Currently on exams/final papers week in school, I really don’t have time to read a complete novel or just to pay closely attention to every single detail. I’m saving those books for when I’m done with school for this semester. But what I’m doing right now, to not stress myself with homework, is I pick up romance manga and have a great time. Check out these 8 underrated romance manga you need to read ASAP.
I’m a big romantic so I’m always looking for romance in my literature. It’s not a surprise that I gravitate towards the shoujo and romance manga section, so I thought I should share my knowledge with you all. I’m pretty sure you all know the classic manga and the really popular ones so I’m probably not mentioning them, but maybe they will come out as honorary mentions (I cannot not mention Horimiya).
Beauty Pop by Kiyoko Arai
There are not enough stories about hairdressers in competitions and falling in love with the rival! In Beauty Pop, Kiri Koshiba is a prodigy with a pair of scissors, but she doesn’t want to use her talent to pursue fame.
Unlike the three boys who do makeovers to girls at their school, Kiri just wants to not get attention. But it seems it’s getting harder and harder to not get involve with this trio of kids.
Hana to Akuma by Hisamu Oto
If you love demons falling in love with humans, get ready for the time of your life. Hana to Akuma tells the story of Vivi, the demon, and the human child he found outside his mansion. He suddenly decides to keep the baby and years later…things get interesting.
Anonymous Noise by Ryoko Fukuyama
Nino has suffered from two heartbreaking farewells. The first one with her first love, Momo, and the second one with Yuzu, a boy who composed music. She promised both of them she will continue singing until they find her again. It’s a surprise to her that both of them end up studying at the same high school years later.
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The art is so beautiful and captivating. You will get a love triangle but surely will enjoy this story. It has music, a band, a concept, it’s really so pretty.
Kodocha by Miho Obana
I know, I know. I said no classics, but Kodocha is really so underrated. It’s one of my ultimate favorite stories ever! It has fame and stardom and childhood friends-turned-hate-turned-enemies-turned-friends again? It’s such a rollercoaster of the life of Sana Kurata, a child actress, and we see her grow up and the relationships she has in her life will be so important to her.
Monkey High! by Shouko Akira
This is a high school romance that will make you laugh out loud. Monkey High! starts with the arrival of Haruna Aizawa to a new school where she has been disgraced by her politician father after a scandal. She meets new people, new friends, new love…?
Haruna is such an Ice Queen so I love her so much, and her love interest is the cute, funny kind, so you’ll definitely have the time of your life reading this story.
Romantica Clock by Yōko Maki
Another one I couldn’t not mention because the story is really something else. Romantica Clock is about the Kajiya twins, Akane and Aoi, and their high school life. It’s really about school and friendship and it has a bit of romance between Akane and a cute boy who loves to bake and wants to do that for life. Plus Akane loves sweets, so he always gives her some. (So cute!)
Crimson Hero by Mitsuba Takanashi
For the people who enjoy sports romances, Crimson Hero is what you’re looking for. Most of the time sports in manga are not really romance and don’t feature romance. But you can really find some out there! Crimson Hero is all about volleyball. Unfortunately her volleyball club in school has been disbanded, so she has the job to reunite all members and new members because she, for sure, will be playing again.
Darling wa Namamono ni Tsuki by Yuki Yoshihara
This manga is definitely for older audiences, so be warned! It’s more adult than young adult in this case, if we want to put it that way. Darling wa Namamono ni Tsuki is a fun romance between a nurse and the doctor she falls in love with. One day she asks him to marry her and he says yes. He is quiet, nothing like her. Their story goes from having a sex life and then maintaining it. You’ll have lots of fun reading this story!
5 Odd Yet Intriguing Romance Mangas
So I've been shying away from the typical Shoujo cliche because let's be real here, they're hella annoying if you're like me who goes just binges Shoujo manga.
Anyways, I've been reading a lot more uh 'interesting' romance mangas that I feel are really under appreciated. To anyone who wants a very unique vibe to their romance manga, I'm here to give some recommendations and thoughts on some I found lovely.
Please remember that these are a personal preference, but if you have any other unique romance manga you've read, feel free to let me know! I'm always open to recommendations.
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5. Shindere Shoujo to Kodoku na Shinigami
✼ Synopsis ✼
Akira, a second year middle school student, has a normal life on an island of solitude, a serene and peaceful school setting. Akira's daily life is shattered one day by the transfer of a mysterious boy; Matsushiro Nishigami who introduces himself as a shinigami with the phrase "Anyone who gets close to me dies." What could be the meaning of such a bizarre introduction?
✼ Details ✼
Author: Himura Masaki
Genres: Supernatural, Comedy, Romance,
School Life, Shounen, Drama, Mystery
✼ Thoughts and Opinions ✼
The unfortunate thing about this is that unfortunately the mangaka passed away before she could complete the manga so the series is discontinued, however this was my first manga and I think that this kind of vibe and storyline should be encouraged in more romance manga. Although it's labelled as mystery and supernatural the romance is definitely still present and not overpowered by the supernatural aspect of the story. I feel that not many romance manga can tackle all these genres while still keeping the romance in play which is what I admire about this manga. I enjoy Nishigami's character a lot who struggles with not only others but his own feelings. He's also a tsundere, and I'm a sucker for tsundere guys.
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4. Itou-Kun doesn't know about love
✼ Synopsis ✼
The new transfer student, Itou Kazuki, comes with a secret, hidden behind his bandage...
When Itou-kun, clueless in love, meets Yoshiuchi Aika, clumsy romantic, what will become of this unconventional couple?
✼ Details ✼
Author: Neko Iwatobi
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School Life,
Shoujo, Drama, Slice of Life
✼ Thoughts and Opinions ✼
This manga is fairly new, so I can't really say too much about given that there's barely any content to give it a proper review however, I can already tell from the 3 chapters that this is definitely going to be an interesting manga. I thought it was a bit weird how the main hero didn't have a face but I enjoy his character so much. If you're tired of the cool boy image, this is perfect. The innocence from this couple is so refreshing and you'll grow to love the two characters. The comedy isn't overdone, and it's enough to keep you smiling throughout each chapter. This manga does a good job of making the audience root for the couple. Also, the art style is a PLUS. It's so unique and really pleasing to look at.
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3. Kigurumi Guardians
✼ Synopsis ✼
Hakka Sasakura's life is about to turn upside-down. She comes home from a day of admiring the student body president only to discover that a mysterious creature resembling a man in an animal suit has taken up residence at her home! What’s more, she's been chosen to work with this strange being to fight off invaders from another dimension and save the world... and she has to kiss him to do so?!
