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Homosexual relationship outside yaoi or yuri mangas

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Post #777472
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8:33 pm, Jun 2 2020
Posts: 43

I want to read a manga where homosexual relationship is treated as something normal.

In my experience gays and lesbians are in mangas only a thing if the genre is Yaoi/shounen ai or Yuri/shoujo ai. In "normal" romance mangas it is a taboo to mention homosexuals. I find it quite sad that this is so. Maybe it is a cultural thing in japan.

So could you recommend any titles outside the yaoi and yuri genre that has a homosexual couple in them. They obviously don't have to be the main characters but could be friends with the mc.

I would like it if it is set in modern times, but historical or fantasy mangas are also ok.

Post #777476 - Reply to (#777472) by Isilay
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10:33 pm, Jun 2 2020
Posts: 971

Quote from Isilay
Maybe it is a cultural thing in japan.

In Japan, homosexuals are seen as a taboo because they are a very nuclear-based in regards to how they view relationships, and also see gays as nothing more than a drain on resources that provide nothing of value. The most "acceptance" that fags get in the country is just being seen as a phase that someone will eventually grow out of. And, because of this view that the country has, it carries over in regards to how they make comics over there.

Outside of the niche of yuri and yaoi comics, you're not going to find an "legit" gay characters that do not exist for any other reason than fap material or gags. Pulling up some series that I have read, Sekirei is sexual in every which way, Trans Venus is straight-up softcore porn, Tsuiteru Kanojo (Niku) is a gag in the first series and becomes literal hentai in the second series, Cutey Honey makes fun of suffragettes and has some of the girls getting a little handsy for ecchi material, Family Compo perhaps plays it the most straight (But it is still a gag series).

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Post #777479
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10:53 pm, Jun 2 2020
Posts: 678

[slides in] I actually keep a personal rec list for this very thing!

Bloom Into You I know this one seems like a quintessential yuri with how well-known it is, but it's actually published in Comic Dengeki Daioh! And there was even worries while it was still being serialized about whether the two mains will actually get together or if it'll be neutered like a lot of other GL (or BL) relationships in non-yuri/yaoi magazines.

Cherish This is a lower key one. The main character has two dads who are essentially married to each other. The actual story itself is a pretty run-of-the-mill josei, but it's still one of the few manga I've ever read with LGBTQ parents who aren't caricatured.

Fukakai na Boku no Subete o Main character is nonbinary/x-gender. Plenty of gay, lesbian, and trans side characters too. Pretty neat.

Gisèle Alain Another lower key one. There are lesbians in the background. Rec'd because the main story is really, really good.

Golden Days Main character's sexuality is kind of left ambiguous, but his best friend is gay, and there's lots of Feelings between them.

Golondrina If you haven't read any of est em's work, you should. Main character is a lesbian who takes up bullfighting when her lover betrays her.

Hoshino, Me o Tsubutte. I heard this doesn't end well, but I still like it so far (up to volume 10). A minor side character is gay (and his plot point has nothing to do with homophobia, which is an additional plus). Also, I heard two of the female side characters get together at the end?

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. One of the major side characters falls in love with a girl. Her love isn't really touched on or anything, but she's never maligned for it.

Innocent and Innocent Rouge Warning for extreme violence, torture, blood, and gore, and the works. Marie, the main character in the sequel (and the first protagonist's younger sister), is super queer and has relationships with both men and women. She is great, but if you can't stand gore, this is probably a skip.

Kami-sama no Ekohiiki It starts out a genderbender but ends in a relationship with both of them as dudes. Usually this kind of premise is just an excuse to "no homo" a relationship, but here she "yes homo"s everything and it is glorious.

Kanojo ni Naritai Kimi to Boku Probably my favorite manga right now featuring queer characters. Main character is in love with her best friend who is a trans woman, and there are also lesbian and asexual side characters. Super great. A+

Love and Lies The main character's best friend is gay and in love with him. The actual story itself is a fairly paint-by-the-numbers love triangle, but it's not bad.

Love at Fourteen One of the side characters is a lesbian. Haven't read this in a long time, so I don't remember much about it.

Murasakiiro no Qualia Another one of those that's very, very definitely shoujo-ai (the series is basically centered around the main character's love for her best friend) but is published in Comic Dengeki Daioh. It's also a hard sci-fi, incidentally.

My Secret Brother Takes a while to get there, but in season 4, two of the major side female characters get together. There's no homophobia, and they are sweet dumbasses together.

Seifuku no Vampiress Lord It's tagged as yuri, but it's published in Gangan Joker! And, yeah, it's really yuri. Main character becomes a vampire and realizes she's a lesbian. She then proceeds to seduce everyone in her class. It's great fun.

Shimanami Tasogare This one is pretty well-known, so I don't think I really need to introduce it. Main character is gay and figuring out his sexuality and ends up joining a "house restoration club" where other queer folks gather.

That Blue Sky Feeling Haven't read this, but the mangaka is actually gay and it's published in Gangan Joker. Heard it was pretty good.

