What do you picture when you hear the term “tentacle manga?” Sure, I can imagine that images of really extreme hentai and the “squid porn” stereotype may come to mind. And while all that certainly does exist, don’t be too quick to judge!
From the very tame to the very spicy, from horror to comedy to erotica, tentacle manga can run the gamut. Unfortunately, our choices do become significantly more limited when just looking at what’s licensed and available in English, but you can certainly get an adequate sampling. As something of a primer, I’ve collected a few tentacle manga picks from various genres here to get you started. Admittedly, your mileage may vary, especially when it comes to the smutty titles, but all I ask is that you don’t jump to conclusions before giving it a test run yourself. So, without further ado, please enjoy this introduction to tentacle manga!
As a quick note before fully diving in, please do be sure to take care when dipping into the more sexually explicit tentacle manga out there, as you may find yourself running into some content that could be questionable based on your personal comfort levels. I’ve included some key content warnings on titles here to hopefully aid readers when getting started.
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
To ease readers into the general idea of tentacle manga, this popular shōnen series is a great action-packed romp. A mysterious, supernatural creature resembling an octopus becomes the homeroom teacher for a junior high class. Alongside their usual courses, the students are also trained in assassination. Their goal? To use the skills they’ve learned from their new teacher to kill him in order to save the planet.
Knights of Sidonia by Tsutomu Nihei
Thousands of years ago, Earth was destroyed by the Gauna, a race of tentacle-y, shape-shifting aliens, forcing humankind to flee on numerous huge spacecraft. The Sidonia is one of these — and one of the last remains of human civilization. It is defended by Gardes, mechanized weapons made to be able to destroy the mysterious Gauna and piloted by young recruits. Nagate Tanikaze has recently been drafted as one of these pilots, just as the threat of the Gauna is rising once again.
New World Lovetopia by Mitsuya Bond
A young man named Hachi gets his dream job following in his grandfather’s footsteps as a keeper at a special zoo that houses all kinds of mythical creatures. But of course, the job isn’t a walk in the park. Hachi must deal with meeting all the creatures — and things get a bit heated with some of them — as well as with the callous keeper Hasumi, who is assigned to train him. Warnings for explicit content and dubious consent.
I Found a Cute Earthling So I Asked Him to Mate with Me by Takashi Takahashi
One unassuming day, college student Sora Hoshino finds himself suddenly confronted with a handsome, naked man who claims to be an alien prince named Regulus. Not only that but now Regulus is propositioning him to get married and carry his children to help restore the alien population. Sora is dubious at first — who wouldn’t be?! — but Regulus has charming ways — and dexterous tentacles — that he won’t be able to resist for long. Warnings for explicit content and dubious consent.
Inside the Tentacle Cave by Umetane and Abi
For readers who are feeling particularly daring, this brand-new series could be one to try dipping your toes into. A monster known only as the “Black Ooze” dwells in a remote mountain cave, with the incredible power to take on the abilities of anything it devours. Eventually, when it swallowed up a human being, the Black Ooze gained sexual desire, and now it preys upon female adventurers whose expeditions bring them to this cave. Warnings for explicit content and sexual assault.
Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei
To wrap up, here’s a sweet little manga to bring us back to a cozy, gentle headspace. Closeted and extremely introverted, Nakamura develops a crush on his classmate, Hirose, and this manga chronicles his cute and comedic attempts to interact more with him. Though the story itself is not tentacle-centric, an important piece of Nakamura’s life is his beloved pet octopus, and this is used as a theme visually on the cover and for chapter breaks.
For more manga goodness, check out our guides to manga erotica, BL manga, and romance manga. And if you’re still up for more, there’s always our full manga archive for all the recommendations and info your heart could desire. Happy reading!