All for love: five heroic queer couples in anime

Revolutionary Girl Utena

Some loves show us the kind of acceptance we should display to everyone; selfless and open-hearted, without fear or pride. As two people who have each been afraid to express our identities, these queer couples define how we want to embrace ourselves and others. With our daughter close to coming into the world, it means so much to us that she knows she shouldn’t be afraid to share her whole heart and soul. So we’ll be sticking to canon queer characters and relationships for this list, because all love deserves to be conveyed in more than nudge-nudge-wink-winks.

Haruka and Michiru (aka Uranus and Neptune) – Sailor Moon

Neptune and Uranus - Sailor Moon

If you were watching the ‘kid-friendly’ dub of Sailor Moon, it might have taken you many years to find out these two were really together. What bright spark thought it was less weird to make them cousins? It was the same with just-very-good-friends-honest Zoisite and Kunzite, with Zo even gender-swapped other times because he looked ‘girly’ enough to get away with it. But that’s exactly the reason why these sweethearts need defending for generations to come.

Toya and Yukito – Cardcaptor Sakura

Toya and Yukito - Cardcaptor Sakura

We seriously ship Tomoyo and Sakura, but for them it was not to be. And while Toya and Yukito are never confirmed as a couple outright, we’re assured they’re sweet on one another via their separate confessions to Sakura. Come on, it’s obvious – we know they got it together behind the scenes. Yuki-bunny is an honest-to-god angel who deserves to be sheltered by love, and dependable Toya has the strong heart he needs. They are perfect, and you can just feel the passion radiating from that kabe-don.

Utena and Anthy – Revolutionary Girl Utena

Utena and Anthy - Revolutionary Girl Utena

The anime series may have fallen prey to the dreaded nudging and winking, but the film Adolescence of Utena decided to scrap all the kiss-in-credits nonsense and get down and dirty. Anthy’s a woman who stands by her word, and when she decrees she’ll have sex with the duelist champion of the day, she upholds her end. Good job Utena’s a demon with her blade. The set up edging pledge-prostitution certainly raises its issues, but it’s rather wonderful to see prince and princess consummate their love and have some sweet hand-in-hand pillow talk.

Saki and Maria – From the New World


It’s an irritation that the adult overseers in this series cry free love for the kids, up until it comes to making babies for the sake of humanity. But while they can, Maria and Saki at least have a love that blooms with sensuality. Their first kiss aches with that pure yearning of young love, without a mote of the exploitation yuri can suffer from. They are one another’s hope and defence in a cold world of human monstrosity. We wish they could have stayed that way.

Yoshino and Shuichi – Wandering Son  

Shuichi and Yoshino – Wandering Son                  

This drama gave us an honest look into the teen life of a trans boy, in a manner so unfortunately bold it breaks your heart. For Yoshino and Shuichi, the struggle with gender dysphoria is intertwined with how we each struggle to define ourselves in puberty. Even so, they find each other through the fear of who would damn Yoshino for binding his chest, or Shuichi for presenting as a girl to express a simple heart truth. Shuichi professes her attraction to Yoshino by the end, but love for them means more. Their mutual understanding and honesty show us what we should strive for, without bias or condition.

These gorgeous couples can help us see the beauty in ourselves, and how far we’ve come through all the loneliness and uncertainty. But which queer characters and couples are the ones that speak to you? Share your favourites with us, because we want to hear about them.

About Elisabeth (1360 Articles)
Otaku blogger, mum and hyper-pixie of the cosmic realms. Might have made that last part up. Or did I?

3 Comments on All for love: five heroic queer couples in anime

  1. My usual favourites are:

    Nowaki and Hiroki – Junjo Romantica
    I loved these two because they weren’t perfect. They were simply two adults who had their own hang-ups and flaws, and yet didn’t let it get in the way of their relationship in the end. They’re both capable fo jealousy, but care deeply for one another. The sene where Hiroki lets his jealousy get the better of him in the hospital is actually one of my favourites.

    Korra and Asami – Legend of Korra
    This one really depends if you want to class it as anime or not, but … I loved watching the slow burn relationship develop over the seasons. That it was a positive representation of bisexuality was a real bonus for me as I struggle sometimes to find such things.

    There are others, but the reasoning is usually just that I think that they make a cute couple. Canaan and maria in CANAAN, and Meg and Jo in Burst Angel fit that category.

    Wandering Son has been on my list for a long time now. I always mange to miss opportunities tow atch the anime or pick up the manga, but it sounds like a really beautiful piece.


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