Welcome to my post on romance manga recommendations.
Have you always been a fan of romantic novels or romantic TV dramas? Are you also a fan of romance anime? Then this post is for you.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned reader, anything romantic in fiction always puts a smile on our faces no matter what it is set in.
I am a fan of shoujo manga so I read a lot of romance manga, and I mean a lot. Suzuran says I will get delusional if I read so much romance but it’s kinda too late for that. I’m already pretty delusional hehe ~
Compiling this list was really hard because I have a ton of suggestions for romance manga but since I want to stick to my five recommendations, I had to revise the list tons of times and discuss with Suzuran on how to proceed, and if my suggestions are good enough.
And after a long time of deliberating, here are my five romance manga recommendations that you will surely love.
Note that the manga listed here has romance as the main plot driver, NOT a subplot.
Go-Tobun no Hanayome (The Quintessential Quintuplets)
With an anime adaptation catapulting this series to popularity, it has earned it’s spot in my romance manga radar.
High-schooler Uesugi Futaro has done his share of hard living as he has to work part-time to help his struggling family. He accepts a job to tutor five sisters who all hate studying and are quintuplets to boot! However, the tutoring job does not go as planned as the sisters want nothing to do with this poor loser who has no other redeeming qualities than studying (rude much…). Futaro must persevere on as he won’t get paid otherwise so he ups his strategy and starts to cater his teaching to each sister. Will the sisters pay Futaro the respect he deserves? Or will Futaro throw in the towel?
I am not a fan of the harem genre mainly because the main male lead has such a blank personality. Futaro though is anything but a blank slate. Sure, he has no redeeming qualities other than studying but the series plays on this only quality of his and uses it very well throughout the series so far.
His attention to how he teaches each sister allows him to get closer to them. In turn, the sisters slowly become humbled by Futaro’s dedication and they form a friendly friendship with him.
“Where’s the romance?” you ask? Well, at the beginning of this entire series, the manga poses a question to us, the readers. Futaro will marry one of the quintuplets but who it is gonna be?
In my opinion, this is a genius way to premise the story because it allows us readers to root for one of the sisters knowing full well that Futaro may or may not choose her, making us invested in the story even more because man, we wanna know how this all turns out if Futaro is destined to marry one of the sisters.
Despite The Quintessential Quintuplets being an ongoing series, I have high hopes for the romantic progression that comes so I suggest you read it.
Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Want a manga that has romance as a plot driver while also having an action-packed adventure? Then The Seven Deadly Sins is your manga.
The Seven Deadly Sins were a knight order active in the Kingdom of Liones of Britannia. Ten-years-ago, they disbanded after a supposed plot of overthrow Liones was discovered. Now, in the present day, the Holy Knights overthrew Liones and captured the King. Third princess Elizabeth sets off on a journey to find The Seven Deadly Sins to retake the Kingdom back from the traitorous Holy Knights.
As of today, the manga is at the climax and it cannot be more exciting. I suggest you read this series from the beginning to the end. Despite having a lot of battles like a typical shounen manga, there is a lot of romance that is actually essential to the overarching story.
That’s because love is the main theme of this manga. Would you sacrifice all that you had for love? Is cherishing the one you love worth making an enemy out of everyone? What would you do to see the one you love once again? Every single member of The Seven Deadly Sins had to come to terms with the love in their lives at one point in the manga — romantic or not.
As someone who likes a little adventure with romance, The Seven Deadly Sins is one of my personal favourites.
So take me for my word when I say that the romance in this shounen manga is worth the read.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
What happens when you take two proud people who like each other and put them in the same room? Hilarity ensues.
Student Council President Shirogane Miyuki and Vice-President Shinomiya Kaguya both have feelings for each other. In any normal circumstance, one of them (or both) will confess and they will end up being a couple. However, both Kaguya and Miyuki refuse to be the first one to do so, thinking that they would lose. These two proud individuals try their hardest to get the other to confess which brings much fun to the boring days in the Student Council.
When I watched the anime, I laughed until my sides hurt. Reading the manga once the anime ended did not disappoint.
