Homosexuality is something which has been a part of anime for a long time. In most shows, we can find one or two characters who are homosexual. Sometimes their portrayal is quite realistic or interesting while other times they are usually used for comic purposes. Since I have already done a list on anime with lesbian characters, it’s about time I compile those who have gay characters. Here’s the list of top anime with gay characters. You can also watch many of these best gay anime on Crunchyroll, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
22. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (2011)
‘Sekaiichi Hatsukoi’ is based on a light novel which first came out in the year 2006. There have been four anime adaptations of the manga. Two are anime series, one is a movie, and one is an Original Video Animation. The protagonists of the anime are Ritsu Onodera and Masamune Takano. Ritsu works as an editor in his father’s publishing company. He is quite good at his job but still, people think that he has the job because his father is the owner. When he no longer could bear the jealous attitudes of his co-workers he decides to quit his job and join another publishing company to prove his worth.
He applies for a job in Marukawa publishing company and hopes to get a position in the literary section. He does get a job at the literary section but turns out he has been put in the shoujo manga department. Ritsu wants to resign but when his boss Masamune Takano calls him useless he stays to protect his pride. Later Masamune finds that Ritsu is his old schoolmate who had confessed to him. Now, that they are reunited, Masamune vows to make Ritsu fall in love with him again since the latter had become reluctant towards love due to the heartbreak he received at school.
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21. Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu (2016)
One of the main reasons why ‘Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu.’ is on this list is because the anime has got potential. For the lovers of shounen-ai, the characters are pretty important, sometimes more than the plot. The manga version has got a loyal fan base because of the story and the characters but the anime adaptation could have done much better. Since each episode is quite short and there are only four episodes everything seems to move too quickly and it’s hard to get close to the characters. But it’s a fun show if you are just looking to watch some shounen-ai on the fly. ‘Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu.’ has a fantasy theme.
The protagonist Chiharu Kashima is a wizard. He is pretty skilled at magic. Chiharu frequents a bar he likes. One day a man named Toyohi Utsumi approaches him and tells him his love for magic. Later he confesses to Chiharu that he has fallen in love with him. As time passes they grow closer and start spending more time together. But Chiharu is afraid that Toyohi is only in love with him since he is a wizard.
20. Ling Qi (2016)
Though technically ‘Ling Qi’ is a shounen-ai its primary focus is on various other stuff like the supernatural theme, action, adventure et cetera. There are a total of 20 episodes in the series and each episode is about 14 minutes long. It is a Chinese anime and is an Original Net Animation. The plot is quite good and the music and art were decent enough. But there are certain episodes which you might find boring and pointless but you can just skip or sit through them as each episode is just fourteen minutes long. The protagonist of this anime is Yang Jinghua. He is quite poor and it’s hard for him to make ends meet.
One day he is involved in a serious accident. When he wakes up the next day he finds that he has gotten 10 years younger. Something mysterious must have happened overnight which has given him this opportunity to live life again. But then he finds out that he is dead as he never really survived the accident. This truth was revealed to him by a rich, silver-haired guy who also gives him an offer to join him by signing a spirit pact or contract. Thus, starts the supernatural adventure for Yang Jinghua.
19. Hybrid Child (2014)
‘Hybrid Child’ is an Original Video Animation based on a manga of the same name. It is a nice little piece of animation that will give you a taste of the shounen-ai genre. The entire OVA has around four episodes with each episode being 25 minutes in length. The best thing about this anime is that it has a nice story and good characters. Often when one starts watching this genre they end up watching a lot of anime which have just cheap tactics to get the viewer’s attention like making the contents visually vulgar and putting cheap jokes in. But ‘Hybrid Child’ refrains from doing that.
