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10 LGBTQ+ Animes to Watch

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

In the world of anime there are a multitude of genres and sub-genres. As anime rises with popularity so do the genres. Meaning there is a little bit of something for everyone. So unbeknownst to some, there are animes that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. First off, lets get started with some terminology you need to know. Shounen-ai is boys love, while shoujo-ai is girls love. Yaoi is explicit boys love, so you’re going to get some sexy times on screen. Likewise, yuri is explicit girls love. Now that we know some LGBTQ+ anime exists and we know our terms, lets watch some anime!

Wandering Son

  • 1 Season, 11 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Seinen, Slice of Life

Effeminate fifth grader Shuuichi Nitori is considered by most to be one of the prettiest girls in school, but much to her dismay, she is actually biologically male. Fortunately, Shuuichi has a childhood friend who has similar feelings of discomfort related to gender identity: the lanky tomboy Yoshino Takatsuki, who, though biologically female, does not identify as a girl. These two friends share a similar secret and find solace in one another.

This is a wonderful anime! Wandering Son, is based on the bestselling manga, that focuses on crossdressers, puberty, and transgender issues. The way the characters face their emotions and social views on transsexuality and acceptance. This can be a touchy subject for many people, especially when it is not represented accurately. Wandering Son does a good job in presenting some issues people from the LGBTQ+ struggle with. We watch as these characters make an attempt to make friends, fall in love, with some difficult choices along the way. Wondering Son is a great anime to check!

Ouran High School Host Club

  • 1 Season, 26 Episodes

  • Genres: Comedy, Reverse Harem, Romance, School, Shoujo

Haruhi Fujioka is a bright scholarship candidate with no rank or title to speak of—a rare species at Ouran Academy, an elite school for students of high pedigree. When she opens the door to Music Room #3 hoping to find a quiet place to study, Haruhi unexpectedly stumbles upon the Host Club. Changing her life forever.

Ouran High School makes the list because of its perspective on gender norms. Our main character, Haruhi is a strong independent female who doesn’t let societal norms define her. Alongside, Haruhi, we have her father Ranka, a Bisexual Drag Queen and Honey who doesn’t portray your typical “boy” characteristics. This was not something you saw or embraced in the early 2000s and for this anime to become mainstream, it provided a glimpse into the LGBTQ+ community. I am not saying that the portrayal of these character or their actions define or represent the LGBTQ+ are correct. However, questioning gender norms and ones of gender/sexuality align with some of the LGBTQ+ ideals. Even though, this anime doesn’t accurately represent the community; it is an endearing and incredibly charming anime. This is an anime you will not be disappointed in watching. It is funny and fun to watch. The dramatic antics of the characters truly makes the show. You will catch yourself smiling and laughing. This is also a great family friendly anime!

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

  • 2 Season, 13 Episodes

  • Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Fantasy

As Kobayashi an overworked and underpaid office workers is surprised when she opens her apartment door only to be met by an unusually frightening sight—the head of a dragon. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty, and energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit, introducing herself as Tooru. What will Kobayashi do now? What trouble could this dragon bring?

This isn’t your typical romance girl love anime but instead an episodic series of daily life. This anime made the list because of grayness the two characters have in their relationship. Right away it becomes apparent that Tooru loves Kobayashi but what about Kobayashi? These two adult women live together creating a life together as they go through everyday occurrences. Falling in love with someone takes you completely by surprise, at times shaking our entire being. As you watch their relationship flourish in different ways and this series shows how to people can love in different ways. This anime plays around with the idea what a relationship is. Overall, this is a great anime to watch.

Love Stage

  • 1 Season, 10 Episodes

  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Shounen-Ai

With a family in showbiz, anyone would expect Izumi Sena to follow in his family’s footsteps. However, aside from a commercial for a wedding magazine when he was a child, Izumi has never been in the spotlight; instead, he aims to become a manga artist. However, years later the magazine calls for a 10th anniversary ad, requesting the original child actors for the project. Reuniting Izumi with Ryouma Ichijou, now a popular actor. Starting Izumi and Ryouma’s love story. How will Ryouma react when he finds out Izumi is a man? What will happen to Izumi? Will a relationship blossom?

Love Stage is charming and heartfelt romance between two young men. We watch their romance blossom in comedic way. This is an older boy love (BL) anime and as times have changed some of the scenes or actions in the anime may no longer be appropriate. Characters are compelling and adorable. The development between Ryouma and Izumi is sweet and wholehearted. As you watch the series you see some interaction amongst the other characters and their interactions with the main characters. The art is in the series is fantastic as well. The usage of soft pallets truly brings out the anime. Love Stage is not an incredible anime, but it does gives us a fair love story and enjoyable characters.

Heaven Official’s Blessing (Tian Guan Ci Fu)

  • 1 Season, 11 Episodes

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical, Supernatural, Drama, Shounen-ai

The heavens shake, the thunder rumbles, and Xie Lian appears with an apologetic smile—again! Eight hundred years prior, he was a beloved martial god, known as the Crown Prince of Xianle. Now, he ascends to the heavenly realm for the third time, but simply as a pitiful scrap-collecting god with no followers behind him. Xie Lian is now on a mission to collect some followers. However, when Xie Lian fate is changed when he encounters the notorious Hua Cheng, the Crimson Rain Sought Flower, a Ghost King feared by both demons and gods alike.

