Most manga have teenagers or young adults as their target audience, so it’s not easy to find a good manga focused on parenting or family life in general. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some amazing manga in this genre, though. Here are three that I think are worthy of note.
1) Yotsuba to!
By Azuma Kiyohiko
Most fans of the slice of life genre have at the very least heard of Yotsuba, and a good chunk have this manga in their favorites.
Yotsuba Koiwai, pictured above, is a 5 year old girl full of energy and curiosity, always exploring the world around her and getting herself into trouble. The manga is fairly episodic in nature, each chapter being a day in the life of the Koiwai family and their neighbors and friends.
A good chunk of the focus is on Yousuke, Yotsuba’s adoptive father. He deeply cares about his daughter, which makes for many heartwarming moments between these two characters, as they both learn about each other.
This manga reminds me of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, another popular slice of life manga. Neither have a real plot, and instead the passage of time is basically the only advancement of the “story”. And yet, because of great characters and well built moments, it just works.
Yotsuba is a marvelous read that I would recommend to absolutely anyone.
2) My Girl
By Yumeka Sumomo
My Girl is a story about Kazama Masamune, a young man who is still in love with a girl who went to live abroad and hasn’t seen in 5 years. One day, he finds out that she died and that she was actually pregnant with his child when she left, so it’s now his responsibility to raise 5-year-old Koharu, the daughter he didn’t know he had.
My Girl is a touching manga full of beautiful moments. It’s only 5 volumes long, but in that time, you get to see their parent-daughter relationship strengthen as Koharu grows up throughout the years. The manga also features a very nice side cast with interesting stories that could stand on their own, and overall very nice art.
By Ohtake Masao
Hinamatsuri is wildly different from My Girl. It’s actually a comedy manga starring Yoshifumi Nitta, a yakuza living the good gangster life until one day he walks into his apartment to find a girl named Hina inside a pod of sorts, who turns out to be an esper with incredible powers.
Nitta reluctantly takes her in and raises her, playing the straight man to Hina’s craziness, and somehow ends up being her father figure, with many chapters revolving around what he’s gonna feed her for dinner, the messes she makes in the house, and other things like that.
It’s one of my favorite comedy manga, and it’s definitely hilarious. If you’re looking for a manga with parenting as a topic but that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is a great read just for fun, you should definitely check this one out.
If you know any other manga I should add to the list, make sure to leave a comment.