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If you look at the list of yuri anime, you’ll notice there isn’t really that many shows to pick. However, there are a lot of non-yuri shows featuring two main female characters as the main focus, and some of these pairs display more affection towards each other. Does this mean they’re gay with each other? Well, it depends on how you look at them and how you interpret their relationship. But on these few instances, the writers indirectly hint that the relationships of these pairs of girls display romantic implications.
In this list, we’re gonna list bonafide yuri couples from yuri shows and we’re going to list couples from non-yuri shows that show signs of a romantic relationship. And the list is also controversial because is it really possible for two girls to be in love without saying “I love you” or even a kiss.
Honey's Anime will try to jump over these hurdles at the end of the article and at the same time explain why these pairs are yuri couples in our list of the Top 10 Yuri Couples in Anime!
10. Ortfiné and Izetta from Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch)
- Ep: 12
- Aired: Oct 2016 - Dec 2016
Set in a fictional war-torn Europe, the Germania Empire invaded a nation and is poised to conquer all of Europe. To advance the empire’s invasion plan and secure a supply route, they set their sights on the Principality of Elystadt, a peaceful country known for its greenery and peace-loving people. The newly crowned archduchess of Elystadt Ortfiné Fredericka von Eylstadt must do whatever it takes to stop the Germania Empire from conquering her country, and in order for her to do that, she is helped by Izetta, the last surviving witch. Imagine a witch whose broom is an anti-tank rifle, you’re looking at Izetta.
Ortfiné and Izetta is a perfect pair with the right combination of brains and brawn. Ortfiné uses her wits, charm and political power to convince allies to join her and Izetta uses her witch powers destroying advancing enemy troops with overwhelming force. Outside of politics and battles, the two spend time together doing what normal girls of their age do and in some instances, they shared a bed together. And let’s not forget the two have been friends for many years. One cannot survive without the other, the ruler and her faithful kni—err, witch fighting to save their nation.
09. Himemiya Chikane and Kurusugawa Himeko from Kannazuki no Miko (Destiny of the Shrine Maiden)
- Ep: 12
- Aired: Oct 2014 - Dec 2014
As fans love to point out, you could say Kannazuki no Miko is Marimite with robots. Once you dig deep though, things are a bit grimmer and depressing with no tie fixing and preference of walking slowly around the school. Chikane and Himeko were bounded by fate to be the Lunar and Solar priestesses to fight against the evil known as the Orochi, one of the warriors is in love with Himeko. Part mecha anime and part love-triangle, Kannazuki no Miko is an anime for mech fans who are also into yuri.
The relationship between Chikane and Himeko is rather complicated. At first, they’re just your usual students in a school, then they’ve become powerful mistresses piloting giant robots next. And to top it all off is Souma, the third wheel of the relationship and one of the Orochi, the enemy of the priestesses. Eventually, the yuri couple wins in the end… if the DVD covers and posters weren’t already dead giveaways.
8. Tokonome Mamori and Shikishima Mirei (Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid)
- EP: 12
- Aired: Oct 2015 - Dec 2015
Tokonome Mamori was marooned on an unknown island filled nothing but women with the special ability to transform into weapons of mass destruction. In order for the girls to transform into these tools of death, the weapon wielder must stimulate her partner sexually like groping, vaginal stimulation and kissing. Before Mamori gets forced to be someone’s sex slave/weapon of death, a young girl by the name of Shikishima Mirei came to her rescue. The two sets out to figure out what’s going on this island and find a way back to civilization.
This anime is aimed at a specific crowd because it has things that you won’t normally see in an anime show. The main draw of Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is the girls’ ability to transform into weapons through sexual stimulation. Each pair is essentially a couple, but out of the hundreds of pairs in the anime, the most developed, unsurprisingly enough, is the main pair Mamori and Mirei. Initially, Mamori was forced to transform, but things gradually change once she gets to know Mirei. A wouldn’t you know it: You are more powerful if you treat your partner as a lover than a tool.
7. Takamachi Nanoha and Fate Testarossa from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
- Ep: 13
- Aired: Oct 2004 - Dec 2004
One of the longest running anime series, Nanoha is synonymous to magical girls kicking ass with weaponry that blends magic and science and has one of the most recognizable yuri couples in history namely Nanoha and Fate.
The two girls started out as enemies as they try to acquire Jewel Seeds as young kids, and after a series of events and Nanoha’s openness to befriend Fate (after getting blown up by her magic), the two became inseparable ever since. In the event of StrikerS, Nanoha and Fate grew up to be fine young adults and they’re living together, sharing one bed. And in ViVid, the two are practically a married couple with their adopted daughter Vivio.
Understanding why Nanoha and Fate became a couple requires a bit of commitment because their relationship spans multiple series. There are no love story arcs, no fanservice of them tripping and their face landed in close proximity of the other girl’s crotch or even a confession. In Nanoha and Fate’s case, they don’t need to because some things are better to be said without words.
