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The sparkles (✨) indicate my personal favorites.
The trials and tribulations of a group of high school girls as they walk through life together.
This one had a (bad) anime that got cancelled early on so that gives it a rough rep but honestly? Don't let that fool you, it's one of the most complex and touching manga I've ever read. Handles issues with lesbophobia and sexual insecurity really well.
CW: NSFW, nudity, incest/cocsa (the main character is taken advantage of sexually by her older cousin, but it's portrayed as a traumatic experience and taken very seriously), lesbophobia
Yuu has always loved shoujo manga, and anticipates the day when she too will fall deeply in love with somebody. Now she has begun her first year in high school, and is beginning to fear that nobody will ever make her feel the way she had always imagined she would. After learning that the student council president Nanami has also never felt that way for somebody else, Yuu turns to her for advice; unfortunately, Nanami can no longer help her, because she finds that she has fallen for Yuu.
This one has becoming shockingly popular for a yuri series; it even has its own anime! As you can likely surmise from the summary, this series is chock-full of drama and confusion and angst, and certainly has a bit of a slow burn element on Yuu's part. I think that this is a great example of a yuri series that travels outside the scope of romance and addresses other issues such as loss and identity.
CW: offscreen character death, internalized lesbophobia
Mari's girlfriend, Arisa, loses her memories of the past three years, including all memory of their life together. However, it turns out that being crazy in love with someone transcends all realms of possibility.
A 4-koma comedy manga with a silly premise but a lot of cute moments. Can get somewhat lewd, but also contains plenty of fluff.
CW: NSFW, alcohol, inebriated sex, lesbophobia
Nanoha and Chidori are students at an all-girls school who are dating. Unfortunately, they struggle with the difficult challenge of keeping this a secret.
A newer series that I'm really enjoying thus far! Very cute and funny, with a lot of hijinks and misadventures as the girls attempt to hide their relationship from their prying classmates. Extra bonus for the childhood friends trope.
Timid plant enthusiast Yui Yamada falls for the popular, athletic Tomoka Kase. The two eventually begin dating, and the story follows the pair as they face various challenges in their relationship.
Pretty cliche story, but very cute. "Really weirdly passionate about plants" is not a character trait I've really seen anywhere else and it's quite cute on the protagonist. Incredible artwork too!
CW: mild NSFW, internalized lesbophobia (lots of "uWAAaAaA bUT wE're bOtH gIrLs" bullshit)
The story of a mute transfer girl, and the classmate with a special ability who befriends her.
A cute and funny series with supernatural elements that handles themes of disability pretty well.
Yukino Miyashita, a former idol, finds herself half-heartedly trying to start a new life as a talent manager, finding she is unable to put her idol days behind her. But then she meets Setsuko, a singer-songwriter who causes Yukino to reevaluate her life.
Another piece that tackles a lot of serious themes, including depression, compulsory heterosexuality, and pedophilia within the idol industry. Quite NSFW, but still very much story-oriented.
CW: NSFW, nudity, casual cissexism/transmisogyny, casual biphobia, pedophilia (addressed seriously, not romanticized)
The funny, romantic story of how Qui Tong and Sun Jing met and fell in love.
One of my first yuri manga and still an all time favorite of mine. Very cute, good for a laugh, and filled with beautiful, full-color artwork.
CW: sexual harrassment
Asahina Emi, an ordinary girl dragged along to a club by a friend, has a chance encounter with Kei, a savvy, fashionable, vinyl-collecting lesbian - and what unfolds a heart-throbbing, shimmering tale of girl meets girl against the backdrop of Tokyo's vibrant nightlife scene.
Hipster lesbians! Very different from anything else I've read in terms of setting, cool to have a story about adults instead of the overused highschool setting.
Influenced by two of their friends, a pair of female high school students, Natsu and Kumiko, begin playing the popular MMORPG "Apocalypse Online." When they log in for the first time, they find they've been given a rare item, a pair of "marriage rings," which gives the two of them special bonuses when they are near each other. But while their "relationship" is a funny quirk of the game to Natsu, Kumiko secretly longs for it to become a reality...
UGH WHY DOES GOD HATE ME this one is really cute but yeah... cancelled... still highly recommended though, doesn't do anything particularly new or unique but *shrug* it's fun and has nice art.
The story of an actress and a girl she meets through unusual circumstances.
