Manga is a popular Japanese comic book genre that has captivated audiences all over the world. Gender bender manga, in particular, has grown in popularity in recent years. These stories explore themes of gender identity and expression, with characters frequently transitioning from one gender to another.
Gender bender manga is known for its unique and captivating storytelling, as well as its ability to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Keeping this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best gender bender manga of all time that you should read in 2023.
These manga series offer a diverse range of perspectives and stories, ranging from comedic tales to dramatic explorations of gender identity. So, without further ado, let’s get started and discover some of the most captivating gender bender manga series of all time.
1. Boku Girl
Boku Girl is a manga series about a high school boy named Mizuki who wakes up one day to discover that he has transformed into a girl. Mizuki’s transformation is the result of a nefarious deity who believes Mizuki’s feminine side should be revealed.
Mizuki must navigate his relationships with his friends and loved ones while adjusting to his new body and identity. Boku Girl is a heartwarming and humorous anime series that explores themes of gender identity and self-discovery in an original and entertaining manner.
Sugito Akira wrote and illustrated the series, which has been serialised in Monthly Shnen Sirius since 2013. Boku Girl is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its engaging story and endearing characters.
2. Ame Nochi Hare (Clear Up After the Rain)
Ame Nochi Hare is a manga series about a high school student named Ayumi who is forced to crossdress as a girl after losing a bet with his friends. Ayumi’s situation is complicated when he attracts the attention of the school’s most popular boy, Misuzu, who falls for him despite believing he is a girl.
Ayumi begins to question his own gender identity as he struggles to keep his disguise and navigate his complicated feelings for Misuzu. Ame Nochi Hare is a thoughtful and thought-provoking series that delves into the nuanced and sensitive themes of gender identity and sexuality.
Takashi Toujou created the series, which has been serialised in Weekly Shnen Jump since 2014. Ame Nochi Hare is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its beautiful artwork and engaging characters.
3. Mayo Chiki!
Kinjirou Sakamachi, a high school boy who suffers from gynophobia, is the protagonist of the manga series Mayo Chiki! (fear of women). When Kinjirou discovers that the school’s butler, Subaru Konoe, is actually a girl who is forced to crossdress as a boy, his life is turned upside down.
Kinjirou and Subaru must navigate their complicated relationship while also dealing with the numerous misunderstandings and misadventures caused by Subaru’s gender identity. Mayo Chiki! is a heartwarming and hilarious series that explores themes of gender identity and acceptance in a lighthearted and entertaining manner.
Hajime Asano wrote the series, and Seiji Kikuchi illustrated it. From 2009 to 2013, it was serialised in Monthly Comic Alive, and it has since been adapted into an anime series and a light novel series. Mayo Chiki! is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its witty humour and endearing characters.
4. Kanojo ni Naru Hi (Becoming a Girl One Day)
Kanojo ni Naru Hi is a manga series about a young boy named Karada Iokawa who wakes up one day to discover that he has transformed into a girl. Karada’s transformation is the result of a wish he made to a mysterious stone, and he must now navigate his new life as a girl while also attempting to figure out how to reverse his transformation.
Karada is grappling with his feelings for his childhood friend, Shouma, as he struggles with his new identity and the challenges of growing up as a girl. Kanojo ni Naru Hi is a moving and moving series that delves into themes of gender identity, friendship, and love in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner.
Akaza Samamiya wrote and illustrated the series, which was serialised in Monthly Comic Zero Sum from 2011 to 2015. Kanojo ni Naru Hi is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its beautiful artwork and heartfelt storytelling.
5. Bokura no Kiseki (Our Miracle)
Bokura no Kiseki is a manga series about a group of high school students who discover they are all reincarnations of members of a royal family from a magical world. They must navigate their complex relationships with one another while exploring their past lives and unravelling the mysteries of their current situation.
The way the characters’ past lives and gender identities are intertwined is one of the most intriguing aspects of Bokura no Kiseki. Some characters, for example, were male in previous lives but are now female, while others were female in previous lives but are now male. As the characters wrestle with issues of identity and belonging, this adds another layer of depth and complexity to the story.
Kumeta Natsuo wrote and illustrated the series, which has been serialised in Manga Action since 2008. Bokura no Kiseki is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and stunning artwork.
