The 14 Best Shoujo Manga You’ll Fall in Love With

The products we list are chosen independently by our writers. We sometimes link to these items to help our readers find the appropriate products. We may receive commissions (at no cost to you) from purchases made through our links. Learn more

Since shoujo is such a feminine genre, some people avoid reading anything from it. Don’t let the romance put you off; shoujo manga has some amazing storylines that will draw you right in. We created this list to help you decide which shoujo manga to start with if you’re new to the genre. Now, let’s move past small talk and discuss what brought you here.

Here’s the 14 best shoujo manga ever!

14. Skip Beat! (Yoshiki Nakamura, 2002 – Present)

The sweetest revenge in a story! A sixteen-year-old girl, Kyoko Mogami, gushes over her childhood friend, Shotaro Fuwa. As a rising pop sensation, Kyoko travels with Fuwa to do whatever he tells her to do.

She cooks, cleans, and everything else for him. Yet, she wonders why he does not notice her. Then, Kyoko overhears Shotaro telling his manager that he keeps her around so she can be his maid.

As Kyoko is now devastated and full of rage, she refuses to cry. Instead, she becomes a pop star with her new look and attitude, bringing sweet revenge to Shotaro’s ego. She enters a new world ready to demand respect as she faces new challenges.

Why It Made the List:

Skip Beat is a deceptive book, making you think it’s a regular love story. However, Kyoko’s personality becomes dark and vengeful, making you love her even more.

You can find the first volume of this series on Amazon here: Skip Beat! Vol. 1

13. Strobe Edge (Io Sakisaka, 2007 – 2010)

The story revolves around Ninako, a high school girl with a crush on Ren, who grows closer to her. There is only one problem: Ren is in another relationship with Mayuka. Spending time with Ninako, Ren develops feelings for her. However, he stays committed to Mayuka despite his feelings for Ninako.

Why It Made the List:

Ninako is discovering what “love” really means and the range of emotions it brings along. The book shows her complicated journey through young love and all the many ups and downs it brings. As the story follows the highs and lows of love, it’s perfect for new shoujo readers.

Check out the volume 1 on Amazon: Strobe Edge, Vol. 1

12. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) – (Mizuho Kusanagi, 2009 – Present)

She lives a lavish lifestyle as the princess of Kouka, but she has a deep love for her cousin Su-won. Yona’s life is perfect until one day. She witnesses Su-won killing her father, the king.

Hak, Yona’s bodyguard, helps her escape, and together they live in exile. Having lost her kingdom, she sets out to find the four dragons to help her restore her kingdom and save the people.

Why It Made the List:

Akatsuki no Yona is a fantasy shoujo manga that puts you in the character’s shoes. The story draws you in to witness each character’s development. For example, Yona begins as a delicate young lady unaware of the danger and grows into an influential leader.

Volume 1 can be found here on Amazon: Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1

11. Dengeki Daisy (Kyousuke Motomi, 2007 – 2013)

In the wake of her brother’s death, Teru Kurebayashi discovers a cellphone with only one contact. Daisy (male character) is the contact who Teru’s brother advises her to call when she needs someone to talk to. It sounds like a good idea since Teru is all alone now.

She talks to him almost every day and slowly grows feelings even though she has never met him in person. Even so, Daisy’s kind words and encouragement bring Teru’s spirits up during rough patches, which often helps when she becomes Tasuku Kurosaki’s servant (the school janitor).

Tasuku is often disrespectful and rude to her but eventually warms up to her. Teru doesn’t realize that Tasuku is her special friend Daisy. Of course, it is not as simple as it seems, and Tasuku plays the role very well.

Why It Made the List:

The key to Dengeki Daisy’s appeal is the humor and chemistry between the two characters. This story is different from most “high-school love stories” because it is a slow romance with a unique plot.

Beginning primarily with comedy, it switches to total drama with small comic elements. Despite the romance being more open, the characters’ overall tone gets heavier. Compared to the typical shoujo stories, Dengeki Daisy is a breath of fresh air.

You can find volume 1 of the series here on Amazon: Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 1

10. Lovely Complex (Aya Nakahara, 2001 – 2006)

Also known as Love Com, the story offers comedy relief and shows how love attracts opposites. But, despite their flaws, the light-hearted romance makes the characters charming and lovable.

Risa Koizumi is pretty tall for a 17-year-old girl in high school. On the other hand, Atsushi Ōtani is seen as the underdog due to his small size. However, the struggle of high school draws the two close, and they develop feelings for each other. As they began their relationship, their classmates saw it as a comedy. It’s an odd relationship between the tallest girl and the shortest boy.

