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Synonyms: shoujo ai
See also: doujinshi, femslash, yaoi
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Yuri (百合) is a genre that involves romantic or sexual relationships between female characters in manga, anime, and related Japanese media. Yuri can focus either on the sexual or the emotional aspects of the relationship, the latter sometimes being called shoujo ai by western fans.


Yuri literally means "lily". (As in English, this is both the name of a flower and a female given name.) Yuri, Yuriko, and related names are often used for characters in yuri works in Japanese. In English, references to lilies are common, such as in the name of the scanlation group lililicious.

The term seems to have been coined and popularized as a parallel to the pre-existing association between the word for rose ('bara') and gay men.[1]


Unlike the term 'yaoi', 'yuri' does not indicate a particular audience: it can be realistic slice of life stories by and for Japanese lesbians, non-graphic schoolgirl love stories with an assumed audience of straight women, girl-on-girl porn for men, or anything else featuring f/f romance or sex.

Usage Outside of Japan

The terms 'yuri' and 'shoujo ai' came into use early in the history of English speaking animanga fandom. They are also common in other non-Japanese anime and manga fandoms. These parallel the usage of yaoi and shounen ai in those fandoms. (Note that Japanese usage of some terms differs from English usage.)


  1. Wikipedia's yuri article has more on the etymology.