Believe it or not, yuri manga, also commonly known as Girl’s Love manga, is possibly one of the most wholesome you can find in the media. Indeed, just like many other genres, you can also find some spicy stuff, but that’s not often the primary approach of most titles since they tend to focus on two things – the struggles that come from loving someone of the same gender as well as the wholesomeness that comes from it.
Even then, you will most likely find some fan service and very cute scenes, and some of them can be so wholesome it’s enough to fill your heart!
Finding the right GL manga title to read can be quite a challenge, even more considering the enormous sea of titles available at our disposal. For this particular reason, I have decided to put up a list with some of the most popular lesbian manga titles you can find, most of them being an excellent choice for those wanting to dip their toes into the genre while enjoying some of the best pieces you can get your hands on!
Best Girl’s Love & Yuri Manga Recommendations (2022)
1. Citrus by Saburouta
Citrus is possibly the most popular lesbian manga series at the moment; having an anime adaptation and a very successful manga, it is one title that many people look up to. As an opener to the genre, I believe it’s the best option you can go for!
Citrus tells the story of Yuzu, a very fashionable girl whose mother decides to remarry someone. She thought things would go differently, but she was enrolled in a school that is well known for being strict, which does not go along with her way of living.
To make things even more difficult, the school’s council president, who is now her step-sister, Mei, is constantly recriminating Yuzu because of her attitude and the fact that she constantly breaks school rules. Out of pure coincidence, Yuzu manages to see Mei kissing one of the school’s teachers, and on the first day of their coexistence, Mei also kisses Yuzu. Thus, their story begins!
2. Bloom Into You by Nio Nakatani
This one has a similar premise to Citrus’ but is a little simpler. It has only eight volumes in total, so it can be a quick read if you, like me, read a lot of manga.
The story of Bloom Into You introduces the main character, Yuu, as she struggles with the fact that the boy she supposedly liked confessed to her. As an avid fan of shoujo manga, she’s always had a rough idea of what you should feel when you are confessed to, but that was something she didn’t feel when someone confessed to her.
One day, she catches the student council, Touko, rejecting a confession. Touko always rejects people confessing to her because, just like Yuu, she doesn’t feel anything. Trying to get her advice, Yuu decides to talk with Touko, but Touko confesses her feeling for Yuu, which makes her feel something. And so, the story of this yuri manga begins!
3. I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up by Naoko Kodama
In Japanese society, not marrying when you are young is often perceived as a poor life decision by most parents. This also happens to Machi, as her parents are constantly bugging her to marry someone and settle down, which is the plot of I Married My Best friend to Shut My Parents Up.
The thing is, Machi is quite foreign to love since she neither understands it nor wants to experience it. Attempting to shut down her parents finally, Machi decides to marry Hana, her best friend and someone who is into girls. Hana has also had a crush on Machi for the longest time, since they were in high school, making things more interesting.
This is the relationship between the outgoing Hana trying to make Machi fall in love with her, as Machi begins to experience the wonders of love for the first time in her life, with perhaps something beautiful flourishing behind the fake relationship.
4. Whisper Me a Love Song by Eku Takeshima
Whisper Me a Love Song is one is quite a wholesome series, with really beautiful art and a pretty heartwarming couple. The story revolves around Himari, a first-year high school student who falls in love with one of her seniors, Yori, while she sings during a school presentation alongside her band on her first day of school.
Not expecting this, Yori also confesses to Himari and promises to make her fall in love even more profound. But the type of love Himari feels for Yori seems to be a little different from the love Yori feels for Himari; thus, only development awaits those who decide to read this majestic series!
I believe this one is one of the most adorable girl’s love manga titles on the list, and since it showcases a passion for singing, it might attract those who are also into music, even if it is not the main point of the series.
5. Sakura Trick by Tachi
Although this is a yuri manga, it centers more around comedy and some level of wholesome fanservice. It also enters the category of 4-Koma, a type of manga that develops its story through the use of 4 panels, so you shouldn’t expect something too complicated but a relaxing read mostly centered on comedy and love.
