Where are the Aces? Asexual Representation in Anime

So this month is Pride month. Before June comes to a close I wanted to talk about a topic that came into my life fairly recently. I couple months back I asked you guys on Twitter if I should make a blog post on asexual representation in anime and most people said yes so here I am. It’s late, but the post is finally here.

Asexual Flag

First of all I just want to mention that asexuality is something I stumbled across back at the beginning of the year. As soon as I read the definition of it something just clicked with me and I have chosen to identify myself as a hetroromantic asexual ever since. Just for reference the definition according to Dictionary.com is “a person who has no sexual feelings or desires”. This little revelation of mine was amazing yet absolutely terrifying and I’m still at odds with it all trying to figure things out for myself. I question it all the time but at the same time it’s nice to know I’m not the only one in the world who feels the way I do.

Embracing asexuality made me want to seek it out and learn more about it as well as find people and characters that identify with this too. As I started exploring this idea I realised it’s not really a hot topic with most forms of media. I’ve heard that characters like Sherlock are asexual which is great however, he isn’t the most relatable character in the world. I know there is asexual representation in Bojack Horseman but I’ve never seen it myself so that didn’t help either. After getting back into Voltron Legendary Defenders recently I have seen the headcanon that Pidge is asexual as well as non-binary which had myself jumping for joy. Finally a character for me to love and relate to within a popular series. Although there seems to be more and more awareness and representation cropping up over in the West I feel that on the anime scene is lacking in this department.

Pidge from Voltron Legendary Defenders

Whilst researching for this post I came across the fact that Izaya Orihara from Durarara is one of the few characters in anime to be confirmed asexual. I have also seen suggestions towards characters like Light Yagami from Death Note, Makoto Sunakawa from My Love Story, Umetaro Nozaki from Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun and Haruka Nanase from Free Iwatobi Swim Club being ace. Considering these characters and how they behave I do understand why people could suggest that idea. However, I feel that there is often a common theme of the characters being a little lacking in the emotions department. Characters like Nozaki and Haruka are often rather emotionless. I love them both dearly, but let’s be honest they are borderline robots most of the time. Light and Izaya show emotions but it’s often from being smug and pleased with themselves at whatever terrible things are happening around them. They never show affection for anyone or anything. The thing is being asexual doesn’t necessarily mean you are cold and emotionless and can’t show affection towards people. Love, affection and attraction comes in many forms besides sexual attraction. I love the idea of asexual representation being integrated into anime but I just don’t want a bunch of robot like characters to fill that role.

With this being said all I’m trying to get at is it would be great to have a canon asexual character in anime who shows a lot more emotion, affection and who even has a relationship. It would make for an interesting twist in a series as anime is often jam-packed with sexual content and references. My Love Story pulled off the sweet, fluffy romance route perfectly and it is something I’d love to see more of and I think that setting would work well with asexual representation. On a funnier note it would also be interesting to see asexual characters try to work their way through their life and sexuality in a sex crazy setting too. I would find that pretty entertaining and relatable since we do live in a sex crazy world ourselves.

My Love Story anime

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I’m not sure if any of this makes sense. I just wanted to get this stream of consciousness out into the world. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to post this. It’s a sensitive topic and I’m scared of screwing up and saying something to offend people. But hey-ho here it is, Nerdy’s weird thoughts and rambles of the day.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Let me know down below what your thoughts are. Is there anything you would love to see represented in anime that has yet to be touched on? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Lucky Star

Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!

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40 comments

  • Thank you for sharing. It’s brave if you to share such a big part of yourself I think. It’s interesting with asexuality. I’ve been trying to understand it because there seems to be so many variations. But yeah, it would be nice to see more aces in anime. Confirmed aces and not only speculative ones. Sure, Suna could be an ace because he seems very uninterested in girls and love and all that comes with a relationship. But it could be age and situation too. If he was an ace it would be great if there was something showing that he actually is it. As you say, it’s not hard in a show like that to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I nearly scraped this post all together out of pure fear tbh 😂 and yes I’m still trying to understand it all myself as there does seem to be a lot of variation. I’m glad you think so too. Yes exactly. I get why people suggest him being ace but there is no real confirmation for it so it would be nice to see what his situation actually is. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m glad you shared!! To be honest, I still really don’t understand much about asexuality, so I’m always happy to see people share their stories/experiences.

