Film & TV Recs: LGBT Anime

I wasn’t sure what kind of movies or shows should I compile a rec list of for you guys, so I asked on twitter & that is why today, I’m here with 10 LGBT anime. There will be both shows and movies here, so hopefully everyone can find something for themselves.

But before we start, for the love of god… It’s ah-ni-meh, not ah-ni-may. You’re pronouncing a Japanese word. Speaking of, that’s also why I’m not marking Japanese mcs in rep, since it’s true for all the titles here.

inbtwn

Liz and the Blue Bird (Liz to Aoi Tori) (2018)

dir. Naoko Yamada
Letterboxd
Rep: sapphic mc & li

Why Should I Watch It?

This is a very gentle, quiet movie that uses the lesbian gaze and tells a lot of the story through glimpses of characters’ feet or hands or other tiny details. I’m also sure a lot of straight people think this is a movie about two great friends… But we know better, we know what we’re looking at and looking for.

inbtwn

Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) (2011)

dir. Ei Aoki
IMDb
Rep: trans mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

With delicate colors and lines, this show tells quite a difficult story in delicate ways. There’s no unnecessary drama or suffering, it’s mostly just about growing up and falling in love for the first time, while also being trans. It’s also great to see how trans rep is portrayed somewhere with a totally different culture than the Western, English-speaking part of the world.

inbtwn

Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena (Shōjo Kakumei Utena Aduresensu Mokushiroku) (1999)

dir. Kunihiko Ikuhara
Letterboxd
Rep: sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

A classic, yes, I know, but let’s be real: I couldn’t make this list without it! If you like sci-fi and somewhat weird, otherwordly vibes, this is definitely a movie you need to see. If you’re not a fan of sci-fi, you might still enjoy this a lot, given the beautiful way in which it treats the sapphic romance.

inbtwn

Yuri!!! On Ice (2016)

cr. Sayo Yamamoto & Mitsurō Kubo
IMDb
Rep: mlm mc, Russian mlm li

Why Should I Watch It?

Even people who don’t watch anime, know this one (yes, I’m looking at you, Charlotte). And there’s a reason for that. The story is great, sure, but more importantly: the gay romance is allowed to flourish and to take up most of the plot. The plot quite literally wouldn’t even happen at all, if it wasn’t for the gay romance… And that’s something so precious to see.

inbtwn

Kase-san and Morning Glories (Asagao to Kase-san) (2018)

dir. Takuya Sato
Letterboxd
Rep: sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

I don’t know what to tell you, guys. This is a coming of age movie about two girls, one of whom is a jock and one a nerd (who loves gardening). Have you started watching yet? Because you should, it’s absolutely lovely and the girls are so very cute!!

inbtwn

No.6 (2011)

dir. Kenji Nagasaki
IMDb
Rep: mlm mcs
TW: violence, death, guns

Why Should I Watch It?

This is an anime about saving the bees and overthrowing the government. Literally. I’m not saying we should all be obsessed with it, given the current state of affairs, but that is exactly what I’m saying. Plus, you get the most beautiful asshole (Nezumi), who’s the walking stereotype of a dramatic gay.

Also, just saying, but the manga this is based on is even gayer, and the novels manga is based on are even gayer than the manga

inbtwn

Classmates (Doukyuusei) (2016)

dir. Shouko Nakamura
Letterboxd
Rep: mlm mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

One of my favourite movies, period. The plot isn’t complicated at all. It’s about two guys who go to high school together and fall in love. But the magic is in the simplicity. In the way the whole thing looks like a watercolour painting. In how the guys are honest and overwhelmed with feelings.

(Spoilers, but they get engaged in later volumes of the manga!)

inbtwn

Tokyo Godfathers (Tōkyō Goddofāzāzu) (2003)

dir. Satoshi Kon
Letterboxd
Rep: trans mc

Why Should I Watch It?

Yes, it’s July and I’m reccing a Christmas movie, but frankly this year is a mess and I can do whatever I want. It’s based on a western, but spins that around to become a heart-warming movie about the power of (found) family, a true celebration of humanity. It’s charming and will stay with you for a long, long time.

inbtwn

Whispered Words (Sasameki Koto) (2009)

dir. Eiji Suganuma
IMDb
Rep: sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

What can I say, slice of life stories about two girls are probably the easiest gay anime to find. It’s not some kind of generic teen show, thought, it’s rather bittersweet and all about unrequited love. Which is what gays do the best, right?

inbtwn

Lily Bear Storm (Yuri Kuma Arashi) (2015)

dir. Kunihiko Ikuhara
IMDb
Rep: sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

Okay, yes, this is a show about bears that can take on a human form & there’s a whole war between the civilisation of men and bears. But listen, it makes sense and it works. I think if you liked FLCL, you will probably really enjoy this one as well. And otherwise, if you’re into some lesbians in a surrealistic setting, you’re welcome!

