Any gay themed anime out there?

I am not really interested in anime porn (is that hentai?) but other general gay themed anime series. I recall one whose name slips my mind completely where women have either died off completely or left the men to fend for themselves. This one was set in the future and the children that the characters all have are clones of their “father.” I think there are several others but I don’t think I want to do the google search at work for anime and gay for the qualifiers. I would be especially interested if there is some fantasy based anime with gay main or side characters in it.
So what’s the poop? Anyone know of any? Please post the names and a brief synopsis if you do.

Google for “yaoi”.

But in the west, “yaoi” is an imprecise term that includes slash fanfic about shows with absolutely no homosexual content, shojo shows with one gay character, and then varying degrees of the real stuff. As far as what’s commercially available in America, some include Yami no Matsuei, just released here as I think Descendants of the Dark, which is actually quite good. That’s really dark shojo with some pretty heavy homosexual undertones. I should mention that if you want good gay, it’s often in manga, not in anime. The anime is often either considerably condensed, badly, from the manga, or just lacking in some other way. Gravitation is a good show that has just been licensed for American distribution that kind of wavers between the heavy shojo/BL non-line. The gay relationship there is the focal point of the story. However, it’s not available here.

Commercially available here, there’s Earthian and Fake, both of which have been available for a good while. They’re both full of interesting characterization, and the homosexual content is both socially interesting and quite touching, but to be honest the shows kinda suck. Fake has quite the wretched plot: One of the protagonists kills the bad guy at the end by riding a motorcycle through a window. Plus, there are annoying kids. Earthian would be quite interesting, except that it’s 4 OAV episodes and quite obviously, there’s a whole lot of story missing between 2 and 3. I assume it’s in the manga, but that’s hard to get. Especially the one volume where they get it on for, like, three seconds. The relationship there, though, is also very good, very interesting.

I believe that’s the only time my friends and I have ever been rewarded by yelling at the TV screen. Chihaya, the more feminine having-issues-now guy, is sitting at the breakfast table staring at the lovely breakfast Kagetsuya has slaved over for him, not eating it (again), and he suddenly bursts out with something like, “You’ve been so rough lately. The way you eat, the way you talk…
[fangirl scream] “The way you fuck!” [/fangirl scream]
… in bed…”
[fangirl stunned silence]Holy shit. He said it.[/fangirl stunned silence]

So those are interesting if you’re interested more in the presentation of the relationships involved than the plot itself. A few things only available in Japan or here on fansub include Zetsuai and Bronze, which you could make a case for starting the BL/yaoi phenomenon, although there were several old-school shows before (Patarillo, Song of Wind and Trees). Very angsty. Extremely angsty. A lot of this stuff is; actually, the titles I’ve mentioned kind of buck the trend a bit, at least in terms of this particular style of angst. Extremely interesting on one level, because in the first show, while they all sit around and whine a lot, both men are clearly characterized as men. By the time Bronze rolls around, however, whatshisname is the sorriest coded-female I’ve seen in a long, long time. Hmm.

Also quite excellent, but not available here (not on DVD in Japan, either), is Ai no Kusabi, which is based on a bunch of novels and radio plays (meaning there’s tons of background you will not understand. My fansubs have good notes on them, but still.) It’s all about the power struggle, baby, and drawn in an interesting style. I cried at the end. The whole thing’s pretty brutal; I mean that in a positive sense.

For more information on more shows, or on the manga, I highly reccommend - full of excellent essays, reviews, plot summaries, and great links. Plus, they sponsor Yaoi-Con. J says he’s going to the gym so next year he brings in more than $40 at the bishonen auction, man, and hates all of this stuff. :slight_smile:

Wow! Googling ‘yaoi’ will bring you an ocean of links. The first one I found was for something called “Yaoi-Con 2002”!

If you’re interested in this type of storyline, you might also enjoy an online comic called “Boy Meets Boy”. I don’t know if I should link to it from here, so I’ll just give the title and let you know that googling it will bring you to the page posthaste.

The show the OP is thinking of is Sabre Marrionettes. R is the original OVA, but the J TV series is the place most people start.

A show with a lot of homosexual implications is Revolutionary Girl Utena. The TV show contains a few characters that definitely are at least bi-sexual, a fair share of homosexuals, and plenty that people argue about endlessly. The movie is much more explicit about it with some of the arguable characters effectively coming out of the closet.

Posted too soon.

In Fushigi Yuugi (aka Mysterious Play) one of the main characters is both a transvestite and bisexual spending most of his time chasing after a man.

Battle Athletes contains a bit in the TV series, but the OVA series comes right out with it.

Please Save My Earth contains one couple who were lovers in a previous life both being reincarnated as men and not letting that stand in their way.

El Hazard features a pair of rather sexually agressive lesbians is prominant roles.

I wanted to add that almost every single anime television series these days includes at least one character who’s sexual interests stick with those of the same gender. Mostly in minor roles, but you do occasionally get a show where they’re a major part of the cast.

BTW, Gravitation is available in a region 0 DVD right now, with the most amazingly awful subtitle translation ever (you are the foreplayers!) I recommend waiting for the US release.
Fake is a little bit silly, but the central relationship is interesting.
Kizuna is slightly more interesting, but the US DVD is awful.
Please Save My Earth is an interesting, and very good, anime about alien scientists who are reincarnated as humans- one of the central storylines involves two alien lovers who were both reincarnated as boys…
Earthian is damn near incomprehensible.
Level-C is porn.

The House of Morecock has been described as an American anime and it’s definitely gay-themed.

