Yuri Genre

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

A genre in Japanese media that focuses on female/female romance and can focus either on the sex or on the emotional aspects of the relationship. In Japanese, "yuri" literally means "lily" but has also come to refer to works found within the genre.

In the past, a disproportionate amount of yuri stories have ended tragically or inconclusively. Some would move on to boy-girl relationships with the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship as only a steppingstone. Others were driven insane when the other girl enters a "real" relationship with a boy, and still others stepped back to let their love be happy with another. Luckily, this is changing as more and more couples are allowed to have happy, committed and Canon endings.

There are generally three couple types that can often be found within the genre. The three most popular couples are as follows:

  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The pairing of a very or relatively masculine girl (frequently Bifauxnen) with a decisively feminine girl. This pairing can emulate a lot of the dynamics of heterosexual couples, a la Seme and Uke, and often shows Takarazuka influences.
  • Sempai-Kohai: A very common in Japanese GL works pairing of two students, one older and one younger. The older girl will generally be more elegant and the younger, more innocent. The former is often a Yamato Nadeshiko and referred to as "Onee-Sama" by the latter, who, in turn, may be a Tomboy (which is considered a childish trait in Japan) to emphasize her relative lack of maturity.
  • Teacher-Student Romance: While not as popular as the other two couple type, teacher/student pairings can often be found within the genre.

In Japan, this genre is popular enough to have found its own mainstream publishing niche. The term "Yuri" was coined by Itou Bungaku, founder and editor of the magazine "Barazoku", a Japanese magazine for gay men, wherein he termed men the barazoku, or "rose tribe", and women the yurizoku, or "lily tribe". Occasionally, some fans use shoujo-ai ("girl's love") and "yuri" to indicate different degrees of explicitness. However, in Japan shoujo-ai refers to liking little girls. In Japan, yuri is also known as "Girls Love" (in English), or GL, a term created for paralellism to the male version, "Boys' Love" or BL. However, neither term has particularly caught on like yaoi and Boys' Love did, so "yuri" remains used for everything ranging from works that focus on the cute and sweet side of lesbianism to full-on Hentai whose selling point is lesbians.

This is 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. Also see: Slash Fic, Everyone Is Gay, Schoolgirl Lesbians, and Romantic Two-Girl Friendship.

The Spear Counterpart of this genre is the Boys Love Genre (targeted towards women) and the Bara Genre (targeted towards gay men).

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

(Sub-)Tropes frequently associated with the genre

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

Examples of Yuri Genre include:

Prolific Creators

Original Manga

Original Anime

Original Light Novels

Video Games

Eastern RPGs

Visual Novels


  • The manga Claudine, written by Oniisama e...'s author Riyoko Ikeda, is often classified as Yuri Genre. However, this is a mistake. The main character, Claudine de Montesse, is actually transgender: he searches for female love interests, yet identifies himself as male despite his female body. (And is referred as such by other characters: i.e, his Unlucky Childhood Friend Rosemarie says that Claudine is "a true man, given a woman's body"). Therefore, it'd be technically incorrect to classify this particular manga as yuri; homosexuality and transgenderism are both LGBQT, but are very different.