When you hear about a gay manga with a heavy plot, the first thing that usually comes to mind is romance but there’s been a rise of LGBT titles that go beyond just love story. Some of these stories focus on navigating the thorny path to self acceptance especially when it comes to dealing with prejudice and bullying, something that is highlighted in this new entry into the genre by Kazuki Minamoto.
The Gay Who Turned Kaiju tells the tale of Arashiro, a student bullied for his dark skin and sexual orientation who has a hard time accepting himself for who he is. When he gets to his lowest point and overhears his homeroom teacher reveal bigoted views, he wishes that he could be anyone or anything else, which is when he morphs into a green, giant-headed sci-fi monster!
What follows is a dark but surprisingly funny piece of work. Minamoto’s comic art gives a sense of fun to this story and his characters are all believable in terms of their personalities and motivations. Some of the bullying that takes place is a bit shady but it feels like a necessary part of the story as it highlights just how toxic certain parts of society can be when they become so entrenched.
Some of the pacing can be a bit off at times but overall this is an easy to read and compelling manga that really makes you think about the themes it presents. It also showcases the fact that bullying isn’t just a bad thing but can be harmful to everyone involved and can cause long-lasting effects. I wish that more manga would have this type of message and not be afraid to show bullying as the bad thing it is.