This is a Chinese anime or more commonly known as a donghua. This donghua is based off a Chinese novel written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. This series focus a budding romance between Xie Lian and Hua Cheng. This donghua is absolutely stunning. Given the animation is not on par with many Japanese studios but it is great. Admittedly, there are a few awkward scenes in the series, however what animation doesn’t have low quality scenes. Moreover, the music in this series slaps so hard for no reason. The song accompanies the series so well. It is also just gorgeous to listen to. The characters are beautifully drawn. The adaption of the characters, the subtle expressions and movements, the voice acting, dialogue were all well done. I especially loved the interactions between Xie Lian and Hua Cheng. How they were able to capture the complex emotions and their development. Overall, I truly enjoyed this BL and I am so excited for season 2.

Dakaichi- I'm being harassed by the sexiest man of the year

Rated R: Viewer discretion advised

  • 1 Season, 13 Episodes

  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Yaoi

Takato Saijou has held the title of "Sexiest Man of the Year" for five years running. He is an accomplished actor, with 20 years of experience under his belt. However, when acting newbie Junta Azumaya, who debuted only three years ago, beats Takato in "Sexiest Man of the Year." Takato becomes jealous and infuriated with Junta. So, when Takato and Junta must work together on a film, how will Takato keep his feelings to himself? How will Junta face Takato?

Warning!!! This anime is quite graphic and if you are looking more for a romance then move on. This is anime you need to watch by yourself and with headphones.

I’m not going to lie; I didn’t start this anime with good intentions. This is anime doesn’t focus a lot on cultivating a beautiful romance but more on the physical aspect of their relationship. However, that characters are cute and charming as they explore their relationship. I enjoyed watching the characters learn to accept themselves and their relationship. Overall, I enjoyed this anime and will watch season 2 if it comes out.

Revolutionary Girl Utena

  • 1 Season, 39 Episodes

  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Psychological, Shoujo

After meeting a traveling prince who consoled her after the deaths of her parents, Utena Tenjou vowed to become a prince herself. A few years later, Utena attends Ootori Academy, where she is drawn into a dangerous game. Duelists with rings matching Utena's own compete for a unique prize: The Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya, and her mysterious powers. When Utena wins Anthy in a duel, she realizes that if she is to free Anthy and discover the secrets behind Ootori Academy, she has only one option: to revolutionize the world.

This is a fantastic and heartwarming story of love and perseverance. The characters are captivating and unique. This an anime you have to watch to experience the greatness. If you like character driven drama, then this show is for you! This show is a lot of fun and is very engrossing. The really quirky-yet-chivalry-laden atmosphere really drew me in, kept me hooked, and still keeps me coming back to this day. I've probably watched this series more than any other. Some will say it's too episodic, and to them I say, who cares? With a show this unique, I never get sick of it.

Strawberry Panic

  • 1 Season, 26 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo- ai

Nagisa Aoi begins her new school life as a transfer student at St. Miator’s Girls Academy, one of three prestigious all-girls institutions atop Astraea Hill. Getting lost on her first day, Nagisa encounters a mysterious student whose elegance and charm is so bewitching, she ends up in the infirmary. Meeting her roommate, Tamao Suzumi, in the infirmary Nagisa is informed of the existence of an exceptional student representative among all three schools—the Etoile, or "star.” Thus beginning Nagaisa’s daily life with her friends, romance and much more at school.

This anime holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first yuri (girl love) animes I watched. This anime came out about 15 years ago and it may not as be as good as current anime in many regards. However, the story and the characters are compelling. This anime can quickly turn into a guilty pleasure. Even though, the plot is a bit weak and has a few holes this anime keeps drawing you in. The charism and charm the characters have as they interact with one another. I enjoy how the characters try to navigate through the challenge of relationships while confronting hidden feelings, lingering regrets, and new possibilities. Art and animation are exceptional. I really enjoyed the beautiful settings and costumes. This is a great anime to check for yourself and see what you think.

Bloom into you

  • 1 Season, 13 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo-ai

Yuu Koito has always romanticize the concept of love. So when, a classmate from junior high declares his love for her during their graduation, she feels nothing. As realization hits her; Yuu is incapable of experiencing the feeling first-hand. However, that all changes when she encounters the seemingly flawless student council president, Touko Nanami. Will Yuu become capable of loving?

This is a beautiful tale of young love and understanding. We have two character with two different points of view on love. The complexities they face with each other and themselves is strong attraction in the anime. we can see how they character complement each other. The relationship between the characters is realistic, cute, and pure. The plot is entertaining, and it arouses curiosity making you want to stay and watch. This is a sweet anime to sit down and watch if you have time.

Honorable Mentions

  • Given

  • Yuri on Ice

  • Princess Jellyfish

  • Citrus

  • Whispered Words

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