Yuri Vs Yaoi: Which Genre Is The MOST Popular?

Yuri Vs Yaoi And The Reason One Is The MOST Popular

Yuri is for men who are straight, love women, and maybe like lesbians even more. Not to say that’s the only audience for Yuri, but a strong one that can’t be denied.

Yaoi on the other hand is for women and fangirls who love pairing up their favourite male characters, making them gay, or simply enjoying Yaoi series featuring boys in relationships.

But only ONE genre can be the most popular when it comes to Yuri vs Yaoi.

Let’s talk about it and get into the nitty-gritty.


1. Yuri as a fanbase

yuri google trends

The Yuri fandom is nice and stable if we’re talking about trends. It prods along nicely and isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Since most of the fanbase is made up of male anime fans, and since the genre is focused on women, there’s less of a fanatical element compared to something like Yaoi.

This in my view is why the fanbase isn’t as strong. It’s more about the idea of women kissing, being in relationships, the curiosity of it all, and wanting to see anime from a fresh angle (Lesbian relationships) which aren’t common in the industry.


2. Yaoi as a fanbase

yaoi google trends data

Yaoi fans are made up of fangirls. Many of them are teenagers. This is a bit different to Yuri fans since they can be outside of the teenage range.

With the limited amount of anime shows just like Yuri, the fanbase starves for more of this content and ends up getting it in the form of manga, light novels when relevant, and Korean manga.

The desire to see men who are a little more feminine or men in gay relationships is what drives this genre and the fans who fantasize about it (mostly women).


3. Sales and Growth


According to Wikipedia for Yaoi:

“A 2008 assessment estimated that the Japanese commercial BL market grossed approximately ¥12 billion annually, with novel sales generating ¥250 million per month, manga generating ¥400 million per month, CDs generating ¥180 million per month, and video games generating ¥160 million per month.[145] A 2010 report estimated that the Japanese BL market was worth approximately ¥21.3 billion in both 2009 and 2010.”

Sadly, finding similar information for the Yuri genre doesn’t give you the same results. In fact, most information highlights Yuri being published more and more over the years, but no data in terms of sales growth, revenue numbers, or anything of the sort.

This speaks volumes (no pun intended) since we’re comparing the popularity of Yuri vs Yaoi.


4. Stats and facts (comparison)

yaoi vs yuri stats google trends

This is where you start to understand why Yuri is nowhere near as popular as Yaoi, which is the main point of this post.

When you compare Yuri vs Yaoi the differences are silly. Yuri is the blue bar, with Yaoi being the red bar, which is more than 3 times bigger.

These stats in the form of trend is from the last 12 months (2022 – 2023).

yuri vs yaoi last 5 years trends

When you break down the stats from the last 5 years which is 2018, Yaoi is still the dominant genre between Yaoi and Yuri.

The same is true when you dial back the stats as far as 2004 till the present day.

The question then becomes why is Yuri so much LESS popular than Yaoi? If you know anything about the fanbases, the next point will sing loud and clear.


Why Yaoi fangirls influence the genre’s popularity

yaoi fangirl gif

Yuri fans just aren’t as invested in Yuri anime or manga compared to Yaoi fans. The reason is clear.

When male anime fans (from observation) get into Yuri, they’re not fanatical about it and especially not in numbers high enough to compare to Yaoi as a genre.

The reason is male anime fans are more fanatical about SHOUNEN, Isekai, and other anime genres that serve the male audience a lot better than Yuri ever could.

Especially for those who are teenagers.

On the other hand, Yaoi has a term called Fujoshi. These types of fans obsess over Yaoi characters, create fanart, ships (even cursed ships that are downright disgusting), and will fight to the death on forums over Yaoi characters.

This is the reason My Hero Academia‘s fanbase got ruined for a while. It was more about Yaoi fangirls trying to make characters in the series gay when they’re not and never will be.

This is why Yaoi fan girls influence the popularity of Yaoi. 

  • They’re obsessed.
  • They’re more emotionally invested
  • They’re more controversial.
  • Many can also be toxic.
  • And the genre stirs Yaoi fans’ emotions more than Yuri does for its fans.

It’s like comparing Beyonce fans to Miley Cyrus fans. One of them is more overly protective, aggressive, argumentative, and more willing to fund and pay for their “celebrity” than the other.

In the same way, Yaoi fans will go to more extremes than Yuri fans and are more financially invested which translates to popularity, trends, sales, and the rest of it.


DATA: Google Trends

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