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10 best lesbian animes you should start watching

Robyn Exton

May 18, 2023

10 best lesbian animes you should start watching

Anime has been a beloved medium for decades, so we’re not surprised that you’re here on the HER blog looking for WLW (women-loving-women) representation in sapphic anime. Because, after all, there’s a reason queer folks seek out stories, fictional or otherwise, and we’re here to share those stories with you!

We’d love to say that lesbian representation in anime has come a long way over the years — and it has, but it comes with caveats. You should consider things like fan service, stereotypes, and harmful tropes when going into a new story of lesbian animation. 

Some people watch anime to brush up on their Japanese, others grew up watching anime, and others simply want to try something new for the novelty of it all. 

That said, whatever your reason,  we want to highlight some series that involve lesbian anime characters, lesbian couples, and lesbian coming-of-age stories.

Our top picks for yuri, the sapphic anime genre

If you didn’t know already, there’s actually a Japanese word that encapsulates the lesbian animation genre. It’s called yuri, where the main focus is on wlw relationships. Its counterpart is yaoi, where storylines center around romantic or sexual relationships between men.  These genres are incredibly popular both in and outside of Japan.

Sailor Moon was probably your queer awakening

Michiri Kaoi, also known as Sailor Neptune in the iconic 90s anime series Sailor Moon, where characters are queer and queer-coded.

Source: Crunchyroll

We can’t not mention Sailor Moon, especially since it’s been having some sort of queer renaissance these past few years, with 90s babies declaring Sailor Moon as their queer awakening. 

This fantastical 90s anime series follows Usagi Tsukino, also known as the titular Sailor Moon, as she discovers magical powers after befriending a talking cat. She then enrolls a group of other magical Sailor Guardians to save the world!

This series focuses a lot on magic and saving the world from evil, but it also explores friendships and love stories. Usagi Tsukino, the show’s protagonist, is shown to have an attraction toward, both, men and women throughout the series. 

But there is also Michiru Kaoi, or Sailor Neptune, and Haruka Tenou (Sailor Uranus), who both show unyielding love and devotion to each other throughout the series.

Sweet Blue Flowers for the ones that (almost) got away

The protagonists of this yuri lesbian animation series stand back-to-back and hold hands. They wear schoolgirl uniforms, and one character has red hair while the other has longer gray hair, wears glasses, and is smiling shyly while looking at her partner.

Source: Crunchyroll

What happens when you distance yourself from a young childhood friend, but get a second chance to make that connection again? That’s what Sweet Blue Flowers explores in this heartfelt anime series that shows us what wholesome lesbian romance can really be.

Sweet Blue Flowers is an iconic anime that centers around the lives of two high school girls, Fumi and Akira, as they navigate the complexities of adolescence, friendship, and same-sex attraction. 

The show’s depiction of lesbian relationships is groundbreaking and offers a fresh perspective on LGBTQIA+ representation within the anime genre. Unlike other anime that often rely on harmful stereotypes or fetishization, Sweet Blue Flowers portrays its characters with depth and nuance, highlighting the emotional and social challenges that queer individuals often face. 

The show’s realistic and relatable portrayal of same-sex relationships has resonated with audiences around the world and has helped to pave the way for greater visibility and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ individuals within the media.

Bloom Into You for hopeless romantics

Bloom Into You explores what real love looks like. Yuu Koito is a high school student who becomes obsessed with the idea of love, but classmate Touko Nanami shows Yuu what it really means. Here, they stand in front of an open window about to kiss.

Source: Wallpapers High Quality

In high school, there’s a lot of things you don’t know. Romantic love may or may not be something people explore at this time of their lives, but it’s definitely something protagonist Yuu Koiti explores in Bloom Into You, a heartfelt lesbian anime series.

As she befriends and eventually falls for student council president Touko Nanami, Yuu Koiti begins to understand what these feelings really mean: love! 

Princess Principal for action lovers

Princess Principal is an action packed lesbian anime follows five spies, seen here wearing all black, in a fictional London who fight to help the Princess become Queen.

