recollect the incident. The dragon girl called Tohru proceeds to insist on being Kobayashi’s maid to repay her kindness. What ensues is hilarious development between the two and although Tohru seems to have a crush on Kobayashi, it is mostly sidelined for comedic effect. Nonetheless, Miss Kobayashi’s maid remains one of the more popular Yuri anime of recent years.
15. Kannazuki no Miko (Destiny of the Shrine Maiden)
Kannazuki no Miko draws inspiration from different Japanese folklore, and many characters and settings are based upon these folklores. The two main characters Himeko Kurusagawa and Chikane Himemiya are the reincarnations of the Solar and Lunar Spirits. They begin as a lesbian couple in Ototachibana Academy when their dormant powers are activated by the revival of their arch nemesis, the evil serpent Orochi. To save the world from doom and destruction, our two main girls must learn to channel their inner power to defeat the threat that is looming upon the world. Kannazuki no Miko is known for intermixing mythical folklore elements with mechanical battles, which does not necessarily go well with all the fans. However, it does have some intense scenes portraying lesbian relationships, therefore, it is only fitting that it is a part of our list.
14. Riddle Story of Devil
Riddle Story of Devil begins with the dark premise of Class Black of Myojo Academy – an institution which endorses and trains protégé assassins. The main character Tokaku Azuma along with eleven other assassins is tasked in the competitive assassination of Haru Ichinose. Hailing from a dangerous family fear for their assassination prowess, Tokaku is aloof, cold, and unsociable. However, upon seeing Ichinose, Tokaku defects to her side and instead of chasing the main goal, strive to protect Ichinose from the other assassins. It is revealed later that Tokaku’s defection is influenced by Ichinose’s ability called the ‘Queen Bee’. As the series progresses, they begin to develop feelings for each other. When Tokaku realizes that her defection might be because of the manipulative ability of Ichinose, she attempts to assassinate Ichinose, only to realize that her feelings for Ichinose are real and natural. Fortunately, Ichinose survives and by the conclusion of the story, the couples are seen to dating.
13. Strawberry Panic
Like many other lesbian anime shows, Strawberry Panic is set in an all-girls Catholic Academy, St. Miator’s. The school is located up the top of the Astraea Hill therefore; it is pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. Strawberry Panic is one of the most lesbian anime ever made so as suggested by the anime community, it is a good place to start for those who are new to the genre. Although the series has a dozen of main casts, it focuses more on Aoi Nagisa, a transfer student who ends up at St. Miator. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the campus, she tumbles down the hill where she is helped by an older student Shizune Hanazono. Aoi is immediately entranced by her beauty and she lost her consciousness soon after. At the hospital, she gets to meet her roommate Tamao Suzumi. As she gets accustomed to the hierarchical setup of the school, she meets a series of other girls. The show progresses by developing the relationship between these girls, some of which are platonic romance while others are purely friendship. Fan service is present in the show but the extent of their sexual exposition is neatly controlled. It really is a perfect show to begin with for fans that are new to Shoujo-Ai.
12. Dear Brother (Onisama e…)
An extremely unique and creative anime show from the ’90s, Dear Brother centers around the Sorority Club of Seiran Academy, a prestigious all-girls high school and the drama it entails. The main character Nanako Misonoo is a freshman at the school when she is unexpectedly inducted into the Sorority Club. The Sorority Club usually is an extremely elite club where members usually have extraordinary talents, social refinement, or wealth. This earns her envy from many of the school students, who deemed her unworthy to be a part of the exclusive club. Nanako is caught into the school’s political drama unwillingly, where she is detested, mocked, and even bullied. The story is told in the form of narration, in the series of letters Nanako sends to her former homeroom teacher where she reveals her difficulty of coping with life. Dear Brother is not a traditional lesbian story with overtness – it is, however, a story which perfectly captures the traumas of being a lesbian.
11. Sailor Moon
Another classic from the ’90s, Sailor Moon features one of anime’s most popular Yuri couples in Haruka Tenou (Sailor Neptune) and Michiru Kaiou (Sailor Uranus). Sailor Moon is not a lesbian anime show per se and the love story between Haruka( Sailor Uranus) and Michiru(Sailor Neptune) is basically a side relationship, we feel it deserves a mention in our list because of the cult following the couple has amassed. They are also one of the first pioneers of an official lesbian relationship in the anime platform. Haruka, a tomboyish girl is seen several times flirting with the more feminine Michiru. They are almost always seen together in their screen time, holding hands and going on dates. They usually work together as well since Haruka distrust help from anyone except Michiru.
