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Updated Aug 17, 2018 at 12:23PM EDT by Adam.

Added Apr 17, 2015 at 08:41PM EDT by Phoenix Wrong.

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Yuri (not to be confused with the pop star named Yuri, also known as Girl's Love or shōjo-ai) is the female counterpart of yaoi. It is a genre that depicts lesbianism in anime/manga. Yuri, along with its counterpart, has managed to gain a decent fanbase among many people. Some yuri anime/manga include Strawberry Panic!, Girlfriends, and Kannazuki No Miko.


The first yuri literature was made by Nobuko Yoshiya in the Taishō and Shōwa periods of Japan [1]. Pioneering the genre, Yoshiya depicted yuri as emotionally intense, and believed that yuri was serious business. There hasn't been much popularity of yuri at that time, though. The 1970s is when yuri (literally meaning lily) started to bloom.

Yuri started popping up in the shōjo genre, keeping some charateristics of early yuri. The first yuri manga was published in 1971 by the name of Shiroi Heya no Futari. At the time, yuri went through a certain formula, almost always following tragedy:

Sophisticated girl meets awkward girl, they fall in love, both deal with family issues, rumors of their relationship spread and lead to scandal, and sophisticated girl dies.

However, by the 1990s, this formula was closer to being broken. Sailor Moon, a highly popular anime and manga series, featured a lesbian couple (Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus) that left a big influence. There was also Revolutionary Girl Utena, which focused mainly on yuri.

The power couple. (Left is Neptune and Right is Uranus)



As mentioned in the first section, yuri has a smaller fanbase than yaoi. It does have a decent fanbase, though. Here are two examples of yuri activity on major sites.


Tumblr, for every genre of anime, has a fanbase, including yuri. Ever since Tumblr was created, there have been yuri posts.

There has also been shipping of yuri couples, such as Korra and Asami (Legend of Korra).

Deviant Art

The DeviantArt yuri fanbase usually will consist of fan art, since it's an art-based site. Some pairings include Madoka Magica, K-On, and others. Searching for the term on DeviantArt's search bar yields 288,665 results, which is a mere fraction to how much fan-art Yaoi, the male counterpart of Yuri, has.[2]

Notable Memes

Yuri Goggles

Yuri Goggles is a phrase used to note a close relationship between two females that might lead to a future romance. This phrase is often used in anime with such indications.

That's Forbidden Love


That's Forbidden Love is a phrase used to describe a taboo relationship, usually between two women or girls. It is often associated with a related phrase “Girls Can’t Love Girls”.

Search Interest

It is worth noting the spike in interest on the year 2007 is the result of K-Pop star Yuri's debut, and is no way related to Yuri in the article.

External References

[1] Wikipedia- Yuri

[2] Deviantart – Search Results for Yuri

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