The story is also pretty simple. Two best friends, Yuu and Haruka, used to be inseparable until the day they had to start sitting away from each other at school. As a countermeasure, they decided to get even closer, eventually kissing each other and thus crossing the boundaries of being just friends and beginning a much deeper relationship!
6. A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow by Makoto Hagino
A Tropical Fish Years for Snow focuses on Konatsu, who moves to a town near the sea in the Ehime prefecture in Japan after her father is transferred overseas for a job. Feeling a little lost by this and being new in town, she feels lonelier than ever, but she eventually finds a way to deal with her loneliness – the company of one of her seniors, Koyuki.
Koyuki is also a lonely person since most people don’t approach her because of her vibes of perfection. Even then, Konatsu feels attracted by her presence and does her best to befriend her. Konatsu decides to visit Koyuki while she takes care of the animals of the aquarium club, slowly getting closer to one another and showing interest as they do.
Just like the name implies, Syrup: A Yuri Anthology is a little anthology of many stories in the yuri genre. The thing about most anthologies involving manga is that you can expect most of the stories showcased to be one-shots, meaning that you only get one chapter for each of them, so you can’t expect to find complex stories.
Even then, it can be a great introduction to the world of yuri manga. This one particularly talks about the relationship between grown-up women, instead of focusing on traditional high-school relationships between girls, providing a fresh look into the genre.
Different authors and artists created the anthology, so you will find different styles through it, so keep that in mind!
8. Doughnuts Under a Crescent Moon by Shio Usui
I like Doughnuts Under a Crescent Moon, and it is one of my favorites on the list. It’s short, sweet, and portrays some feel a lot of people might have to deal with on a daily basis.
For instance, the story introduces Hinako, a very beautiful girl who is trying her best in life. She’s cheerful, stylish, and popular. The problem is that Hinako believes herself to be defective since she has never experienced love and has never been capable of falling in love with someone.
Meeting with a man who was introduced to her by her friends, she feels completely crushed when she rejects his confession, mainly because she believes again that something is wrong with her. Crying after the event while returning home, she is found by one of her coworkers, Asahi Satou, who is well known for being strict and capable. This coworker of hers makes her feel a lot better, and her heart beats at her presence during her next meeting. This is the beginning of their story!
What I like about this lesbian manga title is its progression. The main character of the series struggles with her problems, but these problems seem to fade away the closer she becomes to the second main character. She also appears to become even more outgoing as their relationship becomes closer, making it an overall great piece to read. As a personal recommendation, I would absolutely recommend this one to anyone regardless of whether they are looking to read a yuri manga or not!
9. I Can’t Believe I Slept With You! by Miyako Miyahara
I Can’t Believe I Slept With You is the story focusing on Chiyo, a jobless woman who’s only living with her savings and constantly drinking beer. Because of this, she amassed a massive debt with her landlord, and one day, while she was drunk and trying to escape reality, said landlord knocked on her door.
The landlord tries to catch her attention, trying to appear as if she was not there. “I might be able to help you,” the landlord says, and Chiyo immediately jumps on the opportunity. Next, we know that Chiyo awakes naked beside a beautiful younger girl, who appears to be Chiyo’s landlord.
After that, they make a contract. Every time Chiyo does something for her landlord, the debt decreases, and everything starts with them living together.
10. Sweet Blue Flowers by Takako Shimura
Sweet Blue Flowers has a very peculiar art style, one I’m very fond of. I really like its aesthetics and the story as well. The story centers around a couple of childhood friends who manage to become friends again after a decade.
At first, we have Akira, who’s very cheerful and straightforward, and Fumi, who’s prone to crying and is very shy, having difficulties making friends because of her scary face. Even then, Fumi falls in love with one of her seniors, which Akira tries to support as they become closer again.
