Manga Recommendations #1
3 minute read
I have developed som interesting tastes in manga, so I thought it might be fun to do a list of recommendations every now and then. Let’s take these from the top.
- BL metamorphosis: A sweet story about a developing friendship between Ichinoi, an old woman who unwittingly buys a BL (Boys’ Love) manga and gets hooked on the genre, and Urara, a high school girl and seasoned BL fan who happens to work at the local bookstore. I was struck by a sobering moment in the first volume, where Ichinoi starts calculating from the publication frequency of the series she’s reading, how long she would have to survive to get to read just 6 more volumes.
- Love me for who I am: Mogumo, a lonely non-binary high school student gets invited by a classmate to work at a socalled “otokonoko” maid café, where boys dress up as maids. Of course, this soon brings up the issue that Mogumo is not actually a boy, which prompts some changes, and sparks other arguments and conversations about gender identity among the staff. As it goes on, the story starts dealing with more of the challenges that non-binary, trans, gay, lesbian and queer youth are often met with in society, and the preconceptions they themselves have frequently been taught.
- Yona of the Dawn: Great fantasy series about a princess who with the help of Hak, a childhood friend, manages to escape from the castle as her father, the king is assassinated. She goes on the search for four legendary dragon warriors, while she increasingly faces some of the realities of her father’s way of ruling the kingdom. Also there’s a cute squirrel. Not much more I need to say, really. 29 translated volumes so far, so you’ll be busy for a while.
- I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up: A single-volume story about Machi, a woman who keeps getting pestered by her parents to find someone to marry. In an attempt to spite them, and get them to shut up, she registers a same-sex partnership with her friend Hana, and pretends to be in a relationship with her. Hana has always had feeling for Machi since they were younger, and as they live together and their facade continues, Machi begins to realise that it’s mutual.
- How Do We Relationship?: Miwa is into girls, and has consequently had some issues finding love. When she finds out that her friend Saeko is lesbian as well, they decide to date, and they start falling in love. They also join a band and find new friends. Their friends have mixed reactions to finding out about their relationship, some drama ensues, etc. This is just a very good romance manga. As a heads-up, there are some fairly explicit sex scenes in it as well, though calling it “porn” for that reason would be the same mistake as calling any movie “porn” just because it has some sex scenes.
- Manly Appetites: Minegishi loves Otsu: I generally hate the sales industry and everything it stands for, so I can’t say that the particular office setting of this one is enticing to me, but I quite like the characters and the comedy in it. It follows the titular characters as Minegishi enjoys feeding Otsu snacks in the office, and Otsu is trying to figure out what, if anything, he should read into that relationship. It also has a decent treatment of workplace harassment, as we learn that the reason Otsu was entering a new job at the start of the first volume, is that he dared speak up about sexual harassment against a female coworker at his previous workplace.