This Witch of Mine Warning for SAD. One of the witches falls in love with a woman. But this story as a whole is pretty tragic.

Tokyo Babylon and X/1999 Clamp is pretty known for having queer characters in most of their manga. Tokyo Babylon is probably my favorite of theirs.

Welcome to Room #305! Main character is a homophobe who ends up with a gay roommate. After the first arc, it gets better, and more queer characters get introduced.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Probably one of the most well-known ones. Published in Morning, a seinen magazine, and features a longtime gay couple and their meals together.

Young Gun Carnaval Dual protagonists. One of them is a lesbian.

Yuureitou Warning for blood, gore, the works. Horror (supernatural?) story about a ghost tower. One of the main characters is a trans man. A side character that gets introduced later is gay. Ends well, I think.

Also, Yamashita Tomoko often has queer characters in her (non-BL) work. They're kind of blink and you'll miss it, though. Hanaizawa-chou Kouminkan-dayori has two women who are together, one of the characters in White Note Pad was originally a lesbian (before the whole body switch thing), and Ikoku Nikki had a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where the main character's best friend is revealed to be a lesbian.

There's also autobiographies, e.g. My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, Our Journey to Lesbian Motherhood, Otokonoko Doushi Renai Chuu., etc. or even the pretty well-known My Brother's Husband by Tagame Gengoroh, though I'm not sure if those are what you're looking for.

Post #777483
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11:08 pm, Jun 2 2020
Posts: 2

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e also known as Hana Kimi or For you in full blossom.

Synopsis: Japanese-American Mizuki has gotten herself into a high school in Japan... but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she's going to an all-guys' high school... and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they're more than classmates... they're roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates--and the school doctor--must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation

I read this manga a long time ago, but if i remember clearly the MC was close to a male doctor who was gay. The side character was gay and he wasn't looked down upon and i guess was openly gay. Because of him MC felt reassured in a dorm full of boys.

Also the second male lead thought he was gay for quite sometime. So i remember in between there were scenes where boys looked at "gay" AV's in the dorm.

Post #777486

1:18 am, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 181

not the best representation but there's love blog!! where the main character's roommate / cousin is gay

Post #777487
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1:48 am, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 165

highly second What Did You Eat Yesterday (it also has a lovely jdrama adaptation from 2019 that is very true to the source material). the series taught me a lot about modern attitudes towards homosexuality in Japan and topics like heir adoption and same-sex partnership certificates.

A book that has been burned cannot be rebuilt from the ashes; it must be rewritten.
Post #777495

8:39 am, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 181

i remembered another one there's gisele alain one of the tenants was a lesbian sex worker and i remember the narrative not looking down on her occupation but i might be wrong about that

also there is a tag for this, check out: LGBT Character in Non-Yaoi/Yuri Manga

Post #777496
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9:41 am, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 43

Thank you for all the recommendations 😊

Post #777498

2:09 pm, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 1

I think Musume no Iede fits
even thought it's tagged as shoujo ai/shounen ai

Post #777501 - Reply to (#777476) by Transdude1996
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5:37 pm, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 2

Quote from Transdude1996
Outside of the niche of yuri and yaoi comics, you're not going to find an "legit" gay characters that do not exist for any other reason than fap material or gags.

That's blatantly untrue. Of course, if you only look at works with a general emphasis on fan service or at gag mangas the LGBT+ characters will either be "fap material" or comedy relief...
There is plenty of representation to find in slice-of-life, romance and queer oriented stories.

Now to answer the question.
Beware of the "shoujo-ai" and "shounen-ai" tag, they don't indicate anything about the genre and are used mostly to indicate that there will be fxf or mxm pairings or implications in a story. In fact these terminologies are not even used in Japan. If something is tagged as shoujo/shounen-ai, it's not necessarily a BL or a Yuri.

I'm surprised that no-one has yet suggested the now infamous Ao no Flag. It's a shounen in which the main character's best friend is gay. There is also a female character who has a crush on the MC's main love interest (a girl).
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
After dating the main girl throughout the whole seeries the MC dumps her and it is suggested that he later marries his gay best friend. Also the girl who had a crush on her friend turns out to be bisexual and marries a man.

Niji, Amaete yo. has the same premise as Ao no flag, with the male MC having a gay best friend who has a crush on him. It's a shoujo but from my understanding there is no real love triangle here and the gay friend forms a secondary couple with a male character that is later introduced.

Torch Song Ecology, an unsuccessful actor is haunted by a shapeshifting ghost. He's also trying really hard to forget that his best friend came out of the closet and confessed to him shortly before dying in an accident.

Ohana Holoholo is a josei in which two women who used to be romantically involved raise a child together. Most of the characters in the story are bi.

Most of SHIMURA Takako's works involve queer characters one way or another.
Among her recent works :
In Musume no Iede the MC's father has a male partner, it's a slice-of-life seinen.
Otona ni natte mo (Shimura) is promoted as yuri but it's technically a josei, and it's very down-to-earth.

Uchi no Musuko wa tabun Gay, a gentle comedy, the main character's son is gay.

