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Anime & manga that respectfully address LGBT+ themes Watch

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    Outside of explicit yaoi and yuri series that are largely fanservice, there don't seem to be that many anime and manga that feature LGBT+ characters - and when they are present, it's often just for comedy purposes. :s: In this thread, I hope to bring your attention to a few series I've come across that do a better job of portraying LGBT+ characters and the issues they face, and if anyone knows of any others that I've left out or not read/watched, please share them here.

    Sasameki Koto


    anime & manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Shy, athletic Sumika is in love with her bubbly friend Ushio. However, Ushio is outwardly attracted to cute girls, something she never calls her friend-turned-admirer. Keeping her tender feelings a secret from the one she loves, Sumika continues to be Ushio’s confidante and companion, hoping that someday she can say how she feels. Whether it’s having a first kiss, cooking a meal or confiding in each other, Sumika, Ushio, Tomoe and their friends will experience the everyday joys of a quiet school life and touching romance together.
    This one starts off as a light-hearted comedy, not getting overly serious or dramatic... and that's more or less how the anime remains throughout. While I still found it enjoyable to watch, I have to recommend the manga for this one, as it develops the main characters' relationships much further, and has a far more satisfying ending.


    Aoi Hana


    anime & manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Fumi and Akira were best friends when they were little, with Akira always looking after the crybaby Fumi, but that all ended when Fumi's family moved away. Several years later, Fumi's family returned, and she and Akira happened to bump into each other on their way to school. They became friends again, quickly slipping back into old patterns. Shortly after, Fumi began dating a cool, attractive upperclassman who, coincidentally enough, had ties to Akira's current school, the prestigious Fujigaya Girls' Academy.
    If you want less comedy and more drama, Aoi Hana might be the series for you. Again, the anime adaptation only scratches the surface of the much longer, deeper and more well-developed story of the manga, so this is another one better read than watched. Manga-ka Shimura Takako is an expert at creating realistic characters, and this won't be the only series of hers I suggest here.


    Antique Bakery


    anime & manga - the Korean live action movie isn't bad either!

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Tachibana has recently quit his job at a high-class firm, and for unknown reasons, decides to open a bakery. His first employee is Ono, an extremely talented patissier who is also known as the 'Gay of demonic charm' - something that has caused him to lose his job countless times. Joining the crew also is Eiji - a retired champion boxer - who is hired on the spot as only a trainee purely because he is not Ono's 'type.' However, Chikage, the bumbling childhood friend and shadow of Tachibana, is exactly his type! Now, with the shop finally open, everyone seems to be filling their positions well; but one question remains: what were Tachibana's motives for opening the bakery, and does it have a link to his troubled and forgotten past?
    This one's a bit different, and not only because the cast aren't school kids! The main character isn't gay, and the (absurd) main plot revolves around a cake shop, and the protagonist's mysterious past. However, a lot of time is spent focusing on Ono, and his relationships - the whole 'Gay of demonic charm' thing may be a bit cheesy, but the series' more serious parts are very well handled.


    Seven Days


    manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Bright and early one Monday morning, Shino Yuzuru asks Seryou Touji out on a lark when they run into each other at the school gate. Seryou, who's immensely popular, has the odd habit of going out with anyone who asks him out first at the beginning of the week, then promptly dumping them at the end of it." Anyone" apparently includes male upperclassmen like Shino, and as a boyfriend, Seryou is perfect--unfailingly thoughtful and kind. Shino, obviously, has no intention of being in a serious relationship with Seryou. It's not like it's actually love or anything like that. ...Right?
    A light-hearted but surprisingly deep two volume manga. Lovely artwork as well! I like the format of each chapter being a different day (or time of day), with the whole story taking place in a single week. It also has a couple of live action movies, though I've not watched those myself.


    Indigo Blue


    manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Rutsu, a novelist, finds herself caught between her boyfriend and another woman.
    [Contains some sexual content]

    A realistic love triangle, featuring a main character who is unsure about her own sexuality. Only one volume long, and the art is very simplistic, but the writing more than makes up for that in my opinion. I liked the mature relationships and the way they were presented.


    Hourou Musuko


    anime & manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Shuichi Nitori is an elementary school boy with a secret: he wishes he were a girl and likes wearing their clothes. With the right outfit and his cute, effeminate looks, he is often able to convince people that he is someone else - or even something else. Unfortunately, although his best friend and object of affection, Takatsuki, accepts him as he is, she does not return Shuichi’s feelings. Moreover, school is an unforgiving place and Shuichi walks a fine line between liberating his true self and being labeled a freak by all his peers...
    Another masterpiece by Shimura Takako, following two transgender characters right from elementary school up until high school and beyond in the manga, while the anime just focuses on the middle school years (~12-15) where the onset of puberty causes all sorts of new changes and issues. A slice of life series with no overarching plot, just some very likable characters.


