Anime is a form of media where anything is possible. Even more so now, with the new reaches of animation and computer graphics that live-action series are simply not likely to emulate. You get stories about unrealistic romances, Isekais, magical girls, teenage gamers, space robots, and even sentient forests. The possibilities are endless. So if one is looking for a particular type of anime, they can surely get it. We don’t really see that many queer characters get a lot of attention in the mainstream media. For example, if you look at pop music, LGBTQ + people have always been represented by straight people like Madonna, Cher or Britney Spears. Although times are changing now, anime or manga in Japan are no strangers to queer or even LGBTQ + representation.
However, most animes are not necessarily advertised to be aimed at or feature LGBT people, even when they do. Often times, the depiction of LGBTQ + can be quite dated because they relied on stereotypes and objectification when featuring those queer characters in the anime. Be that as it may, there are plenty of good anime with LGBTQ + representation to choose from. These shows come in all kinds of genres like romance, science fiction, a part of life, fantasy, or even sports.
So, these are just some of the LGBTQ + anime that you should definitely watch if you are interested in this topic!
1. Blue Period
Blue Period is a 2021 anime released by the Seven Arcs studio. The manga was written and illustrated by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. This anime is about a high school boy, Yatora Yaguchi, who finds his calling in life through the school’s art club. Although he is the main character, the anime spends a considerable amount of time exploring Ryuji Ayukawa’s narrative. She is a trans girl and also a fellow artist. Take a look at this anime if you are interested in art and finding your way in life.
2. Banana fish
Banana Fish was animated from the beloved manga of the same name. Akimi Yoshida was the creator and illustrator of this manga from the 80s. But it was recently animated as it was previously considered too risky. It is a story of action and crime in New York. Curious, right? A photographer’s assistant, Eiji, is helping compile a story about young gang members in America when he meets a teenage criminal named Ash Lynx. This meeting will change both of their lives forever. It is considered one of the saddest anime, making it a very emotional and difficult watch. Activation warnings apply. But nonetheless, Banana fish is a redemptive love story between a ruthless gang leader and a naive assistant.
It has 24 episodes. Banana Fish is available in Amazon prime.
Also read: 10 supporting characters who stole the show in the anime: ranked
3. Wandering Son (2011)
Shuichi-chan is a shy fifth grader, loves everything related to fashion and wants to make dresses. However, there is a problem with that. He was assigned a boy at birth, and that makes him really unsure about what will happen next. Well, you have new friends to help you through these difficult times. Shuichi slowly builds a small, tight-knit queer community. The characters in this anime are quite young, so it comes across as a very sweet children’s story. This anime brings a new side to the representation of the trans experience during childhood.
Wandering Son has 12 episodes and is available in Crunchyroll.
4. Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a surreal romantic magical girl anime from creator Be-Papas, an artist collective founded by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The story revolves around Utena Tenjou, a teenage orphan who wants to become a prince instead of a princess. She shows this desire through her strong and fearless personality and her masculine sense of dress. But it is difficult for a girl to become a prince in this world. Utena’s struggle to achieve her goals is framed by various coming-of-age and queer narratives. The animation of this series is very well done, since it is the passionate project of the director of Sailor Moon.
Revolutionary Girl Utena has 39 episodes and is available in Funimation.
Sukisho’s English name is “I like what I like, so it can’t be helped”, which is a very appropriate name to be on this list. Sukisho’s story follows Sora Hashiba, a high school student who falls from the fourth floor of his school, somehow wakes up in a dorm without any of his previous memories, with another stranger he has never met in his life. This new boy she meets is called Sunao Fujimori. Actually, he is one of Hashiba’s oldest friends. Both buyers have alternate personalities known as Yuru and Ran, and these personalities form a passionate and romantic bond with each other. The two try to retrieve Hashiba’s memories before the fall.
Sukisho has 12 episodes and a bonus OVA episode. Is available in tv tubes.
No. 6 is a refreshing take on the average anime from the dystopian era. The series follows the privileged young prodigy Shion who lives in a utopian city called no. 6. On his 12th birthday, Shion encounters an injured boy named Nezumi (also known as Rat), who appears to be the same age as him. After healing his wounds, he discovers that Rat is a runaway prisoner. When the government finds out, they capture Shion, but he does not reveal Nezumi’s whereabouts due to the bond that the two boys have formed in such a short time. Shion and her mother are banished to the lower levels of the city as punishment. When the two boys meet again four years later, they embark on a journey to discover the secrets of the city. No.6 is an anime proof that love changes everything for the better, no matter what shape or form it is presented.
There are 11 episodes. No.6 is available in Amazon prime.
Also read: Anime similar to Takt Op. Destiny you must see
7. Aoi Hana
Aoi Hana is a yuri anime series. The first episode aired on July 1, 2009. The story revolves around a shy young woman named Fumi Manjōme who is reunited with her childhood friend, Akira Okudaira, after a toxic relationship. Fumi Manjōme is a lesbian, and the series does well to follow and develop this character without delving into the stereotype. This anime series does well to explore each of the characters and all of that high school drama without getting too tedious. It is definitely worth seeing.
Aoi Hana has only 11 episodes. You can stream it on Crunchyroll.
8. Dakaichi: I’m being bullied by the sexiest man of the year.
Dakaichi is another fun series to watch. This story takes place in the ruthless world of show business. Veteran actor Takato Saijo loses the title of ‘Sexiest Man in the World’ to a promising young actor named Junta Azumaya. The anime follows the two actors as they get caught in the middle of a scandal. It’s a light-hearted comedy that will boost your serotonin levels at the end of a boring day.
Dakaichi has 13 episodes and is available in Crunchyroll.
9. Old bakery
Keichiro Tachibana has always been a winner, but he surprises everyone when he suddenly leaves his job to open a cafe. He uses his family’s wealth to build this cafe and wants to be surrounded by cute young waitresses. But it turns out that the best pastry chef in town is the boy she turned down in high school, a man so traumatized by his past that he can’t work with women. Tachibana decides that a fancy men-only cafe would also generate good sales. This fun and light-hearted series follows the events of their lives as they overcome their toxic pasts and habits. Antique Bakery was written and illustrated by celebrated queer interest author Fumi Yoshinaga. This series remains the only anime adaptation of his work. But the story has been adapted to various live-action projects in Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
Antique Bakery has 12 episodes. Is available in Amazon prime.
10. Dramatic murder
Dramatical Murder is a Boy’s Love anime based on the yaoi game of the same name. The plot revolves around Aoba Seragak, just an average guy looking to live an average life. However, everything changes when he enters a game called Rhythm. Rhythm is a virtual reality game in which a player can get powerful mobile devices that are like pets, and there are turf wars for power. Now the anime is much more tame in terms of showing BL scenes compared to the game. However, the story is too unique not to see.
Dramatical Murder has 12 episodes. Check them out at Crunchyroll.
As we finish this list, let’s list a few Honorable mentions. If you haven’t heard of them before, be sure to check them out now: Ouran host club, Cardcaptor Sakura, Yuri on Ice, Paradise Kiss, and Given.
Also read: 10 anime similar to Mieruko Chan that you should see