You can also check the dedicated tag to find what you are looking for.

Post #777508
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8:44 pm, Jun 3 2020
Posts: 132

My favorite topic! Unfortunately, I don't find many LGBT characters that are super important outside of the gay genres. So thank you everyone who's posted some suggestions! I can't wait to check them out.

The only ones that come to my head (that I haven't noticed suggested...) are all lighthearted, modern shojo series...

Shinshi Doumei † is comedic and a fun read! When I was younger I didn't really like girly shojo manga, but this one changed my mind. So cute! There's two male characters that are gay, one lead that pretends to be gay for the first book, and a bi-sexual best friend that becomes a story arch later on. I loved the story so much! Plenty of drama and none of the gay characters are bashed or anything.

Cardcaptor Sakura is a classic. Super lighthearted again (even more than Shinshi Doumei Cross) with a magical girl theme in the modern world (you're probably familiar...) beautiful art, the mc's brother is in a hinted (especially in the anime, WOW) relationship with his "best friend", mc's best friend is very openly in love with her, another main character is in love with the mc's love interest (they even talk about him together at one point, and why they like him.) There's pedophilia in the series unfortunately, but it's still a good one to check out.

Honestly? Anything by Clamp! And I mean anything.

Akame ga Kiru! it's shonen and not modern, it's an action series. But they have a male character who's very only gay, which I found refreshing. And it's a cool (bloody, brutal, violent) series, so if you're ever in the mood for shonen action, give it a try.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Gay character does unfortunately get killed. Yeah, I was fucking pissed. But I still include this because I'm still glad he was portrayed in such a strong, positive way.

I second Hanazakari no Kimitachi e or Hana Kimi. It's cute, I read the series as I bought the manga, so I actually never got around to finishing it. But it's a girl in an all boys' school and when the guys like her, they question themselves in funny ways. All one of the teachers is gay and moments with him lead to some spicy imagery.

Ai o Utau Yori Ore ni Oborero! was an... interesting read. Female lead looks like a man, male lead looks like a girl, lots of same sex stuff going on... it's not good (representation or story) and the first part is smutty, the second part turns so innocent I feels like a difference series... so I don't want to recommend it, but the art is pretty and the LGBT themes come up a lot.

HEN is mature and... a mess. It's hard to describe. The author did a spin-off? series and it's even more gay than what the first one turned into. Again, NOT a good recommendation, but I'm mentioning it because I'm running out of ideas and it turns hella gay.

Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitte Iru because I ship the leads so hard. For a while it had been a lot of subtext - the male lead has the power to save the world, his demonic protector is into him, plenty of subtext for multiple characters. It's a modern shojo action fantasy series, and despite its flaws, I love this series. I was caught up to it, waiting for it to be completed, and this was a while ago. I see they've tagged it "shonen-ai" now, so I am beyond hopeful that my two favorites are together in the end. Worth reading if you like fantasy action shojo!

I know I'm forgetting a big one, but hopefully it'll come to me... in the mean time, I'm going to read some of these suggestions. 😃

Post #777574
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10:33 am, Jun 6 2020
Posts: 172

I second most of the above manga, especially
Ao no flag, Shimanami Tasogare, Niji, amaete yo. (sadly only two chapters translated for now) and Welcome to room #305! (which started updating again)
To add,
Kare no aijou no hakari -really beautiful story, and quite a realistic approach than most shoujo
Himekoi, wakana-kun -sadly not completely translated but I like that the ML is quite firm in his love for his friend. Similar premise to Niji, lean on me.
Ani no hanashi - It’s one of the best manga I’ve read from POV of the straight brother and ngl, it made my eyes sweat.
The boy from the moon -unfortunately not completely translated either but it’s an imteresting one
Ichinose kyoudai wa gaman dekinai
If you’re okay with manhwa/manhua webcomics then,
That summer (Kim hyun) - completely translated
Spring snow (Pugum)

Post #777591
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10:09 pm, Jun 6 2020
Posts: 971

Oh, I just remembered that the protagonists in Ghost in the Shell and Mnemosyne are lesbians.

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Post #777628

4:50 am, Jun 8 2020
Posts: 18

Thanks for this question! There are a lot of great series recommended above. A bit different but still relevant is the autobiographical manga Umareru Seibetsu wo Machigaeta!; the mangaka/protagonist is a trans bisexual woman, and the story is about her trip to Thailand to get gender confirmation surgery. The protagonist is married to a woman, and her wife is a supporting character but isn’t in every chapter because IIRC she doesn’t accompany the protagonist on the Thailand trip. Overall the story tone is funny and warm, but probably not for the medically squeamish.

Post #778230
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11:13 pm, Jun 30 2020
Posts: 6

A lot of the ones I would recommend have been already mentioned, but two that I've read recently are Kieta Hatsukoi and Kakeochi Girl. Stigmata - Seikon Sousa doesn't really have anything super overt, but its sequel, Stigmata - Aikon, runs in .Bloom. And if you want to get really old school, there's Eroica yori Ai o Komete

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