Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe! Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Between work, responsibilities, and bills… life can be pretty stressful and it’s kind of hard to fit in time for just relaxing. Hell, even hobbies can seem like work. So when I start to feel burn out rearing its ugly head I like to take a step back and chill with one of my tried and true comfort manga. A comfort manga is a series that you love, that you can read over and over again without having to worry about how the story ends. Comfort manga are like a warm embrace or an old friend, it makes you feel good to read it and when you’re not feeling your best these series are great for relieving stress. Comfort manga don’t have to be the best and they more often than not aren’t wholesome or comfy, in fact they can be downright trashy (most of mine are pretty questionable), but what’s most important is how reading the series makes you feel!
So today, I’m sharing my comfort manga, these are the series that I can read over and over again and even though I know how they end I never seem to get bored… When life gets me down these are the series that I read to mellow out…
In company-owned rabbit-hutch apartments live tenants who can’t afford to live anywhere else, and the apartment complex in which high-school girl Hatsumi Narita lives is ruled over by the rumormongering, self-righteous Mrs. Tachibana. Get on Tachibana’s bad side, and life becomes hell. When Hatsumi has to buy a pregnancy test because her popular sister Akane is late, Mrs. Tachibana’s son, Ryoki, who used to bully Hatsumi as a kid, promises not to tell the world about Hatsumi’s secret only if she becomes his slave. Suddenly Azusa, Hatsumi’s protector in their youth, reappears to save her again! He’s moving back into the neighborhood! Despite the budding romance between Hatsumi and Azusa, Ryoki has control over her through the secret that could ruin the lives of everyone in Hatsumi’s family, and he hasn’t forgotten who his slave is!
This is one of those “questionable’ picks I mentioned… Hot Gimmick is one of those shojo series that has just not aged well—a pushover heroine, abusive boyfriends, and a relationship no one in their right mind would root for… and yet, I kinda love it? Yes, despite its many, many, MANY flaws, I can’t help but like Hot Gimmick. Don’t get me wrong, this series is a hot mess, and like a bad soap opera, I just can’t help but be invested in all the problematic drama of it all. You know a series is bad when the guy that makes Hatsumi his personal slave, fondles her without consent, and verbally abuses her is the BEST romantic option… And even in spite of all that, I read this series in its entirety at least twice a year (you can literally see the wear on each volume from all my re-reads).
Nao is hurting over his relationship with Taichi, and his new friend Nishina wants to help—but he ends up confessing his own feelings in the process! When two men are in love, the world can be a very callous place, and even friends and family sometimes hurt the ones they love. Can a couple like Taichi and Nao ever find true happiness?
What can I say about Escape Journey that hasn’t already, this is one of those series that just toes the line between wholesome and problematic and I dunno, maybe I like that extra helping of drama… But, I can’t help but love it just the same! Both leads have their flaws and in any other situation, I’d be actively rooting against them, but somehow despite all their issues and the pointless relationship drama… I kind of feel like Naoto and Taichi are made for each other. No one else would put up with their crap and while the constant breaking up and getting back together is more than a little frustrating, at the end of the day, their relationship is surprisingly stable(?) Maybe all the twists and turns is what makes this journey worth it in the end…
Kurouzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but a pattern: UZUMAKI, the spiral—the hypnotic secret shape of the world. The bizarre masterpiece horror manga is now available all in a single volume. Fall into a whirlpool of terror!
Of course the king of horror, Junji Ito is on this list, I love everything he puts out! His work definitely leave an impression—from the macabre to the surreal to downright terrifying and even comedy—Junji Ito knows how to tell a good story. Of all his works the one that left the biggest impression on me was Uzumaki, when I first read this I was terrified of anything remotely resembling a spiral for weeks (and I still get a bit antsy around them). The story starts off fairly grounded (at least by horror standards) only for everything to spiral completely out of control—wildly curling hair, bloodsucking pregnant women, snail people… Uzumaki is one of those series that slowly draws you into the madness and even when you know how it’ll all end, you still can’t help but get caught up in the experience…
In order to conceal that he’s a werewolf, Coyote avoids getting too involved with humans. But Marleen, a pianist at a bar he frequents, is interested in him and just won’t take no for an answer. When Coyote unexpectedly goes into heat for the first time, Marleen catches him while he’s unable to maintain his human form and offers up a tempting invitation. Coyote wants to resist, but can he?
Coyote is a new addition to my comfort manga rotation, but I am a sucker for a good supernatural romance and Ranmaru Zariya delivers that and more! I bought this (like many things) on a whim and it didn’t take long for me to get hooked, each new volume is better than the last and while I wait for the next release I constantly go back and re-read the previous volumes. It’s so GOOD! The relationship between the main leads is just so sexy and wholesome and just *insert fangirl squeal* I have read this series so many times already and each time I find more reasons to fall in love with Ranmaru Zariya’s writing!
Flowers and Bees
“Bishonen” are the beautiful boys that overpopulate shôjo manga. Flowers & Bees is the manga that makes men out of beautiful boys. Beautiful men.
Masao Komatsu might think of himself as a total loss. But high-school life is never so bad that it can’t get a little worse, and unfortunately, it turned out he still has a few crumbs of self-respect hiding here and there.
Gorgeous sisters Kiyoko and Harumi will be happy to vacuum them out of his pockets–with each and every visit by Masao to World of Beautiful Men, the men’s salon they own.
Why shouldn’t young men, too, get the chance to have their lives ruined in the pursuit of unattainable standards of beauty? Though mocked by classmates and stared at on the street, Masao vows to remain faithful to his makeovers–determined to become the man hairdressers, estheticians, and fashion magazine editors only dream that women dream of!
This is one of the first manga series I collected and it is severely underrated! Loads of people talk about Moyoco Anno’s other works like Sugar Sugar Rune, but almost no one and I mean NO ONE talks about Flowers and Bees and it is a damn shame because this is one of the few series that really resonated with me. Komatsu is a literally nobody who spends the majority of the series getting dogged out by everyone and I mean everyone. The poor dude just can’t catch a break and even when you think things are going to turn around for him, the universe quickly knocks him right back down again. But, despite all that, Komatsu never gives up and eventually he finds his way… It’s not a perfect fairytale happy ending, but it’s definitely believable and I dunno, I have a soft spot for underdog stories…
The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice
When Otomo Kyoichi’s wife starts to suspect that her husband is cheating on her, she hires a private eye, Imagase, to investigate him. However, not only does Imagase know Kyoichi from college, but he’s been nursing a crush on the man for years. Imagase gives Kyoichi an ultimatum: if Kyoichi wants to keep his cheating ways under wraps, then he has to give Imagase something in return. Imagase’s demands start with a kiss, but as the two men become entangled in each other’s lives, it soon becomes clear they each might want more than the other can give.
This list is probably very telling, all of my comfort series are either angsty drama fests or just downright problematic af, which makes it fitting that the last title on this list is the embodiment of all of those things… The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese and its sequel, The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice are the epitome of problematic BL and I love it so much! This series checks of all the boxes—questionable consent, toxic relationships, flawed/selfish people, and DRAMA, and yet like a terrible ex, I can’t help but keep going back to this series again… and again… and again…
So What Are Your Comfort Manga?
That’s my list and surprise, surprise most of them are drama filled stories about terrible people—in my defense, reading these problematic stories kinda makes my problems seem pretty small in comparison… So, despite their questionable stories, these manga definitely fulfill their role as comfort series.
Now, I wanna turn things over to you! What are your comfort manga series? What are the manga you read when you need a pick me up?