With Pride in full swing, it’s time for us to highlight our favorite queer anime couples. We did have to make a couple of stipulations to this list. All the couples have to actually be together. No queerbaiting, shipping or leaving it up to context clues. With that being said, we sadly had to cut out two of our favorite couples(?), Yuri and Victor from Yuri!!! On Ice and Ymir and Historia from Attack on Titan. With that being said, check out our list of favorite queer anime couples!
10. Adachi and Shimamura - Adachi and Shimamura
A love story that begins with ping-pong is destined to be a good one. Adachi and Shimamura meet when both teens decide to skip class and pass time in the school gym. The girls become fast friends and Adachi starts to get feelings for Shimamura that are stronger than mere friendship. The story is a typical first love high school romance filled with sweet touches and awkward moments.
9. Shion and Nezumi - No. 6
Shion and Nezumi’s love story starts when the boys are both 12. Nezumi had just escaped from prison and Shion helped care for him when the former broke into his home. The two formed an instant bond and four years later when Shion is sent to the same prison Nezumi previously escaped from, he rescues Shion. The two share some very intimate moments, such as when Nezumi teaches Shion how to dance the waltz and the “goodnight kiss” they shared. The two are very protective of each other and are willing to make sacrifices for the other.
8. Takato and Junta - Dakaichi
Takato and Junta are both actors. Takato is a veteran actor, having worked since childhood. Junta is a newcomer who is quickly gaining popularity, making Takato feel threatened for the first time. Junta, on the other hand, admires Takato. They eventually form a passionate relationship, Takato even stating that he has never felt love from another person before he met Junta. The two are very supportive of one another’s career and make a great partnership.
7. Ushio and Sumika - Whispered Words
Most people have experienced having a crush on one of their friends. Whether you act on it or not, it can be very confusing and add that with being an insecure teenager, it’s bound to cause a few problems. Sumika realizes she has a crush on her best friend, but doubts she feels the same because she is not “small and cute” like Ushio prefers. Sumika at first tries to change for her but becomes unhappy and decides to pursue what she loves instead of trying to be someone she’s not. Soon Ushio develops feelings for her as well, proving that if someone truly loves you, they won’t care if you aren’t their “type”.
6. Mafuyu and Ritsuka - Given
While Given mainly focuses on Mafuyu and Ritsuka’s love story, there is also an underlying story of grief. Mafuyu tries to cope with his loss by learning the guitar with the help of Ritsuka. The more they work together, the more Ritsuka realizes that Mafuyu is a talented singer and invites him to join his band. The two become closer and eventually start dating. Their relationship is one built on solid communication and trust, that makes their relationship feel so real.
5. Hikaru Kusakabe and Rihito Sajou - Classmates
Classmates is a coming-of-age romance that blossoms from an unlikely friendship between two high school students. Kusakabe is a musical genius who notices Sajou struggling to read the music lyrics written on the blackboard during choir. He offers to tutor Sajou outside of class and soon a romantic relationship develops. The couple’s relationship is a very innocent first love type story that anyone, queer or not, can releate to.
4. Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami - Bloom Into You
Yuu and Touko’s relationship is one of discovery and acceptance. Touko had been asked out by people in the past, but always turned them down because she didn’t feel her heart race when they asked. This changes when she starts to get closer to Yuu, even though she doesn’t realize it at first. Bloom Into You plays out like a standard love story, but with the one addition that the characters also discover that they are both attracted to women. As the women fall more in love with each other, they also accept that it’s okay for them to be attracted and want to be with women. It’s a very realistic and natural progression into discovering one’s queerness.
3. Yukito and Touya - Cardcaptor Sakura
When Cardcaptor was released in the U.S., it was heavily censored and edited so that any hints of any of the characters being gay were practically erased. Of course, die-hard fans realized something was missing and that was the queerness. One of the best queer couples from the show was Yukito and Touya. In the beginning of the series they were very close best friends that eventually turned into more as the series went on. One of the sweetest scenes was when Yukito admitted to Sakura that he had feelings for her brother Touya. The scene was filled with love and acceptance that viewers can still connect with today.
2. Utena and Anthy - Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena tackles a lot of issues, such as gender norms, equality and gay love. Utena originally decided to fight for Anthy, not because she loved her or that she wanted to acquire her for personal gain, but because she saw her treatment by society as wrong. Throughout the anime the two become closer and eventually form feelings for each other. Utena brings out a more relaxed version of Anthy that she wasn’t able to explore when she was being fought over as if she was a prize rather than a human being. Their relationship is probably one of the most innocent and natural ones in the series. Neither wishes to control the other and only hopes to allow the other to be happy.
1. Haruka Tenou and Michiru Kaiou - Sailor Moon
These two are probably one of the first well known queer couples portrayed in anime, making them the obvious pick for the top of the list. While the original series didn’t say that they were together (the American subbed version even said they were cousins), the creator of Sailor Moon confirmed that they were together whenever asked about it. Haruka and Michiru’s stories are intertwined from the very beginning. In the vision Michiru has that awakens her Sailor Scout powers, she also sees Haruka and awakens her powers as well. From there, they are an unbreakable team of two that are always seen together. Whenever one is in trouble, the other will do anything to help them. For example, when the two get captured in a magical trap, Neptune gets hurt while escaping her cage in order to make sure that Uranus was safe, not caring for her own well being. While it is not said that they are together in the anime, the lingering looks and sweet touches shared between the couple definitely says otherwise. Not to mention Haruka is basically the first non-binary character we’ve seen in anime, making their relationship practically the definition of gay pride.