LGBT Under the Radar: Icons from Japanese Animations

Shun from Saint Seiya

The moment of truth: Would you be willing to burn up part of your cosmo (somewhat similar to “qi” in Chinese martial arts) in order to save your “best bud” from dying before your eyes? Violent and masculine as the storyline of Saint Seiya is, there is something  about Shun’s tender, loving gaze into Hyoga’s eyes and the selfless, thoughtful care which he showers Hyoga with that touches the bottom of my heart. In this era of egocentrism and skepticism, exactly how likely would we  find that special someone who would place us  (whether it is a heterosexual or homosexual relationship) above  his or her own life or state of being?

Lady Oscar from The Rose of Versailles

Alright. Let’s reconstruct what kind of a person Lady Oscar is in the animation series:

(a) an individual born biologically a female but dressed, raised, socialized, and professionally trained as a male to succeed as leader of the Palace Guards;

(b) A brilliant, righteous, gender-bending young combatant (psychologically a male) who falls in love with her best friend, companion and (technically) servant, André Grandier (psychologically a female more than a male);

(c) A yuri (similar to “lesbian”) whose relationship with her protege Rosalie Lamorlière and many other of the court ladies goes beyond the usual boundaries between one’s “best female friends.”

Transsexuality (possibly out of gender-bending). Heterosexuality infused with homosexuality (also possibly out of gender-bending). Bisexuality (out of gender-bending as well).

An LGBT all-in-one, in other words.

Would Lady Oscar’s sexual orientation still be the same had she not been raised gender-bent?

That, I have no idea of. But at least something good is coming out of all this: the fact that this subject matter of sexuality gets factored into animation series on TV has somehow paved the way for more critical and in-depth discussions in the long run.

Part of the 2012 LGBT Blogathon.

3 Responses

  1. amy says:

    Sailor Moon was LGBT too, wasn’t it? Was it Sailor Neptune and Sailor Jupiter? I remember I read about it being changed to “cousins” in the English dub, though. LOL

    But I DO remember Shun and Hyoga. Looking back on it, I don’t think I ever registered it as LGBT… it just sort of was. I mean, Shun’s color was pink… so there was that. I had a natural aversion to the color pink back then… so when I played Saint Seiya with my cousins, I was Hyoga. LOL

    • mirella says:

      @amy, Kunzite and Zoisite were also the gay (male) couple of Sailor Moon. Although the dubbed voice of Zoisite was done by a woman, I, as a kid, caught on pretty quickly it was a guy because of his body shape. I argued a lot with my friends about it but the time will make me right after internet appeared and I could yahoo that shit (no google back then XD)

    • mirella says:

      Although I was older than the kid I was when I watch those three you mention, I also remember Touya and Yukito from Card Captor Sakura.

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