Top 10 Gender Bender Manga [Best Recommendations]

With the world rapidly evolving and barriers being broken everyday, it’s no surprise that the surge of gender bender manga has taken effect. The influx of new manga is quite fascinating to say the least and it’s always a treat to see new variety pop up, which only maintains the integrity of the manga community. Gender bender manga are all about the guys who wish to become girls, or girls who wish to become men, in hopes that they could maybe impress that one person they love or to play a role that perhaps they weren’t able to in their original form. It’s cross dressing at its finest and we’re here to provide you with the top ten list for Honey’s gender bender picks.

10. Hatsukoi Zombie

  • Mangaka: Minenami, Ryou
  • Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Gender Bender, Romance, School Life, Shounen
  • Volumes: 4
  • Published: October 2015 - Present

Love doesn’t come easy these days and for Tarou Kurume, he just isn’t having any of it. His lack of wanting a love interest lets him focus on his own life and rules, but one day that all changes. A ball hits him on the head knocking him out cold, and the minute he regains consciousness he’s greeted by a floating girl in front of him. Tarou is completely unsure as to what just happened, and now he’s totally unaware of who this mysterious girl is.

So while you might be thinking, wait this doesn’t sound anything like a gender bender, once you see who this “girl” truly is then everything will start to make sense. Eve is a witch who is a girl but appears as a boy to fool around with Tarou as she pleases. Unfortunately Tarou is having none of it, and the moment anyone tries to throw love his way, he ships them back out doing his best to focus on whatever is on his mind. His behavior is what creates the laughter with some unrequited love that transpires between other characters, and the non-stop matchmaking just makes you wonder why Tarou just doesn’t give into Eve.


9. Mayonaka no X Giten

  • Mangaka: Yamaguchi, Mikoto
  • Genres: Drama, Ecchi, Gender Bender, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, Seinen
  • Volumes: 3
  • Published: April 2014 - Present

Hiroki thought that women just had the easy life and had nothing much to be concerned about, since his sister spends most of her time lying around indulging herself in video games. Seeing just how laid back her life was he decides that he wants to become a woman to enjoy that very same lifestyle, and maybe take on new ventures as well. After much ranting about his sister on an online blog, a mysterious reader claims to know a way to transform into a woman and from hearing that Hiroki was immediately intrigued. Unfortunately for Hiroki, he’s about to learn what life’s really like being a woman.

While the summary may sound very light hearted and whimsical, the actual story once you really dive deeper is full of darkness and despair as Hiroki discovers that there’s a lot more to this situation than there is. Hiroki really just wanted to test the waters and see what life would be like as a woman, but as it turns out an incredibly tragic event has occurred and now Hiroki is on a mission to find out more details. It’s a major plot twist that unfolds right at the beginning, and so without spoiling too much of what happens next we’ll keep you guessing as to the outcome of how Hiroki’s turbulent life turns out.


8. Bokura no Hentai

  • Mangaka: Fumi, Fumiko
  • Genres: Drama, Gender Bender, Mature, Psychological, Romance, School Life, Shounen Ai
  • Volumes: 10
  • Published: March 2012 - December 2015

Three young boys in Junior High School all have a passion for cross dressing, each with their own reasons behind it and decide that it would be time to meet up in real life to share their passions together. Parou grew his interest in crossdressing when he fell in love with a boy that he liked, Marika is transgender but classifies herself as a female, while Yui adopted the persona of his older sister shortly after her passing. When they all meet up only Marika and Parou seem very pleased, but for Yui it all feels like a blur.

This story is truly an emotional one because it delves into topics that many of us cope with on a daily basis, one of which being depression. After losing his older sister Yui’s life just never felt the same, and despite trying to cover up his pain by dressing like her, it still couldn’t bring her back which left a huge void in his heart. Bokura no Hentai isn’t a hentai by any means but rather, it’s a story that looks at the darker side of human nature and how many of us have to deal with serious issues while striving to seek solace in our soul. There are of course some very endearing moments that will brighten your mood, although much of it is overshadowed by the many reminders of how reality can truly be at times for just about anyone.


