Welcome to my Shoujo Manga Recommendations — Historical Shoujo Manga.
Have you ever thought of what it would be like to be a heroine of your own historical drama? Have you dreamt of fulfilling your greatest fantasy of being in the centre of court politics and intense romance? Well, you’re not the only one hehe~
I love a good historical shoujo manga. Who doesn’t love their female lead fight her way through court intrigue or fight for the freedom of the oppressed while at the same time, snag a really hot guy? o((*^▽^*))o
I’m sure many of you out there also love historical shoujo besides the usual shoujo but just seem to not find a list of good ones. Well, never fear! I’m here to make that job a little easier and recommend some historical shoujo manga so that you can enjoy your drama and sweet, sweet romance. (♥ω♥*)
This is my personal shoujo manga recommendation of historical shoujo manga. Y’know, something I would tell my friends. I consider you all my friends so I’m happy to share it with you. (*^▽^*)
In no order of ranking, here are my 5 historical shoujo manga recommendations
Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori (Anatolia Story/Red River)
I’m sure a lot of you saw this coming. This number has been flying around the internet for a couple of years as one of the best historical shojo mangas around — and for a good reason too. The story is not only engaging, but it also shows character development and growth for a lot of the major characters.
Without spoiling too much of the plot, here’s the premise of the story: Suzuki Yuri, a 15-year-old teenager from 1995 Japan was suddenly transported to Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire (real-life empire so look it up) during the bronze age. Trapped in a foreign kingdom that is more dangerous than in modern Japan, Yuri now has to find a way to survive in an era where people get killed left and right.
The perfect storyline for a historical drama if I do say so myself. We have a heroine dragged against her will to another time period, away from the comfort and safety of her home, seeing people die for her. Yuri has to put on her big-girl pants and learn about this tumultuous time period if she were to survive on her own.
Yuri may feel alone in the Hittite Empire and she may have to learn things the hard way but she gains valuable allies, especially third prince Kail, later King Mursli II (he’s actually a real figure so look him up) who becomes her greatest love.
Watch Yuri grow from a scared, naive girl to the queen of the Hittites, a powerful, brave warrior who vows to bring peace to the empire.
This manga will really pull you into the intricacies and politics of the ancient world, but if so much history and politics is not your thing, don’t fret, the manga makes a point to give some explanation for the events in history. Historical accuracy, of course, isn’t really there but the machinations of some of the figures in the manga really match the culture at the time. It makes one be glad to be living in the modern age I suppose.
In all, this manga is a really good read. There’s romance, politics, history and lots of character growth (my favourite). The art may put some people off as it was created in the 90s but with such a popular backing, I don’t it’ll bother people that much.
Disclaimer: There is quite a number of killing and racy scenes in this series so just a warning for the young ones that may come on my website 🙂
Hakushaku to Yosei (The Earl and The Fairy)
Love fantasy and romance inspired by the Victorian era? Then look no further than this title!
Lydia Carlton is 17 years old and lives in Great Britain as a Fairy Doctor due to her ability to see fairies and her great understanding of them. Her life is pretty quiet until her services are requested by Edgar J.C Ashenbert, the “Legendary Blue Knight Earl” to find a treasured sword owned by his family. Lydia’s life is about to change drastically during this quest and will her heart and mind handle it?
One thing about this series that I love is that Lydia is a pretty well-rounded heroine. She has the kindness and courage that are usually displayed by shoujo heroines but she is also independent and to put it frankly, quite ‘real’. She knows herself very well and asserts her will on Edgar when he began to feel something for her, not willing to be taken advantaged of so easily.
The story itself is quite short but within that space of time, the characters are able to leave quite the impression on the readers (i was pretty taken with Raven myself hehe~). If you love something adventurous that isn’t so long drawn out, give this one a try.
Akatsuki no Yona
Thanks to the anime of the same title that made this manga a lot more popular, why not add to the growing popularity by listing it here?
Another manga that is like Anatolia Story where there is political intrigue, betrayal, romance, and politics. The story takes places in the fictional kingdom of Kouka. Princess Yona is a spoiled, pampered girl that hates her red hair and is in love with her cousin and childhood friend Su Won. She has a bodyguard who is another childhood friend named Son Hak. Life is good until her 16th birthday when her father, the king is killed by Su Won and Yona and Hak have to flee the palace in fear that Su Won will be after Yona’s life next. Living as a fugitive, Yona discovers the legend of the first king of Kouka who unified the kingdom with the Four Dragon Warriors. She then makes it her mission to find the descendants of the Four Dragons in order to survive and save the kingdom of Kouka.