✼ Details ✼
Author: Lily Hoshino
Genres: Supernatural, Comedy, Romance,
School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life
✼ Thoughts and Opinions ✼
To be completely honest guys, I don't know what it is about this manga but I just couldn't stop reading it. It captivated me so much and I wasn't sure if it was the fact that giant plushy animals turn into hot men when they're kissed, or if it's the romance aspect that I like. When it comes to romance, it's still pretty cliche with the ditzy, very caring female role and the super cool, smooth guy...except the fact that he's a giant animal plushy majority of the time and is only summoned when necessary. Give this manga a try because it had me baffled. I had no idea what the heck I was reading but for some reason I could not stop.
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2. A Dimwitted Monk Fell From Heaven
✼ Synopsis ✼
Yan Qi met a time-travelling white-haired monk while on a trip to the mountains, and "chose" to bring him home. Ever since she brought this odd freeloader home, Yan Qi's life has become more and more eventful.
✼ Details ✼
Author: Hong Jun
Genres: Comedy, Romance,
✼ Thoughts and Opinions ✼
This was definitely a hit for me. I read all the chapters in one day (because that's what I do with my life) and it was just so addicting. The story was addicting, the art is amazing and I couldn't get enough of it. The comedy is so simple and the development between the two is nice and smooth. The story at first seems to make zero sense and the reader is absolutely confused as to what's going on (which is something that I've noticed Hong Jun does a lot lol) but the plot gets more in depth as you read more. The one thing I love most about this manhua is the monk. He's just... he's so clueless yet so wise it's really ironic and kind of cute to read. Honestly, I would do anything to protect Baima Danxuan (monk). The story itself is quite interesting, especially in the later chapters when it comes into gets more into detail. I really enjoyed their relationship so much. They weren't too sappy, but they weren't completely oblivious either. It was nice to see their development.
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Here are just a few more odd ones that I think are really great reads! I wish I could've added them to this list!
Let me know if there's anymore out there!
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1. Yankee-kun to Megane-chan
✼ Synopsis ✼
Shinagawa Daichi is a high school delinquent who just wants to be left alone. However, class rep Adachi Hana will stop at nothing to get him to go on the upcoming Social Studies field trip. What are her true motives behind getting a "yankee" like Shinagawa to go on such a thing?
✼ Details ✼
Author: Miki Yoshikawa
Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance,
✼ Thoughts and Opinions ✼
This manga will forever have a special place in my heart. I think because the series is so long, you get really really invested and attached to these characters. This manga isn't meant to be a dramatic, sad manga but man when I finished this manga I cried. There was just so many memorable moments and characters to this manga and for it to be all over it really breaks my heart but it also makes me glad that I've discovered this manga. This is by far probably one of the most funniest mangas I have ever read. It's also made by the same person who made Yamada-Kun and The Seven Witches. So if you're a fan of that anime I highly recommend this manga. They've made crossovers with Yamada-kun as well as Fairy Tail. The characters, the plot, the story was all so weird to me but boy was it addicting. I know I've said this about previous mangas before, but this is the total package. I am so in love with the comedy, and maybe the romance doesn't stand out too much, but it's still there. Adachi and Shinagawa are one of my favourite duos because of their contrasting characters which helps to enhance their relationship and the plot. There are so many characters you'll hate but grow to love so much. I'm telling you, if you're feeling down, READ THIS it will make your day. They can make such simple everyday things hilarious, and the none of the characters will make you want to rip your hair out. I mean maybe a bit, but in a good way. It's a long manga but it's so worth it and I swear you will laugh reading this. Hopefully. Unless I just have a bad sense of humour.
No? Just me?
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Anywho that's all I got for now. These are just a few mangas that I feel are under appreciated and need to be in the spotlight more. This are also great recommendations to drift away from cliche romance stuffs so hopefully one of these mangas catches your eye. Please feel free to let me know any other unique romance mangas you've read out there, and if there are any that should've been on this list. Byeeeeeeee!
Romance is a curious genre, given that so many books, films, TV shows, even video games often feature romances but aren’t necessarily of the romance genre. When it comes to romance manga, however, the romance really is the point.
Romance manga also stretches so many different genres, the terms of which can be a little confusing. We’ll cover all these terms and deliver this list of romance manga in the most straightforward and easy-to-digest way possible.
Before we dive in, let’s explore some of the terms and types that are often tied up with the idea of romance manga.
Romance Manga VS Shoujo Manga VS BL Manga
One common overlap is that of romance manga and shoujo manga. Put simply, however, not all romance is shoujo and not all shoujo is romance. The more time passes, the more concepts like shounen and shoujo manga become outdated.
Like how shonen manga is loosely targeted at an audience demographic of boys (therefore stereotypically deal with martial arts, fantasy action, ninja, and superheroes), shoujo manga is targeted at an audience demographic of girls.
This is all exhaustingly stereotypical but, going off those stereotypes, girls love romance. Ergo, a lot of shoujo manga is romance manga. Not all, however.
The other big subgenre of shoujo manga is the “magical girl” genre (think Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura). Magical girl shoujo manga is very similar to a lot of shonen manga: action-packed monster-of-the-week stories featuring evil bad guys and super-powered good guys.
All of that said, a lot of the library of shoujo manga is, indeed, romance manga. Just because it’s marketed at girls, however, doesn’t mean a whole lot in this day and age. Plenty of girls love shounen and plenty of boys love both shoujo and romance manga.
A lot of romance manga is not shoujo-friendly. As in, it has adult themes that make it inappropriate to a readership of young girls.
Those adult themes don’t have to be sexual. They may be to do with marriage, divorce, death, illness etc. Not all romance manga is fluffy and happy, just like romance in any medium.
Another popular type of romance manga (which won’t be covered here but in another article) is BL. BL manga stands for boys’ love manga (or yaoi manga). This is gay romance manga, often written by women and targeted at an audience of women and gay men.
While we are fans of a lot of queer manga, and we will cover BL manga elsewhere, all of the romance manga covered below is more mainstream straight romance manga.
Best Modern Romance Manga
Now that we’ve got the similarities and differences between romance manga and shoujo manga straightened out, let’s look at some of the best modern romance manga of the current and last few years.
Horimiya by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
Originally known as Hori-san to Miyamura-kun, Horimiyais a charming and wholesome romance manga, originally written and drawn by Hiroki Adachi (Hero) before being adapted and redrawn by Daisuke Hagiwara.
Horimiya also has a hugely popular romance anime adaptation, and the anime has proven to be a truly outstanding adaptation of the original manga source material.
The Horimiyamanga follows the quickly-blossoming romance between high-schoolers Kyoko Hori and Izumi Miyamura.
She is a popular honour student with a secret home life packed with responsibility and raising her adorable little brother.
He is an introverted, all but invisible middle-of-the-road student with a secret private life as a tattooed and pierced himbo.
Horimiyais one of the most popular romance manga ever written. What has helped it succeed so splendidly is how well-developed its two protagonists are. Their dramas, issues, dreams, and daily lives as individuals are fleshed out and given real attention.