11. I’m in Love with the Villainess by Inori & Sumio Aono
Believe it or not, I’m in Love with the Villainess manga can actually enter the category of isekai as well as yuri. Oohashi Rei was a regular office worker for a black company that literally worked to her death. After dying, she was transferred to the world of a dating simulator as Rae Taylor.
Knowing that she is in a game and remembering all of her previous memories, instead of going for the traditional male leads, she decides to go for the antagonist instead, Claire Francois, all for the sake of giving her what she believes she deserves – the happiest ending of them all.
This GL manga centers more on comedy at first since Rae will do her best to profess her love for Claire, while Claire constantly bullies her to make her quit school.
12. How Do We Relationship? by Tamifull
How Do We Relationship? is the story of Miwa, who has always loved women, ever since she can remember. Of course, this comes with many problems for most people since many have to hide their true feelings for the longest time, which is also the case with Miwa.
Now that she’s a university student, she wants to try to be more honest with herself. Saeko, a close friend of hers, also seems to have similar problems, as she confesses that men don’t seem appealing to her.
Since they are close, and their personalities seem to be relatively in synch, they decide to give it a try. A grown-up love between girls!
13. Adachi to Shimamura by Hitoma Iruma & Mani
The relationship between Adachi and Shinamura starts once they both decide to skip classes, accidentally meeting with one another at the school’s gym. Their friendship begins, and they become very close to one another.
That being said, Shimamura struggles with relating with other people and has difficulty understanding Adachi’s feelings, which are clearly a lot more special than just the ones you would have for a friend.
This is a refreshing yuri manga series, like many involving two high school students finding out their true feelings about their closest friend.
14. Our Wonderful Days by Kei Hamuro
Koharu is a happy girl who is kind to everyone. One day at school, she encounters a very beautiful girl, someone to who she becomes very attracted almost instantly, as if she had once met her. This girl appears to be a classmate she once had back in the day named Mafuyu.
Koharu does her best to befriend her, eventually inviting her to go out with her and her friends to watch Sakura trees blossoming. Slowly, they start to become closer and closer, eventually developing feelings that surpass a regular friendship. Our Wonderful Days is a very wholesome story, to be honest!
15. After Hours by Yuuta Nishio
After Hours is a lesbian manga about the relationship between two girls who meet one another during a night out.
It is a very special title because it showcases the nightlife of Tokyo while also showcasing a very cute adult relationship between two girls. I recommend this one if you want to read a yuri manga that is not scared of showing a relationship right away!
16. Breasts are My Favorite Things in the World! by Wakame Konbu
Breasts are My Favorite Things in the World! is more of a Shoujo Ai manga than a yuri manga, as it focuses more on comedy and fanservice. It’s a great read if you want to read a lighter title, especially if you like fanservice involving big boobs.
Chiaki is an archery club member, and she loves breasts. But now, she doesn’t love just any kind of breasts, but the breast of one of her colleagues, Hana. Chiaki can’t be the best member of the archery club if she doesn’t fondle Hana’s oppai, which are massive compared to others, and Hana, loving Chiaki as she is, allows her to do as she likes.
17. Kase-san Series by Hiromi Takashima
Yui is a shy girl who likes to do gardening and takes care of the school’s garden. As she does it, she is regularly visited by Tomoka, a member of the track team and an athletic girl she managed to befriend.
One day, as they were changing clothes in the girl’s locker room, Yui catches Tomoka checking her out. And thus, she becomes really conscious of her. After meeting once again as Yui takes care of the school’s garden, Tomoka lets her know that it would be great to meet her during the summer break, a sentence Yui agrees with. This friendship of theirs clearly showcases something else!
18. Fragtime by Sato
Misuzu Moritani, for some inexplicable reason, has the ability to stop time for a maximum of three minutes. She used this power to have fun, enjoy life, and escape any interaction she didn’t want to have. But one day, she decided to use her powers to observe other people, which involved looking at one of her classmate’s underwear.
