10 Best LGBTQ+ Manga
In recent years, there has been a growing social interest in LGBTQ+ and other sexual minorities. It seems that we are gradually moving closer to a world where people can live their lives in their own way.
However, prejudice and discrimination against sexual minorities have not yet disappeared, and even the rights that people take for granted are not given to sexual minorities.
This is a problem that each of us, as contributors to society as a whole must address even if we are not directly involved in the issue.
So what can you actually do about it? The first step is to get to know your sexual minority and LGBTQ+ community well, right?
So here are 15 manga about LGBTQ+ feelings and everyday life!
We’ve handpicked many different types of manga, from those that will give you a better understanding of LGBTQ+ to those that will move you to tears with their touching stories. So pick one up and give it a read!
10 recommended manga about LGBTQ+ people
In this article, we’ve selected a wide range of manga, from manga that systematically teaches about the whole of the LGBTQ+ community to stories that focus on specific sexuality.
You can read the synopsis and recommendations to find out which sexuality the manga is about.
1. Bokutachi LGBT
|Published||Oct 27, 2016 to Mar 26, 2018|
|Authors||Tomimura, Cota (Story & Art)|
This manga was born out of the author’s desire to draw a manga that readers can look at in a casual way and think, “There are people like this,” while there are many people around them who have not come out as LGBTQ+.
In addition to the author’s own experiences, the lives of LGBTQ+ people she met through interviews are portrayed in a comical manner, allowing readers to enjoy reading about the daily lives of the characters! From the saga of her junior high school debut in Shinjuku 2-chome to the story of her registration on a lesbian-only dating site, all of the stories are fascinating and engaging.
The author’s words in the book, “You don’t have to force your sexuality into a category,” and the opportunity to think about one’s own sexuality is very valuable, and the message that she conveys because she spent her adolescent years worrying about it is one of the charms of this book!
2. What Did You Eat Yesterday?
A gourmet manga delicately depicting the shared life of a gay couple
|Published||Feb 22, 2007 to ?|
|Authors||Yoshinaga, Fumi (Story & Art)|
This is a work that depicts the warm and cozy daily lives of a gay couple: Shiro Kakei a cool and handsome but somewhat clumsy lawyer, and Kenji an innocent hairdresser. The story is filled with refreshing scenes of casual conversations with loved ones and delicious meals eaten around the dinner table and makes readers feel that the accumulation of these days may be what makes them happy.
The highlight of the manga is the nightly feast prepared by Shiro Kakei (who says that cooking helps him reset his mind). He is a master cook and you will fall in love with his ability to turn any ingredient into an exquisite dish in an instant. The culinary scenes are so amazing that this gourmet manga has become a popular recipe book!
3. Blue Flag
A heartbreaking yet refreshing love story about three high school students.
|Published||Feb 1, 2017 to Apr 8, 2020|
|Authors||KAITO (Story & Art)|
Three high school students are drawn together in a pure love story filled with sadness and tenderness. This is a manga about adolescence!
The author’s unique and delicate touch carefully depicts the emotions and expressions of the characters which naturally draws you into the world of this manga. The changes in the emotions of each character and the growth of the characters as they face their problems head-on despite their daily struggles are one of the highlights of this work!
Based on high school students, this work throws an important message of sexuality diversity and breathes new life into existing values. The story follows three characters as their love lives become intricately intertwined, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off the story until the shocking end!
4. My Brother’s Husband
|Published||Sep 25, 2014 to May 25, 2017|
|Authors||Tagame, Gengorou (Story & Art)|
Mike, a Canadian who married the protagonist’s younger brother comes to Japan after his brother’s death. This is a story about the process of getting to know each other as the three of them live together with the main character and the main character’s daughter, Natsuna.
The highlight of this manga is that it is not depicted from the point of view of a person who suffers from discrimination and suffocation as a sexual minority but from the point of view of the “majority” who actually meets her brother’s husband who is gay and is confused by the gap between her own preconceived notions and the reality.
The story isn’t set up so that the minority and the majority are at odds with each other. Instead, it shows in a soft, natural way how the main character’s sudden realizations and thoughts change as he spends time with Mike, who is gay.
Therefore, readers who are on the majority side can naturally relate to the main character. This work will give them a chance to change their preconceived notions that may have been wrong.
🏆 Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award in 2015
🏆 Excellence Award at the 47th Japan Cartoonists Association Award
5. Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare
A fantastic story that gives courage to those struggling with identity.
|Published||Mar 6, 2015 to May 23, 2018|
|Authors||Kamatani, Yuhki (Story & Art)|
The protagonist Tasuku is terrified that his high school friends will discover that he is gay. This is the story of how he meets the “common room” and the people who gather there begin to accept his true feelings and grows up.
It vividly depicts the fear of the words “I know you’re not gay” from his friends and teachers and the feelings of the protagonist make the reader think carefully about the weight of the words they casually utter.