Pile a romance on top of this and you have two characters that you not only care about, but whose romance is a joy to watch unfold. Their romance also moves forward refreshingly quickly and smoothly, as opposed to those seen in the majority of romance manga.
Horimiyais a comedy romance manga, but the comedy serves more to keep the story light rather than to be laugh-out-loud funny. Come for the romance and stay for the chuckles.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka
Another hugely popular comedy romance manga (and anime) is Kaguya-sama: Love is War(known in Japanese as Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Ren’ai Zunōsen).
This is a comedy romance manga that leans more on the comedy, with the romance being more of an objective than a daily occurrence.
Set in the student council office of the elite Shuchiin Academy, Kaguya-samafollows the daily lives of the titular Kaguya Shinomiya, vice president of the student council, and the council president Miyuki Shirogane.
Kaguya and Miyuki are equally in love with one another, but both are far too proud to ever admit it. In beautiful episodic fashion, each chapter pits the two against each other in elaborate schemes.
These schemes are either an attempt at making the other confess their feelings or a roundabout way of bringing them closer together.
The plots become more and more ridiculous and elaborate as they go, with spanners thrown into the works by supporting characters Chika Fujiwara and Yu Ishigami.
The comedy of Kaguya-sama is top-notch, with every joke delivery an explosion of laughter. The romance, however, is always there, floating in the background. Every plot and scheme, after all, is fuelled by love, lust, and affection.
Kaguya-samaoffers a really refreshing take on romance manga, upending old tropes and reframing the will-the-won’t-they dynamic by turning the narrative into a wonderful blend of shonen battle manga and slice-of-life comedy manga. Genius and heartwarming.
Read More: Sweet & Essential BL Manga
Orange by Ichigo Takano
While Orangeis considered a romance manga (and it certainly is one) it’s also a lot more than that. In fact, consider this a content warning: Orange deals with a lot of heavy themes concerning mental health and suicide.
Orangestraddles quite a few genres, including romance, slice-of-life, and even the supernatural. It’s also a short manga, available in two oversized volumes that you can binge over a weekend.
This makes Orange a satisfyingly complete and focussed manga experience.
The story of Orange closely follows a group of friends, the main character of which is high-schooler Naho Takamiya.
At the start of a new school year, Naho receives a letter from someone who claims to be her future self. Future Naho explains that her biggest regret was her failure to save the life of a boy named Kakeru Naruse.
The letter has arrived on this particular day because it is the same day that Kakeru joins their school in Matsumoto from his former life in Tokyo. Kakeru is quickly assimilated into Naho’s group of friends, becoming their sixth member.
The letter which Naho received is filled with a list of detailed instructions on how to save Kakeru’s life. Naho must decide whether or not to trust and follow these instructions each day.
Meanwhile, in the future, Naho is married to Hiroto, and we are occasionally sent forward into their life as they reminisce about their high school days ten years ago, and about their now late friend Kakeru.
Orangeis a beautiful, hard-hitting story of love, friendship, mental health, and the responsibilities we have to and for one another. It’s a romance manga, for sure, but it’s also so much more. And Ichigo Takano is a genius mangaka for putting together something as beautiful as Orange.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita
Existing in a similar sweet and comedy-focussed sphere as Horimiya and Kaguya-sama, Wotakoiis a romance manga with a light and funny twist. Its name (Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii in Japanese) is a clever portmanteau of otaku and the japanese word for love (koi).
Wotakoiis a refreshing romance manga for two reasons. The first is that its protagonists are adult office workers, not teenage high-schoolers. The second is that they are both closet nerds trying to pass for ordinary and diligent workers.
Narumi, a fujoshi with an obsession for yaoi manga and anime, joins a new company and, in order to make a success of her job, simply needs to keep her hobby a secret. Quickly, however, she meets and falls in love with Hirotaku, a video game-obsessed otaku who works at the same office.
This central premise offers a lot of laughs and sweet moments, but it also highlights — as the title lays out — the difficulties of love and romance for otaku.
This is explored in a surprisingly varied number of ways, all of which serve to keep the series interesting as it goes.
Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akizuki
I mentioned above that not all romance manga are shoujo manga. Well, this one is. Snow White with the Red Hair(Akagami no Shirayukihime) is a shoujo manga that has been running for an awful long time.
If you were sold on Orange in part because of how short and tight it is, getting into something like Snow White with the Red Hairis a big ask. But, for many, it’s worth it.
This fantasy shoujo series follows Shirayuki (literally Snow White) a herbalist of the Tanbarun kingdom. Her story, at the beginning, is very loosely inspired by the Snow White fairy tale.
Shirayuki is a refreshingly capable and self-realised female protagonist who turns down the advances of the local Prince Raji. When she snorns him, cuts her hair, and flees, she falls into the company of the neighbouring kingdom’s Prince Zen.
After saving Zen from a poison apple that was sent from Prince Raji and meant for her, she establishes herself as a herbalist of Zen’s royal court and, to the surprise of nobody, a romance between the two slowly blossoms.
If you’re a fan of romance and fantasy manga, as well as European fairy tales, Snow White with the Red Hairis a romance shoujo manga right up your alley.
Noragami by Adachitoka
Although having originally been published in Monthly Shonen Magazine, Noragami(Stray God) is still a beloved romance manga, just with a few more fantasy and isekai elements pulling it along.
Noragamifollows middle-schooler Hiyori Iki, who meets an unfortunate fate involving a bus. This accident places Hiyori in the unique position of being aware of two, and able to interact with, two other worlds, known as the Near Shore and Far Shore.
The titular Stray God is Yato, a kami without a shrine. Yato is eager to make a name for himself as a god, and Hiyori wishes to have her human body repaired. Thus, a long and fantastical journey together begins.
Noragamiticks a lot of boxes. It satisfies fans of fantasy and isekai manga, while also catering to the tastes of shounen and shoujo fans alike. It’s an all-round crowd-pleaser and a great romance manga for that exact reason.
The Quintessential Quintuplets by Negi Haruba
If there’s one genre of manga that makes a lot of us cringe, myself included, it’s harem manga (and, by extension, harem anime). I have always been pretty clueless as to its appeal beyond slimy fan-service.
However, when The Quintessential Quintuplets(Go-Tōbun no Hanayome) kept turning more and more heads, it became hard not to pay attention. And what I found was something surprisingly wholesome. For a harem manga.
Feel free to skip past this one if you know that it won’t speak to you. But, if you’re at least a little intrigued, this is the only harem manga I’ve ever been able to not only stomach, but actually really enjoy.
I’m going to outline the premise here and, if you roll your eyes and keep scrolling, I won’t blame you. Futaro is a high school student, hired by the Nakano family to be a private tutor to a group of quintuplets: Ichika, Nino, Miko, Yotsuba, and Itsuki.
