Maybe i'm looking to much into it, but why the interest in queer elements?
The simple and personal answer is that I, myself, am queer. Wanting to see LGBTQIA+ themes and relationships in the media I consume is always something I want to see. Always.
And what makes me particularly vocal about it with YGO (and now Vrains in particular) is because YGO has already proven itself capable of alluding to these themes, if not outright delivering on them.
But even among the strongest examples of queer relationships and characters In YGO (Judai/Johan, Judai/Yubel, Yusei/Bruno, Yuma/Astral), there’s still a level of ambiguity that allows certain people to write them off. Yubel is Judai’s spirit partner, not the great love of his life. Judai went to travel the world without Johan, so they couldn’t have been a thing. Yusei and Bruno were just good friends.
Fuck that. Make it clear. Make it Alit falling head-over-heels for both Kotori and Yuma. Make it Astral confessing to Yuma that he loves him. I’m not asking for romance to be at the forefront of Vrains (I actually really, really don’t want that, because romance can get very stale, very fast). But to go even further than Zexal in smashing that ambiguity to pieces? Yes please.
But this isn’t just about what I want. The broader answer to this question is: I want queer elements in YGO (and many other things) for everybody else’s sake. Because representation is important. Because art and media informs us on what’s to be considered socially acceptable. Because queer people being out there and present in the media is a very effective way of combating homophobia.
And not just any queer relationships/people, but healthy ones. The media in general (and YGO in particular) have gotten better about this, but more still needs to be done. To send the message that we are not sick, or predisposed to anything, or destined to live lives that end in tragedy. This is a critical message that everyone can benefit from, but do you know who benefits the most?
The children that these shows are actually aimed at. Because queer children exist, and shouldn’t have to go through the soul-crushing trauma of thinking (if not outright being told) that being queer is inherently disgusting and heavily sexual and something to be reviled. I went through that, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. One of the best ways to combat this toxic thinking is by showing them examples of the opposite.
TL;DR: Because that’s what I am, and want. Because YGO has done it and can do it again. Because homophobia is still something that needs to be destroyed. And for all the queer kids out there.