TOKYO, Japan — Japan sits in an awkward state of being a country with an incredibly diverse and active LGBT community while also giving little rights to said community. There are no anti-discrimination laws, marriage is not recognized (even if done outside of Japan), and there are no routes for adoption or parental surrogacy. Much of Japan’s LGBT community, however, are able to express their identity through entertainment such as LGBT themed cafes, nightclubs, manga, and anime.
There have been several instances of certain anime supporting group causes, such as the “Tentacle Love is True Love” movement, the fetishist movement, and the controversial “Your Sister Really Is That Cute, Go For It” movement. The specifically, the Fall 2016 season showed progress towards recognition of gay ice skaters, flip-flop sandals, and high school girls who blow things. According to some reports, Japanese anime fans started questioning “if anybody is even straight anymore”.
Yuri!! on Ice specifically has received praise from Japan’s LGBT community, which stated that “finally everyone knows that being in a male sports anime makes you canonically gay.” Others praised the increase in lesbian relationships in anime such as Flip Flappers, Hibike! Euphonium 2, and Shuumatsu no Izetta, stating “they’re girls, if they’re not doing gay things at each other then what are they good for?”, while shows such as Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans 2 kept the guy-on-guy tension at a peak.
The current season, — while not lacking in homoerotic media — is almost entirely filled with sequels: something that’s not sitting right in the stomachs of Japan’s LGBT community.
“No one even wanted Super Lovers 2,” commented one avid seasonal watcher. “It was refreshing at first, but I’d really like to see LGBT representation from foreign countries other than Canada as well. And Spiritpact? Honestly, it’s just really similar to this other show, Ling Qi, it’s almost as if they’re the exact same thing…”
“No progress can be made with sequels, because everybody already knows how gay they are” said one fan. “The trick is to surprise them with how gay the show actually is… such is the struggle of living in a post- Yuri!! on Ice world.”