Source: Princess Principal Project

Moving from the yuri schoolgirl stereotype, we’ve got some action lined up for you in Princess Principal. Set in a fictional take on London in a country called Albion, a group of women, and lesbian spies, it’s bound to be a winner. 

The show follows the adventures of a group of skilled female spies, including Ange, Dorothy, and Chise, who work for the Commonwealth to prevent a looming war with the Kingdom. Translation? The lesbians are looking to abolish and replace the head of the monarchy. 

The show is known for its intricate plot twists, stylish action scenes, and memorable characters, and its unique blend of steampunk aesthetics and spy thriller elements make it stand out among other anime in the genre. 

Princess Principal also offers a refreshing portrayal of strong and capable female characters, challenging gender stereotypes and promoting greater representation and diversity within the medium.

The Dragon Prince on Netflix

Source: Netflix 

While not technically an anime, in the Netflix animation series, The Dragon Prince, we find a lesbian romance between the elf queen Janai and human Amaya, and more LGBTQIA+ themes. 

It follows the journey of two human princes, Callum and Ezran, and an elven assassin, Rayla, as they embark on a dangerous quest to restore peace between their warring nations. The show takes place in a fantasy world filled with magic, dragons, and mythical creatures, and its intricate plot and compelling characters have captivated audiences around the world. 

And there’s more to this story than meets the eye: we have dark magic, betrayal, and – you may have already guessed – dragons! 

Sakura Trick for the classic yuri fan

9 schoolgirls are shown in this promotional poster for Sakura Trick, a yuri anime series.

Source: Sentai Networks

Sakura Trick is a tried and true yuri anime series set in a high school. Don’t be surprised by all the fan service and typical yuri tropes in this series. But it’s got one of queer folks’  most beloved tropes: friends-to-lovers. 

It follows the lives of Haruka and Yuu, who become close friends and eventually develop romantic feelings for each other. The show follows their journey as they navigate the complexities of same-sex relationships while dealing with the challenges of high school life.

For many viewers, Sakura Trick has been a source of comfort and validation, offering a much-needed voice for those who often feel marginalized and underrepresented in mainstream media.

So if you’re ready to jump into yuri, why not give this one a shot?

Whispered Words 

Image source: Media Factory

Have you ever fallen in love with your best friend? And you thought you had no chance with them? But… turns out you’re just so, so, soooo very wrong? That’s what this cute lesbian anime series, Whispered Words, is all about. If you’re ready for a slow burn, Whispered Words might be for you.

The show explores the themes of self-discovery, coming out, and the complexities of same-sex relationships, as Sumika and Ushio navigate their feelings and the challenges of high school life. Whispered Words is known for its tender and authentic portrayal of lesbian romance, and its relatable characters and storylines have resonated with audiences around the world. 

Ms. Vampire Who Lives in My Neighborhood

This anime series revolves around lesbian vampires.

Source: Crunchyroll

What would you do if you heard that there was a vampire named Sophie Twilight living in the forest? Would you go into that forest and find them? Akari in Ms. Vampire Who Lives in My Neighborhood does just that! And that’s just the beginning of their adventure starts together. Watch this quirky story about humans and vampires trying to get along.

Honorable mention: The Legend of Korra

Okay, yes, there is some infighting about whether The Legend of Korra is an anime, but how could we not mention it? When — spoiler alert — the series ends with Korra walking into the (figurative) sunset with Asami, it had the internet screaming with joy.

This one’s also a nostalgic throwback for anyone who grew up watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. 

The sequel series, The Legend of Korra, follows Avatar Korra as she masters all four elements and — to her friends and mentors’ eventual relief — her hotheadedness. She’s canonically bisexual, but ends up in a lesbian relationship by the end of the series.

If your queer coming-of-age ended up being Korra, well, we don’t blame you.

So what will you be adding to your to-watch list? Yuri content is not going anywhere anytime soon, so might as well start catching up! 

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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