Are you someone interested in hearing some random anituber spout off about her favorite yuri ships for a good 10 minutes? Do you enjoy listening to people make twisted justifications for why a specific couple is deserving the love with which they’re showered? If so, then you came to the right place because that’s exactly what I’m about to lay before you. If that’s not what you’re interested in, then why the hell did you click this video? You can see the title. This list is purely based on my taste, the criteria are arbitrary, there’ll be some spoilers, yada yada yada, let’s begin.
Number 10 is Kaban and Serval from Kemono Friends. Absolutely adorable, these two’s bond is ironclad from the moment they meet and from there it somehow becomes even stronger. Over their journey they help teach each other new skills and ways of thinking about things. While Serval had friends before, it’s Kaban who she’s closest with, a fact that’s demonstrated time and time again. As Kaban says in the penultimate episode, her initial feelings of weakness and solitude gave way with Serval’s arrival, allowing her to go forward. And with no continuation likely to come in the near future — I swear to god Kadokawa, please just give up on ever having season 2 made — the last we see of this pair, they’re sailing off to new lands, together as always. I adore relationships where the partners help each other improve as people and this cute couple is certainly an example of that. Honorable mentions to all the other pairs in the show but particularly Beaver and Prairie Dog.
Number 9 is Sae and Hiro from Hidamari Sketch. These two embody one thing I’m looking for in anime romances, an element I almost never get: domesticity. Seriously, it sucks that so few couples live together. Which, well, Sae and Hiro teeeeeechnically don’t but they live in the same apartment building and take care of one another as if they were already wedded, so it’s not a stretch to treat them like spouses. Certainly, they’re a common case among yuri couples, girlfriends in all but name, aware of their feelings for one another but not exactly taking any steps towards confessing, afraid of disrupting that fragile balance. Also Sae is slightly tsundere and Hiro has a fantastic maternal charm. Anyway, domesticity. It’s good stuff. You’ll be seeing more of that as we go down the list. Honorable mention to Yuno and Miyako, alongside Nori and Nazuna.
Number 8 is Kobayashi and Tohru from Maid Dragon. What did I say? Domes-fucking-ticity. Yeah these two are great and even more domestic than Hiro and Sae. I mean, they adopted a kid, who only goes on to be gay herself. If that’s not a sign of excellent lesbian parenting then I don’t know what is. Yuri families in anime — at least, non-incestuous ones — are rarer than an anituber citing sources, sooooooooo basically nonexistent. Furthermore, the unique dynamic setup by these two being separate species is key to their relationship. They have remarkable chemistry in spite of their vastly mismatched power levels. The troubles that they find in their romance — Kobayashi’s difficulty in opening up to others, Tohru’s feelings of anxiety over her longer lifespan, the entire issue of other dragons — all work out because they love one another so incredibly strongly that they’re willing to suffer through the hardships and put in the difficult work in order for them to stay together. Basically perfect. Why’s it only number 8? Well, there’s a lot of perfection out there. And oh yeah, honorable mention to Kanna and Saikawa, good to show that the youngins can be gay as well.
Number 7 is Utena and Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Look, I made a 2 and a half hour video on Ikuhara, surely you know what I love about Utena? Like I said just a bit ago, characters who make each other grow are my favorite and for as problematic as you could call this relationship, it certainly puts the both of them in a better place by the end of it. Truly revolutionary, Utena is able to come out of her false belief in the broken archetype known as princehood because of her love for Anthy and her pure-hearte d desire to help her help herself. Anthy, by the end, is able to take Utena’s hand when she offers it, pulling herself up and leaving behind the abuse, systemic and personal, that had defined her life for who knows how long. Yeah, they’ve got problems, yeah, they aren’t even together at the end of the show — though their superb smooch in the film is gratifying enough — but without a doubt, they improve one another and are one of the most meaningful couples in the history of the yuri genre. Oh! They’re also pretty damn cute. Yeah. Anyway Juri and Shiori get an honorable mention, not for being healthy but for being interesting as hell.
Number 6 is Hibiki and Miku from Symphogear. Now, I know what you’re saying. “Zeria, that’s just another one you picked because of your domesticity fetish.” Well, you’re right. But, I mean, come oooooon, how could I possibly turn them down? These two are so gay that they literally become the ONLY PEOPLE FREE OF SIN ON THE ENTIRE PLANET. I mean, that’s mostly how it happens at least. Listen folks, lesbianism truly is pure but not in the fetishistic way, in the, “only we can properly communicate, while other humans suffer from God’s separation of languages” way. Convert to lesbianism now so you can avoid damnation. Anyway, these two are great. They sleep in the same bed despite it being a bunk with plenty of empty space. Eventually they move out of this dorm and into their own apartment with a kitchen, because hey, they’re wives. They are the motivating forces behind one another’s actions, the fuel that powers Hibiki’s ability to fight for the world. Miku is Hibiki’s sunshine and Hibiki is Miku’s shining sun, both of them finding the world’s warmest place to be by each other’s side. Uh, yeah, it’s sappy vanilla bullshit, don’t shame me, vanilla’s a great flavor. Also, shoutout to Kirika and Shirabe, that you didn’t make it on here is entirely due to HibiMiku being so incredibly powerful, y’all are great and gay too.