7. Ame Nochi Hare

  • Mangaka: Bikke
  • Genres: Fantasy, Gender Bender, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life
  • Volumes: 8
  • Published: June 2008 - December 2014

Amagai Gakuen was unfortunately hit by a severe spring storm during the entrance ceremony, causing huge uproar and panic. This storm came with more than just wind and rain however, as a strange phenomenon transformed five guys into girls and now must cope with living in the body of the opposite sex! This slice of life manga will take you on a wild ride full of twists and turns, while uncovering the truths behind relationships and coping with love.

Ame Nochi Hare is truly an entertaining story not just for the shoujo fans, but anyone who really enjoys stories that look at love and the coming of age that many of us have experienced in our lives. Hazuki, Toma, Yusuke, Madoka, and Junta were the boys who turned into girls, and for them it became this new adventure into a world of the unknown. They go through their school lives in a different way which really shows the reader just how sexuality is handled and how we look at relationships based on our gender is entirely different. There’s a ton of romantic encounters in this one, with a lot confusion behind them because so many of them deal with multiple love interests that you’re never too sure who they’ll end up with!


6. Kenja no Deshi wo Nanoru Kenja

  • Mangaka: Ryuusen, Hirotsugu
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Gender Bender, Shounen
  • Volumes: 1
  • Published: July 2016 - Present

Kagami is totally obsessed with the latest VRMMORPG and is considered to be one of the veteran players, and his character in the game shares a similar appearance to another familiar character from Lord of the Rings. One day he decides to make some online purchases that allows him to change his character appearance at the last minute, and so he thinks of what his character would look like in female form. Tired from all of the grinding Kagami falls asleep, but suddenly is shocked when he wakes up in the very same world he obsesses over and now things are starting to feel a lot more real.

We’ve all dreamed of someday waking up in a video game world and being surrounded by all of the wonderful creatures we admire, while battling enemies who threaten our existence. For Kagami it just wasn’t what he expected because now he’s experiencing it all in a female body, and if his true identity were to be revealed it would most likely damage his reputation. So he embarks on his normal journey trying to seek out the mysteries behind his sudden appearance in the game, learning more about himself through the process, and coming to terms with what it’s like being a female in a video game.


5. Baraou no Souretsu

  • Mangaka: Kanno, Aya
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Gender Bender, Historical, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 6
  • Published: October 2013 - Present

Based on the classical Shakespeare piece Richard III, this reinterpretation looks at the life of Richard from Aya Kanno’s standpoint and her take on the story. Richard is the ambitious third son of the House of York, but he somehow thinks that he’s been cursed from birth and must succumb to his dark and twisted life for all eternity. Whether it’s fate or not is not up to him, but we walk along with Richard as he uncovers more behind his turbulent life, which eventually becomes riddled with betrayal and wars.

Fans of Shakespeare may fancy this one because it truly embodies the story of Richard III, and tells the story in a more modern way.

Richard feels that his life is confusing because he was born intersex, and so despite considering himself a male he often times is troubled by visions that bring out his feminine nature. The plot gets more interesting when his father gets involved, attempting a coup d’etat in hopes to claim the throne during a bloody war. All of this conflicts in Richard’s mind as he must deal with constant battles not only in his personal life, but the bloodshed that surrounds him. Gender issues play a major role in later chapters, so if you want to know how it all ends for Richard be sure to read this soon!


4. Houkago Hokenshitsu

  • Mangaka: Mizushiro, Setona
  • Genres: Drama, Gender Bender, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, School Life, Slice of Life, Shoujo
  • Volumes: 10
  • Published: December 2004 - 2008

We all have our own dirty little secrets, and Mashiro Ichijo is no different. Mashiro is neither male or female but spends most of his life portraying that of a young boy. That all seems to change when he’s notified that in order to pass and graduate from his prep school he must find the “key”, and the only way to track it down is to enter an unknown world where his body and soul are tortured by his worst enemy: his classmates.