The story’s very beginning reveals to us a wedding chapel and the fact that Futaro will eventually be married to one of the titular quintuplets. However, the identity of the girl remains unknown, predictably, until the end.
What makes this harem manga so wholesome is the lack of any exhausting harem tropes. Futaro is a likeable protagonist with a sad background.
His father is buried by debt and his mother is no longer here. The quintuplets are terrible students and some of them refuse to be tutored by Futaro at all.
As the story progresses, Futaro builds a friendship with each of the Nakano quintuplets, and we are always led by the nose towards the mystery reveal: which one will he eventually marry?
The Quintessential Quintupletsalso has a popular anime adaptation (available on Crunchyroll) which is an incredible amount of fun and every bit as wholesome.
However, the art of the manga is particularly gorgeous, lovingly detailed and beautifully textured. Both are worth your time but the art of the manga wins out.
Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka
Also known by its English translation Blue Spring Ride, this is a shoujo romance manga that epitomises the will-they-won’t-they narrative. It injects grounded, often harsh and dark, themes and events to offer readers a romance manga with real weight and substance.
In that regard, Ao Haru Rideis a shoujo manga that falls more in line with Orange than any of the more upbeat manga on this list. Ao Haru Ride is a fairly beloved romance manga with a dedicated following, especially in Japan.
The story follows sixteen-year-old Futaba whose first love has returned from a long stint of living in Nagasaki. However, Kou is not the boy she remembers; he is now aloof and guarded. We soon learn that this is because, while living in Nagasaki, Kou lost his mother.
Ao Haru Rideis a mature and hard-hitting story that really showcases how life throws down obstacles to happiness, and how we often build those obstacles ourselves due to naivete, self-destructive tendencies, and an inability to see the future or read the past.
This is a series with plenty of twists and turns that are worth experiencing first-hand, and a romance manga that comes highly recommended.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto
The Demon Prince of Momochi House(Momochi-san Chi no Ayakashi Ouji) is a supernatural romance manga inspired by the world of Japanese shinto folklore.
The story begins with Himari Momochi, an orphan with nothing to her name. On her 16th birthday, she inherits the Momochi family estate, though she is warned that it is said to be haunted. However, desperate Himari has no other choice but to go there.
When she arrives, the stories turn out to be true. The Momochi house straddled the line between the human and the spirit world.
The mansion is also already occupied by Aoi, a young man who entered the house as a boy and unwittingly became its spirit guardian. His human existence has been all but erased and he takes the form of a Nue yokai (but sexy).
Aoi’s role as guardian of Momochi house was originally meant for Himari, and it is more a curse than a gift. Himari agrees to live in the house with Aoi, and to find a way to lift the curse so that Aoi can finally leave the mansion and return to his old life.
A Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano
Consider this one a bit of a wild card. Anyone who has already read A Girl on the Shoremay not consider it a romance manga, and that’s kind of true. It’s more complicated than that. But if you like your stories to be rocky, troubled, lustful, and angry, you’ll love this manga.
Inio Asano, most famous for his philosophical coming-of-age series Goodnight Punpun, has here penned a manga that exists in a single volume.
A Girl on the Shore(Umibe no Onnanoko)is set in a nowhere seaside town and follows the angry, lust-and-hate-fuelled romance between Koume and Isobe. These are two bored and horny teenagers looking for fun and satisfaction.
While this is not a sweet and warm romance manga, it is a very true-to-life story for countless teenagers the world over. Koume and Isobe are angry and resentful teenagers, full of tension which they help each other relieve through intense and taboo sexual meetings.
As the manga progresses, their narrative becomes more complicated, with the lines between lust and love starting to blur.
This is not an easy manga to read. It is full of raw, explicit depictions of sex, and these characters are very angry, very unlikeable, but very human and vulnerable people.
A Girl on the Shoremay or may not be a romance manga (it depends who you ask) but it is certainly a masterpiece.
Best Classic Romance Manga
It’s kind of difficult to know where to draw the line between classic and modern manga. Modern series’ can be classics-in-the-making, and drawing a neat chronological line across a specific year is hard.
Novels are deemed classics when they hit their 100th birthday but that certainly doesn’t apply to manga. So, what we have here are a handful of manga that are a little older, and have built up a cult status as beloved shoujo and romance manga.
Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
Few shoujo and romance manga have as much of a beloved fanbase as Fruits Basket. This is a series that got a serviceable anime adaptation many years back and has since received the ‘brotherhood treatment’ with excellent results.
Natsuki Takaya’s classic shoujo manga tells the story of Tohru Honda, a girl who lost her mother and now lives in a tent in the woods.
Tohru is certainly down on her luck but she keeps on smiling regardless. She is the epitome of a glass-half-full character, clinging to hope as much as her strength will allow.
One day, Tohru stumbles upon the home of her classmate, Yuki Soma, a traditional and secluded Japanese house. Yuki’s older brother, Shigure, is a laid-back stay-at-home author who welcomes Tohru into their home.
The Soma family secret is soon discovered, however, and Tohru is burdened with the knowledge that each member of the family is possessed by an animal of the Chinese zodiac.
When hugged by a member of the opposite sex, members of the Soma clan suddenly transform into their animal form, often resulting in awkward and hilarious situations.
The series goes to some very dark and strange places, with the cat character, Kyo, being the most endearing and fascinating member of the manga’s cast.
Fruits Basketis a reverse-harem slice-of-life romance manga for the ages, and a beloved classic of the shoujo manga genre.
Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
Like the modern Kaguya-sama, the classic Ouran High School Host Club(Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu) is a shoujo manga that leans hard on comedy to satirise the tropes and themes of the shoujo genre.
In the vein of Shakespearean comedy, Ouran High School Host Clubcentres around a case of mistaken gender identity.
Haruhi is a student of the titulaer Ouran High School. One day, while looking for a place to study, she stumbles upon the unofficial clubroom of the Host Club.
The Host Club is a small group of boys who play host to female clients by entertaining them with tea and cakes. At first, after breaking something valuable, Haruhi has to work off her debt as the club’s errand boy, before eventually becoming a fully-fledged host herself.
Haruhi’s appearance causes the host boys to mistake her for a boy and, even after the truth comes out, they still want her as a host for her natural ability to charm and entertain the girls of the school.
It’s a strange story and, as I said, one that will strike a chord with fans of Shakespeare’s comedies. But this is a series that has endured for years and will go on being a firm favourite of many shoujo manga fans.
Love Com (Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara)
This is another adorable comedy romance manga that has stood the test of time. Love Com follows the ongoing and endearing friendship of two students at a school in Osaka.
The gimmick is that the girl, Risa, is unusually tall and the boy, Atsushi, is unusually short.