6. Tsubaki Kureha and Yurishiro Ginko from Yuri Kuma Arashi
- Ep: 12
- Aored: Jan 2015 - Mar 2015
Sentient humanoid bears and humans coexisted, but after a meteor shower hitting Earth, the bears became violent and hungry for human flesh and their peaceful coexistence shattered and countless conflicts occurred. Now bear and humankind erected a massive wall separating the two races. Tsubaki Kureha, a beautiful bear-hating young girl, meets one of these bears named Yurishiro Ginko and both are caught in a new conflict and it involves love rather than guns and bullets.
Dissecting the story of Yuri Kuma is akin to dissecting a blue whale with a toothpick, so good luck finding a blue whale and a factory full of toothpicks. Jokes aside, though, Yuri Kuma’s story is confusing, but, depends on how you see it, it’s thought-provoking about the notion of people, portrayed as man-eating bears in the anime, preying on young women in modern society. However, the center of it all is the human Kureha and the bear Ginko. Kureha hates bears and Ginko sees Kureha as mere food, but the two soon realize that they are connected somehow and they’re a glimmer of hope that man and bears can coexist through the wonderful thing called love.
5. Ogasawara Sachiko and Fukuzawa Yumi from Maria-sama ga Miteru (Maria Watches Over Us)
- Ep: 13
- Aired: Jan 2005 - Apr 2005
Before the Yuri genre, there is the Class-S fiction and this is the reason why yuri stories tend to focus on romantic friendships between school girls. Back at the turn of the 20th century, women won the right to vote and the right to study in Japan, especially all-girls schools, and this is where the Class-S fiction was born. Stories focused on these girls and their relationship, often sexual, with other girls as they live out their lives together until graduation. The reason for the divide of genders is debatable some suggesting having a co-ed environment distracts girls from focusing on their studies due to romantic and sexual relationships with boys, or girls naturally cooperate with other girls to a make a better study environment, and etc.. Another fact is this senpai/kouhai relationship serve as training wheels to be better wives for their husbands, often arranged marriages, after they graduate. Class-S fiction tells these kinds of stories, but there are still stories that the girl couples ended up together in the end.
Maria-sama ga Miteru is a modern example of Class-S fiction where the kouhai Yumi transfers to the prestigious all-girls Lilian Girls’ Academy and there she caught the attention of one of the beautiful and popular girls in school Sachiko. The school has a soeur system where the younger freshman student is paired with the older sophomore or senior student, and the older student guides and teachers the freshman throughout her school years. Sachiko invited Yumi to be her little sister or petite soeur and this is where the two started off as one of the most popular yuri couples in anime. Yumi realizes that Sachiko isn’t the perfect lady she pictured, and Sachiko is just like any girl of her age coping with her changing environment and the people around her.
As for Yumi, she will eventually experience the same hardships Sachiko will endure as Yumi becomes a 2nd year and eventually pick a petite soeur, just like Sachiko picked her. And since this is a Class-S series, Marimite has stories like friendship, arranged marriages, break ups and forbidden love.
4. Hanazono Shizuma and Aoi Nagisa from Strawberry Panic
- Ep: 26
- Aired: Apr 2006 - Sep 2006
Yuri in the early 2000s uses the all-girls Catholic school setting with a tall, elegant, mature onee-sama as the dominant partner in the relationship, so Strawberry Panic is no exception and we’ll get to that soon.
Aoi Nagisa moves to an all-girls Catholic school and there she meets the school’s Etoile the strikingly beautiful Hanazono Shizuma. On their first encounter, Nagisa saw Shizuma seducing a girl and later found out that Shizuma is a playgirl hitting every girl she sees. However, things changed when Shizuma saw Nagisa and a long and confusing story of love, tragedy, partner switching, and betrayal ensued. Did we forget to mention everyone in the anime are legit lesbians and one of them has bed more than one girl?
Strawberry Panic has a lot of subplots involving various characters, but at end, the main couple is Shizuma and Nagisa and how they got together is filled with melodrama. Shizuma and Nagisa’s relationship is pretty standard older girl x younger girl but how they got together is the interesting part. The quality of the ending depends on which camp you’re in. Shizuma’s camp or Tamao’s camp.
3. Cocona and Papika from Flip Flappers
- Ep: 13
- Aired: Oct 2006 - Dec 2006
Cocona is the odd apathetic girl in class who can’t decide what to do with her life. Her life turned completely and literally upside down when she met an energetic girl who has a flying surfboard Papika. We then soon find out that Papika is part of a mysterious organization Flip Flap and her job is to find magical fragments called amorphous in dimensions called Pure Illusion, and Cocona happens to have similar power like Papika. The two became partners and they risk their lives exploring these logic-defying dimensions for that thing that will grant anyone’s wishes.
