Nudists in anime? Not a lot. But they are there. Most people see the nudity as just fan service. It is unfortunate. Nudists see it differently. They see nudity as an expression of freedom and individuality and healthy diversity. They can get as political about it as any member of the LGTBQ+ community. They usually get laughed at – or accused of sexual perversity – instead of listened to. Still, we persist.
I’m going to give you a working definition of a nudist. A nudist is a person who:
- Enjoys being nude if the environment is safe for it.
- Doesn’t believe that nudity by itself has to be sexual.
There are lots of different kinds of nudists. Everything from solo nudists deep in the closet to people dancing naked in the streets of the Big City. I’ve done both.
Anime is full of nudity that really isn’t nudism. A lot of objectification. A lot for “shock value.” A lot just to make a person seem vulnerable, sexually desirable, or just plain stupid. I have deliberately left out any hentai from this review.
Perhaps the most famous nudist is Gray Fullbuster from Fairy Tail. He often just slips out of his clothing without realizing it. It is how he was raised. There are many times when others mention to Gray that he’s naked again, yet he is shown wearing shorts. I suspect they are there to keep the censors happy. The actual nudity seems to be in the OVAs. Most adult Fairy Tail magicians are very comfortable with social nudity even if they don’t practice regularly. There is a lot of it, from a Christmas party gone wild OVA to a nude bath OVA with all the main characters.
The most famous series would have to be Kill la Kill. There’s a whole organization called Nudist Beach struggling against the tyranny of parasitic clothing. But there isn’t a lot of actual nudity. Belts and gear or skimpy underwear keep everything actually covered and the behavior of the leader is… strange. There is other nudity by other non-Nudist Beach characters that is extremely sexual. While the show is entertaining, “Nudist Beach” are nudists more in name than in reality.
Now, granted that it wasn’t in mixed company, but Reiko of Super Cub seems to have the idea. She says that eating is best done in the nude. This happens twice in the anime – and Koguma isn’t surprised. I suspect it has happened before. She just gets Reiko to cover up so as not to freak out Shii who is more than a little uptight about such things.
Flatorte of I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years And Maxed Out My Level also seems to have the idea down. But again, not mixed company.
Nayuta in “A Little Sister is All You Need” is the real deal. Her love of nudity is even rubbing off onto Miyako. But as is common in anime, it is same-sex nudity. From her personality and how she reacted when she did once walk in on him nude, I’m sure she would not be horrified if Itsuki joined in. However, I don’t think Myako would approve.
Yoruichi from Bleach is also the real thing. Turns from a woman into a cat and leaves her clothes behind. This makes far more sense than magical clothing that changes with her. When she changes back she is nude and doesn’t have the slightest issue with it. You get the sense that her clothing is just a necessary inconvenience. I think her main purpose in this scene is to show how immature and hung-up Ichigo is.
Then there is Ekoda of “Rinshi! Ekoda-chan.” She is a young and single woman struggling to get along. She’s an at-home nudist, probably the most common variety. The series was 12 different takes by different directors on the same manga character. Some took the nudity seriously, some for fan service, and some as a joke.
There are probably nudists out there I haven’t thought of, even though I have seen the anime. There are probably nudist anime I haven’t seen. I didn’t include High School DXD because while there are nudist elements, I can’t get past the notion that they are being used as erotic eye candy. It is an ecchi harem after all. There are so far 3 characters in MHA that have to be nude to use their powers but that isn’t the same as getting their clothes off for the simple joy of nudity.
Maybe Goku in early Dragonball could be a nudist.
So if you know of some nudists in anime I’ve missed, please let me know!