The two are labelled a comedy duo by their classmates (Osaka is known across Japan as the nation’s comedy capital, and the series even has its characters speaking the Kansai dialect).
Their story is complicated by the arrival of other love interests who better match our protagonists’ heights, but things certainly do not go so smoothly.
This is a very sweet, wholesome, albeit silly and strange series. It certainly highlights the pettiness of our societal obsession with aesthetics, whether intentional or not.
Maid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara
Maid Sama!(Kaichou wa Maid-sama! or The Class President is a Maid!) is another hugely popular classic romance manga with an unusual premise.
The title of the series certainly paints a particular image which, when peeled back, actually reveals a far more mature romance story.
The titular president/maid is our protagonist: Misaki Ayuzawa. As a student at a school that was once only for male students, Misaki has a lot to prove. She rises to the top and becomes student body president.
However, Misaki has a student: in order to help support her sick mother, Misaki works part time at a maid cafe.
When popular boy Takumi Usui finds out the truth, he keeps it to himself. Usui is intrigued by Misaki and the two soon fall in love.
The story continues to twist and turn from here, so I won’t say anything more, but it does continue to throw a few surprising curveballs. They’re dramatic, sure, but also mature and have a lot of social commentary wrapped up in them.
Maid Sama!is another classic romance manga, the reputation of which continues to this day.
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The 15 Greatest Romance Manga Of The Decade (According To GoodReads)
Ah, romance. It's one of the emotions that make the world spin on its axis -- and it also happens to be a genre that will never get old. No matter how filled with clichés a romance is, there are sure to be fans who will eat it up. The genre is equally prolific in animated form, as the vast majority of anime series begins with a series of manga, comic books, or light novels.
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Then there's the flip side where said clichés are reinvented and the story remains in your mind long after you've finished reading it. Romance is a varied genre that also touches on horror, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy, so there's something for everyone. Today we're going to be going through the traditional romantic stories, the flip side, and the combined classics that please a mix of audiences. We'll be listing 10 of the greatest romance manga of the decade, this time with ratings from Goodreads.
Updated by Kristy Ambrose, December 23, 2020: The romance genre of manga continues to grow, with new titles constantly being produced, translated, and released worldwide. Goodreads continues to be a valuable resource for book lovers and as they update their site, we update our lists as well. Here are a few more of the best manga of the decade, and several of the new entries are also the most recent if you're looking for a series to carry you into the next decade.
15 Love Me, Love Me Not (2020 - Present) - (3.97)
Writer and illustrator Io Sakisaka already has a fan following that will be interested in Love Me, Love Me Not, and her latest offering has the potential to attract new fans. The series has the same brilliant artwork as her previous creations, along with a tale of heartwarming romance.
This is the story of childhood friends Yuri and Hikari, who are complete opposites in every way, are inseparable until two boys named Rio and Kazuomi come along and disrupt their peaceful existence. It's a coming of age story that shows our protagonists how complex love and relationships can get.
14 Daily Butterfly (2012 - 2015) - (4.01)
Daily Butterfly was written and illustrated by Suu Morishita. It follows 15-year-old Suiren Shibazaki, a girl who garners attention because of her cute appearance, and 15-year-old Taichi Kawasumi, a quiet boy who also happens to be a karate champion. During the first day of school, every boy instantly fell in love with Suiren's looks with the only exception being Taichi.
As the story progresses they both fall in love with each other and date throughout the manga until their last year of high school. Daily Butterfly is also a slice-of-life romance meaning it makes a more lighthearted read than other manga.
13 A Tropical Fish Yearns For Snow (2017 - Present) - (4.04)
When the nervous and shy Konatsu Amano moves from the city to the country, she joins the unique club at her new school and discovers the eccentric Koyuki Honami is the only member. The friendship blossoms from there, and becomes more as the girls spend more time together.
Both Konatsu and Koyuki are reserved and lonely, and the story is about how they overcome these emotional barriers. The artwork, like the story, is simple and straightforward along with being profound and beautiful, with a compelling plot that has a slow burn until the very end.
12 After The Rain (2014 - 2018) - (4.05)
After the Rain, known in Japan as Love is Like After the Rain, was written and illustrated by Jun Mayuzuki. Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who falls in love with the manager of the family restaurant she works at, divorcee, Masami Kondo. Despite the large age gap, Akira can't deny her feelings and begins to fall in love with him.
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Prior, Akira suffered a leg injury that made her unable to run anymore and she fell into a depression, with Masami's act of kindness while she took shelter from the rain beginning her infatuation with him.
11 Honey So Sweet (2012 - 2015) - (4.10)
Honey So Sweet was written and illustrated by Amu Meguro. When Nao Kogure, a high school girl who is easily frightened, is asked out by delinquent Taiga Onise with the intent of marriage, she discovers how kind he is and that his reputation is a misunderstanding because of his frightening face and expression.
It's revealed Taiga fell in love with Amu ever since she patched his wounds after a fight and lent her umbrella to him when they were in middle school. It was at first a one-shot by the name of Granulated Sugar before being picked up for serialization.
10 How Do We Do Relationship? (2020 - Present) - (4.11)
A twist on the traditional trope of a "fake" relationship or "arranged" marriage that becomes real, except in this case the romance involves two women. Miwa has always known that she prefers women, but now that she's at university and away from her old surroundings, she can finally step out of the proverbial closet. She's also quite shy, however, and isn't sure how to even go about doing that.
Miwa turns to her slightly odd but popular friend Saeko for help and ends up getting more than she bargained for when the relationship they concoct to help Miwa come out becomes real. The manga uses more mature storytelling instead of falling back on tired cliches and remains a fan favorite.
9 So Cute It Hurts!! (><) (2013 - 2014) - (4.11)
So Cute it Hurts, also known beforehand as Kobayashi's So Cute it Hurts, was written and illustrated by Gou Ikeyamada, a popular mangaka known for the series I Like You Suzuki-kun and The Rumoured Midori-kun. When twins Megumu and Mitsuru Kobayashi become bored of attending schools filled with their own gender, they decide to switch places with one another.
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But when the possibilities of romance arise, their switch becomes more complicated than they first thought. So Cute it Hurts leans more on the comedic side of romance akin to Gou Ikeyamada's other series, but still has enough to hold fans' attention.
8 The Demon Prince Of Momochi House (2013 - 2019) - (4.13)
The Demon Prince of Momochi House was written and illustrated by Aya Shouoto and introduces the first supernatural romance series on the list. When orphan Himari Momochi receives a will detailing her inheritance on her 16th birthday, she is led to the Momochi Estate where she realizes there is a border between the real world and the spirit world.
