Thanks to the likes of Caitlyn Jenner and other members of the LGBT community we can have a clearer image on gender identity struggles. Although LGBT anime is not a new topic in the industry, a significant chunk does not focus on the daily struggles that a LGBT person goes through. In spite of this, there are some anime that do focus on gender identity, LGBT relationships, or sexual orientation – either as a back story or plot point – in a more respectful setting. Here’s a list of such anime.
The first LGBT anime of this list takes place in and around a seemingly Utopian city called No. 6. On Shion’s 12th birthday, he finds an injured young boy named Nezumi, a.k.a. Rat in his room. After nursing Nezumi’s wounds, Shion finds out that Nezumi is an escaped prisoner. Unwilling to give up Nezumi’s whereabouts – due to an unexplainable bond between the two – the government strips Shion’s privileges and banishes him and his mother to the lower levels of the city. Four years later, the two meet once again, but this time, they are about to embark on an adventure to unravel the secrets of No. 6. Although, the series centers around the secrets of No. 6, it also sheds light on gender identity.
Sweet Blue Flowers
Sweet Blue Flowers tells the story of Fumi Manjoume – an introverted, intelligent teenage girl dealing with a bad breakup – and Akira Okudaire – a first-year high school student. After ten long years, both of them reconnect and try to help each other go through romantic relationships and figure out their sexual identity.
Cheeky Angel is a 50-episode series centered around a beautiful girl named Megumi. She’s so stunning that some people even call her an “angel” (hence: the title). However, behind that beautiful face lies a shocking secret: Megumi used to be a boy! When Megumi was nine, he came across a magic book with a genie inside who grants one wish when blood is applied to the book. When Megumi made a wish to be the manliest man in the world the genie transformed him into a woman. Few years later, Megumi is an attractive high school student who’s still a boy inside. As a result, Miki – Megumi’s best friend who is a girl – tries to turn Megumi into a sophisticated young woman. But, to no avail, as Megumi is determined to stay in touch with her masculine side. The anime addresses several gender identity questions, such as, what is it to be a woman/man and how does a person decide who they are inside.
Nabari No Ou
Miharu is a mischievous boy who unknowingly possess a powerful technique, as known as hijutsu – a skill that many ninja clans desire to become the ruler of the ninja world. One day Miharu’s classmate Kouichi and English teacher Kumohira start a new club called “Way of The Ninja.” They both try to persuade Miharu to join the club, but he keeps rejecting them. Unbeknownst to him both Kouichi and Kumihora are Banten clan ninja. After numerous ninja attacks, Miharu has no choice but to join their club as a means of survival. Bit by bit, Miharu comes to understand the powerful technique that he poses and in order for him to survive these attacks he has to become the ruler of Nabari. Although the premise of Nabari No Ou is Miharu’s hidden technique, it, however, focuses on the bisexual and homosexual relationships between the characters.
Wandering Son is one of the highest-rated LGBT anime out there. The series follows Shuichi, a shy preteen boy that transfers to a new school. There he meets with the tomboyish Yoshino, who sits at the desk next to him. Soon they become great friends as they share one thing in common; they both are transgendered. They become close friends and learn to deal with the realities of growing up, transsexuality, relationships, and acceptance. The journey of Shuichi and Yoshino serve to educate and entertain viewers about gender identity. As it addresses gender identity themes through both of these characters.
There you have it five must-see LGBT anime that shows the struggles that people in this community go through.