Misuzu didn’t know that said classmate, Haruka Murakami, was immune to her powers. Trying to ask for forgiveness, she agrees to do anything Haruka asks, and they decide to meet after classes. Poor Misuzu didn’t know she had made a deal with the devil.
19. Hana to Hoshi by Kario Suzukin
Hanai used to be a master of table tennis. Undefeated, she was confident with her skills until, one day, someone randomly defeated her. This completely destroyed her confidence to the point that she quit table tennis forever, leading a regular lifestyle afterward.
But once she enters high school, she meets the same person who beat her, Hoshino. Hoshino has a very cold attitude towards life and always has a deadpan expression, which infuriates Hanai as she believes Hoshino is looking down on her.
During one of their classes, Hoshino almost kisses Hanai while half-asleep. Although Hanai hates her guts, Hoshino seems to have feelings for her, constantly nagging her because of her social awkwardness. As you might have guessed, this relationship will only grow closer and deeper!
20. Handsome Girl and Sheltered Girl by Mochi Au Lait & Majoccoid
Ooguma is a pretty and cheerful girl, and Kanda is a cool guy. At least, that’s what Oogumi thinks, as she has a crush on “him,” but Kanda is actually a girl who likes to dress as a boy.
One day, Ooguma asks Kanda to cross-dress as a maid since she believes she will look great as a girl, but the misunderstanding only motivates Kanda into making her fall in love with her. So she decides to ask Ooguma out, to which she agrees wholeheartedly. Kanda didn’t know she would absolutely fall in love with Ooguma, and she tries to clear the misunderstanding as they grow closer and closer.
Handsome Girl and Sheltered Girl is an excellent gender-bender yuri manga, and I believe it is one of the few with such a misunderstanding being part of the premise.
21. Octave by Haru Akiyama
The thing about Octave is that it might make some people hesitant to try it out because of its art since it feels very old-school. However, its strong point is that it is an adult-themed manga, significantly focusing on the main character’s attraction to sex, showcasing erotic scenes, and more.
Yukino used to dream of becoming an idol, a dream that failed as her previous idol group didn’t manage to sell as much or become as popular. Now, being 18 years old, she lives by herself in the city of Tokyo, doing her best to be as close as possible to the world that once held her dreams.
She eventually meets with Setsuko, a person she considers to be extremely beautiful and someone who once was part of the world of entertainment. Feeling attracted to her, they eventually end up having sex, and things start changing for Yukino.
22. I Can’t Refuse Lonely Girl’s Request by Kashikaze
In Japan, you usually opt for certain schools based on your previous’s academic performance. Sadly for Ayaka, her performance wasn’t as good as expected, so she had to go to another school that wasn’t as prestigious as the previous one.
But Ayaka’s teacher decided to make a proposal – she would give her a recommendation letter if she managed to convince Sora to return to school.
You might have guessed already how things go, as Sora only decides to fulfill Ayaka’s under one condition – that she would do “things,” such as kissing, and that she should fulfill one request daily.
23. Strawberry Shake Sweet by Shizuru Hayashiya
This one is an older GL manga, as you will notice with its art style. It might be challenging to read for younger readers since the art style used in this manga, and the way dialogue is portrayed make it feel like an old-school series.
It introduces the story of Julia Tachibana as she’s to take care of a new member of her talent production company, a girl that is younger than her. As her senior, Julia finds the situation very annoying. But, as soon as Julia puts her eyes on her comrade, a beautiful blonde girl with a very remarkable appearance, she finds herself ready for the task of mentoring the girl!
As you have seen in this list, many of these girls love manga titles showcase wholesomeness as their main point of attraction, something you can find in many romance manga. Even then, its main foundation is definitely the love between two girls, which is why it is often called “Girls Love.”
Now, choosing which one to read might be difficult, mainly because all of those titles showcase some similarities, but I believe starting with the ones that catch your interest first is the right move. So, pick one of the lesbian manga series from the list of all the yuri manga featured above and start reading!
Also Read: Best Yaoi Manga of 2022