The anime has three romantic stories which deals with artificial beings and their creators. Kuroda is a talented craftsman. He created a series of dolls called Hybrid Childs who are short of between artificial intelligence and humans. These dolls are not only able to experience human emotions but also need them to grow. One story shows Kotarou Izumi, ho belongs to a noble family, bringing an abandoned Hybrid Child home. None of his family members support him in his decision and try, every possible way to get rid of the artificial human. Kotarou does his best to overcome every obstacle and his and the doll’s love stays strong. But a Hybrid Child has only a limited lifespan.
18. Patalliro! (1982)
If you want to watch an anime filled with eccentric and wacky comedy then ‘Patalliro!’ is a great choice for you and if you happen to like shounen-ai anime then the entertainment value increases much more. ‘Patalliro!’ is based on a manga of the same name which was first published in the year 1978. It has been four decades since the manga came out and it is still going on. Depending on whom you ask ‘Patalliro!’ might seem a bit long for a shounen-ai since it has 49 episodes, each episode being 24 minutes long.
The protagonist of the anime is Patalliro du Malyner VIII who is a ten-year-old king of a country known as Malyner which is famous for its diamond mines. Patalliro is a diabetic child. Other eccentric characters include Maraich Juschenfe who used to be an assassin. He is 18-year-old and has been asked by his former lover to assassinate an MI6 agent by the name of Jack Barbarosa Bancoran. But he ends up falling in love with Jack. Jack loves beautiful boys and can easily attract them. One of the craziest things in ‘Patalliro!’ happens when Jack gets pregnant for no reason even though he is a man. This was not adapted in the anime version.
17. Xiao Lu He Xiao Lan (2018)
Up next is a Chinese anime which aired the previous year in August. Like most Chinese anime ‘Xiao Lu He Xiao Lan’ is also an Original Net Animation meaning that is sort of a ‘direct to stream’ web series. Though the plot and characters are decent enough to watch the show many shounen-ai consumers might be put off by the fact that this series has over 70 episodes. But don’t worry since like most Chinese anime ‘Xiao Lu He Xiao Lan’ has short episodes which are about 8 minutes in length. The anime series focuses on a lot of themes which include computer games, science fiction, drama, magic, etc.
I don’t watch Chinese anime that much but the premise of this anime caught my eyes. It is a different sort of anime in which every episode is set in a different setting. Sometimes the episode is a dramatic one while at other times it is laced with a magical theme. But one thing that remains constant the two main characters of the series keep encountering each other every time. Sometimes they behave as friends while at other times they are sworn as enemies. Whether you like this show or not one certain thing is the fact that you won’t be able to guess the ending.
16. Super Lovers (2016)
Before you start watching ‘Super Lovers’ you need to understand that this anime is not for people who are just starting to watch shounen-ai anime. I did that and was seriously creeped out and grossed by many of things shown. But after getting familiar with the genre you get an idea about how this genre works still there are certain things in this anime that I still can’t see eye to eye with. Haru Kaidou lives in Japan and is the eldest son of his family. When he receives the news that his mother is on the verge of death, he rushes to Canada where his mother is staying.
Turns out that his mother had lied to him about her health just to get him to Canada. She wants Haru to meet his adoptive brother Ren who is an anti-social kid. Haru’s mother wants him to take care of Ren and make him more social. Since Ren generally closes himself off in front of other people, Haru has a hard time getting to know his brother. But time heals all and their relationship improves. Haru then promises Ren that they will stay in Japan together after the former has graduated from high school. But Haru gets involved in an accident and loses all his memory. Years later when Ren arrives in Japan to take Haru up on his promise Haru does not recognize him. Will everything be alright among the two?
15. Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (2010)
Self-realization is a common theme in a shounen-ai anime. ‘Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru’ focuses on this theme too. Another thing which we see in various such anime are pretty, young, stylish men known as Bishounen (which means beautiful men). ‘Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru’ is a Bishounen anime too as there are lots of attractive male characters. The setting of the series is really good and colourful. It has pretty decent art and music. These are one of the main reasons I decided to put this anime on this list.
