Today (March 31) is International Transgender Visibility Day, and manga publisher Kodansha is commemorating the occasion with not just a release announcement for a new TG-perspective manga, but a free preview of its first chapter.
Created by Keito Gaku, Boys Run The Riot is the four-volume story of Ryo, a trans teenager who finds escape from the anxieties of daily life by pursuing high fashion. He’s gifted at coming up with his own clothes, and he needs them to feel like his true self. When Ryo discovers a friend of his is also trans, they decide to partner together on building a new clothing brand for folks like them.
As we said, the entire first chapter of Boys Run The Riot can be read for free right now on Kodansha’s website — that’s over 70 pages of material. The chapter will remain up until
High schooler Ryo knows he’s transgender. But he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryo “dresses like a boy.” He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryo feels at ease is when he’s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryo sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryo loves. And Jin offers Ryo a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryo has someone he can open up to–and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else.
Volume 1 of Boys Run The Riot will be published digitally and in softcover form on May 25. Future volumes will feature feature all-new cover art from Keito Gaku, but dates have not been announced.