Yuri isn’t Made for Men: An Analysis of the Demographics of Yuri Mangaka and Fans

Part 1: Introduction

Through my time in the anime community, I’ve come to realize that yuri is an incredibly misunderstood genre. Many think of it as a parallel to BL, being made by men for men, while others see it as a field almost exclusively made up of women. Confused about this myself, I made an attempt to find serious, detailed information on the subject. Unfortunately, said information does not exist. While there is some data on the demographics of the yuri manga industry and on yuri fandom, said data is hard to find and deeply lacking. As such, I have done my best to summarize all of the information I have been able to find here, in an attempt to seriously look at the genre.

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Don’t Throw Class S Out Entirely

Class S has become something of a pejorative, for understandable reasons. Its intense focus on intimate relationships without any clear romance or pay-off is quite outdated, and while its influence on yuri is massive, the genre is only now stepping out of its shadow. For a long time, the fact that yuri stories followed a Class S template was a very bad thing. I’m just as happy as anyone that the situation has changed, allowing for more openly queer works in the genre. But I do have a problem with people who act as if Class S is not only outdated but a total negative in every way.

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A Look at Western Influence on Anime Production

The West’s role in anime production is more discussed than ever. Companies like Amazon and Netflix are attempting to enter the anime streaming market, and Western corporations are showing up in the credits at an ever-increasing rate. The difficulty in finding accurate info on this topic means that misinformation is everywhere, so it can be hard to get a real sense of what role the West is playing. Fortunately, accurate info on the subject is out there, and I’ll do my best to deliver it here.

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[Script] Why You Should Watch Old Anime

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most important anime of all time. It fundamentally shifted the industry, playing a large role in the revival of TV anime while practically creating the idea of late night shows aimed at otaku audiences. It brought greater recognition to archetypes like tsundere and kuudere, and its influence can still easily be seen today.

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Report on the Yuri Fandom Demographic Survey

I’m happy to report that the yuri survey I ran was a massive success. Thank you very much to the many people who helped spread it, allowing it to reach far more people than I ever respected. Thanks to its spread, I was able to get 695 responses, far more than I needed in order to get meaningful data from it. I’ll go through all the questions I asked here, analyzing the data as I feel necessary and delivering the important results. It’s important to note that this data can’t be generalized to English-speaking yuri fandom as a whole; the survey is not scientific as I have no ability to randomly sample the population as a whole, but it should be useful in providing a rough idea. (Quick note: I use the phrase non-heterosexual women and such throughout the piece. In my own writing I would use queer instead, but I’m aware that not everyone is fine with the term or believe it applies to them so I’ve simply used non-heterosexual as an accurate, all-encompassing term). The raw organized data can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dZoMqgaDQqLjErnB-0GTEMjU-PikSgMFgI1EE-Oqqco/edit?usp=sharing.

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Princess Principal isn’t Yuribait: Why You Need to Quit Saying Subtext

Princess Principal is, up to this point, one of the best anime of the season. It’s a show that understands its own absurdity and willingly engages with it, allowing it to pull off wacky episodes without seeming out-of-place. At the same time, it succeeds in its job of endearing the viewer to its characters, who are all sympathetic and likable. It’s set in a fantastically detailed world with a real sense of scale to it, something that’s often hard to find. And it does a great job at balancing some level of camp with a strong level of emotion, something that’s always worth appreciating when accomplished. When you combine these elements with its visuals and music you get a fairly unique tonal experience that you can’t really find in most other anime. In short, the show has a lot to like. One element that endears me to it is the presence of yuri, but unfortunately, that isn’t without its drawbacks.

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Anime-Original Content is Actually a Good Thing

Anime-original content gets a bad rap. It’s understandable why; years of boring filler and awful original endings have poisoned the well, leaving anime fans suspicious of adaptations which aren’t panel-for-panel and word-for-word. But as understandable as the resistance to anime-original content is, it’s wrong-headed. Direct adaptations may be preferable to butchered, poorly written original material, but a truly tailored adaptation will be the best option any day of the week. Good creators can imbue their own touch into the material, making mediocre works great and strengthening already strong works.

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YouTubers and Bloggers Should Interact More

The more critical side of anime fandom has been expanding lately. It’s always had a presence on WordPress and other blogging platforms, but viewership there has hardly been outstanding. However, with the transformation of YouTube into a mainstream internet platform we’ve seen a growth in critical anime content. Analysis has been spreading into the video medium for some time now, and it’s not at all controversial to say that it gets way more attention there than here. At the same time, there are many more quality bloggers than quality YouTubers, many of whom have unique perspectives to add to the community.

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