After being attacked by a demon, she's saved by a mysterious boy who happens to be a youkai, Aoi Nanamori. Reminiscent of the much-beloved manga Kamisama Kiss, this series has garnered popularity for being one of the highest-rated supernatural manga on Goodreads.
7 Living Room Matsunaga-san (2018 - Present) - (4.17)
Living Room Matsunaga-san was written and illustrated by Keiko Iwashita. Similar to After the Rain, this manga also contains an age gap romance for those looking for something similar, except fluffier. When highschooler Miko leaves her parents' house to live in a boarding house, she meets a scary man named Jun Matsunaga.
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She soon discovers he's one of the tenants - the oldest, in fact - amongst her other odd adult housemates, but that he always looks after her. Will Matsunaga's kindness reach Miko's heart and blossom into something more? Living Room Matsunaga-san's premise captured the interest of many readers to become one of the most-favorited manga on Goodreads.
6 Takane And Hana (2015 - Present) - (4.19)
Takane and Hana was written and illustrated by Yuki Shiwasu. The 16-year-old Hana Nonomura takes her sister's place in an arranged marriage, meeting with 26-year-old (27-years-old in the later chapters) Takane Saibara, grandson of the Takaba Corporation. Despite him trying to woo her with lavish gifts, fancy restaurants, and trips across the world, Hana doesn't fall for it and instead, they come to an agreement about their arranged marriage.
Once again, it seems age gap romance is quite popular according to Goodreads. Although she finds his arrogant and rude personality unappealing, the more they meet the more they care for each other.
5 Inu X Boku SS (2009 - 2014) - (4.23)
Despite debuting in 2009, Inu x Boku SS was created near the end of the decade which makes it eligible for this list. Written and illustrated by the late Cocoa Fujiwara, the story follows the story of youkai. 15-year-old Ririchiyo is an Atavist, a human with demon ancestors, and holds the ability to be reincarnated if killed.
She moves to Maison de Ayakashi, a high-security apartment where people are guarded by their own Secret Service Bodyguard, in fear of hurting others with her sharp tongue. There, she meets Soushi Miketsukami, a man devoted to her wholly who also happens to be her Secret Service Bodyguard.
4 My Love Story!! (2011 - 2016) - (4.26)
My Love Story was written and illustrated by Aruko. There was also an anime adaption animated by Madhouse during Spring 2015 which brought more awareness to the manga before it concluded in 2016. A more unconventional love story, it follows Takeo Gouda, a tall first-year high school student who possesses a heart of gold.
After saving Rinko Yamato from being groped on the train, she falls in love with him and asks him to be her boyfriend. My Love Story serves its readers with a romance so sweet it will give anyone cavities and shows appearance doesn't discriminate when you fall in love.
3 Waiting For Spring (2014 - 2019) - (4.27)
For the last entry, Waiting for Spring is the most popular romance of the decade on Goodreads. Written and illustrated by Anashin, it follows Mistuki Haruno, a shy first-year high school student who struggles to form relationships with others and is determined to make friends.
But when four of the most popular boys in school, as well as on the basketball team, stop by the café she works at she finds herself reluctant to speak to them. That's until she discovers one of the boys, Towa Asakura, is surprisingly easy to talk to and forms a bond with him that soon blossoms in to love.
2 Blue Flag (2020 - Present) - (4.28)
There's the romance between two people, then there's the complex love triangle, but the love quadrangle becomes a precarious emotional maze. Blue Flagtakes place in a high school during the spring, a tense time for students especially for those in the senior year. The twist here is unexpected, as part of the unrequited emotions are based on same-sex attraction and old childhood friendships.
The story is about teenagers but takes on mature themes, such as the differences between love and friendship, and how people and situations aren't always what they seem. The series can also be found under its Japanese title, Ao no Flag.
1 Noragami, The Stray God (2012 - Present)
A crossover selection that touches on shonen, adventure, and fantasy as well as romance, Noragami, The Stray God combines a few old ideas but also brings in some fresh material to keep readers interested. The story isn't really about the titular character but a young girl named Hiyori Iki who gets mixed up in his adventures.
Delivery God Yato is a minor god who doesn't even have any worshippers, and he gets by doing odd jobs such as deliveries. He's trying to save his money and buy a shrine, but his situation is further complicated when his Shinki, or weapon partner, gets tired of being homeless and hungry and leaves him.
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Brianna Albert is an author, writer, reader, and seasonal anime watcher. She has been watching anime since before Naruto became Hokage and trying to figure out how to bend air since she was in kindergarten. She now works for Valnet, Inc, writing anime lists on Comic Book Resources, writing about television on Screenrant, as well as editing as a Junior Editor. In her spare time, she writes romance novels, works as a freelance Japanese translator, catches hearts in otome games, and binge watches K-Dramas. You can follow her and her witty tweets at @bagariellebook.
Romance manga isn’t the rare or unexplored genre, yet it always brings the readers’ newest content.
Whether it be Shoujo, Yuri, Yaoi, and other sub-genres, every romance manga consist of lovely and alluring characters.
So, why don’t we get into the list of best romance manga without wasting any of your precious time?
Best Romance Manga!
Hori and Miya, two different lives (although classmates) but hides the same personality inside. When they get close to each other, their lives take a turning point.
I can’t resist but make Horimiya no.1 on the list because there haven’t been that many anime and manga that hit me in the feels.
But Horimiya, with a perfect story, humour, characters, and on-point romance, left me speechless, and in the end, it became my favourite romance manga.
2. Skip Beat
Kyouko moves along with his lover, who decides to become an idol and works hard to make his dream possible. Unfortunately, he finds her boring, and Kyouko swears she’ll beat him in his own game.
Usually, revenge based stories don’t contain much romance. But this one is a pleasant surprise for me and you as well.
It has a standard storyline, exciting characters and never lets you down throughout the read.
Ritsuka Uenoyama got bored with everything, even with his passion, playing the guitar. But once he meets Mafuyu Sato, a vocalist, everything feels different in his life.
Given is a masterpiece of the yaoi manga genre. If you’re into boys’ love manga, then this one is a completed gold-standard romance manga.
A beautiful story with adorable characters that can make you cry, laugh and happy at times.
4. SQ: Begin W/Your Name
Sun Jing and Qiutong study at adjacent schools, and every day they meet at the bus station. For some reason, Sun feels Qiu’s smile as warm sunshine. Love?
Yet another odd and beautiful romance manhua on the list. Although it is a Yuri manhua, it is also a must-read for romance or shoujo lovers.
If you’re looking for a cute, fluffy, and heart-warming romance manga, then this one is for you.
5. Kaichou-wa Maid Sama
Misaki Ayuzawa became the student council’s president and known as “Demon President” for boys. But she has a secret as well since she works at a maid cafe.
When the most popular boy in the school, Takumi Usui, finds it out, he could now twist her around his little finger.
