5 Thoughtful Japanese Dramas Featuring LGBTQ+ Stories That K-Drama Lovers Need On Their List
Japan has become very well known over the years as one of the best Asian countries with LGBTQ+ content. Although it may not be perfect for the Western culture, their LGBTQ+ shows are bringing a wide range of topics to the Japanese people. However, many Western fans have begun to love these series as well!
As it’s Pride Month, we want to give you a sneak peek at some of the things you could be missing out on! With stories happy, thought-provoking, sad, and silly, Japan has you covered!
Note: The Japanese titles are also given as it can sometimes be easier to find shows with Japanese rather than English titles.
LGBTQ+ Content: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual
Nara Rimi (Nakatani Miki), a popular photographer, meets Hyakuta Natsume (Ikeda Elaiza), who has come to Tokyo dreaming of becoming an actress. Although Natsume has many setbacks, she grows from these experiences in this story about the lifestyles of women whose lives collide in the world of social media.
2. Life as a Girl (Joshi-teki Seikatsu)
LGBTQ+ Content: Transgender, Lesbian
Ogawa Mikio (Shison Jun) always dreamed of living as a lovely girl who moved to the city from the countryside. She achieves her dream and now has a job at a fashion mail-order company. However, she tries to keep the fact that’s she’s transgender a secret. One day, she bumps into Goto Tadaomi (Machida Keita), who went to the same high school. Mikio’s different appearance flusters Tadaomi, but they happen to become roommates.
3. IS (IS – Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei)
LGBTQ+ Content: Intersex
Hoshino Haru (Fukuda Saki) was born intersex, meaning that he was born with both male and female physical characteristics. He was registered as female at birth but later raised as a boy since he always wanted to play with the boys at school. Because of this fact, Haru’s parents force him to attend high school as a girl.
4. My Brother’s Husband (Ototo no Otto)
LGBTQ+ Content: Gay
Origuchi Yaichi (Sato Ryuta) is a work-from-home dad in Tokyo, formerly married to Hirata Natsuki (Nakamura Yuri) and father to their daughter, Kana (Nemoto Maharu). Their lives suddenly change when a tall Canadian named Mike Flanagan (Baruto Kaito) arrives at their doorstep, claiming that he is the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a mission to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly takes him in. What follows is a story of the state of an unaccepted Japanese gay culture, how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the prejudices against it.
5. What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Kinou Nani Tabeta?)
LGBTQ+ Content: Gay
Kakei Shiro (Nishijima Hidetoshi) is a 45-year-old lawyer who works at a small law firm. He’s a good cook and a thrifty person who keeps the monthly food budget to 25,000 yen (about 228 dollars). His daily routine is to leave work on time and head to a discount supermarket nearby. His partner, Yabuki Kenji (Uchino Seiyou), is a hairdresser in his 40s. The two of them share a two-bedroom apartment, and the details of two men living together come up at the dining table every day. Although the two of them have been in a relationship for three years and Shiro’s parents know he is gay, Shiro never shares the fact that he is gay to anyone.