When it comes to the Yuri genre, manga is one of the popular forms of medium that every fan can go and splurge on. Due to the scarcity of Yuri anime back in the day (and subtexts aren’t enough), it is in Yuri manga where you can satisfy your feels for all things cute, fluffy, and romantic things between girls.
Every fan has to start somewhere so let’s go back to memory lane and find out the Top 5 Manga most yuri fans first read in their younger or starting out years.
A week ago, I opened up a small poll in the Yurifanatics Confessions Facebook group where I asked the group members to list and select the first Yuri manga series they’ve ever read. The results were very interesting and here are the top five that got the most votes.
Number 5 – Maria Sama Ga Miteru
Maria Sama Ga Miteru was first released as a light novel series and had its own manga and anime adaptations as the years went on. Popularly known for its shortcut name Marimite, Maria Sama Ga Miteru is a series centered around the students in the Lillian Girls’ Academy. The manga had a total of nine volumes which were originally released from 2003 to 2010.
The time when I heard about Marimite was from its anime adaptation which was also the same period when I heard about Kannazuki no Miko (another popular Yuri anime) so it took me a while to get into reading the chapters. Aside from its manga volume releases, a series of one-shots were also published between those years and they were worth a read especially if you don’t have any backlogs.
This manga is innocent. Too innocent to the fact that it’s an ideal Yuri series to start with. The only thing that I cannot forget is the Yamayuri Council or the Yamayurikai.
Number 4 – Octave
Octave is a manga series created by Haru Akiyama and was published in 6 tankoubon volumes by Kondansha from 2008 to 2010.
One thing that I can never forget about Octave is that it’s the first manga I’ve read that dealt with situations that any person can relate to in real life. Moving in together, social non-acceptance, the urges to make out with the one you love and have sex, conflict of interest, moving on to a new beginning, and so on. I also loved how the characters are drawn and this is the first mature Yuri manga I’ve read. It had a satisfying ending for me and just seeing Setsuko and Yukino just bring a great wave of nostalgia. A former idol member and a former songwriter. One of the best Yuri OTP’s in my book.
Number 3 – Strawberry Panic
The Strawberry Panic manga chapters were published monthly in Japan from 2005 to 2007. Similar to Marimite, I was introduced to the anime adaptation first before getting into its other mediums like the manga, light novel, and its audio CDs. I appreciated this series probably because of its steady story line and the very intimate relationships between the characters. Though I prefer Kannazuki no Miko over this one, this series is still good to watch and read.
Number 2 – Girl Friends
If there’s one manga that I was so obsessed with back in college, it would definitely be Girl Friends. I’m not surprised why this got into second place and why a lot of people loved this so much.
Girl Friends is a manga series by Milk Morinaga and one of her most successful work. The story is about an introverted studious girl named Mari who suddenly became friends with her outgoing and fashion-obsessed classmate Akko. Mari was able to gain more confidence in herself because of Akko and got to know her little by little. It was not long until she realizes that the way she sees her new best friend was actually more than that. The manga was so popular that it even had a Drama CD starring the voices of Aya Endo and Mikoi Sasaki as Akko and Mari respectively.
This manga is just so sweet and good to read. Hands down. Mari and Akko are one of my top Yuri OTPs and they still are regardless of the many manga and webtoon characters that are popping up lately. Morinaga really knows how to grab the soft side of every Yuri fan. The ending of the manga was indeed perfect. So if you have a friend who is asking for starting Yuri recommendations, please let them start with Girl Friends. It’s worth it.
Number 1 – Citrus
How am I not surprised! Ever since this manga got its international hype, I noticed that more and more people have been “converted” into the wonderful world of Yuri (no complaints here). The story of Citrus is quite simple: we’ve got the upbeat extroverted girl Yuzu and a serious and authoritative girl named Mei. Put those two together in random school and slice-of-life situations and you’ve got yourselves a semi-chaotic yet very cute couple. Oh! I almost forgot one little bit: they are stepsisters.
Whenever someone asks for Yuri recommendations, I don’t really say Citrus right away since there are some scenes that are either NSFW or not good for younger Yuri fans. Unlike the the previous four titles that were mentioned, Citrus is still ongoing with a new chapter coming out next month. This popular series also has a Drama CD which covers pretty much the first volume of the manga.
So there you have it folks! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people in the Yurifanatics Confessions group for taking part in the small poll I made. This article feature wouldn’t be possible without your inputs. What was your first Yuri manga you’ve read? Leave a comment!
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