    Also, happy pride!! Even if there are only a few days left…. Unfortunately, I know people can be weird and gate-keep-y about aces in pride, but hopefully you never run into any of those jerks and are free to celebrate~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you I’m glad I did too! I’m still learning about it in all honesty so I get that and I love that you’re open to seeing others thoughts and experiences on the matter! 😄 it’s always great to find out new things!

      Thank you! I’ve been meaning to post this for ages but the month just ran away from me! Yes I have seen many people on the Internet be like that but I’ve never experienced it first hand but yes hopefully I can steer clear of any of that and just enjoy the celebrations!

      Liked by 1 person

  • YAAASSS. Loved this post! I classify myself as heterosexual bi-curious because I prefer men over women, but I am also sexually attracted to women. I think it is great that you are representing a community not a lot of people know about. I love learning about everyone and what their personal preferences are. Learning is the key to life! You can never attain enough knowledge. Happy Pride to you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😄 That’s awesome it’s always great to know what others preferences are and get a better understanding of how they feel! Thank you I’m glad you think so and I like the fact that I can bring something to people that they may not have heard much about before. Same here it’s always so interesting to know! That’s so true! Knowledge is power and I love being able to gather more and more of it! Thank you happy pride to you too ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  • I really enjoyed reading this, one day we’ll live in a world where all kinds of representation exists across all our favourite media! Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts on this subject!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😄 yes we will! I feel it’s currently breaking through into that which is exciting and I cannot wait until there is more and more of it! Thanks for reading it and sharing your thoughts as well! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting perspective! Have you ever considered trying to write your own story in some form or another? I’d definitely be interested to, say, play a visual novel using some of the suggestions you have above. Playing an asexual character in a highly libidinous setting sounds like something that would work particularly well in the visual novel format — could be a fun way to subvert the typical expectations of eroge tropes and suchlike.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you I’m glad you think so! I have always loved the idea of writing a story but I’ve never been sure what on. I’ve never considered something around visual novels but that sounds like such an amazing idea. I’m glad you like my suggestions and you’re right I think it could definitely work in that format! It’s something I’m definitely going to give some thought about as it would be fun to explore something like that! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  • Doesn’t it feel so amazing and liberating when you finally understand and accept your identity? I remember when I came to understand my own and it changed my life in so many positive ways. I identify as (biromantic) asexual as well and it would be SO AMAZING to see proper and real asexual representation in anime, more so with characters who aren’t robotic or where it’s simply implied they may identify that way. That is something that I pay serious money to see in anime (in all media actually) and it would make my little otaku heart swoon so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really does! I spent my entire life thinking I was straight but being utterly confused by sex and thought I’d grow into liking it or something! It feels so good to know that others feel the same. It’s always lovely to know there are other aces out there and I love finding out how each person identifies as everyone is different! You’re right it would be truly amazing and I’d love it if they could adapt it in different ways for characters. It’s something I’d pay to see as well and I hope more and more media can start adapting it more often! 😄

      Like

  • I don’t see myself as 100% asexual, but I know that I’m not your regular guy when it comes to sexual urges, especially if I compare myself with my boyfriend…

    Normally, I have phases, some of them where I feel more sexual and I’m ready to have it almost all the time and others that I really don’t feel the need towards it… That being said, I would say that I’m like a percentage of asexual! 😀

    Nevertheless, contrary to people’s belief, I think asexual people also get pleasure of having sex, they just don’t have the urge to do it so many times! I can say that in times where I was more asexual my boyfriend was able to put me in the mood and I pretty enjoyed what came afterwards! 🙂

    But, I do want to say something… Being asexual is okay and all, but it’s important for people to really understand if that’s what happening! There are many factors that will diminuish your sexual appetite such as stress or anxiety. If that’s the case, you are not asexual, you just need to see what is happening because having a lot of stress/anxiety/depression to this point can be the red flag saying that is harming your health 🙂