Without spoiling too much, Cocona and Papika’s bond transcends logic and time to the point they’ve become inseparable. The two grew close once Papika moved in and became her classmate and their bond strengthened after every Pure Illusion excursion and the anime happily obliges with tons of yuri fanservice like Cocona is conscious towards other girl’s body and Papika being too clingy and is too close for comfort around Cocona. Oh, and one of their transformations is a matching wedding dress. That’s saying a lot.
2. Nijino Yume and Sakuraba Rola from Aikatsu Stars! Movie
- Ep: Movie
- Aired: Aug 2016
For a typical anime fan of a young age, the friendship between girls is a common thing especially from a show like Aikatsu Stars! that is made for kids. But to a seasoned hardcore anime fan, seeing two girls bonding and holding hands implies something more, something romantic and forbidden. When two girls giggling at each other while blushing, the said hardcore fan would jump up and yell “yep, they’re gay!” and proceeds to write countless fanfiction and doujinshi. In Aikatsu Stars! Movie, the portrayal of friendship between Yume and Rola leans very closely to yuri that fantasizing them to be coupled is justified.
In the movie, best friends Yume and Rola got into a heated argument and they avoided each other for the majority of the runtime. Throughout the movie, the two slowly learned the value of friendship, realizing their mistakes and they did make up in the end. How they made up though is the most surprising part because everything was scripted like a typical love story of two people in love trying to find each other, recalling the wonderful times they spent together, finally found each other in an open field of flowers, slowly walks towards each other, and eventually held hands with their faces so close at lovers range, share matching bracelets while saying sweet words like “I need you” and “I love you.” Yep, these all happened in a kids show. And the best part is, everything is all canon!
They didn’t kiss in the end and that’s a good thing. The animators really don’t want their kids show to change the age rating to teen.
1. Takayama Haruka and Sonoda Yuu from Sakura Trick
- Ep: 12
- Aired: Jan 2016 - Mar 2016
Friends since middle school, Haruka and Yuu went to high school together to start another chapter of their youth. New school, new friends, new beginnings, and love, the two of them will experience everything together.
Yuri and comedy go hand in hand for the wrong reasons. Yuri, for the most part, is mainly for fanservice to get the viewers laughing or get aroused at the sight of two girls feeling each other. And without comedy, Yuri is sometimes way too over dramatic with breakups, betrayals, and the usual views of forbidden romance that turns off some fans. Sakura Trick, while a comedy series, didn’t fall into these patterns and focused on what matters: yuri romance and lots of it. So much so that sometimes things get ridiculous. Haruka has, say, an addiction to Yuu’s soft lips that Haruka finds often ridiculous ways just to steal a kiss. It’s so very frequent that you are guaranteed at least a couple of kisses per episode. Despite the flood of kissing scenes, Haruka and Yuu are still new to love and they don’t know how to do with it. But that’s alright because they’ll eventually figure it out together.
Shizuma and Nagisa or Sachiko and Yumi are great couples and deserve to be number one on the list, but Haruka and Yuu are the more realistic couple in a familiar school setting. Compared to the all-girls Christian school featuring an elegant mature student and her young partner with over-complicated storylines, the story of Sakura Trick is simply about two typical high school students discovering love, but are clueless to what love actually means. Sakura Trick is very relatable and you can’t help but agree at Haruka because who wouldn’t want to shower your girlfriend with kisses every day?
The big question is are the girls even genuine couples? Well, yes. Sealing their love with a kiss and only then they’re a couple is a fair argument, but a kiss isn’t the be all and end all to love. If a girl confesses to you, you accept, and the two of you are dating, then you and the girl are a couple. While it’s certainly common for a kiss to happen after the confession, some take their time often lasting years for a kiss to happen. Some couples simply don't need words to convey their feelings at all. They don’t say it, but you can feel the two are together. The majority of the couples on the list never kissed, but it’s clear they’re very intimate with each other and it’s just a matter of time for that magical moment to happen. Sachiko and Yumi never kissed in the anime, but fans regarded them as one of the most iconic yuri couples in history. So why not put these couples on the same pedestal? As they say, love is complicated. Unpredictable, even.
There are a ton of yuri couples out there and if we add all of them in this article, we’d be talking about 100+ yuri couples to list. Honey Anime will be tackling this topic further in the near future as subcategories of the top 10 yuri couples, but for now, here are a few honorable mentions.
Nadie and Ellis (El Cazador de la Bruja)
Azuma Tokaku and Ichinose Haru (Akuma no Riddle)
Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura (Noir)
Inugami Yachiyo and Nekoyama Suzu (Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san)
Oosawa Maria and Canaan (Canaan)
And… that’s our list! What do you think of our selected yuri couples and our thoughts about what makes a couple, a couple? If you have anything to share with us, please leave a comment below!