5 Best LGBT Anime Characters

Ghost in the Shell: Stand alone complex

As I said before, is anime widespread with some amazing LGBTQ series. So many that this author has not seen them all. What did you expect? Just because I’m queer means I’ve seen EVERY queer anime?

I’m sorry y’all, I’ve been too busy doing weird shit to other people. And sometimes just normal shit? How to cook? In the shower? Sleep? Although these things could all be weird I guess. I could count gay sheep before bed, but to be honest I lie awake most of the time wishing my favorite queer anime characters could be real so we could hang out.

Here is a list of my personal favorite LGBTQ anime characters. And if you have dark magic to make it real, we’d appreciate your help.


(Image credit: Sunset)

Gren is one of the most beautiful and complex portrayals of a transgender character in anime that I have seen. A character from the greatest anime of all time, Cowboy Beebop, Gren is a jazz musician living in the frozen little town of Blue Crow on Callisto. While the character presents himself as male (and for good reason, Blue Crow is an all-male city of dangerous criminals), the character later reveals that she developed female sexual characteristics after being exposed to experimental chemicals. Gren is comfortable with the ambiguity of their gender, and when asked if they’re male or female, Gren replies with an iconic line that they’re “both at once and neither.” The character is a fantastical allegory for trans people who choose (usually for security reasons) to go “secretly” and pose as the gender they were assigned at birth. Gren lives and works as a man, but in their private moments they exist beyond the binary. I adore this character and have written a full critical analysis of him. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed? You should be too.

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Ryuko Matoi

Ryuko Matoi gets frustrated in Kill La Kill
(Image credit: Studio Trigger)

Ryuko Matoi is a high school villain. She is the person everyone secretly wants to be. She is headstrong, rebellious and doesn’t give a shit. She is waging a one-woman war against an oppressive society, a struggle I’m sure many queer people can empathize with. I love Ryuko because her weirdness isn’t her defining trait. Far from it. She has lofty ambitions beyond herself and is trying to become the strongest warrior she can be (to avenge her father’s untimely death). I have a theory that the series is also an allegory for a young person confronting their sexuality. Ryuko is embarrassed at first and ashamed of the skimpy sailor suit she has to wear in battle, but is later empowered by it. She also doesn’t start the series with any kind of romantic or sexual desire, as her sexuality takes a backseat to her goals to the point that it’s practically non-existent. However, later in the series she develops feelings for her best friend Mako (another AMAZING queer character on the show) and the two decide to have a romantic relationship in the end credits. The show doesn’t treat queerness as some weird outlier that’s a person’s sole defining factor, but rather as a kind of ubiquitous trait that almost every character on the show possesses to some degree. I mean, come on, look at the outfits worn by members of the Nudist Beach anti-clothing militia. They BELONG in a queer club in New York City.

Haruhi Fujioka

(Image credit: bones)

Like Gren I think Ouran High School Host Clubs Haruhi is a fabulous character due to her comfort with her own gender and sexual ambiguity. She poses as a male member of her high school’s visiting club: a group of handsome boys who are paid to tickle the school’s female population. While the characters who know her “secret” refer to her as a girl, Haruhi isn’t interested in defining herself based on her looks or gender roles. She prefers to define herself and those around her by who they are inside. Her sexuality is equally ambiguous and she seems to enjoy the attention of boys and girls alike. After all, her first kiss was with a girl in her class. Non-binary bi symbol? That is why we are here.

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Motoko Kusanagi

(Image credit: Production IG)

Another quietly queer character on this list, Motoko Kusanagi is the iconic purple-haired protagonist of the anime classic ghost in the shell. Motoko is a complex character (and certified badass) that includes a multitude. She is the head of an elite task force called Section 9, a top-secret division of the Japan Public Security Organization. Section 9 is called in to covertly defend the nation from domestic terrorism, cybersecurity attacks and espionage by foreign governments. Cool, level-headed, Motoko serves as her team’s unwavering pillar of strength. She is a fearless commander who sets an example and remains professional and courteous to her subordinates at all times. She also seems to enjoy falling from great heights and begins many a mission by jumping from skyscrapers. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. She is portrayed as lesbian or bisexual in the anime and manga and will mainly date women throughout the series. If one day my wishes come true and she becomes a reality, my next wish is for her to be single.


(Image credit: Science SARU)

Okay, minor caveat, me Not wish every character on this list was real because i do not want to live in a world where Ryo runs around. The antagonist of devil man series, Ryo actually has no gender. Why not? Because he is (spoiler alert) a Angel. And not only any Angel. Ryo is Lucifer. Satan. While appearing as a man in human form, Ryo’s angelic form is depicted with breasts. But don’t let its beauty fool you, Ryo is damn evil. His ultimate goal is to destroy the human race by unleashing a horde of demons across the earth. However, he is not devoid of emotion and is in love with his childhood best friend, Akira Fudo. Personally, I’m intrigued by the character as the series seeks to humanize what humanity believes to be the pinnacle of evil: the devil himself. Also, a fallen angel x a good devil is one Perfect Setup for a phenomenal slash fanfic.

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Selected photo credits: Production IG

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