Welcome to my post on shoujo manga recommendations.
After making post after post on subcategories of shoujo manga — mahou shoujo, reverse harem, etc. I think it’s time I give a general list of shoujo manga recommendations.
This will be a list of shoujo manga that I would personally recommend for anyone interested in reading manga of this genre and demographic. Note that this list is different from my 5 best shoujo manga as I believe these titles are suitable for those new to the genre or want a less biased list.
Related post: 5 Best Shoujo Manga
So without further ado, in no order of ranking, here are my five shoujo manga recommendations.
This manga is a bit of a wildcard as it is targeted at both shoujo and seinen.
When I first discovered this manga, it was almost completed — just one volume left.
I binged read the entire thing in one evening and was devastated to find out that Takano Ichigo (the mangaka) had left the magazine that serialised her work and it was unknown when she will serialise it again.
I didn’t have to wait though, as she serialised the last chapter in another magazine and the series ended with me feeling satisfied.
Although not as heavy as most shoujo manga, there is enough plot that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end.
Takamiya Naho receives a letter in her second year of high school. The letter was from her future self 10 years from now. The letter asks her to prevent her biggest regrets which involve a transfer student from Tokyo, Naruse Kakeru. Although sceptical at first, Naho realises the letter is legit as things stated in the letter starting coming true. Then Naho learns that Kakeru will no longer be with them, having killed himself the day after Valentine’s Day. Naho vows to save Kakeru in order to prevent the regrets future her is living with.
This manga can be a bit difficult to read for sensitive readers as it talks about depression and suicide. However, the manga is uplifting in a sense that emphasises how a good support system can help prevent or even save those in distress.
Although there is romance, it is not the main focus of the story but the friendship between the characters is enough to overlook the lack of passionate moments in the manga.
Overall, a very heartening read that will surely make you cry (in a good way).
Related post: Orange Manga Review
Who says guys can’t love shoujo manga, cook, and sew?! I for one would love to meet a guy like that (also because my cooking is meh and I can’t sew well…) (∩︵∩)
Masamune Asuka is the manliest man out there. He is the captain of the Kendo team and excels in Judo and Karate. However, Asuka harbours a secret and that he’s actually an otomen, a guy that has hobbies that are associated with girls: sewing, cooking, and reading shoujo manga. He meets and falls in love with Miyakozuka Ryo, the daughter of a martial artist. Asuka’s best friend encourages him to be honest with himself and pursue her. So begins the story of an emotional guy who wants people to accept who is really is.
I know there are guys out there who feel just like Asuka here, confined to gender roles forcing them to act tough — cause men don’t cry dammit!
This manga takes a refreshing turn on how society views people that don’t follow gender norms. I’m sure you will enjoy the laughs as both Asuka and Ryo establish their relationship while trying to get others to accept who they are.
Although the romance is a slow burn, the dynamic between these two will make you smile all the way.
Yanagi Naoto is a typical rich kid who is not only good looking but also really intelligent and has never lost to anybody. When Kujou Mikoto transfers into his class and beats him for the first time, he doesn’t take it very well and challenges her again and again, only to lose every time. What is most frustrating is that Kujou is the complete opposite of Yanagi — poor, pragmatic, and plain-looking. Yanagi vows to beat her one day and follows Kujou through middle school, high school, and finally college, where he requests a “Last Game” to determine who is the winner once and for all. Unexpectedly, Yanagi finds himself falling in love with Kujou and so the story begins, following their relationships and character growth.
Romantic relationships don’t have to be full of intense passionate drama. They can be lighthearted and kinda funny. This manga doesn’t have a lot of passionate scenes as a result, relying on the antics of the main leads and their friends to get the romance moving.
I think this manga presents romantic relationships a little more realistically which makes the read very interesting and entertaining.
You will thoroughly enjoy this slice of life comedy while rooting for the main leads to realise how they feel for each other.
If you love stories of love, betrayal, revenge, and regaining trust to eventual love, then this title is for you!
Mogami Kyoko is so in love with her childhood friend Fuwa Shotaro that she runs away with him to Tokyo and help pursue his music career. She is utterly betrayed however when she finds out that not only did Shotaro not love her but is disgusted by her, calling her plain and dumb. Kyoko vows revenge and makes plans to be a bigger star than Shotaro ever was and prove once and for all that she can do something for herself. However, show-biz is not as glamourous as TV and magazines put it out to be and Kyoko has to use all she has to ensure her plans succeed.
If the premise doesn’t sound like a prologue for a really long drama than you’re not the only one haha. This series came out in 2002 and is still ongoing. This kind of plot wasn’t popular in dramas yet but now it’s the symbol of a typical romantic drama. Skip Beat itself is a really great series because it’s one of the manga that really focuses on coming-of-age in a very mature way. The choices Kyoko makes have dire consequences and the feelings she experiences are real. The distrust of others that culminated as a result of her betrayal and her aversion to romantic pursuits make a lot of sense when you see what she sacrificed to come to Tokyo. This title is quite dramatic and will most definitely keep you on your toes the whole way through.
Ouran High School Host Club
The anime was enjoyable (anime-only ending though), the manga was enjoyable, I think you would love this series no matter what medium you see first.
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.
Haruhi is a really interesting character as she is aiming to be independent and handle things on her own. This is why I would recommend this manga to people, it’s nice to see women strive for independence.
However, there are things Haruhi cannot do as a woman and need the guys to help her out. This is another reason why I would recommend this manga. The dudes understand (ok not really but they make it comical so I forgive it) her boundaries and help her when she needs it.
This establishes a functional relationship between Haruhi and the guys which will put a smile to your face in addition to the laughs that this series has. You will enjoy this manga thoroughly.
This is my personal list of five shoujo manga that I would recommend to anyone would want to read shoujo manga in general.
As many of you would notice, I am a huge fan of shoujo manga so I have a lot of shoujo manga up my sleeve and know all the tropes associated with it. But that’s another post for another day. Just ask and you will receive hehe.
EDIT: You shall receive! What is Shoujo Manga?
Regardless of my opinions, I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading my recommendations of shoujo manga.
As always, if you have anything to discuss regarding my choices, feel free to add a comment down below. I’d love to hear it 🙂