Though Japanese animation, or anime, is known for having more queer characters than American television, the representation isn’t always the best. The “boys love” or “yaoi” genre tells stories of men falling in love — but they’re made for straight women, and generally are unrealistic. (Sometimes even physically — protagonists sometimes have what’s known as the “yaoi hole”, a mysterious orifice that acts remarkably like a vagina during heterosexual sex.)
And while there are a lot of queer characters on TV, Japan still has some homophobia to work through. A common yaoi trope is “I’m not gay, I’m just really into this one guy — but I’m otherwise straight, I swear!” Another, more unfortunate trope, is rape. Sometimes the protagonist seeks the company of other men because they were raped as a teen or young adult.