What is Rainbow Releases?
Rainbow Releases is a panel by Karleen and Malia held at various anime conventions. We aim to bring attention to and recommend anime and manga of interest to LGBTQ people and allies, since they can be difficult to find all in one place. We include based on LGBTQ content, which is not the same as cataloging every LGBTQ-related series. It would be impossible to be aware of every single series out there. If a title is inaccurate/offensive or simply not to our personal tastes, we are not likely to recommend it, though others are free to check it out on their own. Attendees are allowed to leave at any time for whatever reason, no judgement.
What counts as “LGBTQ” anime and manga?
This is difficult to answer. In this case, LGBTQ is an adjective that categorizes anime and manga based on their relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, etc. culture. It is not a hard and fast rule. We categorize anime and manga as LGBTQ for a variety of reasons, some of which are more obvious than others. Anime and manga created by LGBTQ people, featuring characters described with LGBTQ terminology, and/or about real world LGBTQ topics are prioritized.
Where is [insert series here]?
As a rule, we don’t include “mature”-rated manga and anime because their presence would necessitate a mature rating for our panel. We aim to make Rainbow Releases as accessible as possible, which includes allowing LGBTQ and ally youth to attend.
On that note, our convention panels avoid series that require talking about uncomfortable topics at length (e.g. a manga where the premise is an incestuous relationship). This is not a judgement of such series, but a rule of thumb to accommodate our “general” audience. Such series are more likely to be included in blog posts that readers can navigate at their own pace and leisure.
So what do you tend to include?
I’m glad you asked.
- Openly LGBTQ staff (Yuhki Kamatani)
- Manga print releases
- Anime streaming
- Anime blu-rays/DVDs
- Use of LGBTQ terminology (Stars Align)
- Multiple LGBTQ major characters (Our Dreams at Dusk)
- Confirmed LGBTQ main characters (Yuri on Ice)
- LGBTQ macro-sociological issues (legal partnerships in I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up)
- LGBTQ micro-sociological issues (My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness)
- Print releases
- First volumes
- Yuri (The Conditions of Paradise)
- Boys love (Classmates)
- LGBTQ themes (Descending Stories)
- Part of LGBTQ culture (Banana Fish)
- Influential/classic (The Rose of Versailles)
- Exploration of relevant genres (BL Metamorphosis)
- LGBTQ-friendly (My Androgynous Boyfriend)
- Upcoming projects by creators of interest (Kunihiko Ikuhara)
- Rereleases (Tokyo Godfathers in theaters)
- Sequels (Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card)
- Remakes/Reboots (Devilman Crybaby)
- Gender bending (Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun)
- Clarification on ambiguous/misleading series
- Light novels connected to an established anime/manga series
- Live action connected to an established anime/manga series
- Caricatures of LGBTQ people
- Relationships between adult and underage characters
- Incestuous main relationships
- Incidental minor LGBTQ characters in long-running series
- Digital-only releases
- Video games