Yuri material is increasingly popular, and so 2018 was plentiful of girl-on-girl action. In fact, we had a lot of shows implying lesbian relationships here and there, but we also got actual shoujo-ai anime and some yuri scenes. While it's fairly common to ship girl couples in non-yuri anime, it's not so often that we have a chance to enjoy two or more girls actually loving each other. So how about ranking the best GL duos from last year? From innocent relationships to the more spicy ones, let's take a look into the best lovey-dovey sapphists of 2018!
5. Iori Takamura and Hanabi Natsuno from Tachibanakan Triangle
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: April 2018 - June 2018
The Tachibanakan dorm is the perfect setting for a shoujo-ai story: a bunch of girls living together, enjoying the perks of youth while exploring her feelings and sexuality. However, Hanabi Natsuno never imagined herself in that situation, much less being the centerpiece of a lesbian love triangle. What was supposed to be her home ended up being much more than that, surrounded by girls very willing to seduce her, and with little to no sexual compunction.
Upon arriving, Konomi posed her eyes on Hanabi, but Hanabi herself was far more interested in Iori. As you can tell, this is a funny love story between inexperienced and innocent girls, and that's why you'll end up rooting for the mysterious Iori. We all prefer the bold girl rather than the jealous one, right? All in all, 3 minutes per episode is not enough for proper character development and there's not much more to say, though Tachibanakan Triangle still has some cute scenes between the girls to make up for it.
4. Satou Matsuzaka and Shio Koube from Happy Sugar Life
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2018 - September 2018
Happy Sugar Life is one of those anime that are better experienced when going blindly. In fact, we'll do our best not to spoil the juicy details of this psychological thriller that also happens to be an intriguing love story between girls. One of the protagonists, Satou is a teenage girl in search of love, trying to leave her life as an "easy girl" in the past. Shio, on the other hand, is a pure and innocent kid. At least there’s no sex implied between these two...
Are you in for a lolicon (maybe one-sided) lesbian story? We hope you do because behind this hard-to-swallow premise lies one of the best drama anime of 2018, and one of the most interesting couples of the year... from a dark point of view, that is. Satou loves Shio and does everything necessary to make her happy, but at the same time, she constantly questions herself about her feelings for a little girl and that's why she keeps this fact a secret. Then again, we're not saying this relationship feels wholesome in any way nor Happy Sugar Life is an anime for everyone, but we have plenty of reasons to consider Shio and Satou as one of the best, most engaging GL couples of last year.
3. Tomoka Kase and Yui Yamada from Asagao to Kase-san
- Episodes: OVA
- Air Date: June 2018
In 2017, a short PV for the Kase-san Series manga showed us what the story of Tomoka Kase and Yui Yamada would look like if it finally had an anime version. In 2018, the long-awaited OVA finally debuted, and it really touched us with the tenderness of these two. Visually pleasing and very straightforward, Asagao to Kase-san depicts pure lesbian love in the best possible way, even dealing with sex but without stepping into the fanservice realm.
We have a shy gardening-lover (Yui) who falls in love with the most popular girl in the school (Tomoka), surprised by the fact that she loves her back. At first, you would think that this is the typical, awkward story of unrequited love, full of misunderstandings, drama, and crying. However, Tomoka does in did love Yui back and is not afraid of being the one leading the way. Though the story definitely feels too perfect and predictable, there's no way you don't like this girls' relationship!
2. Yuzu and Mei Aihara from Citrus
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: January 2018 - March 2018
OK, so we already talked about a perfect couple like Yui and Tomoka, and we also talked about a twisted one like Shio and Satou. How about an intermediate point, with cute girls slowly falling in love but enough drama to keep you entertained? Yes, another one of the best anime couples of 2018 is the one involving the Aihara girls.
Starting life in a new school is never that easy, but for Yuzu, it was at least a chance to meet new guys. Too bad that everything ended up going backwards: it was an all-girls school, the student council was too strict for her liking... and the one she unexpectedly fell in love with was not only the student council president but also the chairman's granddaughter and her own step-sister! Even if you don't enjoy incest anime, Yuzu and Mei make a perfect couple. In the cookies of yuri, sisters are the chocolate chips!
1. Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami from Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom Into You)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: October 2018 - December 2018
We can't ignore the popularity of student council presidents in Japanese schools, so it's only natural Yuzu Aihara wasn't the only one falling in love with an undeniable role-model. In this case, love started the other way around, with soon-to-be president Touko Nanami expressing her feelings for a freshman student. While Yuu likes Touko, she associates love with a sparkling feeling she's not actually experiencing, and so this couple's drama begins.
Yagate Kimi ni Naru is an anime about finding out what love ultimately is, and you can imagine how difficult and tricky the answer could be. Still, even without noticing, Yuu and Touko were always there for each other, and that's why they're the best GL couple of 2018 in our eyes. Could there have been more action and decision on Yuu's part? Absolutely, but that would put her and the whole story as another face in the shoujo-ai anime crowd. For a mature, honest, and natural lesbian relationship in anime, look no further!
In GL anime there's time for both love and fanservice, and lucky for us, 2018 had plenty of that. However, and like we stated in the introductory paragraph, we can't forget about other anime with more subtle relationships, those that give us so much material when it comes to shipping.
If we go for popular/obvious choices, we could mention Zombieland Saga (Ai and Junko) and Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (Sophie and Akari), but we're sure you have a favorite GL couple when it comes to series like Asobi Asobase, Hanebado!, Harukana Receive, Comic Girls, Uma Musume, etc. So tell us, what's the yuri couple you enjoyed the most in 2018? The comment section is waiting for you!