6. Houkago Hokenshitsu (After School Nightmare)
Houkago Hokenshitsu is a gender-bending manga series that combines horror, romance, and psychological drama elements. Mashiro Ichijo, a high school student, is drawn into a mysterious after-school programme in which students must confront their deepest fears and secrets in order to graduate.
Mashiro begins to confront his own gender identity as he navigates the complex and often terrifying world of the after-school programme. The series explores themes of gender, sexuality, and the nature of reality itself through dreamlike sequences and surreal imagery.
Setona Mizushiro wrote and illustrated Houkago Hokenshitsu, which was serialised in Melody from 2004 to 2007. Houkago Hokenshitsu is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, with its unique blend of genres and thought-provoking themes.
7. Ranma 1/2
Ranma 1/2 is a classic gender bender manga series that has had a significant influence on the genre. The story follows the adventures of Ranma Saotome, a skilled martial artist who is cursed to transform into a girl whenever he comes into contact with cold water. He can only change back into a boy when he is doused with hot water.
As Ranma navigates his complicated love life and the challenges of martial arts training, he must also grapple with his fluid gender identity. The series is known for its humor, action, and well-developed characters, and has been a beloved favorite of manga fans for decades.
Ranma 1/2 is written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi and was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1987 to 1996. With its iconic characters and innovative premise, Ranma 1/2 is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga.
8. Prunus Girl
Prunus Girl is a gender-bending manga series about identity and acceptance. Maki, a high school student, is mistaken for a girl by his new classmate, Aikawa Kizuna. Rather than correcting her error, Maki decides to embrace his feminine side by dressing and acting like a girl.
Maki and Kizuna must navigate the complexities of their relationship while confronting societal norms and prejudices. The series is well-known for its heartfelt moments, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes.
Tomoya Haruno wrote and illustrated Prunus Girl, which was serialised in Dengeki Daioh from 2009 to 2013. Prunus Girl is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, thanks to its uplifting message of acceptance and endearing characters.
9. Baraou no Souretsu (Requiem of the Rose King)
Baraou no Souretsu is a one-of-a-kind gender bender manga series that reimagines the story of Richard III, England’s infamous king, as a tragic figure struggling with his gender identity. The plot follows Richard, a man born with a female body but who identifies as a man, as he rises to power and encounters political intrigue and betrayal.
Richard faces internal conflicts as he struggles to come to terms with his own identity as he grapples with the expectations and limitations placed on him by his gender and society. The series is known for its rich artwork, complex characters, and historical accuracy.
Aya Kanno wrote and illustrated Baraou no Souretsu, which was serialised in Monthly Princess from 2013 to 2021. Baraou no Souretsu is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga, with its unique take on a classic story and powerful exploration of gender identity.
10. Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)
Hourou Musuko, also known as Wandering Son, is a touching gender bender manga series that follows two transgender middle school students, Shuichi and Yoshino. The plot follows them as they navigate their gender identities, come out to their friends and family, and face the challenges and prejudices that they face.
The series is known for its honest portrayal of transgender youth’s struggles and triumphs, as well as its beautiful artwork and sensitive storytelling. Hourou Musuko approaches difficult topics with grace and compassion, resulting in a powerful and moving read.
Takako Shimura wrote and illustrated Hourou Musuko, which was serialised in Comic Beam from 2002 to 2013. Hourou Musuko is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga or LGBTQ+ representation in literature, thanks to its nuanced and authentic portrayal of transgender experiences.
11. Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)
Kuragehime, also known as Princess Jellyfish, is a gender-bending manga series about self-discovery, friendship, and individuality. Tsukimi, a socially awkward otaku who lives in a women-only apartment complex, and her unlikely group of friends are the focus of the story.
Tsukimi forms an unexpected bond with Kuranosuke, a fashionable and flamboyant cross-dresser, and they begin to challenge each other’s perceptions of gender and identity. The show is known for its quirky and endearing characters, its heart and humour, and its exploration of non-conventional beauty standards.
Akiko Higashimura wrote and illustrated Kuragehime, which was serialised in Kiss from 2008 to 2017. Kuragehime is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga or stories of personal growth and friendship, with its empowering message of self-acceptance and celebration of individuality.
12. Tokyo Crazy Paradise
Tokyo Crazy Paradise is a gender-bending manga series that combines romance, action, and comedy elements. Tsukasa, a teenage girl, is forced to disguise herself as a boy in order to protect her family’s honour and make a living as a bodyguard in a dangerous and corrupt Tokyo.