    Great post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what you have said maybe you could use something like demisexual to describe how you feel? I don’t want to push anything on you but it’s just a suggestion as that’s like a halfway point between sexual and asexual? Again just a suggestion but what you described somewhat reminds me of that! But everyone is different and the spectrum is large so just describe yourself however you think is best for you 😊

      I have to say on that I’m not sure I agree. I know asexuals can be curious and even sex positive (again the spectrum is large) but they just don’t have sexual attraction towards people! But again everyone’s different so what one person feels can differ greatly to what others feel!

      For me personally I know it isn’t that but I 100% understand where you’re coming from! I’ve been very confused and uninterested in sex from being a child when I first learned about it. It’s something I always assumed I’d grow into liking at some point so when I found the term asexual I found that described me much better than calling myself straight! I do also keep an open mind that I myself may be something more like demisexual down the road but for now this is just what described me best! It’s hard to describe but it’s like I know in my heart if that makes sense?

      Thank you for such a great comment and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it completely makes sense! We are always changing and things can become greyer. That’s why I try not to label myself! 😀 In fact, I’m so much in the grey area about everything that I just don’t think I completely consider myself one thing.

        Let’s say for example the fact of being gay. Yes, that’s how I describe myself in the blog and I’m pretty sure that I will end up with a gay and I know that I have more sexual attraction (inside the little I have) towards men, but the truth is that I see myself like 80% gay, 20% straught (?) smething like that. I could see myself as a bi, but that wouldn’t be true either and I’m more near the gay side than the bi side XD

        Demisexual does seem to be the closest of what I am, but yet again I’ve felt sexual attraction for guys who I’m not romantically involved (I don’t even know them lol) the same goes for hot anime guys ahah xD

        But, I’m happy that you found yourselve! It’s a great feeling to take one more step to understand youserld eheh ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad it makes sense! Yes that’s so true so I always keep that in my mind with things! I understand staying in the grey area as it’s not always as simple as putting a single label on ourselves! Humans are much more complex than a simple label!

        I see what you mean! It’s nice that you keep yourself open and in a grey area so you’re more open to things! The fact that you are so aware of this stuff is great too! 😄

        Like I said it was just something to think about! Everyone is so unique with this kind of thing! 😄

        Thank you I am too! It’s definitely helped me to understand myself a bit better! 😄❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  • I wonder if Kobayashi from Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid would be considered Ace. Ash and Eiji from Banana Fish, coming out in July, could also be considered since their relationship doesnt really have a sexual component.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Yeah Light can be a tricky one and I agree it is probably more so that he just has a lack of emotion and I can see how asexuals get shoved into that classification accidentally.

    Also his friend in My Love Story I would say can also be a good example if I’m remembering correctly. It has been awhile. He cared for Gouda, but he was never really after women or men.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Your blog is becoming addicting to keep up with my dear hehe. I don’t understand A sexuality myself, but I can wrap my head around that being not sexually attracted to anyone. Brave Sam for coming out with a personal relation in this post, I commend you and the characters like Nanase you bring up being A sexuality. Gets the brain thinking for Certain about other characters XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow I’ve never had my blog be called addicting before so thank you! That’s an incredible compliment! 😄 I see what you mean and I’m still learning about it! Thank you! I was extremely nervous posting it but I’ve gotten an awesome response which makes me so happy! Haha you’re right it does get you think about characters 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  • Funny enough, while not asexual per se, I really liked the relationship between Nagisa and Okazaki in Clannad for NOT being about physicality, but about emotional closeness. So much so, that the best we see of the two being intimate physically with each other is a hug.

    Obviously, they must have been more physical offscreen, but the point is, Clannad managed to convey a beautiful romance without resorting to physical intimacy, which was great!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hmm, that’s interesting. I definitely think Aces get representation in anime they just aren’t clearly defined in that way, but I hear you, seeing it more clearly would be really interested.

    Liked by 1 person

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