Today’s post is special because I crafted it specifically for all of my Gay Grimms out there! Happy Pride Month! If you caught my first post for Pride Month featuring Sailor Neptune and Uranus than you know the score. In honor of Pride Month I’ve decided to do a series of posts highlighting anime characters that provide LGBTQ representation. Today it’s all about Gay Representation!
I also again promise to continue lifting the voices of the Gay community using the platform provided by my wonderful readers. In short I hope to be the best ally I can be!
Touya and Yukito Are A COUPLE Get Over It
Once again I have a sad tale to tell thanks to America’s history of erasing homosexual relationships in anime. Seriously we had a problem in the 90’s/00’s. I didn’t realize how bad things were until I reached adulthood and started watching sub versions that hadn’t been tampered with. I admit I was originally very tempted to feature Yuri and Viktor for this post because I adore their representation so much! In fact that was 100% the plan until I made the awful discover that Touya and Yukito’s relationship in Cardcaptor Sakura had been completely cut out in the American dub!
This sort of erasure makes me so mad! You see as a kid I never watched this show. If it wasn’t on Toonami I didn’t have access and honestly I was only able to ever watch cable shows if I was at my grandparents or Dad’s house. We didn’t get cable at my house until I was in middle school if I recall correctly. When I got older and was able to watch anime more freely I heard of this show but never had a strong urge to watch it. It seemed more geared to little kids so I didn’t feel I was missing much.
However a few months ago Lita Kino did a blog post for owls discussing the development of one of the characters in the show Cardcaptor Sakura and I was intrigued. My daughter and I enjoy watching anime shows together so I’m always looking for dubbed versions of shows that will interest her. She’s six so she’s not about that subtitle life yet. This show was dubbed and available on CrunchyRoll and seemed right up her alley plus it felt like a show that while geared towards kids would still hold my interest.
I kid you not from the very first introduction of Touya and Yukito I was getting a vibe. Like I know Sakura has her little crush on Yukito but something was telling me that I was catching some looks between him and her older brother. Not only that what was the deal with Sakura’s best friend Madison and her obsession with dressing and video tapping her? Sounds kind of like a… crush doesn’t it? But there is zero mentions of crushes or feelings or anything like that so I decided that maybe I was just imagining things. To be fair though my daughter herself was like, “I think Madison likes Sakura. Can that happen because their both girls?”
So clearly my six old is getting vibes too!
My response was that we would just have to wait to see what happens but that yes, some girls do like girls.
We haven’t finished the entire series yet but I did look into some things regarding the English dub and was not impressed. Apparently when Cardcaptor Sakura was released in America it went through some heavy editing. When an anime gets adapted for American audiences there are some standard things that get changed like names become more Americanized (which I don’t agree with) and other little tweaks. Cardcaptor Sakura on the other hand was in for a complete overhaul.
Of the 70 episodes dubbed only 39 episodes were aired here and those episodes were heavily edited. Why the drastic change? Two reasons. One America decided they wanted to market Cardcaptor Sakura to boys and jump on the Pokemon/Digimon bandwagon. So the name was changed to Cardcaptor and more emphasis was put on the fighting and card catching aspect of the show. America just loves enforcing toxic male stereotypes and couldn’t fathom that boys would be interested in any sort of romance.
So Sakura’s crush on Yukito (or in America’s case Julian) is completely watered down. America also has a long history of censoring any same-sex relationship with a cold-hearted passion. So instead of Touya and Yukito confessing their love for each other and remaining a steadfast healthy relationship throughout the entire series they just completely take it out. Now they’re just “friends” really, really, really close friends. As for Madison’s crush on Sakura you know that’s out. Also we can’t forget the fact that Sakura isn’t the only one with a crush on Yukito. So does her rival Syaoran a young boy her age and rival for the cards.
Thanks to all of the editing America was left with no choice but to refuse to air entire episodes! How ridiculous is that? Also don’t even come at me with the whole, “This is a kids show and kids shouldn’t see same-sex relationships” nonsense. Listen, I’m a parent and I want both of my children to see positive same-sex relationships in the same way I want them to see positive hetero-relationships. I want healthy relationships regardless of gender to become completely normalized for them!
I think watching as Touya and Yukito move from friendship into a relationship would have been a great thing to have shown in the anime. Isn’t that the best way for a relationship to start? As friends that grow closer due to mutual respect and attraction. Also it is normal for girls to form crushes like Sakura has on Yukito. The important part is that Yukito realizes she is a little girl so he needs to be the one enforcing boundaries. Finally who cares if Madison has a crush on Sakura. Again kids start to develop crushes! Does Sakura sling homophobic slurs at Madison for her feelings? No she acknowledges them and continues to be her friend. While Sakura may not return those feelings she doesn’t shame Madison for having them. Finally elementary is the age when most children develop crushes, this is normal. So for Syaoran to have a crush on Yukito is NORMAL. I hate when people say, “They’re to young to know if they’re gay/bi or whatever” ummmm how old were you for your first crush?
I was 4 years old and in love with Issac a boy at my daycare. We need to start acknowledging our children’s feelings regardless of age. Syaoran has a crush on Yukito and eventually develops feelings for Sakura. That doesn’t mean he grew out of his gayness *face palm * it means he’s bi. Not a big deal people.
The above characteristics are exactly the type of things I want to instill in my children. Get to know somebody before you start a relationship with them. Respect and enforce boundaries regardless of age. A ten year old may very well have a crush on a 17 year old but that doesn’t make it consensual which is why the 16 year old needs to respect that boundary and never cross it. Finally there may be people who develop crushes on you in life and you may not feel the same way. That’s okay! As long as respect the fact that they have feelings and don’t try to shame or hurt them for feeling the way they do.
Those are all great lessons for children to be taught and the only reason their not able to see them play out onscreen is because they’re not “traditional” and because God forbid our young boys are encouraged to like romance. Listen Gay relationships have been around forever so they are actually very traditional and teaching our boys at a young age what romance is, is a good thing. Why do we insist they get all of their relationship knowledge as teens from playboys, porn, and American Pie styled movies? America needs to get with the program.
On Cruncyroll it appears that they have all 70 episodes for the dub but I think they still have the original edits downplaying all relationship statues. Which is such a shame because my research tells me that Touya and Yukito have a really beautiful and healthy relationship! Apparently at some point Touya even sacrifices his supernatural powers to save Yukito and they have a total love confession moment. Isn’t that freaking adorable!? How could this scene be taken from all of us and watered down here in America?!
I may have to watch the the sub version just to see how all the relationships are supposed to look in actuality or read the manga. In the meantime at least everyone is on the same page when it comes to one thing. Touya and Yukito are a canon COUPLE and while Touya may be bisexual (he does have a relationship with a female character for a time) it appears that Yukito is gay. Which is true to life many gay people enter relationships with bisexual people and go on to have a marvelous time.
Touya and Yukito are a perfect representation of that ❤
Drink it in.
Next time for our wonderful series we will be putting the B in Bisexual! I can’t wait.
Lots of Love Grimms ❤