7 Gay Manga Titles We’d Love to See Get an Anime Adaptation
It’s about time we get more gay anime on our screens. Queer anime and gay manga titles (the terms for Japanese animated series and comic books, respectively) have been on the rise in the past few years. Thanks to the juggernaut anime Yuri on Ice, animation companies have realized they can make a pretty penny (or yen, in this case) by creating and distributing gay-themed anime. Just the past few years, popular manga like Given have earned an anime adaptation.
But what other manga titles should be given the animation treatment? What are popular gay stories that deserve recognition by animation companies and anime fans? Here are a few manga titles for you all to discover. Then maybe they’ll get an anime adaptation sometime soon.
Here are 7 gay manga titles we’d love to see get an anime adaptation:
1. Ganbare! Nakamura-kun!! By Syundei
Synopsis: “Nakamura is a shy boy who falls in love at first sight with another boy — his dreamy high school classmate Hirose. But there’s a problem: they haven’t met yet. And Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin! In this endearing Boy’s Love comedy about the trials of high school, follow Nakamura’s hilarious attempts to cling to happiness.”
This is possibly one of the cutest and most wholesome gay manga titles in Japan. The story of a young boy crushing on his high classmate is more relatable and approachable than many of this comic’s peers. From gay teens to gay adults, all can find something to enjoy with this story. If only it had an anime adaptation ….
2. Jackass – Sawatte Ii tte Dare ga Itta yo? By Scarlet Beriko
Synopsis: “When the panty hose go on, all bets are off between these best guy friends!
Practical Keisuke’s incredibly handsome best friend Masayuki has always rubbed him just a little bit the wrong way. Maybe it’s because Masayuki is rich, carefree, and so stunningly handsome that he can, and does, have any girl he wants? But one day, when Keisuke accidentally wears his older sister’s panty hose to gym class, it’s suddenly his hot friend who’s doing the rubbing…on Keisuke’s panty hose-clad legs! Has he unwittingly unleashed a secret fetish that will change their relationship forever?”
Of all gay manga titles, this one has everything. A little kink, a lot of gay pride, and a lot of love. Not only would Jackass be a fun anime adaptation to watch, but it would carry a lot of meaningful messages. From the main character learning not to silence himself and his needs in support for his guardian/older sister to his gay best friend dealing with a school bully. What’s not to love?
3. Honto Yajuu By Yamamoto Kotetsuko
Synopsis: “Ueda Tomoharu is a cop manning a local koban station, and he’s quite happy with his job and relatively quiet life until he happens to run into yakuza member Gotouda Aki while chasing down an underwear theif…and is suddenly confessed to! Aki doesn’t seem bothered in the least about their ~star-crossed lovers~ status and eagerly dives into a super lovey-dovey relationship with his policeman, but Ueda’s about to find out just how dangerous it can be dating a mobster…in more ways than one.”
When it comes to popular gay manga titles with healthy relationships, Honto Yajuu stands at the top. While centering on a Romeo and Juliet-esque couple of a beat cop and an heir to a yakuza family, this story is no tragedy. In fact, this long-running series is full of love, fluff, and good times. What could be better than snuggling up to watch a wholesome, romantic anime adaptation like this one?
4. Jealousy? By Scarlet Beriko
Synopsis: “A yakuza head finds himself ensnared in the unwavering attention of a sometimes impetuous but always cunning schemer. If being yakuza doesn’t get him killed, his new lover just might! Uichi Rogi is in a bind, both literally and figuratively, when he meets Akitora Oyamato, the yakuza head who’s come to collect a debt from Uichi’s lover. Instantly smitten, Uichi concocts dubious and often dangerous schemes to get closer to the man, but his lies come at a heavy price—one he may regret having to pay for Akitora’s affections”
This tale is not for the faint of heart but is great for readers/viewers who love a gay icon. Uichi is a king among kings. While he lives on the darker side of life, working as a prostitute in gang-infested streets, he has a confidence and bravado that makes him instantly iconic. On top of that, the sexual tension between him and Akitora is palpable and unbearable. Imagine sitting in front of your screen as these two glare at each other with sheet fisting tension. Ugh! We can barely take it!
5. Sasaki to Miyano By Harusono Syou
Synopsis: “Miyano is a high school student with a secret–he’s a BL fanboy. He’s passionate about his hobby but doesn’t share it with others easily, until a chance encounter with a quirky sempai named Sasaki brings a new friendship. Sasaki doesn’t know what the heck a ‘seme’ or ‘uke’ is, or why he should be worried when Miyano threatens to draw doujinshi involving him, but he’s eager to learn about his cute new friend’s hobby!”
But if you’re looking for something sweeter and with a heap of charm, try this story out. Slow burning romance? Check. A fun and energetic group of characters? Check. Two endearing leads who are deeply in touch with their own thoughts and feelings? Yes, please! If you’re a fan of slice-of-life tales and romance, it’s time you discovered this manga and championed the fight for an anime adaptation.
6. Blue Sky Complex By Ichikawa Kei
Synopsis: “Motochika Narasaki comes from a large, noisy family, and his two little brothers make it nearly impossible for him to have any alone time. When his need for peace and quiet coincides with his teacher arm-twisting him into minding the school library in the evenings, he hesitantly accepts. What he does not expect, though, is running into the infamous delinquent, Natsuki Terashima, who has been roped into taking care of the library as well.”
This is another story with a healthy relationship that grows as the couple does. From high school life with family to living solo in college, Blue Sky Complex tackles this couple’s young adulthood with a nuanced and mature outlook. This would definitely be more of a mellow anime adaptation, but that watch would have the same gravitas of indie films like Call Me By Your Name.
7. Hishakai Shindo By Enjo
Synopsis: “When one day going to the school roof, Shuichirou meets Konno. Konno is a guy shrouded in rumour: with some saying he’s dark and intimidating but others claiming he’s a photography enthusiast and an unexpectedly nice guy. The two then enter a budding friendship. But as Konno spends more time with the simple-minded and pure-hearted Shuichirou, he starts to remember his dark, repressed past.”
Compared to other gay manga titles, this is yet another more somber and mellow tale, but it’s possibly the best plot to a gay manga that I’ve ever read. This story is melancholic, romantic, and compelling all at the same time. Told in two volumes, Hishakai Shindo will catapult you into the mind of Konno. Plus, Hishakai Shindo will leave your heart swollen and your eyes wet with tears. For anime fans that love sad but sweet stories, this manga would be a great anime adaptation for you.
These are just some of the hundreds of gay manga titles out there. And with animation companies now showing more interest in gay-themed animation, one or more of these stories may get an anime adaptation in the future.
If you had to choose among this list, which ones would you pick? Or is there another gay manga title adaptation you’d prefer get an anime adaptation?
This article was originally published on December 4, 2020. It has since been updated.