The below entry is combined from two separate email submissions. We have made some edits and added additional sources as necessary.
Emil’s a canonically gay character in the games Nier and Nier: Automata, though he has a far more prominent role in the former. He’s one of the main protagonists alongside with Kainé, Grimoire Weiss, and, well, Nier. The director of Nier confirmed his sexuality (alongside with Kainé’s intersex status) in this interview. He also makes quite clear that Emil has romantic feelings towards the main protag, Nier, including one scene where he wistfully wishes they could get married. There are other nods to this in-game as well, though when localizing the game to the West, they were almost all cut. Might have something to do with the changes made into Nier’s design, considering he was aged up pretty noticeably.
In the next game of the series, Nier: Automata (2017), Emil’s suffering from loss of memory, though alongside a side quest he begins to get back his memories. This progress is more closely followed in a companion novel called Emil’s Recollection, in which he slowly but surely starts remembering the characters from the previous game, as well as loving one of them, namely Nier: ”[He recreated the small hut his dear friend lived in, and grew flowers that the person he loved once nurtured, remembering all the good times they had together…]” as well as continuing mentioning of ”him”, meaning Nier.
LGBTQ references in this series:
Operator 60 (NieR: Automata)
- Day . (n.d.). Emil’s Recollection. The Ark. Retrieved from https://theark.wiki/w/Emil%27s_Recollection#.5BDay_54.5D
- Emil. (n.d.). NieR: Automata Wiki. Retrieved from https://nierautomata.wiki.fextralife.com/Emil
- Emil. (n.d.). NieR Wiki. Retrieved from http://nier.wikia.com/wiki/Emil_(Character)
- ValkyrieAurora. (2017, April 11). Nier-The story of Emil. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSojus-lkPA
- Various (n.d.). Grimorie Neir. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/1vEP2iZ52P-DWhQBQ2Is6R8Wjao99AGi0YuWShTvA-tA/mobilebasic?viewopt=127#h.ea91adce334f