I’ve been discussing the Bara genre for some time now. And at this point this is what most of you are waiting for. Before you take a dive into this the topics explored contains some of the most explicit themes and it may not be suitable for everyone. I’m making it a point here. The sexual aspect is turned to an 11 and the good thing it varies from one work to another. When you know what kind of bara you’d want to read, that’s better.
If you happen to come across to the more fucked up kind of stories with its own specific kinks you may need to watch an episode of a Slice-of-Life anime. There are bara or gay manga that do not rely too much on the sex but it is part of the story regardless. So without further ado, I got 15 bara manga for you to try!
One thing you should know is there are great bara manga out there which has never been translated into English. It’s sad and at least you’ll get eye candy through the art created by men, except for those annoying mosaics found between the characters’ legs.
Probably one of the first series for modern Bara manga readers. Priapus, the guy on the cover, is based on the actual god of fertility in Greek mythology who came to Earth and decided to have sex with men he passes by. He of course has his own sets of powers he can use at will and entrance the partner in bed.
Priapus is versatile, and gets to decide what to do with them. This is one of Mentaiko Itto’s most known series among existing works so far as Priapus became the current face of bara. If you happen to find an LGBTQ+ gacha game, one of their ads features Priapus. He’s that well-known.
Umihiko and Yamahiko
This is a light-hearted comedy featuring a reversible couple. Jiraiya’s works are not as much talked about or featured in some circles with how the genre has also shifted in artstyle too. What I do love is the body hair in both male characters. And believe me, drawing body hair is a commitment.
Even the older side characters in the story has their own muscles than what you see in a typical manga. The banter between the couple is sweet, at times you might get a sprinkle of innuendos in the dialogue even if they’re not having sex.
City Boy to Seto no Shima
Also known as City Boy on the Island, this is a drama based bara featuring chubby guys I’ve read in a while. Created by SUVWAVE (SUV), it follows a closeted gay man from the city trying to have a feel of the Japanese seaside. In the place he visits, gossip spreads fast as most of the residents are the elderly, except for one man who is the current fisherman in town.
It’s a slow burn so far and it has a realistic depiction of fear of rejection among the two men. They haven’t penetrated yet but does masturbation count? It’s one of the few stories who uses sex as a means of a progressing relationship over an all-out fuckfest.
If you know Gengoroh Tagame through My Brother’s Husband, you should know his actual work is far from what he truly creates. Yes, he built the genre as he has to freedom to create anything. Dissolve follows an amnesiac man and his partner who tries to regain the man’s memories through sex.
The biggest plus here is Tagame having a signature style when drawing men with burly hair and I can’t help but falling in love at the amnesiac man’s looks. The one thing that could make or break this story for some is the twist at one point in the one-shot story. Take note, Tagame explored various kinds of possible scenarios and it is just the tip of the iceberg.
The title is stylized like that, if you’re still asking. You’ll find a muscle bottom who gets plowed by an orc bigger than him. Also with quality ahegao faces! Mizuki Gai or also known as RYCANTHROPY depicts his men with exaggerated muscles and he sometimes includes chubby men. It’s a self-contained story and the main character at first didn’t believe the story behind the orcs in the village until he met one inside a cave. Orcs are one common pairings for man-on-man action for having stallion-sized dicks.
I cannot find an English translation of this but I had to include it because of the art. Compared to other bara manga with the men having a distinct body size, this one shows a more lean-muscled men. I could assume Tarutoru Kou (Togame), the artist, referenced real-life Japanese men and didn’t rely on body hair.
Yahari Kono Yakyuubu Gasshuku wa Machigatteiru
The artstyle may be seen as a yaoi at first glance. What’s different at least is they’re not bishounen in which you could determine who’s the top and bottom. It follows an innocent freshman member of the high school baseball team who doesn’t know what the team does in their so-called “training camp”. Once he became the newest member to experience it he doesn’t brush aside his love to his senpai. Turns out, there’s a good reason why the club does it.
Tanuki to Tanuki no Bakashiai
Bara and furry; yes they co-exist. For a short one-shot it’s mostly about a student and master who uses a transformation jutsu technique and the student simply wants to get laid. By Monstera (Mato), it’s good for those who want a taste of furry. There’s no overall reason why they do it, but it would’ve been nice. The sex scenes are quick to digest at least.
Model nande Zettai yaranai!!
A student x teacher dynamic. Another weird part of the genre especially is when both characters look like the same age even though the setting suggests a high school. But it is porn, so I’m not sure what’s the artist’s intention. And the setup is straight out of a porn video. The teacher is interested in student. Student visits teacher’s room full of suggestive imagery and a statue of an erect man, student tries to play with the statue alone. And you could guess what happens next.
Ah Yes, Iwaki’s Apartment for Youth!
A Bara with an ojisan as a lead by Takeshi Matsu, another rarity! Iwaki (the one the on the back) runs an apartment for male college students. Having an ojisan vibe, he always looks out to the tenants as he and the boys follow a daily routine. Until one time one of the boys finds a gay porn CD and they decide to jerk off to it. Iwaki was hesitant as he let them enjoy their fun but he himself actually wants to. Why? He wants to get rewarded of course. He then shares a steamy foursome and they all enjoyed their time.