The plot and character are good enough to carry on with the series. The protagonist Yuki Sakurai has the unfortunate ability to see the most painful memory of a person just by touching them. He feels deeply disturbed and confused as to why he has this ability. Some people want to harm him for his abilities while there are others who want to protect him. One day he is saved by a handsome man who has black hair. Though they have met for the first time Yuki feels a deeper connection with the man. After meeting him Yuki begins to understand the purpose of his existence.
14. Love Stage!! (2014)
‘Love stage!!’ is based on a popular shounen-ai manga of the same name. The series has around 10 episodes and each episode is around 23 minutes long. Izumi Sena’s entire family is in the show business. His mother is an actress, his father is a producer and his brother is a rock star. But the only time Izumi was ever in the spotlight was during his childhood when he was in a commercial for a wedding magazine. Though everyone expects him to eventually enter into the show business given his family background, Izumi has no such goals. He instead wants to become a manga artist.
The magazine for which Izumi did the commercial for requires the original child actors to be present and thus he has to go. There he meets Ryouma Ichijou who starred alongside Izumi in the commercial. Ryouma is a famous actor now but he tells Izumi that he has been harbouring feelings for him since their first meeting. This is because Ryouma thinks Izumi is a girl due to his feminine appearance and a unisex name. But even after finding out the truth Ryouma can’t seem to stop himself from liking Izumi.
13. Junjou Romantica (2008)
‘Junjou Romantica’ follows the story of three couples. The protagonist Misaki Takahashi is a normal high school student. He is studying hard for the university entrance exams which will be held soon. Akihiko Usami, a famous author, happens to be Misaki’s brother’s best friend. So, when he asks Misaki to help him the latter thinks that it will allow him to take some time off studying but turns out it is not so. Akihiko’s stories have naughty themes and make Misaki cringe at first but later he starts discovering his naughty side.
The other two couples include professor Hiroki Kamijou and paediatrician Nowaki Kusama and Shinobu Takatsuki and professor You Miyagi. Nowaki has fallen for professor Hiroki and vows to make him happy at any cost. The latter relationship is a bit on the obsessive side since Shinobu falls for You Miyagi but realizes that he cannot have him.
12. No. 6 (2011)
I watched No. 6 a few years ago. It has a decent plot but at times I thought that it could have been better. The story is set in the aftermath of a war. Mankind has now started to reside in the peaceful six city-states which on the surface appears to be a utopia. Shion is an elite resident of the No. 6. His life changes when he meets a boy named Nezumi who was from the wasteland outside of the city. Even after knowing that the boy is a fugitive Shion decides to protect him. After being found out Shion and his mother lose their elite status and are relocated. Shion and Nezumi are reunited after a long time and they embark on an adventure which is going to unearth many secrets of No. 6.
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11. Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)
This anime belongs to the fantasy/magic genre. The plot follows the life of a young girl named Sakura. One day she finds a book filled with cards and before she could understand anything the cards are accidentally blown away and scattered all over the world. Later, a beast from the books tells her that the cards are magical and can pose a great threat to the world. She needs to get them back and seal them in the book. The gay characters here are Toya, Sakura’s older brother and Yukito, his best friend.
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10. Hetalia Axis Powers (2009)
This is a unique anime. It is kind of like a parody of the entire world. The plot is set around the time of World War I and World War II. The countries are personified and given certain characteristic features. For example, Italy loves eating pasta, Germany is short-tempered and so on. The series is made for the comic purpose only and is an attempt to make light of various political and historical events. The character of France is shown to be queer.
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9. Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure (2012)
This is a vampire genre anime. The plot starts in 1868 when Dario Brando saves Geroge Joestar, an English nobleman. To repay Dario, George decides to give Dario’s son, Dio, shelter after his father passes away. Unhappy with his current situation Dio decides to destroy the Joestar household and claim everything for himself. He also wields a powerful stone mask. These events set off a rivalry which continues even after decades. Nearly five decades later the story is continued with George’s great-grandson at the epicentre. The character of Dio is bisexual and overall the series has a homoerotic theme.