Number 5 is Himawari and Sakurako from Yuru Yuri. This one’s pretty simple. I’ve loved them for a long time, seeing as their show was the first yuri anime I ever watched — a tale which shall be told in full come December — and these two were the thread which held my interest as far as real romance is concerned. Not that that’s a shock, given that they’re the only clear pairing in the show which can survive without much debate but y’know. They’re basically just double tsunderes, a heartwarming pair of childhood friends who love one another but can’t admit it because, hey, they’re 13 year old girls and that’d be embarrassing. I’m sure they’ll stop being so obstinate by the time they enter high school. If a couple signed marriage forms before they even entered elementary school, you know they’re made for each other. And damn do I like tsunderes. Honorable mention to Yui and Kyouko as well as Chinatsu and Akari, my actually controversial ships from the show. Please don’t kill me, Ayano fans.
Number 4 is Kyouko and Sayaka from Madoka. It’s hard to know where to begin with these two. Perhaps what’s most enchanting is the deep tragedy that’s so central to their entire relationship. Sayaka not only reminded Kyouko of herself in the original anime, she was entirely too caught up in her own business, initially preoccupied with her crush on Kyousuke and then, as her mental state slipped, too concerned with her own self-hatred to share love with another. Kyouko managed to see the good in her despite this, changing tune from her introduction and eventually sacrificing herself to die with Sayaka, who by this point she had come to love. AND THEN REBELLION MADE THEM FUCKING CANON. The fact that Sayaka clearly does not care about Kyousuke anymore but expresses regret at not doing right by Kyouko is soooooo good. These poor, poor gay children deserve all the love and respect that the world has to offer them. I’m happy that Homura, while focusing on Madoka, is always ready to grant them a world in which they can live happily together. For as much as I love vanilla — and whew boy do I love vanilla — other flavors can be delicious as well and something as tragic as KyouSaya perfectly fits within that, only made all the better by the fact that really, their chemistry is pretty great when they start off from the correct point. Madoka and Homura are a great pair as well, of course and if you don’t agree, wait for my Homura defense video that may-or-may-not ever come.
Number 3 is Nico and Maki from Love Live. These two are also double tsunderes but look, they’re different from HimaSaku, don’t click off the video, gimme a second to explain! While many tsunderes — including the previously mentioned pair — are far more tsuntsun than deredere, only showing their sweet sides momentarily before tensing up once again, Nico and Maki behave somewhat… differently. Certainly, they get easily embarrassed and hide aspects of themselves, particularly to each other. But they also follow a more classic style, coming to care more for one another and slowly dropping those AT fields, recognizing that opening up is key to making their relationship — even if it’s not explicitly stated as such — as powerful as it can be. As with my number 1 pick that you’ll soon see, this is a ship where much of my enjoyment derives from how many doujinshi I’ve read. Seriously, there are so many NicoMaki doujins, you should read some of them, they’re pretty great. When you read that much of something, it’s hard for a couple not to feel important to you. That they’re frequently paired by the series’ actual material is just a nice bonus to an already awesome bundle. Also, Nozomi and Eli are fantastic, they’ve got some of that domesticity I love, shame I didn’t have space to include them.
Number 2 is Papika and Cocona from Flip Flappers. Ohhhhhhh myyyyyyy goddddddd. These two are literally perfect and, also, amazingly relatable to me in particular. See, I identify incredibly heavily with Cocona — again, you’ll get the full story on that in December — so self-inserting as her was something I already did back when I first watched it. And then, what do you know, once I actually got a girlfriend, she turned out to be quite a bit like Papika, to the point that it’s now impossible not to insert as the pair. Anyway, these two check a lot of my other boxes as well. Despite not living together there’s a level of intimacy between the two of them that still carries the same general vibe as those who do. They certainly help each other grow, with Papika’s presence being the powerful push that Cocona needs in order to truly individuate and come to an understanding of herself. Their verbal chemistry is excellent, as they’re always clear to share their love for one another while still voicing complaints and problems. The entire damn show is the story of how Cocona comes to love Papika and then how she goes about entering a healthy relationship with her. The show is one of my favorites, so the ship is one of my favorites. It’s as simple as that. They really are perfect, only losing to number 1 because they aren’t literally divine.
Before I talk about number 1, let’s look at a number of honorable mentions from series I didn’t speak about. Shipping has been my lifeblood for years now, so there’s plenty I couldn’t find time to include and this is just a sliver of them.
Finally, number 1 is, as you’d expect if you know about my taste, Nanoha and Fate from the former’s eponymous series. I practically worship these two, probably to an unhealthy extent. My mousepad is Nanofate themed. My phone case is Nanofate themed. My whole damn life might as well be Nanofate themed given the way it’s going. I made a whole video on them and it’s only the first of hopefully many. They just manage to do everything that all the couples I already mentioned did and then some. They put the d in domesticity, moving in together, adopting a daughter, moving to a bigger house so they can raise her, etc. They’re childhood friends who’ve been in love ever since their eyes first locked. They help each other grow, with Nanoha finding a purpose and Fate finding a family after their early fights give way to friendship. They’ve got hundreds of doujins and I’ve read every single one I’ve been able to track down. They’re fucking badass. And ultimately they’re just, literally perfect. It’s doubtful that any couple could ever be as important to me as they are. In fact, it’s impossible. If PapiCoco couldn’t do it then no one ever can. NanoFate will forever stand in my mind as the greatest couple in the history of humanity.
Hope you enjoyed this list! Again, it’s all my personal opinion, so don’t take my various snubs and promotions too hard, even if you disagree. Though disagreement on NanoFate is punishable by death, so uh, I wouldn’t if I were you.