Anime is one of Japan’s prized modern cultural treasures, and despite its political stance on LGBTQ+ rights, Japan has a number of fantastic queer anime in its repertoire. Among the array of gay anime, here are our top picks of must-see series to add to your watch list.

given gay anime

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Run, don’t walk to your nearest screen to watch this series. Given has everything: a teenage coming-of-age story, dreamy musician boys and a fantastic soundtrack. There’s also the sweetest, slow-burn and sometimes heartbreaking romance between two boys who are learning about themselves, how they navigate grief and how they experience love. This series is sure to make just about anyone have a satisfying cry in its ninth episode. It also has a sequel film which centers around the two lead boys’ bandmates, though it’s admittedly a little rushed and not nearly as good as this 11-episode series.

Yuri on ice gay anime

By Meduzanol via GoodFon

Yuri!!! on Ice

This one is so popular and will probably end up on every LGBTQ+ anime list, but it’s classic for a reason. Yuri!!! on Ice follows Yuri, an ice skater who has hit rock bottom in his career. He then meets his idol Victor, who mentors him. The central relationship between Yuri and Victor is loving, tender and supportive. Although not technically explicit, the series is generally considered to fall under the queer BL (Boys’ Love) genre. 

Bloom into You

Bloom into You (Japanese: Yagate Kimi ni Naru) is one of the few yuri series that doesn’t sexualize sapphic relationships, and has a plotline that develops naturally and beautifully. The story centers around shy, people-pleaser Yuu and respected student council president Touko. They are two high school students who struggle to experience love, until they meet each other. The two young women share a bond that allows them to open up in ways they aren’t able to with others. The story is precious and thoughtful. It will almost certainly make your heart flutter with joy. 

banana fish gay anime

By Mamala via GoodFon

Banana Fish

If you’re looking for a good cry, this is the series for you. Set in New York City in the 1980s, Banana Fish follows the close kinship between young gang leader Ash Lynx, and a Japanese assistant photographer working on a report about an American gang. Though not explicitly queer, Banana Fish’s central theme of the two young men’s spiritual bond traverses the bounds of platonic friendship.


Classmates or Doukyusei in Japanese, is an opposites-attract film that’s cute, believable and will make it hard for you to wipe the grin off your face. The story centers around Hikaru Kusakabe, a carefree guitarist, and Rihito Sajou, a straight-laced honor student. Their relationship kicks off when Kusakabe discovers the otherwise perfect Sajou struggling to learn his music for the school festival. Though the story line is relatively simple, it’s satisfyingly rewarding for the hopelessly romantic reader. The animation is also aesthetically pleasing and artfully rendered.


By Astrovique via DeviantArt


Kakegurui is a trippy series that takes place in a private school in which the social hierarchy is wholly decided by gambling. Though the story is narrated through the perspective of Ryota, a rather bland, ‘self-insert’ male character, most of the primary characters in the series are women, who have an erotic obsession with gambling. While there is an argument that this series overly sexualizes its female characters, it has proved to be very popular among queer circles as an artful and fascinating, yet somewhat farcical, anime.

Skip and Loafer

Skip and Loafer might not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about LGBTQ+ anime. After all, the central relationship is heterosexual, between the intelligent but clumsy Mitsumi, and the popular but elusive Sosuke. However, Nao, Mitsumi’s aunt and guardian, is a transgender woman, a fashion icon and a fan-favorite character. The representation of Nao is surprisingly modern and refreshing. The story addresses the issue of Nao’s gender identity, but doesn’t fixate on it.

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