In the world of anime, LGBTQ characters are not out of the norm. In fact, the fandom surrounding anime embraces those characters and has carved out an audience for their shows. Aside for fetishized niches, lesbian and gay characters have become increasingly visible in anime as same-sex relationships continue to march forward with progress. So far, most of these subtle or overt LGBTQ couples have been sequestered to shojo, seinen, or BL titles. However, that does not mean sexuality isn't being explore in more contemporary shonen titles whose fanbases spread around the world.
Just watch the latest episode of Attack on Titan. You'll see.
In "Soldier," anime fans were left wide-eyed after a conversation between two characters hinted at their newly revealed sexuality. A slew of familiar soldiers from the 104th found themselves trapped in the remains of Utgard Castle as they tried to figure out how Titans were invading Wall Rose. During the night, Ymir went to search for food and was confronted quietly by Reiner who asked her a tense question about an outburst she had earlier. When Reiner approached Ymir - well, the two got really honest real quick.
In fact, they both apparently admitted they weren't heterosexual in the slightest.
During their conversation, Ymir broaches the topic first. When Reiner sneaks up on her, she comments that the man doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is interested in girls. Reiner looks taken aback for a moment before he grins knowingly and tells Ymir that she is not one who would be interested in men like him. The girl doesn't say anything back, but she does look nonplussed by the insinuation.prevnext
For fans of the manga, they will know that this scene is a one Hajime Isayama included in the original manga for Attack on Titan. The characters have the exchanged in chapter 38, and Reiner takes point in the conversation. After he gets accused of sneaking up on Ymir for naughty reasons, Reiner tells the girl, "What a shocker. I didn't think I looked like a guy who's interested in women… Oh, and by the way, you don't look like a girl who's interested in guys either."
Fans have continued to debate whether this exchange is meant to out their sexualities, but neither character has been involved in an overt romantic relationship so far. Fans have long noticed that Ymir has an overly fond attachment to Krista, and Reiner is close with Berholt. However, Attack on Titan has made little commentary or clarification about their sexualities since. In a post-apocalyptic world where Titans want to eat every human in sight, characters have more to worry about then their sexual appetite. But, for these two soldiers, they were able to find a brief connection thanks to this shared trait.prev