2017 brought us a veritable excess of Yuri riches. So much so, that with 2 exceptions, every item in this list is available in English and Japanese – and even one of those is available on USA Kindle. It’s been an amazing year and has set up an amazing 2018 for us. What a perfect time to look back and celebrate some of the best the year had to offer. Check out the Yuricon Store for links to all these Yuri manga series and more.
10. Hana & Hina Afterschool /Hana to Hina no Houkago (ハナとヒナは放課後)
A new story by Morinaga Milk is always good news. This story contains all her favorite themes, which means we can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. ^_^
Hana and Hina are both likable, their struggles with “what is this feeling?” are adorable rather than awkward and we spend all our time with them hoping for a happy ending.
A solid example of “Story A” – exactly what Morinaga-sensei does best. Cute, sweet, slightly sexy, without deep emotional commitment.
9. Bloom Into You / Yagate Kimi ni Naru (やがて君になる)
Nakatani Nio seems to have hit a zeitgeist with this story of an aromantic and the girl who is in love with her. Provocative, with sleek shoujo manga-style art in a seinen series, and a lot of unanswered questions, makes this a fascinating (if occasionally maddening) series to read.
The addition of an adult lesbian couple as role models and guides for the young lesbian character puts this series up on LGBTQ points, part of a positive new trend in Yuri.
8. Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl / Anoko ni Kiss to Shirayuri wo (あの娘にキスと白百合を)
I admit to being a sucker for stories that do all the Yuri tropes, all at once but don’t let that sentence fool you. Characters here are more than a single trope, and the main relationship is given plenty of time to develop past it’s own set-up, so when this series ends, we’ll have gotten a well-developed relationship rather than just a Yuri coupling.
Yes, this series by Canno lacks the emotional gravitas of her previous series, but trading one emotional triangle tangle for multiple ways to explore relationships – including poly relationships – makes this an interesting take on the all-Yuri couple school.
7. After Hours (アフターアワーズ)
Adults doing adult things. Check. Adults struggling to find meaning in life. Check. Actual relationship dynamics that make sense, by making no sense. Check. The complexity of the character’s emotions, the conversations they have – even the way their spend their time signals that this is not a child’s story.
Nishio Yuhta does a good job of building two unique and interesting characters without pandering, even if the art is the only not-adult thing about the series.
It’s so refreshing. I can’t wait to find out what will happen in Volume 3!
6. Sweet Blue Flowers / Aoi Hana (青い花)
Classic S tropes wrapped gently around a modern tale of a young lesbian coming to terms with herself and her place in the world. Shimura Takako never loses the touch with early 20th century, but gives her characters a 21st century sensibility.
More importantly, the main characters have family, they have friends, they have agency. Decisions have consequences and we watch them mature as a result of making them.
The art is simple and stylish, the roots deep and literary. And Viz had given us the definitive English-language edition of this new Yuri classic.
5. My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness / Sabishi-sugi Rezu Fuzoku ni Ikimashita Report（さびしすぎてレズ風俗に行きましたレポ）
A heartfelt and honest look at a life with chronic depression and an eating disorder, Kabi Nagata’s autobiographical online comic made it’s mark on both the Japanese and English manga scenes by speaking directly about real life issues for many.
With a rough style that echoes the storyline, this manga has been on the top of the charts since it’s release. This story, of the less functional aspects of adult life, clearly resonated with many readers.
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4. MURCIÉLAGO (ムルシエラゴ)
Yoshimurakana’s “Violence Yuri” manga is unique in being an action manga, starring a lesbian serial killer, a lesbian sociopath and a lesbian Yakuza, with a bunch of other random lesbians, all in the middle of gonzo violence and ridiculous enemies.
The art is ugly, which suits the characters and situations well.
Blood, guts and lesbians all around. I love it.
3. Kase-san Series/ 加瀬さん シリーズ
This schoolgirl romance is awkward and wonderfully realistic in turn. A “story A” that reminds of all those moments when we first had those feelings.
The art is loose, a little service-y and occasionally excruciatingly sweet.
Asagao to Kase-san, the first book, already has been made into an adorable animation clip and will soon be a OVA getting theatrical release in Japan in 2018.
Sometimes all we really want is a story where two lovely people get to be together. This is that story.
2. 2DK, GPen Mezamashitokei (2DK、Gペン、目覚まし時計。)
I love this Josei Yuri series by Ohsawa Yayoi for what it isn’t, as much as for what it is. A story of adult life that includes things that adult women often care about, like having more than one outfit and nice smelling face soap and, I don’t even know, normal life things like having a drink with a friend, and being competent at work.
Kaede is a human golden retriever and Nanami is a girl magnet and I want them to get together…just not yet.
This series is a “josei” series, for adult women by an adult woman. It would make a terrible anime, which is exactly why I like it. No hijinks, just humans.
The Top Yuri Manga for 2017 is….
1. Galette (ガレット)
This is the Yuri magazine I have been waiting for for years. Talented Yuri creators banding together, supported by fans, creating the Yuri they want to create, rather than the Yuri editors want them to create.
Already the magazine has taken a few chances with narrative, but in ways that expand the genre. There’s still plenty of schoolgirl Yuri for readers, but the stories about adults are some of the best I’ve read this year.
For this…for being the Yuri magazine I’ve wanted to be able to support for so long, Galette is my top Yuri Manga of the Year.