Tsukasa finds herself falling for Ryo, a handsome and mysterious young man who also works as a bodyguard, as she navigates her double life and the challenges of her job. The series is well-known for its fast-paced plot, dynamic characters, and unique genre blend.
Yoshiki Nakamura wrote and illustrated Tokyo Crazy Paradise, which was serialised in Hana to Yume from 1996 to 2002. Tokyo Crazy Paradise is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga or action-packed romance stories, with its thrilling plot, engaging characters, and romantic tension.
13. Inside Mari
Inside Mari is a psychological gender bender manga series about identity, perception, and self-discovery. The plot revolves around Isao Komori, a college student who wakes up one day in the body of a high school girl named Mari Yoshizaki.
As Isao struggles to comprehend his new identity and the reason for his transformation, he unearths dark secrets and hidden desires that threaten to shatter his sense of self. The series is well-known for its complex and suspenseful plot, complex and flawed characters, and exploration of the human psyche.
Shuzo Oshimi wrote and illustrated Inside Mari, which was serialised in Manga Action from 2012 to 2016. Inside Mari is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga or stories of personal transformation and discovery, thanks to its gripping storytelling, psychological depth, and exploration of the human condition.
14. Kunisaki Izumo No Jijou
Kunisaki Izumo No Jijou, also known as Izumo, is a gender-bending manga series that explores mythology, fantasy, and romance themes. The plot revolves around Izumo, a young man who is the heir to the powerful Kunisaki clan, which is tasked with maintaining the balance between the human and godly worlds.
When Izumo is forced to undergo a gender transformation ritual in order to become a priestess, she must deal with the responsibilities of her new role while also dealing with her growing feelings for her childhood friend, Seri. The series is well-known for its beautiful artwork, engaging characters, and unique blend of mythology and romance.
Hirari wrote and illustrated Kunisaki Izumo No Jijou, which was serialised in Comic Birz from 2008 to 2013. Kunisaki Izumo No Jijou is a must-read for anyone interested in gender bender manga or stories of mythology and romance, with its rich world-building, compelling characters, and blend of romance and fantasy.
15. Hatsukoi Zombie
Minenami Ryou is the author and illustrator of the manga series Hatsukoi Zombie. The serialisation of the series began in Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in 2015 and ended in 2019 with 131 chapters collected into 17 volumes. The show has also spawned an anime series and a live-action television drama.
The plot of Hatsukoi Zombie revolves around Tarou Kurume, a high school student who has the ability to see “zombies” of people who have unfinished business with their first love. Tarou has been in love with the same girl since he was a child, a childhood friend named Hanako. When Tarou confides in Hanako about his feelings, she rejects him, leaving him heartbroken.
Despite this rejection, Tarou is adamant about winning Hanako’s heart and embarks on a mission to help the “zombies” of other people’s first loves find closure so that he can finally move on from his own unrequited love. He meets a colourful cast of characters along the way, including a girl who believes she is a witch and a former delinquent who becomes his best friend.
Hatsukoi Zombie is a one-of-a-kind mash-up of romance, comedy, and supernatural elements that focuses on the complexities of love and heartbreak. The show is known for its eccentric characters, fast-paced storytelling, and unexpected plot twists.
Hatsukoi Zombie’s artwork is also a highlight of the series, with detailed character designs, expressive facial expressions, and dynamic action scenes. The series is notable for its use of visual metaphors and symbolism to convey the characters’ emotional struggles.
Hatsukoi Zombie is a must-read manga series for fans of romance, comedy, and supernatural fiction. Its engaging characters, inventive plot, and stunning artwork set it apart from the pack and make it a fan favourite among manga fans.
For years, gender bender manga has been a popular genre, exploring themes such as identity, gender roles, and self-discovery. The 15 manga series on this list are among the best in the genre, with engaging characters, compelling storylines, and stunning artwork.
This list has something for everyone, whether you’re a long-time fan of gender bender manga or new to the genre. From Ranma 1/2’s classic comedy to Wandering Son’s emotional journey, these series offer unique perspectives on the complexities of gender and identity.
We hope you found some new and exciting manga series to add to your reading list as a result of this list. Good luck with your reading!