A story doesn’t need a strong base for it to be a pleasing romance and Maid-sama manga proves that statement.
With beautiful art, interesting characters, and hilarious moments, it is a perfect romance manga for you.
6. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Kaguya and Shinomiya are the elites of the academy and also a part of the student council. They both have fallen in love with each other but won’t express it because of pride.
Instead, they try to make the other one confess. Begins the war of love, and who wins in the end?
Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a phenomenal romance manga with a unique approach. It is pure perfection with a great blend of comedy and romance.
It also has an anime adaptation with two seasons, and it has successfully adapted the manga.
7. Tonikaku Kawaii
Tonikaku Kawaii follows Nasa Yuzaki, who falls in love with Tsukasa at first encounter. When he immediately confesses his love, she agrees but on one condition.
“I’ll go out with you, but only if we get married!” Here begins the beautiful newlywed couple’s journey with so many sweet, funny, and cute moments.
Right in the first chapter, this manga starts with an awkward scene and is super fun to read.
The main couple is cute, and romance is simply off the charts. So, make sure to read this fluffy romance manga.
8. A Bride’s Story
Otoyomegatari sets in a rural town of the 19th century and Amira Hergal comes through a distant village to marry Karluk. But it seems like it won’t be that easy.
Firstly, the art in this manga is splendid, making the viewer feel appreciative. It has a slice of life theme and never goes out of the story.
It also gives you a good meaning on the culture of Asia and how marriage practices tradition used to be.
9. Love so Life
Shiharu, a high schooler who works at a daycare, gets an offer to babysit two twins belong to Seiji. Soon she falls in love with his family and him?
I feel bad for placing it in No.9 but for now, let’s hope you’ve found this, thankfully. Love so Life is more like a “no-regret” type manga.
It is heartwarming, hilarious, and often makes you cry. So, you must read this one.
10.Taisho Maiden Fairytale
The story sets in the 19th century and revolves around Tamahiko, who loses his right arm in an accident. He is no longer considered an heir by his father.
Just when he wants to end this suffering life, Yuzuki, a teenage girl, comes as his bride to take care of him and also to become sunshine in his life.
Nothing is better than a bittersweet romance, and you have one right here. Everything is masterfully crafted in this beautiful story, and in my opinion, It is underrated.
11. Kimi no Todoke
Sawako Kuronuma is ignored by everyone in her class just because she resembles Sadako from the movie “Ring.”
But when class’s hottie Kazehaya becomes her only friend and gets close to her, a page of romance appears in her life’s diary.
Some people love this manga, and some people think it is dull. So it is up to you to decide what category are you in.But one thing is for sure; it is a fantastic romance manga.
12. Just One Smile is Very Alluring
LuWeiWei is a top-class player in an online game and also a beauty in her college’s department. But soon, she falls in love with the most popular guy in the entire university.
Naturally, Chinese romance manhua or drama have a separate fanbase. And this manhua is all you need to know why they’re so good.
It also has a Chinese drama with the name “Love 020.” I particularly love romance a lot in this one.
Mei is a heart surgeon who lets off stress through sex and always thinks of it as a tool of joy but not affection.
But when she meets Lynn in the hospital corridor, her whole life changes and will she finally learn the true meaning of sex?
Pulse is yet another yuri/GL webtoon with one amazing concept. The romance feels not only beautiful but also erotic and lusty.
14. Cross Game
The story is about Kou Kitamura and his friends who determine to fulfil the wish of the person he values dearly.
The concept mainly revolves around the game Baseball, and surprisingly, there is enough romance to spark a little interest in you.
The story is so good, and the concept of Shoujo romance is already very familiar among the youth these days.
Ozawa has just got out of a relationship, and she meets Oyamada, a loner and finds his personality attractive.
Soon they both get closer to each other, and a glint of romance sparks between them.
Bonnouji is a beautiful romance manga with a simple and sweet storyline. It feels cute and more realistic than regular ones.
The way it shows both the leads and how they led their lives makes you feel attached to the characters.
16. Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
A man and woman meet again and again in three different lives through countless coincidences. Will they get together by facing all these trials?
Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms or Eternal Love is one of the most obsessive manhuas I’ve read. It also has a Chinese drama with the same name.
The artwork in this manga is truly astonishing, and the characters are very well-drawn.
17. Dengeki Daisy
The story follows Teru, a kind girl who has nothing but a cellphone left by her brother before passing away.
The only source of Teru’s encouragement is Daisy, who connects with her through the cellphone.
The best selling point in the manga is its characters, and the flow of the story is flawless.
While the humor is quite attractive, the romance between the characters is so good.
18. Red River
The story follows a young girl named Yuri who gets transported to Hattusa by Queen Nakia to use her as a human sacrifice.
The only way for her to survive is by becoming the concubine of the empire. What awaits her in the future?
Red River is one of the most beautiful manga I’ve read, and with a constantly engaging plot, it never disappoints us.
The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are flawless, and literally, everything in this romance manga is perfect.
19. Last Game
Yanagi used to be No.1 at everything until Kujou joins his school. Deciding to beat her, he follows wherever she goes, and you know, the sweet romance begins.
Last Game is a twisted yet pure love story as it shows how desperate Yanagi becomes towards Kanagi.
It is an excellent combination of a sweet love story and intriguing humor. This romance manga will definitely make you read until the ending chapter.
20. Lovely Complex
The story is about a tall girl named Risa and a short boy named Atsushi who end up becoming classmates.
Explore their life journeys as how this unusual romance builds up between them.
This shoujo romance manga has gained a lot of popularity among manga lovers worldwide.
With a beautiful story, engaging characters, and hilarious moments, it constantly entices the reader.
21. Nodame Cantabile
Shinichi is a top-notch musician, and his phobia of flying makes him stay in Japan. When he meets Megumi, her music sense makes him fall for her right away.
Music and Romance stick like bread and jam. This manga gives me the feels of “Your Lie in April” sometimes, although the plot differs greatly.
The characters, story, and music all are likeable, and you would find romance more appealing between the main leads.
The story follows a maid Emma and a young son of a merchant William Jones who both fall in love, but society forbids this relationship.
The works of Kaoru Mori (mangaka) always shows realism, and in this one, you can pretty much know why.
While the chemistry between the characters is undoubtedly unique, the story makes it even more impressive.
23. High School Debut
Haruna, a softball pitcher, has never been in love, and since she’s in high school now, she wants a shoujo manga style relationship.
She hires Yoh, who doesn’t like girls since they always bring troubles but helps Haruna on one condition: not to fall in love with him.
High School Debut is one of the romance mangas where you find every chapter with not much surprise but yet can’t stop reading every one of them.
The characters are awesome and make the whole show exciting. So, you might as well add this one to your list.