Why It Made the List:

The romance starts slowly by allowing the characters to be friends first. The two share the same interests, enjoy each other’s company, and so they rely on each other during tough times. Lovely Complex is a romantic comedy that reverses a classic trope into something fresh.

Check out the first volume on Amazon here: Love Com, Vol. 1

9. Nana (Ai Yazawa, 2000 – 2009)

Nana is an exciting story that mixes romance and music while exploring the views on the love of two girls with the same name. Nana Komatsu is a naive high school student who desperately wants to attract her love. She thrives on him loving her, but he denies it. Nevertheless, Komatsu keeps her spirit up, wanting to experience true love.

On the other hand, Nana Osaki is an expiring rock artist who is aggressive and proud. So, when she had to choose between her career and her boyfriend, she decided to leave him.

On their 20th birthday, both girls board the same train and find themselves sitting next to each other while traveling through the city to eventually live in the same apartment.

Why It Made the List:

The two characters form a deep and unique bond during their journey together. The reader follows through with their saga of love, music, friendship, and heartbreak.

The characters have two different personalities and lives but a lot in common. Their adventures bring them together and grow close together to develop a deep bond.

You can purchase the first volume on Amazon here: Nana, Volume 1

8. ReLIFE (Sō Yayoi, 2013 – 2018)

In a twist of fate, Arata Kaizaki meets Ryō Yoake after quitting his first job. Ryō is a member of the ReLife Research Institute and offers Arata a magic pill to help him change his life.

For one year, Arata must attend high school as a transfer student after becoming a test dummy for an experiment. While he believes that this is his chance not to repeat past mistakes, he realizes it will not be easy. In addition to being out of shape and failing his classes, Ryō must also keep an eye on him all the time. Yet, despite everything, Arata connects to some of his classmates who show him the one thing he needs to be happy in his life.

Why It Made the List:

A significant strength of ReLIFE is its characters and the way they are portrayed. As a result, the series focuses primarily on developing the characters’ relationships rather than on the storyline.

The series is so special because of how it presents each character and their progress. In addition, the series tackles several significant themes, both for teens and adults.

Volume 1 can be found on Amazon, but only the Japanese version is currently available here: ReLIFE (アース・スター コミックス)

7. Vampire Knight (Matsuri Hino, 2004 – 2013)

During a dark winter night, a rogue vampire attacks Yuki, and Kaname Kuran, a Pureblood vampire, comes to save her. Yuki’s childhood crush, Kaname, is a vampire leader at the elite boarding school Cross Academy.

She is a student at the Academy and the adopted child of the headmaster, Kaien Cross. On top of this, Yuki is the guardian of the vampire race and tries to protect her love from being discovered by anyone.

Her childhood friend, Zero Kiryu, distrusts and hates the vampire race. He wants to destroy them, believing they should never live among the human race.

However, Zero holds a dark secret about himself that may keep this from ever happening.

Why It Made the List:

Sometimes compared to Twilight, it tells the tale of a forbidden romance. Twilight comes across as soft by comparison to its gothic darkness. There is even more danger in the love triangle than in Twilight! The willingness of the Vampire Knight to descend into gothic horror and the disturbing aspects of vampire love make it unique.

You can find the first volume on Amazon: Vampire Knight, Vol. 1

6. Your Lie in April (Naoshi Arakawa, 2011 – 2015)

Kōsei Arima, a piano prodigy, has a breakdown during a recital when his mother dies unexpectedly. Due to his mental state, he can no longer hear the sound of a piano, although all other sounds are perfectly audible.

Two years after abandoning his piano and living in a monotonous world, Kaori Miyazono enters his life. She is a violinist with an unorthodox style who turns Kosei’s world upside down. Through her love of music, Kaori attempts to bring Kosei back to life.

Why It Made the List:

The story conveys the characters’ connection through the art of music. Every scene and conversation hides behind the music. Behind it all, your griefs and sorrows buried within rise to the surface. As you read, you will feel the emotions of sadness and happiness as the characters heal through music.

You can purchase the first volume of on Amazon here: Your Lie in April 1

5. Wolf Girl and Black Prince (Ayuko Hatta, 2011 – 2016)

Erika Shinohara is in high school and wants to be one of the popular girls. To fit in, she tells lies about having a boyfriend so that the girls will allow her to join their group.

She even brings a picture of a guy telling her friends it’s her boyfriend, but she doesn’t know who it is. He is Kyoya Sata, who is the most popular guy in school. So she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, and he agrees on one condition. As his pet, she had to play the role of his wolf girl.

It turns out that Kyoya is not a very great guy, but Erika gets to know him and eventually softens him a bit. After a while, Erika stops playing Wolf Girl, and Kyoya begins treating her like a real girlfriend. Throughout high school, they struggle to deal with many challenges, all of which bring them closer together in the end.

