Furry content can come in all shapes and sizes. Ranging from animations to comics to stories there are countless mediums of furry content. So, it should come as no surprise that the world of manga has seen the influence of the furry fandom seep into it. In fact, some furry mangas even getting wider appeal than just the furry fandom and branch out to general anime and manga fans which gives furries a little more exposure. However, before we get a little too ahead of ourselves, what even is manga?
What Is Manga?
For those who are a bit out of the loop when it comes to anime and pop culture, manga, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children. In the past few decades, they have really become a cultural phenomenon in the West, and with good reason. The top 4 comic publishers worldwide are all Japanese and since the 2010s manga has massively outsold American comics in America Some of the greatest comic book panels come from manga, and they aren’t bound to any specific genre either. Action, Romance, Adventure, Comedy, Detective, Drama, Horror, Fantasy, if you look just a little bit you can find a whole catalog of manga in any of these genres and more.
Manga is such a massive part of the Japanese publishing industry that in 2020 its market value hit a new high of ¥612.6 billion. This was also thanks to the introduction of digital manga copies, something that earlier publishers couldn’t make use of back in the 1950s when manga was first gaining some traction in the Japanese publishing world. Unlike a lot of Western comics, however, manga are printed in black and white. There are multiple reasons for this including keeping printing costs low, time constraints for artists, and sometimes just as an artistic choice. However, this also builds up hype for when a popular panel from a manga eventually gets animated in the anime.
Jiu Jutsu Kaisen Manga Panel
Image via Reddit
What Is A Furry Manga?
So as you might be able to guess, generally when something that isn’t a hat or a pair of boots has the word furry before it as an adjective it refers to the fact that it contains anthropomorphic animal characters. Things like furry art, furry suits (more often called fursuits), and furry animations are all pretty good examples of what I’m talking about. Furry manga is no exception to this rule. Believe it or not, there is a whole sub-genre of anime that tells the stories of animated, anthropomorphic creatures. By the way, when we are talking about anthropomorphic creatures we are talking about animal characters with human characteristics like wearing clothes, the ability to talk, walking on two legs, that kind of stuff. You’d probably also be surprised by just how much of it there is if you look in the right places, so much so, that we have compiled a list for you here of the 5 best furry manga that you should check out.
Published in November 2013, Killing Bites tells the story of a high school girl Hitomi Uzaki, and her relationship with Yuuya Nomoto a college student who unknowingly participated in the kidnapping of Hitomi. Little did Yuuya know he had kidnapped a girl who could turn into a super-powered human-animal beast created through gene therapy. So, a less-than-ideal spot, made even worse by the fact that he has become the prize of a wager death match between two of these beasts. Not to jump into any spoilers, the rest of the story revolves around the proxy war that Yuuya accidentally involves himself in through this Hitomi girl.
Killing Bites Vol. 5 Cover
Image via Rakuten Kobo
This manga from the year 2016 is set in Seton Academy. This is a school for several diverse animal species but instead tells the story of Jin Mazama; one of the only human attendees. It is a comedy that explores Jin’s relationship with a boisterous lone wolf (as in a literal wolf) girl whom he befriends. The story is driven by the push/pull tension of Jin’s reluctance to join her pack because he hates animals and her insistence that he joins her pack because, well, she has no friends. Sprinkle in a love interest (who is also named Hitomi coincidentally) and an extracurricular cooking club and you got yourself a furry manga classic.
Murenase! Shiiton Gakuen Cover Art
Image via Manga Wiki – Fandom
#3 Oumagadoki Zoo
Released in 2010 this manga follows the life of Hana Aoi, a so-called “clumsy good for nothing” according to her classmates, who looks to no longer conform to the name calling by applying for a job at her local zoo. While it doesn’t get many visitors she looks forward to spending her evenings with the cute animals, that is until she meets a giant anthropomorphic rabbit that goes by the name Shiina. It turns out he’s actually the director of the zoo and human and also cursed by a ghost that can turn people into humanoid creatures. Honestly, it isn’t any less crazy when you read it for yourself, nevertheless, it is worth the read.
A Panel From Oumagadoki Zoo
Image via Tumblr
Starting in 2009, Doubutsu no Kuni is a story about a world populated only by non-human animals, that is until the birth of a baby discovered by a raccoon called Monoko. Despite it being a human baby, Monoko dedicates herself to raising this child in a hostile, alien world where it’s the survival of the fittest. It’s a pretty heart-warming action, adventure story and a must-read for any furry manga fans.
Doubutsu no Kuni Vol. 3 Cover
Image via Doubutsu no Kuni Wiki
If you’ve already read our article on the best furry anime, then you probably have an idea as to why this manga has made it onto the list. We can’t stress enough how brilliant Beastars is. Released in 2016, Beastars throws you into a world of anthropomorphic animals divided by one thing, whether they are a carnivore or herbivores. We’ll try to avoid any spoilers at all, but this debate of objective right and wrong becomes quite nuanced especially once a certain event happens that causes tension between herbivores and carnivores within Cherryton High School to spike to an all-time high. This manga doesn’t just have great writing for a furry manga this has great writing in the scope of all manga, it’s a genuinely edge-of-your-seat read, and furry or not if you are a fan of manga you have to give this a read.
Beastars Vol. 16 Cover
Image via Rakuten Kobo
Of course, there are more than just 5 furry manga in the world but some of them just couldn’t make the cut for the top 5 so we’ve compiled a slightly shorter list of some that are still definitely worth a read but just didn’t quite make the cut.
The Boy And The Beast
Miss Kitty & Her Bodyguards
Kainushi Juujin to Pet Joshikousei
Polar Bear Café
Beast Complex: Kurohyou to Rakko
Where Can I Read Furry Manga?
Unfortunately, a lot of manga is very difficult to find in the West so, if you’re reading this wondering where the hell you can even find these manga not to worry we’ve got your back.
Sites like mangakakalot.com and mangareader.net are both great options for anyone looking for more of an obscure manga as the catalog of content that they have is just unbelievable, it looks near infinite.