Into DILFs being tsundere to each other? This has one got you covered. Class Reunion by Tsukasa Matsuzaki plays on the idea if love can still blossom after 30 years. Quite a common theme in some romance anime yet it feels way different when men are involved. Us guys can sometimes bottle things up and it can be worse if you can’t say what you’re really feeling. The one-shot also blurs the line on sexual dynamics despite one could guess who is the top or bottom. It’s also the strength of the genre seen on most works.
The Hot Festival Goers
A bara manga whose characters closely resemble sumo wrestlers. You’ll see the typical traditional Japanese family structure and their problems like who is going to be the next heir. One man’s reason of falling in love or lust might turn away for some people as it involves actual piss. Not kidding. Just to make sure if you cannot bear some of the other features of what the genre can offer. I’m sure Seizou Ebisubashi got a point why it is a plot device. Though if you can’t, I understand.
betm, the artist, has the distinction of having shotas as the main characters in his works. He can do muscled guys and it just so happens most of his works places shotas on the spotlight.
It is rare for some artists to have a good ending in pornographic piece as one usually explores the darkest aspects of anything related underground. The title already suggest what you’re getting into, where the main character falls into a series of miseries and tortures. Ironically, how he depicts them is the strongest part of his work starting from the coloring, the linework, composition, and more. Bet you’re getting a bit uncomfortable there.
Contains blackmail, drugs, and hardcore bara. If you reached this far on this post, I should congratulate you. Don’t worry, this may be the last of them. For now. Another work of Mizuki Gai, he explores a supposed misunderstanding of a teacher whose name might be mistaken for a yakuza. Until he went to a shed, that’s when he’s slowly spiraling out of control, losing his sanity. This is one of the good reasons why a majority of bara cannot be adapted into anime. But if it can, we’ll see.
For the fans of hardcore porn that is consensual. Yep, consent. Hotter than most porn out there. Though the main character doesn’t have any body hair at least the consent makes it way better! Inuzuka gets into fights and never holds back in his sexual drive. He did get kidnapped by a gang comprised of men he used to fuck with. Once both sides reach a truce, they gave their all and surprisingly Inuzuka doesn’t ever fuck around. He do what he does best. Oh and it’s a series too.
Compiling this list wasn’t easy I tell you. Bara as a genre explored many concepts of its own however a majority is found in other places. If you remember on my origins post it became more difficult to consume Japanese gay media as time goes on. Unless if you’re finding yaoi, that’s a different story. The list gives a general scope and there’s still more works than what’s written here.
This is the last of what I could cover. I do know bara can also be created by non-Japanese people too except you might be reading the same post only with different recommendations. Having seen some, it will be redundant. Their depiction of bara even feels different despite going into the sex and seeing two men fucking. You’ll find most foreign bara creators on social media and the Japanese creators are on Pixiv and some other Japanese-only sites. You may say the closeted gay Japanese men walked so the present or future creators could run. Without them, you might be stuck to only a form of gay porn that doesn’t satisfy you.
Until next time!
Pride Month 2020
- Bara: Scratching the Rough Surface
- The Origins of Bara
- Bara Influences in Anime and Shows that Have Them
6 thoughts on “15 Bara Manga for Beginners (18+)”
Very nice list. I have actually read some of these. Fallen (and Fallen 2) is a favorite of mine when it comes to muscle shota (yeah, I am a tad bit into shota) Pretty much everything betm does is awesome. I like that style a lot. I’ve also read Dissolve and Scar Face but it’s been a while so I should probably revisit them. Cityboy seems like a nice story. I find that Bara can be such a hard and tough genre. It’s a bit…rough and violent. And just sex. At least the fan translations I have read but I might be at the wrong places reading. So a manga like what Cityboy seems like is a nice change of pace. Thank you!
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I am so glad you liked this post!
It was by pure luck I found City Boy on the Island as I was making it. Bara, like you said, is usually violent and full of pleasures most of the time. It did make me feel numb to read another story since a majority is pure sex. Doing it over and over has its limits. I haven’t actually found a Bara manga tackling any social issues with how explicitly sexual it is from the ground up. Finding something new to the genre is finding a needle in a haystack. And if I found one, it will be a welcome change.
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Bara has a long way to go when it comes to becoming socially “acceptable” (in lack of a better word). Boys Love has come a long way I think. You can find many boys love manga that tackles hard and important issues without involving explicit content. I wish bara would get there too. Maybe Gengoroh’s My Brother’s Husband can lead the way. Hopefully.
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Thank you for taking the time to make this list! Now to see if i can lay my hot little hands on any of it. I have to be in the right mood for the hyper-violent rough sex and hard core work, but nothing can beat it if that’s what you are in the mood to read or watch. I like it that the list has some diversification as well, with City Boy.
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I love the art of BetM and Mentaiko .