Why It Made the List:

Many of us express a desire for acceptance, and we may even go to extremes in pursuit of it. The premise isn’t necessarily original, but for the shoujo series, it is. In the story, we learn not to bite off more than we can chew, as it can get you into some trouble.

Check out volume 1 here on Amazon: Wolf girl and black prince t.1

4. Ghost Hunt (Shiho Inada (Original Story by Fuyumi Ono), 1998 – 2010)

As Mai Taniyama and her friends told ghost stories, they decided to visit an abandoned building on their campus. It is haunted by a mysterious figure. Kazuya Shibuya, a manager who works for the Shibuya Psychic Research Company, is asked to investigate the legend surrounding the building.

Mai interferes with Kazuya’s investigation but ends up becoming a part of the team. As a ghost hunter, Mai learns about the paranormal and uses her psychic abilities.

Why It Made the List:

It’s a fun and exciting story that gives you a realistic view of how ghost hunting works. Ghost Hunt is full of twists to keep you wondering and guessing what’s going to happen next. Each chapter is full of mystery, making your heart skip a beat while it unravels.

Check out the first volume on Amazon: Ghost Hunt, Vol. 1

3. Fruits Basket (Natsuki Takaya, 1998 – 2006)

We are continuing with the ghostly world with a spiritual twist.

Tohru Honda’s mother dies in a terrible car accident, leaving her to live with her grandfather. The home situation with her grandfather proves to be hectic and lonely, and Tohru refuses to move in with her family. After learning how to support herself, she lives in a tent it is destroyed.

As Tohru lives with the Soma family, she learns a secret about them. It turns out they are cursed and can turn into the Chinese zodiac animals. Tohru initially thinks the curse isn’t so bad, but she soon realizes it’s deeper and darker than she thought.

Why It Made the List:

At first glance, Fruits Basket is your typical shoujo manga. However, you can see each character grow and interact with one another as the story advances. There is a lot of slapstick humor throughout, and a dash of romance is thrown in for good measure.

Fruits Basket is a fun and memorable read. Considering it is regarded as one of the most iconic manga of the 20th century and very dear to many shoujo fans, it is no surprise that it holds such a special place in many fans’ hearts.

You can find the first volume of the collector’s edition here on Amazon: Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1

There is also a 10 volume set available here: Fruits Basket Complete Set Volumes 1-10 Tokyopop Manga

A set with volumes 1 – 15 of this manga can also be purchased here: Fruits Basket Set (Volumes 1-15)

2. Orange (Ichigo Takano, 2012 – 2017)

Imagine that your future self 10 years from now sends you letters of warning to help you avoid your biggest regret! Unfortunately, Naho Takamiya decides not to pay attention to them initially since she has a crush on the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse.

Naho is told not to invite Kakeru on an outing, but she does it anyway, causing him to miss two weeks of school. Naho decides to listen to the letters before she makes any more mistakes that could harm Kakeru. Having realized that her decisions affect Kakeru significantly, she strives to make the right ones in his best interest.

Why It Made the List:

An adorable, well-intentioned shoujo manga, Orange is sweet, tender, and warmhearted. However, it also addresses suicide and how the family of a deceased loved one copes years after the event.

There is a unique plot, and every character in the book is well-developed, making you love them unconditionally. A bittersweet ending makes Orange the perfect manga for those tired of the usual romance of shojo manga.

Check out volume 1 of the complete collection on Amazon: Orange: The Complete Collection 1

1. Hana Yori Dango (Yoko Kamino, 1992 – 2008)

This manga is also known as “Boys Over Flowers.” Makino Tsukushi, an Eitoku Gakuen student, comes from a low-income family but attends an educational establishment intended for upper-class families. Makino feels like an outsider at the school and wants to make it through her last two years.

She goes unnoticed until she stands up for her friend when the F4 clique mess with her. The group consists of the four most popular boys in school and sends a red card to Makino declaring war.

Makino discovers that the situation has more to do with her than meets the eye. However, when she refuses to be beaten by the F4 and falls in love with one of them.

Why It Made the List:

Hana Yori Dango (also known as Boys Over Flowers) provides an excellent example of everything that looks perfect doesn’t mean it is. Makino is a strong character who refuses to be walked over by anyone, and having a robust female character is rewarding to see in most shoujo mangas. A total pleasure, this story also has some heartfelt moments that may make you cry.

Check out the first volume on Amazon here : Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango), Vol. 1

Is there any shoujo manga we missed on our list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear what you think about our best shoujo manga list!

Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend