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Ho Yay / Gundam

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"Don't interfere in a duel between two men!"

"I thought it would be good if, maybe, I could highlight the sensuous elements… to the point that you’d think, “Could Char and Amuro be gay?” To me, fiction writing is, more than anything… like I just said, about conveying that sensuality, having the audience pick up on it…if they can’t, it’s no good."
Series creator Yoshiyuki Tomino on Char's Counterattack

Ho Yay seems to be par for the course for Sunrise-produced mecha anime...especially its biggest franchise, Gundam.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam:
    • Provides more than enough subtext between Char Aznable and Garma Zabi to have kept fans happy for more than forty years.
      • The original series includes a one-sided Shower Scene with a bit of coy banter; Char putting his hand on Garma while Garma's eyes glaze over, which is very similar to the look Lalah gives Char later on as he does the same thing to her; and Char killing Kycilia so she could keep Garma company in heaven, after stating sometime shortly before that he wasn't after revenge on the Zabis anymore.
      • The "Daily Life of Char" Omake comics in Gundam Ace magazine, while tongue-in-cheek, show that Char's biggest regret of all is what he did to Garma.
      • This isn't even touching on the alternate-retelling Gundam: The Origin, which has Whole Episode Flashback scenes between the two such as Char putting a blanket on Garma in the middle of the night when he's fast asleep on his desk. Or climbing all the way down a muddy path in the rain to pitch a tent for him until he was able to move. Does one even need to mention the scene where Char grabs a hold of Garma's hands to calm him down before they go into battle, following by an intense stare between them and sweat collecting on Garma's face?
      • And in Wing, the resident Char Aznable Expy is paired with a very believable (female) Garma clone, of all people.
    • In an inverse of Char and Garma, secretive and troubled Sayla Mass quickly forms a genuinely strong friendship with smart and even-tempered Mirai Yashima in the same series; relaxing together in the Beach Episode, valiantly trying to guide Mirai through her difficult stint as temporary captain, including a sympathetic hand touch, and even later happily resting against her on the bridge floor, in one of the TV show's most adorable scenes.
      • In the Origin-continuity movie Cucuruz Doan's Island, there's a scene where Sayla leaves the bridge without telling anybody she's off to pilot a Core Booster. Mirai asks her what she's doing. Sayla just winks at her, still saying nothing. Mirai doesn't ask anything else, just winks back.
  • Gundam 0083 features an episode where Federation pilot Kou Uraki helps former Zeon pilot Kelly Layzner fix a mobile armor in a display of soldierly bonding and camaraderie. Complete with a romantic ballad playing in the background.
  • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, which goes into great lengths about gender and the troubles of relationships between women and men:
    • Given that protagonist Kamille Bidan can be seen as Char's Replacement Goldfish for Lalah and new Morality Chain with a senpai/kohai relationship and a dash of Garma's Pretty Boy looks thrown in, it's not surprising that he's the one frequently brought up as having been closest to Char and having moved him the most, as well as Kamille/Quattro being a very popular ship in Japan, despite the age gap, Kamille's violent disgust with some of Char's conduct, and the unhealthy behavior characteristic of all Char's relationships.
    • Char and Amuro's reunion scene always had character drama to it, but the first Zeta compilation movie ups this: one of the changes (as opposed to reanimation for cosmetics' sake) is a retcon of the Hyaku Shiki's control scheme to look more phallic. The closeup of Char gripping his joystick as he calls Amuro's name is the kind of visual normally kept to the hyper-sexual Chara Soon.
    • Amuro also has a sudden Destructive Romance with Beltorchika Irma, who can easily be viewed as very little other than Char's Gender Flip. When Char remarks how Amuro is back to the one he used to know, Amuro responds that Char is the one who changed him.
    • Quattro says he'll take half an hour to prepare for a particular battle, to Wong's chagrin. Said "preparation" consists of Quattro taking advantage of Reccoa's feelings for him to convince her to pilot beside him in a vulnerable position. Him leaving fifteen minutes earlier than he evidently planned indicates that he's only as intimate as he needs to be with a woman. It even calls into question how sincere his relationship is with anyone, especially his battle partners.