A sweet and simple piece by one of my favorite artists on this list.
CW: suicide mention, a character is outed non-consensually
A love story focusing on Kanon Miyamoto, a tomboyish student at an all-girls school who attracts many love interests, although she's far too dense to notice.
One of those rare cases where the main relationship is established early on, which allows for more relationship development and less "ehhhhh but there's no way senpai could like girls riiiiiiight?!"
CW: emotional abuse (there's a very predatory teacher character in volume 2), internalized lesbophobia
Teti joins the Cirque Arachne, a troupe of acrobats, and finds herself captivated by one member in particular...
Guaranteed make you want to run away and join the circus! The art is really... good (yes I know I'm saying that about all of them shut up).
CW: NSFW, alcohol, transmisogyny
The separate stories of the sisters of the Tachibana family, each of whom has had their own unique experience with dating or falling for another girl.
Another Hiyori rec, and this one is probably my favorite of all of her works. I like the nuance of it; all of the stories are very different, and not all of them have happy endings. Shoutout to the second chapter for having the "fake dating" trope that everyone loves so much.
Hanai is a junior highschooler and the best at table tennis. She's never lost a match, and she's won many tournaments, but after some freshman she's never heard of beats her like it was nothing, she starts losing every game. Now it's her first day of high school, and she's decided to quit table tennis and live an ordinary high school life. But on the first day, she runs into the very girl that first defeated her.
Table tennis? Yeah okay, why not. Actually though this was pretty cute, it's not even really about the table tennis at all (which is good because I hate sports manga! Sorry Haikyuu fans) and focuses more on, you know. Normal yuri relationship stuff.
And I like the art style.
CW: non-consensual kissing, fatphobia, internalized lesbophobia
A collection of linked stories about women who work for a wedding planning company.
A really fun adult life series with lots of wedding dresses and businesswomen... what's not to love? All of the stories focus on different characters working for the same company, so even though they have separate storylines they all tie together. I recommend reading them in the order listed above, but they can also stand on their own.
CW: NSFW, cheating
A young vampire hunter and her prey attempt to navigate high school — along with their strange, budding relationship.
This one is for all you vampire fetishists out there... Very simple and somewhat repetitive in terms of plot, but this is more than balanced out by Akiyama's quippy dialogue and beautiful art style.
CW: blood, biting
Two women with the same name happen to meet each other when they're at the same hospital for the same injury. They want to become closer, but both must overcome their insecurities and self-loathing first.
Pretty weird premise, but actually very well executed. I'm running out of stuff to write about these shorter ones lol but... Cute? Gay? Angst? Yeah.
CW: self harm, self hatred, emotional/physical abuse
In a certain town there is a slightly odd maid café named Sasanqua. The most popular maid in the shop, Botan, has just received a love confession from the new girl, Momo, and can't help but have Momo on her mind. What if this is love?
OKAY maid cafes are creepy yeah but I like this manga because it subverts the trope that maid cafes are all cute~ and innocent~ and fun~ and instead we get a story where a very pessimistic waitress at a maid cafe falls for her coworker.
CW: internalized homophobia, sexual harassment
Rio Sakaki is a high school girl who suffers from serious depression and borderline behavior due to the abuse of her stepmother and neglect of her father. She meets Sahoko Higa, a recovering hikikomori, and the two of them help each other confront their inner demons.
An older manga that handles themes of mental illness very well. Neither Rio nor Sahoko are "cured" by their love for each other, but they find comfort and happiness in each other and work hard to make their relationship strong. Has a very crisp, old-school art style.
CW: parental abuse, self harm, suicide
Riding high on the memory of a boy named Hikaru with whom she spent a day during her last year of grade school, Megu went through middle school without romance. Now that she's a high school student, she has decided she is finally completely over her first love and can look towards the future. However, Megu meets a pretty girl on her first day of high school who gives her a big hug, and reveals her name is Hikaru!
Tragically cancelled due to a tracing scandal, but still worth the read.
CW: NSFW, lesbophobia, casual cissexism/transmisogyny
The personal story of an aspiring mangaka and college dropout who's led a lonesome, unfulfilling life.
This one's become really popular, odds are you've seen it at your local bookstore. It's really good but like... it will destroy your ass.
CW: NSFW, sex work, self harm, disordered eating