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 or Ecchi have been getting quite a few updates on Netflix for a while. 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 the extent that 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 focus specifically on a romantic relationship 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. All the episodes are accessible for streaming here.
5. Vampire in the Garden (2022 -)
Netflix’s ‘Vampire in the Garden‘ is a dark fantasy series that recounts a story of love and resilience at a time when tensions between human and vampires is at an all-time high. While the two groups are always at each other’s throats, humanity eventually loses the battle leading to a dangerous era of uncertainty and instability. While the survivors are rare, Momo is one of them and her life takes a unique turn when she has an unexpected encounter with the queen of vampires, Fine. Despite the hatred and bad blood between the two races, the two of them ignore all the outside noise to desperately look for some semblance of peace and harmony at a time when the future looks bleak. Interestingly, the vampire queen actually falls in love with Momo in the story and does not try to hide it at all. Although Momo’s feelings are never really confirmed, the tension between the two is quite evident and thus makes the show a great watch for the fans of yuri anime. The series is accessible for streaming here.
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 in 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 is 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. You can watch the anime here.
3. Castlevania (2017 – 2021)
The popular dark medieval fantasy series centers upon the tragedies that befall humanity after Vlad Dracula Tepes’s wife is brutally murdered. As he sets out to burn down the entirety of Eastern Europe to take revenge, Trevor Belmont of the disgraced Belmont clan along with his group of eccentric comrades decide to fight against the injustices of the angry vampire king. The drama that unfolds recounts a captivating tale that keeps viewers hooked to the end. While the show is talked about a lot for a number of reasons, the discussions are rarely about ‘Castlevania’s’ lesbian characters. Interestingly, the show has several characters that identify themselves as lesbian for example Morana and Striga who are madly in love with each other. Apart from that, many fans do not know that Carmilla is actually portrayed as a lesbian vampire in the early works of vampire fiction, although the series describes her as bisexual. So, Yuri fans who wish to watch a good anime that features strong lesbian characters should definitely give ‘Castlevania‘ a shot. The show is accessible for streaming here.
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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 has 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. The anime is available here.
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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 and 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. You can watch the show here.
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