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So from what I understand, the yuri genre is always written in kanji, like this, 百合. However, I noticed that the title of the anime has yuri written in katakana, ユリ. So if the anime is a yuri series, then why would they write it in katakana instead of kanji?

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This is basically an aesthetic choice. There is no "one correct way" to write a made-up phrase like this. In this case, I can think of several possible explanations:

  1. Even if yuri is one of the themes of the anime, 百合 in kanji would look too direct and explicit. ユリ in katakana works more like a suggestive keyword, which was enough in this case.
  2. 百合熊嵐 would appear to be a 四字熟語 and thus feel too "traditional" or "serious".
  3. 百合熊嵐 is a little harder to parse and recognize because there is no clear word boundary. On the other hand, anyone can tell ユリ熊嵐 is an eye-catching made-up word instantly.

These may or may not be correct. BTW, ゆるゆり is a similar example. Here the title is in all-hiragana to emphasize the cuteness or easygoing-ness or the work. Someone who sees it for the first time may not recognize it's related to yuri, but that's expected.

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  • Thanks @naruto. I was wondering, the genre/slang for yuri is often written in kanji, correct? Second, yuri only means lesbians when you use kanji. As I said before, the kanji for yuri can mean lesbian or the flower. So couldn't kanji be used in this context as a wordplay and be ambigious as kanji could mean/refer to both? So is katakana used to like emphasize in this case then? – Zain Alleck Feb 26 at 7:56
  • @ZainAlleck Yes the genre itself is typically written in kanji in ordinary Japanese sentences, but that does not mean you have to consider it a hard rule and apply it to a peculiar made-up title like this. Regardless of whether it's in kanji, katakana, hiragana or English alphabet, people will eventually understand the word is actually a reference to female-female romance. – naruto Feb 26 at 8:10
  • @zain, ok but in general, for the slang reference, it's mainly written in kanji? Someone said its often writtten in katakana? On that side, 2. On that note, I had a question about ambiguity. So for example, if I wanted to merely hint/imply a character was gay by saying they like lilies because they are symbol of girls love, how would I write saying they like "yuri no hana" Would I use katakana or kanji for yuri no hana? – Zain Alleck Feb 26 at 12:11
  • @ZainAlleck Please keep in mind that 百合, ユリ, ゆり, Yuri, YURI and yuri are essentially the same word regardless of the notation. As I said, it's typically written in kanji in ordinary sentences when it refers to girls' love. However, creating a title is a completely different story that involves all sorts of aesthetic decisions. Whether this word has a sexual connotation completely depends on the context, just like the English word "slash" sometimes has a sexual connotation in certain contexts. – naruto Feb 26 at 15:07
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    @ZainAlleck That sentence is about the flower. – naruto Mar 23 at 6:46

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