Some of the most fun manga produced and imported in the past few years have featured LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines. Here are some of the most popular (and most checked out) titles available at the Free Library of Philadelphia!
Wandering Son by Takako Shimura
The fifth grade, the threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Check out all eight volumes in this sweet and endearing series about finding yourself and being who you always were.
My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
Technically this isn’t manga, it’s a graphic novel, but its still got that Japanese animation style going for it, so I’m going to make the case that it fits here. Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi's estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji's past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it's been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl by Canno
Two girls, a new school, and the beginning of a beautiful friendship. In middle school, Ayaka Shiramine was the perfect student: hard-working, with excellent grades and a great personality to match. As Ayaka enters high school she expects to still be on top, but one thing she didn't account for is her new classmate, the lazy yet genuine genius Yurine Kurosawa. What's in store for Ayaka and Yurine as they go through high school...together?
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
The heart-rending autobiographical manga that's taken the internet by storm is an honest look at one young woman's exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist's burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers. It’s literally always checked out. You should put a hold on it right now!
Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments!