Romance anime aren’t hard to find, but series featuring LGBTQ relationships can be harder to find. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. If you’re looking for romantic anime with LGBTQ representation, these 10 are perfect for watching this Pride month – or any time for that matter!
“Sasaki and Miyano”
One of the newer LGBTQ anime on this list, Sasaki and Miyano has stolen viewers’ hearts since its debut in January – and it’s easy to see why. The story centers on the blossoming romance between a shy underclass named Miyano and the much more outgoing Sasaki. Sasaki becomes romantically involved with Miyano after an altercation in the schoolyard. And despite the young boy’s initial reluctance, the two begin to bond over the Boy’s Love manga. From there, their relationship slowly turns into something more, leaving them to wrestle with what it means.
A charming and sweet story, Sasaki and Miyano is a Funimation original series. But with the company moving its library to Crunchyroll, it is now available there as well. The show has already been greenlit for more content, though what’s next is unclear. Either way, it’s worth watching the first outing.
‘Yuri!!! on the ice’
Yuri!!! on the ice received a lot of love when it aired in 2016, and it remains a compelling LGBTQ romance – as well as a very entertaining sports anime. This series defies genres and expectations, centering on two professional figure skaters. Yuri is reeling from a loss in the series opener, which leaves him contemplating a career change. He decides to move forward when his idol, the famous Russian figure skater Victor Nikiforov, offers to train him.
As the two get to know each other, their relationship turns from professional to romantic. And the couple’s happy ending is one of the best onscreen portrayals of LGBTQ relationships. If you haven’t seen Yuri!!! on the ice however, it is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation. A prequel film titled ice teen is in the works, so it’s time to catch up.
flourish in you premiered in 2018, and it deserved way more fanfare than it got. This LGBTQ anime opens with a high school girl named Yuu who has spent much of her life waiting for the heartbreaking kind of love depicted in the shojo manga. Unfortunately, she feels nothing when a boy in her class confesses his love for her. To complicate matters, she absolutely feels something when she befriends Touko – a girl who offers a similar confession later.
Yuu and Touko continue their friendship as Yuu struggles with all of his complicated feelings. In this direction, flourish in you proves a gripping coming-of-age tale that delves into the complexities of coming to terms with your own sexuality. Unfortunately, it is not available on most mainstream streaming platforms. However, fans can find it on HIDIVE. And for those who have a subscription, it’s well worth a watch.
“Adachi and Shimamura”
Another series about two high school girls who fall in love, Adachi and Shimamura addresses the themes of coming of age and the realization of one’s sexuality. However, the series also raises some interesting questions about relationships — from what’s healthy to how the “opposite attraction” mentality really works. And the anime’s main characters are definitely polar opposites. However, Adachi and Shimamura reunite despite their different personality traits, learning important life lessons from each other in the process.
Adachi and Shimamura offers viewers a realistic and human story that is worth watching, especially if you are looking for a romance between two female characters. The anime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation, where you can also find many other LGBTQ anime on this list.
‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’
Originating in the late 1990s, Revolutionary Girl Utena was revolutionary for its time – as “revolutionary” as its title suggests. Not only does the anime feature LGBTQ relationships, but it challenges gender norms and explores topics such as racism and sexism. To top it all, Revolutionary Girl Utena does it all like a genre anime. So if you’re looking for an LGBTQ romance that takes place alongside other major storylines, this might be the one for you.
Fortunately, Revolutionary Girl Utena is still fairly easy to find. It’s currently available on Funimation and Crunchyroll, with the latter having listed it in their 90s anime section. If you missed this one back then, now is the time to rectify that!
While there are a number of anime featuring transgender characters, they don’t always dive into the experience of questioning and understanding one’s gender identity. wandering son is a breath of fresh air in this regard. Also known by its Japanese title — Hourou Musuko – the series follows Shuuichi Nitori, who was born male but identifies as a girl. She navigates it while juggling the difficulties of college. Luckily, she finds solace in Yoshino Takatsuki.
wandering son is a beautifully told story that dives deep into what its main characters go through, managing their journeys with great care. It’s a must-watch, but unfortunately it’s not currently airing. Hopefully it will find its way onto an anime platform in the near future. In the meantime, fans can try to find a DVD – or check out the manga series it’s based on.
Those interested in LGBTQ stories and music will find them intersected in Given, a 2019 anime that sees its leads bond with the guitar. Mafuyu Satou receives a scolding from Ritsuka Uenoyama for letting his instrument rust, but Uenoyama later takes Satou under his wing. He teaches him how to play the instrument and introduces him to his band, hoping that Satou will eventually become a member. The two bond over their mutual interest, eventually developing feelings for each other.
One of the great things about Given is that her LGBTQ romance is just one of her strengths. The series has an entertaining story outside of that, as well as a lovable supporting cast. A Crunchyroll subscription will give you access to this fun story if you decide to check it out.
‘Soft Blue Flowers’
Soft blue flowers is the anime adaptation of a manga series written by the same person who wrote Wandering son. So those who like this story might want to follow this one. Although Soft blue flowers does not address gender identity, it presents a Sapphic love story filled with complex emotions. It centers on two girls who were best friends before life got involved. And when they reunite in high school, they have to deal with their complicated feelings for each other.
A 2009 anime, Soft blue flowers is currently streaming only on Funimation – though it may eventually move to Crunchyroll. It is also available for purchase on Prime Video. Whichever way you choose to connect, you won’t be disappointed.
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