Hiya, my name’s Georgie. I’m a non-binary writer, screenwriter and composer living in Japan.
Anime has been such a positive constant in my life and for Pride Month, I wanted to share some of the shows that have resonated with me as an enby fan.
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Even before I recognized that I was non-binary, I was heavily into ’90s magical girl shows—my favourite of which is Revolutionary Girl Utena.
The story is about a plucky girl called Utena, who transfers to Ohtori high school. At first she’s quite taken in by the excitement, energy and elegant surroundings… but all is not as it seems.
I’ve always loved characters who were different and rebelled against the status quo. Utena Tenjou does this so radically, I really think she’s remarkable.
For instance, She has vivid memories of having met a prince when she was little and was so taken with the experience, she decided that she herself should become a prince. She also wears something akin to a boys’ uniform and seems unphased by what anyone thinks about it.
It’s little touches like this, where she’s just effortlessly bucking society’s gender expectations of her that make her stand out for me. She’s bold, independent, loyal…extraordinary.
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Another anime that means a lot to me and has come to mind in relation to Pride is Earth Maiden Arjuna, another magical girl show from 2001. I watched the anime back in the UK while I was trying to summon the courage to finally get on a flight and go try life in Japan.
The show is about a schoolgirl called Juna Ariyoshi who tragically loses her life in a motorbike accident. A mysterious boy offers her another chance at life, but as a consequence of this, she must now do battle with supernatural creatures who threaten to destroy Earth’s ecosystem.
This anime really spoke to me, it felt so personal watching it. I loved the emotion, the investment in Juna’s personal life and the anime’s subtle, occasional use of live action sequences. Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack brims with life and parallels Juna’s awakening and discoveries.
I feel like those last two nouns carry a special kind of sparkle for LGBTQIA people. Realizing who you are and being able to feel more authentically oneself afterward is a beautiful thing.
Arjuna’s subjective lens, energy and depth have always stayed with me. All these years later, I’m still so glad to have a show that I connected with so personally.
I saw Arjuna at a time when everything was changing in my life. Its narrative focus and emotional energy have really stayed with me.
Before I come on to my final pick, I just wanted to make a few honorable mentions of other anime that impacted me positively.
Ouran High School Host Club plays with gender in a fun way, Ranma ½ is unique in its treatment of gender but I think it’s stayed firmly in the hearts of a lot of my non-cisgender friends.
Wandering Son is a school drama about the friendship between a trans girl and a trans boy and its lovely to finally see a show looking at trans identity with real sincerity and depth.
For my final pick, I wanted to look at Makoto Shinkai’s your name. The story of a boy and girl who one day mysteriously begin intermittently swapping bodies for short periods of time. Bound by this mysterious connection, they rush to discover more about each other.
I think the first film I ever bought on DVD was Makoto Shinkai’s Voices Of A Distant Star, which as legend has it, he animated, by himself on a now archaic Power Mac G4.
That film featured a kind of existential excitement and emotional urgency. It also featured a focus on the more profound aspects of digital communication. Those promising elements really blossomed into something that surpassed everyone’s expectations with the monumental international box office success of your name.
As an enby anime fan, I love series and films that have a spark of existential excitement: anime that feel like the narrative is bonded to the hearts of its characters. Utena, Arjuna and your name. make me smile whenever I think of them precisely because they have layers, gender fluidity and an inspiring depth to their art, story, voice acting, music and animation.
These anime have stayed in my heart for years, and it’s been a true pleasure to share them with you.
I would never claim to speak for all LGBTQIA people or all non-binary people, but I hope each of these anime contain enough positive characteristics for people to understand why I recommend them so highly. Thank you so kindly for reading my recommendations!
All my best,
About Georgie Art Baker
Georgie Art Baker is a composer, writer and screenwriter based in Japan. They studied a music performance Master’s degree in the UK before moving to Japan to pursue their creative ambitions.
In 2015, Georgie worked with record label Brave Wave to produce an electronica album called Heart Beat Circuit. That same year, Georgie also made a lot of music for the yuri visual novel Highway Blossoms. In 2020, they made two songs for the upcoming video game Orange Island and 2021, they are aiming to release an ambient album with UK DJ Nic Liu under the artist name Personas. Georgie is also working on an isekai novel and an anime screenplay in the aim of getting their works adapted for anime.
Follow Georgie on Twitter @georgeartbaker.
Check out Georgie’s work here.