Shoujo Manga Recommendations — Gender Bender Manga

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Welcome to my post on gender-bender shoujo manga.

In the shoujo manga world, girls that cross-dress as guys due to certain circumstances have become synonymous with being strong-willed and tough. As such, heroines in gender bender shoujo manga are often admired because they are not as 2 dimensional as the regular shoujo manga heroine.

Gender bender shoujo manga is just manga where the heroine has to cross-dress as a man (or a boy crossdresses as a girl) for a particular reason. The specificity of the said reason is open to creativity which can lead to a very entertaining story about almost anything — from over the top revenge to just being roped into something ridiculous.

Since this is a shoujo manga, there will be almost always a romance involved. This makes things interesting as our heroine is disguised as a guy which makes for very comical situations between her and her love interest.

Gender bender shoujo is funny first and foremost which is a great palate cleanser to all the heavy romances in other shoujo manga. It makes for a great lighthearted read to pass the time.

This side genre of shoujo manga isn’t very prominent but I love it simply because they produce very well-rounded heroines who are badass enough to take care of herself while her physical vulnerability due to her being female allows for her love interest to come in and save her only when she needs it.

Without further ado, allow me to recommend 5 gender bender shoujo manga that will make you laugh your socks off (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖

Ouran High School Host Club

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Source: amazon.com

Those who are fans of gender bender wouldn’t be surprised that this title will be up here. Most fans agree that Haruhi is one of the best shoujo heroines.

Fujioka Haruhi is a freshman attending Ouran High School, an academy where only the rich attends, under a scholarship. While trying to find a room to study in, she stumbles into a clubroom. That clubroom is home to the Ouran High School Host Club, a Host Club run by six beautiful guys who entertain bored and beautiful girls. She generally has no interest in the workings of the club until she accidentally breaks a vase in the clubroom. Of course, being a scholarship student attending a school for the rich, she can’t pay for a new vase so Haruhi (being mistaken as a boy) was roped into being a host in order to pay her debt to the club. Turns out life being a host isn’t so mundane and Haruhi and the boys have a good o’l time performing their hosting duties. Every day has something new to bring to the table and it’s no surprise that the relationship between Haruhi and the boys would only grow.

This manga is actually a lot more funny than romantic as the over the top host club members get themselves into ridiculous situations that Haruhi would rather not be in but it’s the fun moments that can lead to the romantic ones I feel. And like I mentioned before, Haruhi is a great heroine who is not only independent but is also womanly enough to be relatable to all of us. It is a good read that I guarantee you all will enjoy (*´▽`*)

Clear Up After Rain (Ame Nochi Hare)

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*Never released outside Japan
Source: amazon.com (JP)

I discover this little number a year ago and it’s nothing short of beautiful (●⌒∇⌒●)

Amagai Gakuen (or Amagai Academy) is a prestigious school for boys where five young boys attend as first years. On the day of the entrance ceremony, an unusual storm hit and the five boys — Hazuki, Touma, Yuusuke, Junta, and Madoka — were all caught up in it. After the storm, all five boys were transformed into girls! While trying to adjust to their weird situation, all five boys are destined to meet someone and fall in love. This manga illustrates beautiful stories of boys and girls coming of age and falling in love for the first time.

While we have boys are protagonists, the transfomation into girls turn them into shoujo heroines and they experience what the world is like as a woman. They see how hard it is to prevent unwanted stares and brush off preconceptions that other people might have of them and they not only learn to respect their love interests a lot better than most guys but also to understand women’s emotions.

Although a little cliche, the story is so so sweet that it will make you have the feels by the time the series end. I highly suggest you read this lovely gender bender.

 

Becoming A Girl One Day

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*Not released outside Japan
Source: myanimelist.net
(Can’t find physical copies online as of yet)

Another title I discovered a year ago. Although a little more mature than the usual shoujo, I think it’s still a wonderful series to read.

In this world, when there is a gender imbalance young boys are randomly chosen to undergo metamorphosis to become girls. This is usually done when the boy is very young and it is rare for the process to occur in a boy’s teen years. Miyoshi Kyousuke and Mamiya Nao have been best friends and rivals since elementary school. That relationship begins to change however as Mamiya is hospitalised for a few weeks and comes back to school female! Now, Miyoshi (who is afraid of girls btw) has to navigate this now complicated relationship with his best friend who is now a girl.

