Here we go! Welcome to another day of Niji Nights! Let’s celebrate some representation of Queers! Now, before anyone gets crazy, we picked Queer characters that are popular and/or should be recognized. We are in no way condoning the trauma, actions or abuse that these characters face in their struggles. IN FACT, we are showcasing them for their strength and their potential for growth as beautiful and terrifying people.
Ash Lynx from Banana Fish
Oh Ash…our love of Banana Fish is strong, and we had a brief discussion whether or not to include Ash on the list, but I thought we had to. After all, Banana Fish is one of the great classic BL stories and Ash is iconic. But, surprisingly, though it is clear he develops feelings for Eiji throughout the story, the author never confirms Ash’s sexuality. Some have called him bisexual due to him mentioning relationships with girls before, and others refer to him as asexual as we never see a explicitly sexual relationship between Ash x Eiji (makes sense with his past trauma). If anything, Ash uses sex as a bargaining trip to get what he wants usually. So, there is a possibility he could be gay, bisexual, or asexual. The possibilities are endless. But when I observe his relationship with Eiji at least, he seems to approach it with a biromantic but asexual mindset. Emotionally intimate, but never sexually so. But even without knowing Ash’s exact sexuality, it’s clear that he and Eiji are in love with each other, and that’s all that really needs to be said.
Adam from Sk8
A Sapiosexual of sorts. By sorts I mean, passion and talent. That was by far what attracted him to other people. And just by his actions and his words his feelings became stronger in every episode. Given his love was a bit wicked in nature, he became a posterchild for trauma and how victims can be influenced to perceive love in twisted ways. He became obsessive with his motives but gave a lot of room for self-discovery if he allowed.
Richard from Richard the Jeweler
The most accurate image of an asexual demi-romantic I have ever seen in an anime. As disinterested as he may have seemed he had a rather forward way of showing how much he cared. He went out of his way to support, and dare I say love, his friend. Although there was no sexual feelings involved he definitely had romantic investments and it only got stronger through the story.
Akihiko Kaji from Given
So, we have to mention Akihiko from Given. He is a prime example of a bisexual character–dating and having sexual relations with boys and girls. He’s actually a bit too much of a flirt at times, leading him to some troubling situations (especially when he chooses to have sexual relations with many partners), but Akihiko has a surprisingly good heart. Sure he has issues, but when it comes to sexuality, Akihiko is the strongest sounding board for Uenoyama as he discovers that he has feelings for Mafuyu. Akihiko is the one to tell Uenoyama that there is nothing wrong with liking boys and that it doesn’t make him weird or unmanly at all. This scene in which he says this is so perfectly simple, and really reassures Uenoyama. Which is why Akihiko is actually pretty damn awesome and absolutely worth mentioning.
Inukashi (Dogkeeper) from No.6
True Royalty of Androgyny this one. Inukashi is incredible in a lot of ways in terms of representation. They were a boss in their field, ethnically ambiguous and non-binary. Although this character isn’t a main, they are in an anime that focuses around building trusting, loving relationships regardless of class and sex. There is a whole lot that try to stop these characters from thriving but their friendship and inner strength is what shines through in this story.
Shinnosuke Tenmaya from Mars Red
This fashion idol came out of nowhere but I’m glad they did. Often feeling bullied by others because of his mixed ethnicity he found a home with the people who were also looked down upon. Even though his problems stemmed from his looks it became part of his authenticity expanding to his fashion choices and never stopped helping those that were being oppressed. What a trooper.
Rai Nagamori from Those Snow White Notes
This beautiful creature is talented and fun-loving. A little obsessed with his looks, he also shows a more feminine side in the group. He’s honest and supportive making him the perfect teammate and honestly a great friend. He became the backbone (and in some ways the face) to the team.
Momoe Sawaki & Kaoru Kurita from Wonder Egg Priority
These two had very different experiences and feelings in their lives but oddly they made connections a little too late in their “lives”. But they both shared a deep appreciation for each other as they found similarities in their struggles regarding the way they look. Momoe often struggled with being seen as feminine even though she was a cis-gender woman and Kaoru wanted to be seen as a man even though they were born a woman. In another life, they would have made a beautiful couple.
Sanae Ebato from Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s kiss)
So Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Kiss) is filled with relatable content that can be really triggering to some people as it highlights unhealthy relationships. Sanae found herself falling in love with her best friend. As her best friend wandered through a questionable relationship, she felt the need to give her friend what she wanted. At one point she tries to appear more masculine to her best friend in hopes she would love her as much of the childhood crush her best friend couldn’t get over.
I hope you enjoyed our little highlights if you’d like to see some other Queers we wrote about you can check out last years post! We can’t wait to do this again next summer!