    Bokura no Hentai


    manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    Three boys in junior-high who cross-dress because of differing reasons meet each other through a cross-dressing community website, and decide to meet up in real life. "Parou" started cross-dressing because he wanted to attract a heterosexual boy he liked. "Marika" is transgender and identifies as female. Lastly, "Yui" is an antagonistic boy who adopted the persona of his older sister after her death. In contrast to Parou and Marika, Yui is sorely disappointed at the meeting.
    [Trigger warning: features some scenes of child abuse]

    Before I go any further, the 'hentai' in the title means 'transformation', not that. :p: Bokura no Hentai is as good as Hourou Musuko when it comes to treatment of transgender issues, but is a bit darker, looking at depression and characters from less happy or supportive backgrounds. It's not all doom and gloom, however! Also looks at transvestism, one of few non-comedy series to do so.


    IS - Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei


    manga

    (Original post by Synopsis)
    This manga deals with very serious issues concerning intersexual people. The pain they go through, the troubles they confront, and ultimately their inability to reproduce and even find a partner who will accept them as they are - It's all there in a form of manga.
    With LGBT themes featuring so rarely in anime and manga, unsurprisingly there are fewer still that look at the related communities that come under the '+'. The 17 volume IS attempts to raise awareness of intersex people, however. The first volume tells two short stories about different individuals, while the rest of the series is dedicated to one character in a longer, much more developed story. Unfortunately, the quality of the only available translations (while easily understandable) aren't perfect, using the word 'gender' when they mean 'sex' etc, and translation of the final two books is still ongoing, but if you can live with that then I'd highly recommend the series.


    Let me know if you've read or watched any of the above, and what you thought of them, and feel free to suggest any similarly great series.
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    What Did You Eat Yesterday? is great at giving a more realistic/respectful look at life in Japan for a gay couple. Being released by Vertical in English. Not sure what the Japanese name is.
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    (Original post by TroyAndAbed)
    What Did You Eat Yesterday? is great at giving a more realistic/respectful look at life in Japan for a gay couple. Being released by Vertical in English. Not sure what the Japanese name is.
    I'd love to check that out, but unfortunately don't have the shelf space for another long series, and Vertical don't seem to have released it digitally. Yoshinaga Fumi is a brilliant manga-ka, though. :yes:
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    Never knew there was LGBT type anime/manga, interesting...I think most mangakas don't make them due to low demand. Plus the culture is different compared with the western society. I think it's illegal for gay marriage to happen and looked down upon by most people in Japan. :dontknow:

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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Never knew there was LGBT type anime/manga, interesting...I think most mangakas don't make them due to low demand. Plus the culture is different compared with the western society. I think it's illegal for gay marriage to happen and looked down upon by most people in Japan. :dontknow:
    Same-sex partnerships are now being offered in a few wards and cities, and public opinion seems largely in favour of that. Hopefully as such partnerships become more widespread and accepted as normal, the idea of calling them marriages legally won't seem so controversial.
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    I'm surprised the works by Shungiku Nakamura aren't listed here? (The junjou series and sekaiichi hatsukoi)
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    The cringe is real tbh.

    Isnt it called LGBTQIAOXYUIHFUIHRAUIRHWERUEHW+ btw?
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    (Original post by jackien1)
    I'm surprised the works by Shungiku Nakamura aren't listed here? (The junjou series and sekaiichi hatsukoi)
    I can only include series I've read/watched. :p: You'd say they're on the more 'realistic' end of the scale for shounen-ai, then?

    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    The cringe is real tbh.

    Isnt it called LGBTQIAOXYUIHFUIHRAUIRHWERUEHW+ btw?
    There are a lot of different versions of the acronym, including all sorts of different orientations and identities. I feel LGBT+ (or perhaps LGBTI) is most appropriate for this thread though, since I've yet to come across anime or manga that focus on the others. Don't want to advertise this thread as something it isn't.
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    (Original post by AngryJellyfish)
    I can only include series I've read/watched. :p: You'd say they're on the more 'realistic' end of the scale for shounen-ai, then?

    Ahh. Weeeeelll..... Realistic? Not so much. Or at all tbqh. But it's cute. - ish.
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    hentai?
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    (Original post by Raees_Sharif)
    hentai?
    What about hentai?

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    (Original post by Raees_Sharif)
    hentai?
    Anime or manga pornography, if you wanted a definition?
 
 
 
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