Netflix has quite a lot of options now for anyone who is into action, sci-fi or even shounen anime. Even other major anime genres like Shoujo and Ecchi have been getting quite a few updates on Netflix these days. But one sub-genre that is yet to catch up with the others is “Yuri“. Also referred to as Shoujo-Ai, this genre primarily focuses on the lesbian relationships of the characters. There are a lot of classic Yuri anime out there that solely focus on the romantic relationships between their female characters. But only very few such anime are available on the streaming giant. With that said, here’s the list of top Yuri anime that are available to stream on Netflix right now:
6. Kakegurui (2017)
Hyakkou Private Academy is unlike any other school in Japan. Its unusual methods of preparing its students for the real world are so popular that almost all the children who belong to rich families, try to get a place in the elite institute. But what really makes this place so great is how it makes gambling literally a part of every student’s curriculum. While all the kids at school learn about gambling and money manipulation for the sake of getting good grades, a new transfer student named Yumeko Janani is actually passionate about it. She loves gambling to an extent where it even turns her on sexually.
‘Kakegurui‘ is known for having fanservice that perfectly fits its intense tone and though it may not be too direct about it, the anime also hints towards lesbian relationships. Almost all the main gambling characters are female and even the few who are male are horrible at it. While the show does not suggest any kinds of romantic relationships between the male and female characters, it boldly represents some sort of sexual tension between the female ones. One female character even touches herself thinking about the protagonist, Yumeko.
5. Fairy Tail (2009-)
‘Fairy Tail‘ has been criticized more than once for not being able to meet the standards of its manga. But even then, the long-running anime has acquired a huge fan base all over the world amongst fantasy shounen fans. Just like the big three — ‘Bleach‘, ‘Naruto‘ and ‘One Piece‘ — ‘Fairy Tail’ has its own pitfalls but it still establishes itself as an above-average anime with its portrayal of an RPG-like atmosphere.
Now when it comes to being a “Yuri”, ‘Fairy Tail‘ does not directly imply any lesbian relationships between its characters. And though it does have fan service, it never really loses its main focus. But certain relationships of female characters have just been portrayed in such a way that they have raised the suspicion of several fans. Some of these fans have also created their own fan fiction versions where they ship these relationships.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-)
Set in the year 2015, ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion‘ shows a world that has been taken over by Angels. A special organization called the Nerv is humanity’s last hope as it has been able to design giant robots called Evangelions, that are capable of defeating these angels. What follows is the story of a 14-year-old boy, Shinji Ikari, who later proves to be one of the greatest Nerv pilots ever and in one way or the other, the entire fate of humanity rests solely on his shoulders.
‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ is no way a typical Yuri. But during a time when LGBTQ representations were almost non-existent in pretty much any form of media, it created a huge impact through its portrayal of a queer relationship. This is one reason why the Netflix English Dub of the anime was highly criticized as it seemed like it had erased queer subtext between the two characters. As groundbreaking as this anime has become today, its Netflix censorship is still a huge concern for many. Many queer fans are still expressing their hate towards how Netflix tried to change the entire context of the conversation between the characters just to make sure that it is interpreted as friendship instead of romance.
3. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2014-)
‘Fate‘ is a huge franchise that revolves around Holy Grail Wars where strong magi battle against each other to get their hands on the powerful holy grail. ‘Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works‘ covers the fifth Holy Grail War where Rin Toosuka, the protagonist, aims to win the war with his servant Archer. But things don’t go as planned when one of his classmates, Emiya, ends up summoning a servant of his own and joins the war. The two temporarily form an alliance to face the other strong magi involved in the war but in the end, there can only be one winner.
Pretty much like ‘Fairy Tail’, ‘Unlimited Blade Works’ has a fair bit of fanservice and romance but none of it is really directed towards any specific lesbian relationships. However, there is one specific scene where Rin tries to get it on with both Shirou and Saber while claiming that they must have some “physical contact” with each other as a pre-game ritual. While the anime still holds itself back with this scene, the original visual novel has quite a graphic representation of the scene.
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2. Little Witch Academia (2017)
On the surface, ‘Little Witch Academia‘ is a typical “cute magical girl” anime that is mostly for kids. But it packs a lot of fun and also has a very nostalgic animation style that can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone. It shares a lot of similarities with the world-building of the ‘Harry Potter‘ series. But unlike ‘Harry Potter‘, each of its episodes have individual stories with no prominent antagonists of any kind.
Somewhere in the 8th episode, it is somewhat hinted that one of the main female characters named Sucy may have a crush on her friend Akko. Many fans have even started discussing this on anime forums and some have even created their own versions of fan art revolving around it. Unfortunately, the anime never dives too deep into this, but it definitely is Studio Trigger’s way of Yuri-baiting its fans.
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1. Devilman Crybaby (2018)
‘Devilman Crybaby‘ is one of the most recent titles in Netflix’s growing list of originals. In quite a short span, the anime has gained a lot of popularity, not just because of its interesting concept, but also due to its portrayal of graphic violence and nudity. The show centers around two male characters where one of them is a human possessing the strong exterior of a devil, making him the “Devilman Crybaby”.
There are no obvious lesbian relationships in this show but the reason why it made the list is because of its depiction of a potential gay relationship between the two main characters. And if you’ve got a good memory, you might also recall this one supporting character named Jun Lan who was in a lesbian relationship with the swimming teacher, Aoi Kurosaki. Near the end of season 1, she even manages to become a Devilman, so she might have a more significant role in the next season. Only time will tell if the anime would be further exploring her sexuality or not.
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