    • Emma always politely dodges Henken's flirtations, is shown to be disinterested in marriage, having children or even seeing others date. After Reccoa delivers her a gift from Henken, Emma has no idea what to do with it and Reccoa winks at her as she parts.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ starts off with a very memorable Passing the Torch Newtype scene between Kamille and new protagonist Judau Ashta, who are also a fairly popular Japanese ship.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack has much of this between Char and Amuro, considering they are both established to be in relationships with female companions they don't really love; partly because they're so focused on destroying each other, mainly because Char continues to be The Sociopath and a Manipulative Bastard who has now apparently suffered a severe Sanity Slippage.
    • Despite that, they have a scene rolling around in the grass while manhandling and trying to kill each other, after Char earlier taunted Amuro in-absentia that Amuro wouldn't be able to avoid finding him.
    • The movie’s promotional/tie-in material like the cinema book cover (pictured above) and the album art for the image song depict Char and Amuro next to each-other while topless.
    • In the movie’s alternate proposed script, released in various forms as “Beltorchika’s Children”, Char’s final mobile suit is named Nightingale, which as the text reminds the reader, symbolizes both imminent death as well as romantic love. Also in the same treatment, instead of overtly criticizing Nanai/Mesta’s well-wishes, Rezin calls her “babe” in a tongue-in-cheek way.
    • It could be coincidence, but Rezin Schnyder’s given name is spelled/pronounced similar to the Japanese abbreviation of lesbian.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn it's all but stated that Angelo Sauper is in love with Full Frontal.
    • Riddhe's attitude towards Banagher. It peaks in Episode 7, especially where his desperate reaction when Banagher is trapped in a Newtype coma verges on I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
    • More generally, the seventh episode is titled "Over the Rainbow".
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam was bound to have this, given just how passionate everyone is. But the most prominent example has to be between Domon Kasshu and Chibodee Crockett. Not only does the Narrator continually refer to them as destined rivals, Schwarz Bruder practically matchmakes them (to improve their fighting, of course) in Guyana. And in their final battle, Domon and Chibodee actually say things like "I can feel your dream" while Master Asia says that "Chibodee has lit a fire in Domon's soul!" Clearly, they are madly in love and too dense to realize it.
  • Gundam Wing managed to attain a massive Periphery Demographic of Yaoi Fangirls due to the chemistry between its Cast Full of Pretty Boys, particularly the five leads.
    • The most common pairings are Heero/Duo, Trowa/Quatre, and (formerly) Wufei/Treize or Treize/Zechs. In most circles of the internet circa the late 90's and early 2000's, these were essentially fanon, no matter how much basis they had in the anime.
    • While many of the popular fan pairings don't really bear out plotwise, there's some argument toward 3x4. For one thing, while each pilot has their female counterpart, Trowa's is Catherine, who was eventually proven in Frozen Teardrop to be his sister (and in-series, she always saw him as her brother), and Quatre's is Dorothy, whom he only has a conversation with once and upon that is stabbed. They're also the first Gundam pilots to truly cooperate, and quickly have a musical duet out of nowhere. For another, they have an ongoing emotional plotline after Quatre's grief midseries causes major consequences.
    • The whole character arc between Heero and Quatre starting from Wing Zero takes an entire quarter of the show focusing on the two of them, mostly alone together or hiding as the only male students in a boarding school, among other things, yet is surprisingly overlooked by the fanbase. To say nothing of Quatre later claiming Heero is his much-loved and mysterious "soul of the universe".
    • While it's no longer popular, there's a fairly substantial argument for Treize and Zechs, with Treize as Zechs's Secret-Keeper since childhood. Treize also enjoys teasing him. They also prove to be incredibly loyal and cooperative Best Friends.
    • Wufei is quite obsessed with Treize, to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You levels. Treize views him as a Supremely Worthy Opponent.
    • Relena and Dorothy do seem attracted to each other, despite Relena being a Actual Pacifist while Dorothy is a Rich Bitch who thinks War Is Glorious.
    • Noin and Sally also team up and trust one another instantly, then proceed to kick copious amounts of ass.
    • In the Blind Target manga, you have Relena and her assistant Chris. The way they constantly keep holding hands...
  • Toniya and Ennil El in Gundam X. Toniya is the comm officer of the heroes' ship while Ennil has a serious grudge against them thanks to Garrod misunderstanding her romantic come-on and pulling a gunnote  but they meet without knowing who they other is. Ennil gifts Toniya a dress that Toniya had been admiring, and Toniya wears it to a "date" with Ennil that becomes a very heartfelt conversation (that admittedly includes a discussion of their prospective men). Toniya becomes the catalyst for Ennil's Heel–Face Turn; after Ennil betrays the crew, she tries to ensure Toniya's safety as part of the deal. In the Grand Finale, they wind up ditching their new boyfriends for being too slow and drive off together.
  • In ∀ Gundam, the protagonist Loran Cehack is also Wholesome Crossdresser "Laura Rolla", garnering much attention and even a proposal from a rich man, who is perfectly aware he's a boy.
  • Gundam SEED: You know what...let's just say Kira and Athrun are really upset about having to fight each other...
    • Dearka and Yzak too. The anime seems to support this pairing. In episode 44, Dearka and Yzak see each other again for the first time in a while and Yzak's reaction to seeing Dearka with the Strike makes it sound like they were cheating on each other. Additionally, in opening sequences Kira appears on screen with Lacus and Athrun appears on screen with Cagalli. Dearka and Yzak almost always appear on screen together in the openings.
    • The tendency of male characters to die tragically and serve as another male character's motive for fighting/villainy smacks of Ho Yay. Nicol and Athrun are an especially strong (and tearjerking) example of this trope.
    • By way of Dub Personality Change, when Patrick Zala phones the hunky Rau Le Creuset (who's already rolled out of bed onto the floor), Rau's response in Japanese is unremarkably polite and what would be expected from a subordinate to a superior. In English, however, Mark Oliver picks up the phone with a devastatingly Camp "Why hello there, Your Excellency..." which... really makes it sound like Patrick wants to have that proposed secret late-night meeting with him for something else.note 
    • Siegel Clyne and Patrick are/were Best Friends and political partners for Coordinator autonomy for a couple of decades. There's nothing in canon saying Siegel ever married, and Patrick chose to send his wife and son away to the Moon for several years, while remaining in PLANT, close to Siegel. Despite their fathers being best friends, their children Lacus and Athrun had never met before the age of 14!note .
  • Gundam SEED Destiny has Rey and Shinn manage to turn this up a notch by not having to fight each other. Very unusually for a Gundam show, they're close roommates, Only Friends, and side-by-side the whole way through, come what may. Rey is intensely and hilariously jealous of their friend Lunamaria when she later forms a romantic relationship with Shinn.
    • In the manner of "Shūichi Ikeda's Gundam characters and anybody he treats as a friend", Chairman Gilbert Durandal and his longtime acquaintance Rau Le Creuset are a popular Japanese fan pairing, though it's easy to argue Rau's giving ''him'' the Char treatment of concealed revilement and manipulation.
    • Lacus and Cagalli have at least one piece of official art in revealing dresses with their arms wrapped around each other, and also get a Bathtub Bonding scene.
    • Gundam SEED Character Theater ruthlessly exploits this trope, especially the third segment, which features Kira and Athrun practically proposing to each other. That the next theater focuses on Kira and Lacus only slightly lessens the effect (especially since Shinn is crossdressing as Lacus for most of the video).
  • In Gundam 00, there's the relationship between Lockon Stratos (Neil Dylandy, the original) and Tieria Erde... who are both "totally" straight as arrows! They even have private meetings where they discuss each other's feelings to prove their platonic nature. When Lockon dies, Tieria actually shows emotion due to his sheer straightness and platonic love for him. His last lines from the first season show just how much he loves girls.
    Tieria:Now I can go to where you are... Lockon...
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE revisits the... very platonic rivalry between Kira and Athrun with its second generation protagonist and Villain Protagonist, Asemu Asuno and Zeheart Galette.
    • Doesn't help in the song on episode 17, it's a song about friendship and love... with scenes of Asemu and Zeheart. Honestly, they weren't even TRYING to hide it.
  • Sei and Reiji's close and heartwarming partnership in Gundam Build Fighters can evoke this. Most of their subtext is just the side effect of a strong friendship, but some moments—such as when Sei runs down the street calling Reiji's name right after meeting him—seem intentional. Director Kenji Nagasaki also did the anime of No. 6, which could explain things.