Mashiro is an androgynous character and just doesn’t seem to know what gender suits him best, so he usually goes along with whatever makes him feel comfortable. This story is just all over the place and it’s right in doing so because Mizushiro’s idea was to make it feel like you’re in a dream, and so everything feels very jumbled. There are a lot mature themes that are discussed in this manga as well so if you’re sensitive to such things as rape and sexual abuse, be forewarned since it does play a part in the story progression. Love triangles, overly possessive lovers, dealing with gender indifference, all of these are what you’ll find in this crazy tale of a young man just trying to fit himself into the puzzle that is life.


3. Hourou Musuko

  • Mangaka: Shimura, Takako
  • Genres: Drama, Gender Bender, Romance, School Life, Seinen, Slice of Life
  • Volumes: 15
  • Published: December 2002 - July 2013

We’ve all discovered puberty and the obstacles that follow along with it, but for some reason it’s these very same experiences that mold us into the beings we are today. For Shuichi and Yoshino, they both come from a very warm and cordial upbringing and are well respected among their peers at school. However despite having a very rewarding and care free life, the two have secrets: Shuichi is a boy who has a desire to become a girl, while Yoshino is a girl yearning to become a boy.

You can clearly see their nascent behavior all throughout this manga, as the two young individuals try to uncover more about life through sexuality more than the usual activities that most children partake in. It tells the story of how transgender issues are still prevalent in our society, and the setbacks it can have when it comes to dealing with friendships, family, and love. Shuichi and Yoshino are so innocent and yet they both yearn to cope with their emotional complexities and become more expressive in their own way. A lot of what happens throughout the story is very unpredictable, but we see that as a nod to real life because you’re just never in control of anything that happens around you and times can be bittersweet.


2. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi)

  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Gender Bender, Harem, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
    Mangaka: Nakajo, Hisaya
  • Volumes: 23
  • Published: August 1996 - August 2004

Mizuki is a Japanese-American and just enrolled into an all boys school to follow her idol, Izumi Sano. She now must don the outfit of a boy so that she can get closer to him at whatever cost. Fortunately for her, Mizuki ended getting paired with him and now the two share the same dorm, but now this causes even more of a stir since she now has to maintain the identity no matter where she goes.

You pretty much know where this story is going because the moment that Mizuki dressed up as a boy, there’s nowhere she can run to change back into her true form. It’s funny because no matter how hard she tries to avoid her feminine ways, it comes back to haunt her in the most awkward of situations, especially when dealing with Sano and her random encounters. It’s like a reverse harem and now Mizuki is trapped in this world, while having to deal with not only her sexuality but also a budding romance that may put her in danger even more. We’ll warn you that the romance does take off quite slowly, so if you’re looking for a quick shoujo fix you’ll need more patience.


1. Kuragehime

  • Mangaka: Higashimura, Akiko
  • Genres: Comedy, Gender Bender, Josei
  • Volumes: 25
  • Published: October 2008 - Present

Tsukimi just relocated to Tokyo to pursue her dream as an illustrator, and the jellyfish otaku finds herself in the most weirdest of apartments. This women’s only apartment, named Amamizukan, includes a wide array of characters ranging from NEETs, fujoshi, and random people who despise fashion calling themselves “amars”. One day Tsukimi comes face to face with Kuranosuke, a beautiful woman who saves a dying jellyfish at a pet shop. She then discovers that Kuranosuke is merely crossdressing to avoid receiving inheritance from his father.

The summary itself should be enough to sell you on picking up a copy of this very entertaining manga, because there’s just so much laughter and randomness that happens all throughout. Tsukimi’s neighbours are completely weird yet interesting in their own right, but it’s her conversations with Kuranosuke that really crack us up. Despite the serious undertones that the manga tries to actualize, it does so with a great sense of humor to help bring the reader back into all of the fun but also educate the reader on social issues such as prejudice towards women, and corrupt politicians, which still plague humanity in this day and age.


Closing Statement

We as humans must learn to accept everyone despite their sexual preference, and if there’s anything that these gender benders teach us it’s that nobody’s perfect, and we’re all just trying to discover our true purpose in life. Sometimes we must go to great lengths to ensure our freedom, but such is the way of life in its yin and yang relationship. We hope you found our list to be insightful and entertaining, so let us know what you think down in the comments below! Be sure to leave some of your favorites as well while you’re at it, and share with the growing Honey’s Anime community :).

As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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