inbtwn

What other anime with explicit LGBT did I miss?

anna

22 Replies to “Film & TV Recs: LGBT Anime”

  1. ahhhh thank you so much for this!! i had no idea any of these were actually gay (besides YOI which is the only one i’ve watched), and i’m positively surprised to see some of them are quite old and still canon queer? nice nice, i’m saving this post for the future 💕

    i haven’t continued watching the anime yet but Given is adapted from a m/m manga, i’m just not 100% sure they kept it canon but i think so..?
    Bloom Into You is a sapphic manga that was also adapted, I’ve only read the first volume yet and I still need to check out the anime too but i’m pretty sure it’s also canon queer since that’s kind of the point fdhslf

    Liked by 2 people

    1. honestly?? the ’90s in anime were super gay. it’s just that american dubs usually did everything they could to cut that shit out, including literally changing gender of a character…
      i was gonna put bloom into you on the list, but then realised i already recced a few shows abt high school girls so i had to chill out with that
      i haven’t seen given yet but i also heard good things abt it, i must check it out one of these days!

      – anna

      Liked by 2 people

      1. not just the american dubs, i know of a few anime that were shown in italy too (like sailor moon) and we all found out later once we joined the int’l community that they were actually 100% canon gay, but the italian version deleted scenes and changed dialogues :// i feel like we missed out on so much because of that ugh 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yeah, it reminds me of the mess that happened with the russian edition of shades of magic where they completely removed the queer content :// like if you don’t want to adapt/translate something because it’s queer that’s fine, but don’t go out of your way to straighten it up ://

        also i only remembered about it now because i was thinking more about series but if you haven’t watched it, Promare is pretty queer (i think one could argue whether it’s explicit or not but i personally say it 100% is) and it’s also a really really good movie!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. yeah, like, u don’t get to be cool bc u published a gay book if u first made it NOT gay :///

        oh my friend has been trying to get me to watch it, but i think i totally forgot oops…. gotta finally do it, thanks for the reminder!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh I’ve read No 6 manga and that was THE BEST MOMENT I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE! I wish I could read its novel because I need my Nezumi and Shion back again.

    Also, I’ve just watched Liz and the Blue Bird and OMG everything about that movie was so beautiful! I cried at the part when Mizore played the oboe. It hits hard there.

    Other anime I can think of right now would be Aoi Hana (Blue Flower). Haven’t watched it yet though but from what I know it’s sapphic mcs. There’s also Hoshiai no Sora (Stars Align). One of its characters is nonbinary (if I’m not mistaken). Haven’t watched this one yet too unfortunately, so can’t really confirm it.

    Okay for anime I did actually watch. Have you watched Banana Fish? It’s mlm and will crush your heart to pieces. I’ve watched this one so yeah you can take my words for that. Also Sarazanmai. There’s two cops in the show that’s mlm. If you do watch this, just remember, it’s pretty weird when you first watch it. I mean I was like “what the frick?” all the time when I watched it. Some stuff in there are just weird and ridiculous it could put you off. But it’s a very deep show actually.

    Anyway thank you for this post. You brought out the otaku in me so I’m sorry for the rambling 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha ur welcome and i’m glad u enjoyed the post enough to chat!!
      no.6 anime does differ from the manga quite a bit, but the feelings stay the same!
      oh i was thinking of including aoi hana here but then figured i can’t just list slice of life wlw shows…
      i’m aware of banana fish but i refuse to watch it due to everyone i know who HAVE, being in distress for weeks. i’m not that much of a masochist lmao

      – anna

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree about No 6! The anime does differ from the manga but the feelssss tho. You made me want to watch that anime again!

        Ahh yes I understand your reasoning for Banana Fish. If I didn’t know just how crushing the anime actually is, I would refuse to watch it too. It’s just not the kind of entertainment I enjoy watching.

        Ohh yes! There’s another anime I’d like to add here. The Case Files of Jeweler Richard! There’s a side character in one of the episodes that’s lesbian and I love how they treated her character and story. Also, the two protagonists have some complicated relationship going on between them. The way I see it (and everyone who has watched the show did too) they’re more than just platonic friends. But since the anime’s taken from the light novels, some moments of the development of their relationship were tone down. Many people also suggest to read the light novels for that. But there’s no official translation as of now though. So that’s a bummer.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m more into manga than anime but Sasameki Koto was cute! Also, I think Bloom Into You got adapted? Also sapphics in HS but has more depth to it. And maybe Hidamari ga kikoeru? It’s mlm with an HOH character! And I know Seven Days has a movie but no idea as to anime.

    Liked by 1 person

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