I like Gravitation and Fake, mostly because they don’t spend the entire series moping about how depressed they are and considering suicide.

The main problem I find with yaoi (and shoujo manga in general) is that it tends towards the unspeakably depressing and angsty.

Hey! I know a guy who’s roommate is friends with one of the artists for that!


Lordy - the one with the “glowing cones”! That one makes me and my friends laugh hysterically. I’m positive its not supposed to be funny.

I knew I’d find someone else who’d seen Yami no Matsuei if I just waited long enough! Zsofia, you’re practically my twin…right down to the Aestheticism reference. Which leaves me with virtually nothing to say…

…except to second the recommendation for YnM. The manga is slightly more explicit (if that’s the word for it…more obviously shounen-ai, though not any more action) than the anime and some of the implied pairings are different. I prefer the manga, but YMMV.

Again, Gravitation is pretty fun if you like cutesy boy bands. If cutesy boy bands annoy you (or if you’ve seen Weiss Kreuz and absolutely despise it), you may wish to avoid it.

You also may wish to search for yuri or shoujo-ai, depending on your interests. Poster child for that is the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie.

Since it seems to be coming up a lot, I recently bought the first 4 volumes of Yami no Matsuei. Despite the fact that I have an unhealthy fondness for mad scientists and evil doctors and such, I still can’t say I’m overly eager to buy more. Too much angst for me and the humor seems out of place (you raped me so I’m joking about selling my partner to you? Huh?), plus Muraki is so over-the-top that he’s just funny.

A lot of my friends really like it, though, so YMMV. They also keep telling me to read past volume 4, that things pick up after that… true?

The Yami no Matsuei manga is extremely pretty. And if you like the show, there’s more of the people you loved in the show. But it’s kind of… odd, in tone. Uneven. I’ve only read the translations, but it’s got that crazy Japanese sideline humor/main story Serious Drama thing going. I’m okay with that - but I don’t know if I’d like it as much as I do if I hadn’t seen the show first.

I think it does get into more interesting storylines later on, but YMMV.

There’s plenty of anime out there with gay characters. Basically the dead give away is if they hold a rose way too often(cept that Sailor Moon guy but even I have my doubts sometime). James from Pokemon. That guy is downright flaming and I’m sure he’s a subtle joke that young kids don’t quite get yet. Hanging out with a hot chick in split top showing her midriff apparently doesn’t affect him at all.

There’s a gay character in Ninja Scroll too.

Tokyo Babylon is pretty cool, unfortunately there are only two OAV episodes, so you miss all the backstory. I have a complete set of the manga, but its in Japanese, so I can’t read it. Some day, I will get it translated, or find a translation.

Thanks everyone for the replies so far. YnM sounds like it could be a good bet so far. Also thanks for the Sabre Marionettes. I couldn’t remember that name for the life of me. Also thanks for the yaoi. That helped a lot.

Still, are there any fantasy themed (rather than modern day or sci fi) yaoi out there?

I started another thread on the anime REIGN about Alexander the Great, but one thing I’ll add here: I was really disappointed that in today’s liberal atmosphere, they still made up a female love interest for him (Cassandra, a niece of Aristotle- why couldn’t they have used one of his three wives [Barsine, Roxanne & Stateira] if they wanted him straight?) rather than have a film rendering of his romance with Hepheastion or Bagoas.

Still, are there any fantasy themed (rather than modern day or sci fi) yaoi out there?*

Lots. Well, a lot of the “fantasy” themes are also modern day - *Yami no Matsuei is about extremely cute grim reapers, but they work in modern day Japan. Ditto Tokyo Babylon and X- they’re fighting for the fate of the world yaddayaddayadda, in Tokyo. I highly reccomend the X TV series, now being released on DVD, by the way - it’s got some suggestive themes even if you don’t know the whole Tokyo Babylon backstory with Subaru and Seshirou, and if you then damn. :slight_smile: Googling will inform one nicely on that.

I’m drawing a blank on non-modern fantay themed yaoi anime off the top of my head - Fushigi Yugi, as somebody mentioned, is a “schoolgirl to hot-guy-world” show with a transvestite character set mostly in fantasy ancient China, and Nakago most definately both kisses and licks Tamahome, but the theme isn’t really very strong. There’s quite a lot of manga, on the other hand, in fantasy settings in ancient Japan or China. Some of these do have translations on the web; worth looking into if you’re interested.

Saiyuki, which is coming out here in April (and is readily available on Hong Kong bootlegs, which are well-translated until halfway through - I’m replacing mine with the legitimate licensed product as it comes out, of course), dosen’t technically have gay themes (yeah, right), but it’s all about the relationships between four men as they travel around a vaugely post-apocalyptic world on a mission and expense account for Buddha. Vaugely based on Chinese literature. Good show with some unfortunate CGI and fantastic voice acting - the thing is, if you look far into the yaoi phenomenon you realize there is a booming industry of Japanese fan comics, called doujinshi. So if you want your Saiyuki gay, you can definately get it. (Unless you’re into my pairings, of course.) Weiss Kreuz is a series with a similar extensive doujinshi base, although it’s really quite a crappy show. I do love it, though, and it’s redeemed by its voice acting. Not a fantasy setting, however.

Jeeves, there should be plain-text translations for Tokyo Babylon online because I have read them all before. The site I found them at (I think) has changed ownership and there appears to be some sort of problems with the domain name when I went to check, but you can try and see if it’s working.

There’s definitely scanlations (scans of the manga pages with the text translated) online, but I’ll leave you to find those.