  • Given that Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has a cast full of boys, it's not surprising that the Pixiv community has denoted the entire series as "鉄血のオルェンズ" note :
    • Are Mikazuki and Orga really Bash Brothers within the lines of Simon and Kamina, or is there some deeper meaning between their synergy? Considering Gundam's reputation among Yaoi Fangirls regarding some o its older stablemates, it's not much of a surprise. Orga has said to Biscuit that he has to always look cool in front of Mika; particularly due to Mika always watching him. Orga has also said that he's not interested in women. The fangirls took this as support for Orga/Mika, making Merribit a potential Die for Our Ship target.
    • Considering the use of terms "brothers" and "Family" in Episodes 8 and 9, this trope also comes to mind regarding Orga and Naze. His Single Tear at the end of Season 2 Episode 15 kinda mirrors the one with Biscuit, as explained below.
    • Orga and Biscuit for that matter. Much of their interactions in Episodes 20 and 21 come across like a married couple having a dispute. Their eventual reconciliation just adds to this. And makes Biscuit's subsequent death all the more tragic.
    • Takaki is very touchy-feely with the people he likes. As of season two he and Aston have grown particularly close; Takaki regularly invites him over for supper, and Aston is familiar enough with Takaki's and Fuka's routines to know when Fuka is studying for an upcoming test. Aston also states that supporting Takaki is more important to him than getting revenge for Chad and swears to protect Takaki's happiness, even if it means killing someone or being killed.
    • Yamagi has a crush on Shino, and Shino, though oblivious, has a particularly tender and caring attitude toward him in the fair share of moments they have.
    • Numerous statements have been made regarding both Shino's alleged bisexuality as well as his apparent popularity among other Tekkadan guys, Eugene and Akihiro in particular. Shino's seiyuu Taishi Murata advocates for the issue, and has stated that Yamagi's feelings most likely wouldn't have been met with rejection if he ever decided to confess them.
    • McGillis and Gaelio used to be a popular pairing in the beginning of the story, this was changed ever since Gaelio was paired with Ein instead and McGillis was implied more to prefer women. And eventually, he's more into accomplishing his goals and stopping Gjallarhorn's oppression rather than falling in love with anyone.
    • Gaelio and Ein. Ein's narration in the preview for Episode 17 consists entirely of him gushing about how great a man Gaelio is and during the episode proper Ein gets injured taking a blow that would have killed Gaelio. Gaelio is very impressed with Ein's skills and resolve and considers him to be an "impressive man." The preview for Episode 22 has Gaelio narrating about how he would do anything to keep Ein alive. It even goes above and beyond by Season 2, when Vidar/Gaelio eventually reveals that Ein's brain is preserved as the Gundam Vidar's pseudo-AV system—making this a literal Cargo Ship of sorts.
    • Speaking of Ein, aside from Gaelio, he's often paired with Crank because of how much Ein remembered him.
  • It can be said that Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury is the yuri Gundam series. While Suletta and Miorine can be largely discounted due to their relationship being anything but subtext, quite a few other scenes seem designed to raise eyebrows.
    • Prospera has No Sense of Personal Space, a trait that mostly manifests around fellow female characters Belmeria and Miorine. This results in some rather intimate-looking shots, which are often played for all the creepiness they're worth.
    • Belmeria and Prospera deserve special mention. Prospera keeps up her constant politeness and affability around Belmeria, and adds in a habit of calling her "Bel." Meanwhile, Belmeria, despite her seeming hatred and disgust towards Prospera's actions, seems oddly quick to kowtow and return to her. Add in their canonical prior history, and it's very easy to read them as involved in a toxic relationship (with more than a hint of Experimented in College, given that they apparently studied together before Prospera got married).
    • Sabina's fanclub in episode 9 is shown to be almost entirely female. This dovetails rather well with her affectionate treatment of Nika in episode 16.
    • Sabina's teammates Maisie and Ireesha are rather affectionate with one another, with Maisie frequently comforting the withdrawn and timid Ireesha, and Ireesha clinging to Maisie whenever able.
    • In the prologue, two of the ultimately-doomed technicians at Vanadis, Wendy and Nyla, seem noticeably close, with the former going on a full-on Roaring Rampage of Revenge at her comrade's death—notably, her doomed charge is the very first time we see a character go deep into the self-damaging Permet, and the second is Nadim doing so to save his wife. In the finale, Wendy's Permet ghost clings to Nyla's ghost's arm in a rather romantic manner.