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8. One-Punch Man (2015)
‘One-Punch Man’ is my all-time favourite anime from the superhero genre. It is a parody, it is a comedy, it is an action-packed anime. The story follows the adventures of Saitama who after a certain set of regular exercises which he continues for over three years gains superhuman abilities to the extent that he can defeat anyone with just one punch. The queer character that I am about is Puri Puri Prisoner. Yes, the superhero whose transformation makes him naked.
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7. Hana-Kimi: For You in Full Blossom (1996)
Mizuki is a Japanese track and field star. She wants to become better at it. She decides to join the high school in which her idol Izumi, a high jumper, goes to. But wait! That’s an all-boys school. Mizuki decides to cross-dress and hide her true identity from everyone but the coming of a new student who makes people question their orientation can be a bit troublesome for her. There are many instances of homosexuality in this anime. Hokuto Umeda, Akiha Hara are some of the queer characters.
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6. Steins; Gate (2011)
Alright, you know why I included ‘Steins; Gate’ on this list. It’s because of the character of Ruka Urushibar. The slim and slender looking boy had me fooled for a certain number of episodes since I thought that there must be some problem with the subtitles. Though Ruka is biologically a male, he likes to dress up as a girl and has more feminine characteristics than masculine ones. He has a crush on Rintarou which puts this anime on this list.
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5. Devilman: Crybaby (2018)
This anime deals with devils, demons, and Satan. Devils need a human host to take form but a strong-willed human can control them using the supernatural powers for themselves. Akira Fudou is a timid person but decides to help his friend who asks him to accompany him to a place to uncover the truth about devils. The party turns violent as devils start decimating everyone. To save his friend Akira merges with devil Amon and defeats everyone thus becoming a devilman. In this series, the character of Satan, Ryo, is shown to be homosexual as he falls in love with Akira.
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4. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
I don’t know why anime keeps on destroying humanity or at the very least put us on the brink of destruction. They have been doing it for so long that it makes me wonder if that’s what the future holds. In this anime too humanity is very close to being destroyed by so-called angels. Our last hopes are Evangelion which can be piloted by certain individuals only. They are capable of defeating the angels. Shinji Ikari is pushed into this world and now shoulder’s the weight of saving mankind. Will he be successful? Shinji is supposedly homosexual because there was a brief moment when he was quite close to Kaworu Nagisa.
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3. Tiger an Bunny (2011)
If you have watched the superhero genre anime ‘Tiger and Bunny’, then you surely know who is responsible for the anime being on this list. Yup, I am talking about none other than Nathan Seymour whose alter-ego is the Hot Fire Emblem. Earlier on in the series, he can be seen hitting on men. The show is a funny one and has some over-the-top action sequences.
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2. Yuri!!! On ICE (2016)
‘Yuri!!! On ICE’ is a sports genre anime and is a very good one at that. The plot follows the life of Japanese figure skater Yuuri Katsuki who after a disheartening defeat is back at his family house. His window for bouncing back is getting slim and he isn’t much conscious about his weight gain. But a video of him doing a move that veteran figure skater Victor once did goes viral. This leads Victor to reach out to him and become his mentor putting Yuuri back on the ice. In this anime, the main characters Yuuri and Victor fall in love and begin a romantic relationship.
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1. Doukyuusei (2016)
Unlike many of the other anime on this list which has a few gay characters who don’t affect the storyline much, Doukyuusei is a romantic genre anime movie that is based on the homosexuality between the two male protagonists. Rhito is an A-level student while Hikaru is a guitarist in a band. Though they walk on completely different paths fate pulls them together and Hikaru helps Rhito prepare for a chorus. From here onwards the two start meeting regularly, eventually developing a romantic relationship.
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