I love the monologuing that both Kaguya and Miyuki have, detailing their inner torment which just makes us readers chuckle and sigh at their idiocy. We have these moments when we just scream at the screen/book like “OMG just tell each other that they look good?! No harm right?”. Nope. They just keep to themselves and have a mini-heart attack at the gorgeousness of the other.
I also love the rest of the Student Council, they have their own unique personalities which just adds to the funny setting of this manga. They are one of the best supporting casts. Especially Chika. I don’t care what others think of her, I like this girl (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑ She’s like the suffering mum to these two dummies who won’t be honest (*≧▽≦)ﾉｼ))
If you want a romantic manga with lots of comedy, I highly suggest you read Kaguya-sama: Love is War.
Ore-Monogatari (My Love Story)
Who says only bishounen/ikemen dudes only get the girls?! Everyone deserves their chance at love.
Gouda Takeo is a tall, burly student who doesn’t have much luck with women. Every single girl he liked ended up falling for his best friend Sunakawa Makoto who is a typical ikemen. In high school, he ends up saving a cute, petite girl from a train pervert whom he falls for at first sight. This girl, Yamato Rinko also falls for Takeo at fight sight, defying all expectations. So begins the love story of a guy who isn’t at all good-looking.
I love this manga because it tackles the trend that the heroes of shoujo manga have to be bishounen men. Takeo is plenty attractive because he is honourable and respects women…if only he didn’t have that face. This puts forth the question to us readers: Would we reject such a wonderful guy just because he doesn’t have a nice face? Of course, we would say no but if you think about it, would we really accept that?
Throughout the manga, this question is thrown in our faces again and again. Makes us a little guilty for judging others too early don’t you think? Takeo is such a good guy and we know that he deserves more than those judgemental girls who pretend to like him then discreetly go and confess to Sunakawa (；￣Д￣）
In addition, Sunakawa is a really good wingman which is like bros before hoes at its finest. Despite him being the typical ikemen of a shoujo manga, the story isn’t about him and it goes to show that it doesn’t matter what you look like, you can have your own love story that can work with effort from both parties.
Can we pause to appreciate Sunakawa because I would kill to have a friend like him. Spoiler alert: Sunakawa told Takeo that the reason why he rejected all those girls that confessed to him was that they made fun of Takeo. WOW! Could we ask for a better friend?
I highly suggest you read this manga, not because of the hot guys (or lack thereof) but for the undiscriminating nature of love.
Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish)
It’s hard when the one you love is in love with someone else and there’s nothing you can do about it because you don’t want to be selfish and steal his/her chance at true happiness.
High school students Yasuraoka Hanabi and Awaya Mugi are friends with benefits, having a purely sexual relationship to satisfy their unrequited feelings for the people they love. The relationship is contractual and will end once their respective loves reciprocate their feelings. So begins the story of holding emotional baggage from unreturned love.
This title is a little heart-wrenching as we see two suffering people come to terms with their feelings toward their respective loves and the nature of their pact with each other. Those who have had unrequited love will relate greatly, empathising with the two leads as they try to move on with their lives.
Love and sexuality are greatly explored in this title, as the two leads ponder over their contractual relationship. Does seeing each other heal them or hurt them? Am I a good replacement in my friend’s heart despite her not seeing me this way? Would it be better if I just tell him/her how I feel?
Love also takes a realistic turn as we read on, understanding the steps to forgetting and overcoming the love that we cannot receive.
In the end, is all that emotional torment worth it? There’s no point in obsessing over our lost loves when we know full well they will never be ours. Hanabi and Mugi will finally have freers hearts and spirits once they see that.
I highly suggest you read this one, for it will make you reflect on the nature of obsessive love and what it does to people.
Although a lot of the titles I suggested here are of the shoujo demographics, there are other demographics here as well.
This is a general list of romance manga across the demographics and genres so there is no specific category I decided to use.
This list is also what I decided to share with you after a lot of deliberation. It’s not perfect and I may change it as I read more romance manga but for now, this is my recommended list for you guys who would want to read romance manga.
As always, if you have anything to discuss regarding my recommendations, feel free to comment down below, I’d love to hear it 🙂