10. Sakura Trick
Haruka Takayama and Yuu Sonoda have been best friends since their middle school days. At Misato West High School, they are assigned to the same class again. When the school announces that it will be shut down in three years’ time, they seem to have no problem and instead, they plan on having fun throughout their high school years. As Yuu begins to make new friends, Haruka starts to get jealous. To prove their friendship is special compared to others, they decide to do something they never did before – they kissed in an empty classroom after class. However, the kiss sparks something with them which seems to desire for more, and after a series of kisses, their relationship completely takes a different path. As they begin their romance, the vigilant heterosexual society might not be so accommodating of their secret. Sakura Trick is a clever subversion of the heterosexual norm, one which explores the relationship of two curious teenage girls and their new found sexuality. The series also has other lesbian couples in the same classroom. Sakura Trick is a must watch for fans who like lesbian anime.
Simoun takes place in a setting which would be a utopia for modern-day feminist where everyone is born as a female. In the planet Daikuriki, when a girl reaches the age of seventeen, she is given the choice to choose a gender which would become the permanent gender. With the planet, the nation of Simulacrum is the envy of most nations due to its monopoly of the helical motor technology. Therefore, war breaks down when other nations invade Simulacrum to steal its technology. To defend itself, Simulacrum has flying aircraft called ‘Simoun’ which can be maneuvered only by a pair of girls who are yet to choose a permanent gender. Aer, a young ace pilot is recently recruited to pilot a ‘Simoun’ aircraft after the former pilot Amuria is killed in action. Her flying partner Neviril still deeply mourns Amuria’s death and finds it difficult to accept Aer as her pair. Aer is smitten by Neveril’s beauty and attempts to get closer to her, initially to no avail. Amidst the battle and politics, Aer and Neviril start with a shaky foundation but in time, their bonds eventually deepen and as the series progress, Neviril accepts Aer as her new partner. The pair continues to date by the end of the show.
8. Whispered Words (Sasameki Koto)
Whispered Words speaks of unrequited love in its cruelest and truest form – the failure to meet the physical criteria of our beloved. Sumika Murasame is tall, athletic, and beautiful, currently in the same class in high school with her best friend Ushio Kazama. Sumika is desperately in love with Ushio, whose sexual orientation is also suited towards the feminine side – unfortunately, too feminine for Sumika. While Ushio likes cute, small girls, Sumika is rather tall with a distinct knowledge of martial arts which can hardly be considered ‘cute’. The knowledge of Ushio’s preference makes it extremely difficult for Sumika to confess her feelings, leaving herself in a perpetual state of agony. The show features lots of distinct characters such as the lesbian couple Tomoe and Miyako, Masaki the cross-dressing boy who has a crush on Sumika, and fellow karate enthusiast in Charlotte. Dramatic tension is elevated as the show moves on, exploring different aspects of relationships within the show. The show excels in the realistic portrayal of the flimsy threshold between platonic friendship and romance. Finally, by the end, Ushio begins to realize that she has romantic feelings for Sumika as well and begins to drop hints regarding her feelings. The show is rather open-ended but it is presumed that the two eventually date after the series ends.
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7. Mai-Hime (My Hime)
Mai-Hime is a rather underrated Yuri anime not many people are familiar with. Mai-Hime uses a theme that is a mixture of fantasy and Shoujo-Ai, not a very common element in anime. The story and premise are quite rich – thirteen girls with magical and summoning abilities are brought to Fuuka Academy where they must battle against mysterious creatures known as ‘Orphans.’ Even with such vasts range of different characters, Mai-Hime excels in their characterization and building links between different characters – be it romance, jealousy, drama, or rivalry. Although the story does not lose focus on the others, the main character is Mai Tokiha, a transfer student at Fuuka Academy who has a sick younger brother. As danger looms closer, the thirteen girls called ‘Hime’ must learn how to cooperate and work in unity to defeat the ‘Orphans’. However, things are not easy as it seemed as a dark secret unveils regarding the true nature of their purpose. Honestly, the show has it all – magical elements, well-written storyline, suspense in storytelling, intense action, thrilling romance, and most importantly, good Yuri content.
One of the more popular lesbian anime of recent times is the dramatic and daring ‘Citrus’. Yuzu Aihara is an example of modern sophistication – an elite fashionista and socialite. When her mother remarries and she is forced to transfer to another school, she could not be more excited by the prospect. She dreams of continuing her glamorous life, find a hot boyfriend, and experience her first kiss. The reality could not have been more disappointing. Her new school Aihara Academy turns out to be a strict all-girls school whose students are all model students with an excellent academic and disciplinary record. Yuzu inevitably finds it difficult to fit into the new school. That is when she met Mei Aihara, the beautiful and elegant Student Council President who confiscated her phone on the first day. Exhausted after a rough day, Yuzu returns home to find that Mei Aihara is actually her new stepsister. The two initially struggles to communicate but Mei suddenly locks her lips Yuzu in a frenzy passion. As new secrets are unveiled and Yuzu attempts to rebel against the school’s strict policy, the two girls share more physical intimacy time and time again. Citrus is extremely bold in a vivid display of lesbian scenes, therefore you can expect lots of kissing and girl on girl action throughout the series. Definitely, one of the fierier lesbian anime you will find in recent years.
5. Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana)
Sweet Blue Flowers revolves around the two main girls at different high schools – Akira Okudaita at Fujigaya Girls’ Academy and Fumi Manjome at Matsuaka Girls’ Academy. They are childhood friends who recently get in touch again after long years apart. The story explores the various relationships within the shows of not only the two main casts. Fumi who has a streak of bad luck in her relationship finds consolation and advice from her old best friend Akira. Sweet Blue Flowers is a self-realization tale of one’s sexuality in adolescents, a period where curiosity is peaked. The show has been pointed out by many critics in its redefinition of the Yuri genre, where it discarded the unrealistic lesbian tropes utilized by other Yuri shows. Adventurous and bold, vivid and straight forward, Sweet Blue Flowers manages to unhinge the superficial façade of aesthetic and romance in lesbian culture and instead, it paints the true and dirty picture of how the real society deals with homosexuality.
4. Asagao to Kase-san
Asagao to Kase-san is one of the most romantic lesbian shows you will ever find in anime. The story is delicate, simple, sweet, and to the point. Yui Yamada is shy and timid who has an affinity for botany and spent much of her school hours in the garden. On the other hand, Tomoka Kase is almost the polar opposite – outgoing, popular, athletic, and part of the school’s track team. The series is only two OVA episodes long, the first one being only six minutes long but it does effectively well in building the relationship between the two. What starts as an innocent plantation of flowers slowly eases up tension between the two girls and eventually, they begin to date and like all relationships, they endure through hurdles as the series goes by. Asagao to Kase-san is a simple lesbian tale of two girls but that is all it needs to be. It is simply excellence in simplicity.
3. Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom into You)
‘Yagate Kimi ni Naru’ offers a realistic insight of what it means to a lesbian youth in a world driven by heterosexual norms. Yuu Koito is an avid lover of shojo manga, and that love plants a seed in her that truly believes that one day, a sparkling romance will come along and swept her off her feet. However, the reality of her dreams perpetually deteriorates and when a boy confesses his love to her, she feels nothing as she imagined. Instead, she feels hollow, empty, and disappointed. Upon entering high school, Yuu sees the Student Council President Touko Nanami turn down a suitor with grace and maturity that she felt complied to ask her for help. However, things take a completely unexpected turn when Nanami falls in love with Yuu and confesses her feelings. Yagate Kimi ni Naru is a show which perfectly juxtaposes the inability to love (Yuu) and the discovery of love (Nanami). The show is a realistic representation of lesbian love in teenage girls, told in the beautiful journey two girls experience.
2. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Of course, the list is not going to be completed without Revolutionary Girl Utena. A classical lesbian tale way back from 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena has redefined and revolutionized the Yuri genre upon its release. The 39 episodes thriller tells the compelling story of Utena Tenjou, who vows to become a prince after a noble prince console her during her parents’ death. The prince left her a ring bearing a strange rose crescent with the promise to meet again in the future. Years later, at Ootori Academy, Utena finds herself participating in a deadly game with others who bear a similar ring to hers, in competition to win the Rose Bride Anthy. Upon winning, Utena unknowingly sets herself down a path to where fate awaits her. Utena and his new bride Anthy are met with endless obstacles. Meanwhile, the true purpose of the Ootari Academy is revealed and it falls to Utena to change the world for the better. The story of Utena is effectively a Bildungsroman tale. Her relationship with Anthy begins to blossom as well which is not afraid to explore their sexuality. Revolutionary Girl Utena remains a classic lesbian anime and will continue to be so for many years to come.
1. Yuru Yuri (Happy Go Lily)
To close off our list, we have Yuru Yuri, the number one Yuri anime as voted by the Japanese anime community of MAL. Yuru Yuri is basically the embodiment of cuteness in an anime show. Like most good lesbian anime, the show is set in an all-girls’ institution Nanamori Middle School. After the disintegration of the ‘Tea Club’, the main cast featuring middle school girls opens a new club called ‘The Amusement Club’. The four members of the club include the series supposed protagonist Akari Akaza, co-founders Yui Funami and Kyouko Toshinou, and the newest entry in Chinatsu Yoshikawa. Despite being a Yuri show, the show has a heavy undertone of Slice of Life and comedy. The show focuses primarily on the activity of the Amusement Club who spends their club hours drinking tea and basically fawning over each other. It is a light-hearted moe lesbian anime which endorses homoerotic humor. It is entertainment created for the sake of entertainment alone, so there is a complete absence of realism the other shows in the list excel at. But that is not a bad thing. There is value in entertainment and everything does not need to be serious.
So, there you have it!! The top 21 best lesbian anime series we can think of! If there any good lesbian anime shows that we left out, please let us know in the comment section. Yuri all the way!!!!