The depth of the work makes us imagine an ideal world where the values of society and people’s consciousness have become kinder through the emotions of the characters. And the process of the protagonist’s courage to be able to confide his true feelings to the audience is unintentionally emotional.
Even if you’re not LGBTQ+, anyone who’s ever been bullied or been unreasonable in a relationship can relate to this manga!
6. Mochigi-san of the Gay Brothel: Sexuality is Life
A hidden gem LGBTQ+ manga about Mochigis’s kindness and outlook on life.
|Published||Aug 9, 2019 to ?|
|Authors||Mochigi (Story & Art)|
The main character, Mr. Motigi, escaped from a mother who was violent towards her son. This work is an autobiographical manga that candidly describes the events of his life when he moved to Tokyo and worked in the gay sex industry to earn money for his school fees.
There are many occasions when we are touched by the author’s views on life and work values and everyone is naturally attracted to his wonderful way of thinking. It tells us that we can share our values and ideas with others, not only about sexuality but also without denying anyone else.
The story strikes a good balance between Motigi’s life philosophy of self-care and comedic elements that make fun of the things that happen around us every day, keeping you interested in the rest of the story!
7. My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness
|Published||Jun 17, 2016|
|Authors||Nagata, Kabi (Story & Art)|
Unlike the image of the title which suggests a lesbian sex story, this manga starts from the background story of why the author decided to go to a lesbian sex club. The author, who dropped out of university and has no sense of belonging to a community, feels lonely and has no sense of self-affirmation.
This work, in which she tells her own background in an honest manner, analyzes her own loneliness in a frighteningly objective and rational way and carefully describes the psychological process that led her to this point.
This LGTQ+ manga verbalizes the mental vulnerability that we all have and talks about its nature with rich expression. It will give readers who feel similarly lonely a sense of relief that they are not alone. It is also a manga that teaches one approach to accepting oneself by putting one’s feelings into words.
🏆2018 Harvey Award for Best Manga
8. Our Journey to Lesbian Motherhood
The struggles of a lesbian couple with their fertility situation.
|Published||Apr 21, 2016|
|Authors||Sugiyama, Emiko (Art), Higashi, Koyuki (Story), Masuhara, Hiroko (Story)|
For same-sex couples, “having a child” means facing hurdles that must be overcome. This manga is about a lesbian couple who wants to have a child and describes their daily struggles.
Despite its simplicity, the content of the manga is about very serious fertility issues. You have to carefully go through every single thing, such as who will donate sperm and whether your partner and his parents will understand the idea of having a child.
They are also forced to fight against the prejudices of those around them. But still, I think their child will be happy to be born to this couple who sincerely wishes to have a child. There are many things you can learn from this manga, which talks about the pregnancy of same-sex couples in a frank and honest manner.
9. Not Your Idol
A suspense manga that confronts sexual stereotypes head-on
|Published||Aug 3, 2018 to ?|
|Authors||Makino, Aoi (Story & Art)|
Gender discrimination, which is a problem in today’s society, is not limited to the adult world. The values that are latent in the social norms that we have been exposed to since childhood are also present in high school as if it were a matter of course.
This story takes up the mini-skirt as a symbol of sexist values, and addresses the problems caused by people’s prejudice against gender and the world’s selfish image of “dressing like a girl”.
This book asks the important question of how to create an environment where women can live comfortably and feel a sense of security. It is a book that should be read by all generations and genders. It will give you a chance to look back at your everyday life and see if you have unconsciously made others feel suffocated and hurt by the values that have been imprinted on you.
🏆2020 Kono Manga ga Sugoi!
🏆The 3rd People’s Choice TSUTAYA Comic Award
10. Smells Like Green Spirit
|Published||Aug 12, 2011 to Feb 13, 2013|
|Authors||Nagai, Saburou (Story & Art)|
It is a slice of life manga that focuses on the story of three junior high school students who grow up as homosexuals in the countryside where there are many ties with the people around them and try their best to live with their daily struggles.
The highlight of this manga is the interesting development of the story, which you can’t predict at all, and their brave attitude of “This is my way of life” even though they are junior high school students who don’t know what the right choice is.
There are many heart-wrenching scenes. In particular, Mishima’s mother (who used to be the head of a motorcycle gang) is a very straightforward mother, and you can’t help but be moved by her personality.
This story carefully depicts the humanity and struggles of each of the boys with a delicate touch. I recommend this manga for both its beauty as a story and its awareness of LGBTQ+ issues!
What did you guys think?
In this article, we’ve highlighted 10 LGBTQ+ themed manga!
Even though the themes were the same the styles varied widely, from fantasy elements to suspens and thrill.
I hope this article has helped you encounter some great mangas and got you thinking about the diversity of sexualities out there!