It’s pretty fascinating to see how these two people were once the same gender now are the opposite trying to establish some semblance of friendship in the beginning. Because Miyoshi is afraid of girls, Mamiya has to trend carefully but she knows that her friend will not get any better if he keeps avoiding the subject so she offers to lend a hand. The dynamics between the two of them are lovely to see and I think it’s worth the read even if you are a little confused at the beginning.

 

 

The Rumoured Midori-Kun (Uwasa no Midori-Kun)

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*Never released outside Japan
Source: amazon.com (JP)
(IDK why Japan’s Amazon has this only in Spanish but yeah…)

Created by the famous shoujo mangaka Ikeyamada Go, this title is not only heart-pounding but also funny as well (≧∇≦)/

Yamate Midori is 15 years old and loves playing soccer more than anything. She is very tomboyish and hot-headed as well. She was introduced to the sport by a boy named Hino Tsubasa who came to the island she lives in on a holiday and so plays the sport to this day so they will meet again. When they do meet again, Tsukasa does something unforgivable and so Midori vows to beat him on the soccer field. She disguises herself as a boy and enrolls in a boy’s high school, determined to keep her promise.

Although it is not over the top revenge, there is enough drama between the characters to elicit excitement from the readers. Ikeyamada is really good a creating stories that are as dramatic as they are lighthearted so although Midori will not let Tsukasa go lightly, she does have fun the process due to all the friends she made and that’s why this title is sweet to read.

 

 

 

 

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi)

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*Never released outside Japan
Source: amazon.com

This title is a slow burn romance so patience is especially required. Besides that, the series is one of the most entertaining I’ve read so far.

Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has transferred to an all-boys Japanese high school to get close to her idol Izumi Sano. Since she’s a girl, she has to disguise herself as a boy. No problem! By as fate will have, Izumi is not only her classmate but also her roommate! Now, Mizuki has to keep her secret all the time because she didn’t think this through lol. This manga is full of twists and turns that have every single character questioning their own sexual orientation and it’s a joy to read.

If you want a ridiculous premise, then you’ve got it! Transferring to a BOY’S school to get close to a dude you like?! Wow, the length that some people go to these days…(; ̄д ̄)But this kind of premise creates an incredibly funny title that will have you smiling ear to ear all the way until the end.

Final Thoughts

While most gender bender shoujo manga are comedy manga from the get-go, there is also room for some light-hearted romance. Some of the romance can be extremely dramatic while others are a lot more normalised. Either way, gender bender shoujo are great manga to indulge in no matter your mood or time of year.

As always, if you have anything to say about my suggestions, feel free to comment down below, I’d love to hear it 🙂

6 Comments

  1. Wow, this is really nice. I usually visit here to see what latest manga I can get for my little girl and this would be very relative to her because although she is famale, she dresses as a boy too and it always funny seeing her dress like that. She would be very glad to see a similar character like herself in a manga.

  2. Amazing! This is a really interesting and factual review i must confess. I am also one of those who believe that the Haruhi is one of the best shuojo mangas and experiencing it was one of my best moments in the manga world. Despite the fact that I can’t ignore but enjoy the romance in this shuojo manga the action and versatility of the heroine would be so intriguing…. I love to see more interesting reviews

  3. Anytime I read manga, I do it just to relax. It’s calming; and it doesn’t take the same concentration compare to other book, the plots are formulaic and most time predictable, and they often meander into silly side stories that don’t challenge. I got Ame Nochi Hare years ago, then i was hoping that it would be one of these stories and I was half right, but it was also much, much more; In my opinion, this story distinguishes itself from an average gender-bend story in 2 ways, the first is the fact that they turn into girls isn’t played for laughs— I see it more like an inconvenience or fresh perspective for the characters, and secondly it does a pretty good job to avoid the formulaic predictability of most shoujo, and that’s awesome. 

    Lovely collections you’ve got here.

    1. I totally agree. Being a woman is tough and I’m glad Ame Nochi Hare didn’t make light of that for too long though the funny scenes were really entertaining haha. The ending did surprise me though but after all that, I was really glad that all the characters got their emotional closure even though not all of them became (predictable) couples – – spoiler lol 😁 I’m glad I read it and sharing it up here 

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