Akatsuki of Yona does one thing I’m really satisfied with, it explores the consequences of a particular style of governing.
Yona’s father, King Il was a pacifist which wasn’t good for the former conquering nation that is the Kouka kingdom. He was really unpopular which is why people didn’t really mind when Su Won usurped the throne because they’re hoping that he, being the son of a former conquering general, would re-conquer the territories that king Il gave away.
I think this is great because a lot of historical manga I read tend to gloss over bureaucratic stuff in favour of drama and passion and the fact that Akatsuki no Yona touches on this is refreshing to see.
In all, this manga is crazy plot rich and has many players on the world stage. Yona’s character development is quintessential to the manga receiving really good ratings as she turns from a sheltered girl with no idea of what’s happening to a bright, self-assured young woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure her country remains stable. It helps that she has a lot of suitors ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
Although it is not complete, this manga series will keep you on your seat until the very last volume. I suggest you pick up this one and see for yourself how engaging it is.
Hana to Akuma
Victorian Era again! But this time with a little more fantasy in the mix. Add some demons, magic and all that jazz, and you’ll have a historical shoujo manga with a little bit of spice.
Vivi, a demon decided to go to the human world and after one year there, he picked up a human baby and decided to keep it on a whim (uhhh…ok? lol). The baby was named Hana and she has lived with Vivi in the human world for fifteen years. As Hana grew up the line between adopted parent and child begins to blur. What is to happen in the time to come?
Some people may be a bit concerned with a romance between a young human and a near-immortal demon but this manga allows Hana to grow up as it progresses, allowing the line between adopted parent and child to thin acceptably. Hana and Vivi’s feelings are explored greatly as they question if it’s right for them to love each other as they are, despite the age difference and the fact that Hana will die long before Vivi does.
When they finally get together, Hana vows to give Vivi children so Vivi won’t be lonely when she finally passes. It’s so sweet, I nearly cried.
The added element of demons and longevity really gives consequence to a romance between two different species of sentient beings. Although this story takes places in the Victorian Era, not much history is really touched upon which can be great for some of you who don’t want a buttload of history in your face and just want the romance of the story.
Do you want a supernatural romance with the added benefit of having people in Victorian fashion? Then Hana to Akuma is your go-to, and I highly recommend it for those who just want the story to be focused on the characters.
Akagami no Shirayukihime
Yet another historical shoujo manga where the main lead has red hair, lots of court intrigue and politics, a romance across a class divide, and an anime series to boost its popularity.
Shirayuki is an herbalist in the kingdom of Tanbarun. She has beautiful red hair which gets noticed by the prince of Tanbarun, Prince Raj. He demands she become his concubine (because commoners can never be an official wife lol) and refuses. She cuts her hair and leaves secretly to get away from him and escape to the neighbouring kingdom of Clarines. On the way there, she meets Prince Zen, the second prince of Clarines and establishes a good relationship with him. She is accepted as a royal pharmacist and starts her training. Over the course of the story, Prince Zen and Shirayuki fall in love, despite the difference in their social status.
This series is one of those slow burn romances, not as much drama as I expected, historical shoujo manga series. It’s pleasant to read and is not so emotionally heavy as some of the others that I put on this list. I mean, you can use this series as a sort of palate cleanser if you’re tired of the horrible betrayal and killing.
Shirayuki is a very capable heroine who has shown her ability to support Zen time and time again with her intelligence and kind-heartedness. Her skills in pharmacy have saved the kingdom many times despite being an apprentice. It’s nice seeing a heroine that is determined to exert her independence without being a tsundere.
If you want something a little light-hearted, I recommend this series. Of course, you cannot escape court intrigue and politics but it’s not so heavy in my opinion.
And there we have it, my personal 5 recommendations of historical shoujo manga. You may disagree or agree with me for various reasons and I’d like to hear all about it and have some discourse with. I am open to other recommendations and if you do suggest some to me, I may take upon myself to read it 🙂