5 Manga Comics that Tackle Mental Health Issues

5 Manga Comics that Tackle Mental Health Issues


Manga comics are graphic novels that were originally developed in Japan. Unlike western graphic novels, manga is read by both – the young and old in Japan. The literature covers a variety of themes and colours that are suitable for individuals of any age. 

Most often graphic novels substitute other forms of literature and act as a medium capable of taking on complex issues and delivering them to their readers sensitively and carefully. This includes mental health issues.

Manga stories/ narratives surrounding mental health can help convey non-stigmatized narratives quite subtly. Sometimes, a mental health issue crops up briefly,  while at other times it’s a major plot point. 

Even though it’s difficult to see a character being diagnosed or even assisted by a mental health professional, deductive storylines can make the mental health distress known and evident. Many storylines strike a chord with those struggling with mental health distress in a country where mental health issues are still stigmatised.

We shortlisted a few manga comics which tackle mental health issues in a subtle or non-subtle way. Some of the comics might contain triggering content. Please read the description before reading them. 


  1. A Thousand Cranes by Seokchan Jung

About the manga: The manga follows the life of Craig who is preoccupied with death lately. Under tremendous stress, Craig accidentally gets entangled with an individual working at a criminal organisation (Dean). In the hunt that follows a murder, the two soon find themselves chasing anything but death.

  1. Bloom into you by Nio Nakatani

Also available on Netflix, this manga tells the story of two individuals – Yuu Koito and Touko Nanami. On one fine day, Touko confesses her feelings for Yuu and asks her to never love her back. As Yuu investigates Touko’s past, it is revealed that Touko lost her elder sister a few years back. This is a story of loss, love, healing, and becoming.

Bloom into you

  1. Diary of My Daily Failures by Eriko Kobayashi

A comic essay of a mental health survivor looking back at her experiences in a mental health institution. The author tries to bring attention to the journey/s of mental health survivors through the comical but complex experiences of the protagonist in a mental health institution. 

Diary of My Daily Failures

  1. My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Kabi Nagata

About the manga: An aspiring mangaka (manga artist) is leading a “lonesome” life. Having realised the need to fill the impinging void, she fixes a date with a woman. This manga connects various dots- sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age among others

My Lesbian Experience

  1. Passing Train to Heaven by Nao Segawa

The protagonist of this manga series Kousaka has been diagnosed with a panic disorder that gets triggered by trains. He tries hard to hide his condition from others in his school unless a familiar face joins their school. 

Passing Train to Heaven

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