The story follows Yuzuko Aihara and Mei Aihara, two step-sisters who both form an unlikely relationship, and as it gets complicated, their love for each other grows.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Yuri manga, and with Citrus, it leapt into a whole new level.
Firstly, the artwork in the manga is gorgeous, and the characters are so good. With every chapter, it made me obsessive and probably it’ll make you the same.
25. Futari no Rekai Shoka
The story explores the romance between a bookstore owner named Kanako and a teenager named Akio who loves reading books.
Futari no Rekai Shoka is a cute little love story with a fascinating couple. Although it has only a few chapters, those are more than enough to captivate you.
If you’re looking for a short romance manga with a sweet storyline, then this one is for you.
After having the whole banquet, wouldn’t it be nice to have a dessert? Well, here are a few more romance manga recommendations with a slight change in genres.
Shoujo Romance Manga Recommendations:
- Ao Haru Ride
- Gakuen Alice
- I’Win You Over, Senpai!
- Yona of the Dawn
- Paradise Kiss
High School Romance Manga Recommendations:
- Hibi Chouchu
- Special A
- My Little Monster
- I Give My First Love to You
A Word from Us!
Well, that sums up the list, and you have a whole lot of 25 lovely and amazing titles that can keep you occupied for at least a couple of weeks.
These romance manga on the list are all well-balanced with romance and plot. So, you’ll enjoy every one of them without any dissatisfaction.
So, what do you think about our list? Do you think any other manga deserves a spot on the list? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
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We don’t do manga series in our recommendations here, just anime. However, that doesn’t mean that anime fans don’t want to lie in bed and read a few good chapters quietly before bed. Instead of branching out into manga recommendations, we’re going to give you a few good ones that you can look into. So if you want to read some good romance manga or are just some sort of anime hipster that wants to be all “I read the manga before it was cool and animated,” then check out these romance manga recommendations below.
A quick preface here, any romance manga fan will know that romance manga has a lot of cliches. I’ve included some of the more cliched scenarios below, but also tried to present more unique alternatives. I like romance manga, but the same story in a million different ways tends to wear.
With a meteorite headed towards Earth, humanity was facing an extinction-level event. In order to preserve mankind, the government started many programs. However, the one for the worst case scenario was to place 7 young people each in five different teams (Spring, Summer A, Summer B, Autumn and Winter). They were put into deep preservative sleep and hidden away safely. Hundreds of years later, they wake up suddenly to find the world much different, dangerous, and empty than they left it with much of plant and animal life evolved to survive and all humanity aside from the teams gone.
(This is very much a love story at many times (a good one with many couples) but it is also, in truth, a really good manga outside of the romance genre as well. One of my favorites despite the art.)
Teru’s only family in the world, her brother, passed away. However, before he died, he gave her a cell phone and told her if she ever needed help or just to talk to contact someone called Daisy. To this day, this mysterious cell phone person remains a confidant. After a certain event, she finds herself in debt and needing to work with the rude, yet handsome school janitor. However, are her different world’s more closely connected than she thought?
Kira is a shy high school girl that lives only for her art. Rei is a violent and rebellious playboy who does what he wants. They are complete opposites. Although Kira initially fears him, when she sees Rei kissing a statue of Mars, she asks him to model for her. To everyone’s surprise, he agrees.
Japanese-American Mizuki has a passion for track and field, so much so, she transfers to a prestigious school know for its track in Japan. However, athletics are not her only reason for transferring, it is also the school where her idol and once-national track star Sano attends. The issue is that it is an All-Boys school. Now she must keep her gender a secret, but will it stay a secret?
Kaguya Wants to be Confessed To
Considered a genius because of his top scores, Shirogane is also the student council president of his prestigious academy. By his side is his equally intelligent vice-president Kaguya. The student body think they make an excellent couple, even though they are not together. The reality of the situation is that they have both developed feelings for each other, but their pride prevents them from confessing first. So begins a war of love to rock the ages.
House of the Sun
After her mother left and her father remarried, Mao Motomiya feels like she is unwelcome in her own home. One night while she is eating a cheap convenience store dinner at the local shrine, she runs into Hiro Nakamura. Once her childhood friend, she hasn’t seen him in a long time. However, he offers for her to come and stay with him. She reluctantly accepts, and there she learns that Hiro has a dream of his own, reuniting his younger siblings in their house, who have been living apart after their parents passed away.
The Daytime Shooting Star
After her parents moved for work, Suzume Yosano decides to move to the city to live with her uncle. On the way to her uncle’s place, she gets lost, but luckily a kind young man comes to her aid and guides her. However, it turns out she will be seeing a lot more of him as he turns out to be her homeroom teacher.
High School Debut
In middle school, Haruna was a softball ace, but she has different goals for high school. She wants a boyfriend. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to be attractive or fashionable. However, after an encounter with the cold, but fashionable Yo, she manages to persuade him to teacher her how to be more attractive to boys.
Yuki Machida is the oldest of a very large family. She became accustomed to making sacrifices for her siblings, especially when it comes to burying feelings. However, one day she decides to do something daring, not expecting anything to come of it. She decides to manage the boy’s basketball team to inch closer to her crush. However, instead a new member of the team takes an aggressive interest in her. He is a man that has no issue letting his desires be known.
In order to relax, Minedera Zen has a bad habit of taking up-skirt shots of girls. However, one day he takes a shot of the wrong woman. She catches and begins to blackmail him. It isn’t money she wants, but rather to wrap him up in a twisted bondage relationship.
Koizora: Setsunai Koimonogatari
Moka, like all girls, dreams of a wonderful life. However, the reality of her life is not quite so happy. One day she meets Hiro, and the time she spends with him is the happiest fleeting moments of her life. (It’s hard to properly convey this without spoilers, but this one is packed full of many tragedies.)
Please Love the Useless Me
Shibata Michiko is unemployed, but enamored with a younger man. She does everything to keep him happy, including depriving herself to buy him expensive clothes. Unfortunately, he devastatingly breaks up with her. Depressed and out on the hunt for a job, she runs into a former boss that she used to hate.
While only half way through her first year of high school, Chiemi Yusa has already been suspended twice for fighting. After starting a third fight and with expulsion on the line, her teachers gives her a unique offer: get classmate and fellow fighter Akifumi “Deranged Devil” Hirata to behave. With a clean record on the line, she goes on the attack.
As she was growing up, Sasara always knew that her twin brother Tatara was the “child of destiny,” a child prophesied of overthrown the oppressive government. However, after her brother is killed in battle, Sasara disguises herself as him. She meets a mysterious and secret-laden man named Shuri, with whom she gathers a group of fighters that aim to overthrow the tyrannous Red King.
After being constantly rejected by men she attempts to date, Riiko Izawa decides to randomly sign up for a free trial of a Nightly Lover figure. However, the next day, she is shocked to discover a real and naked man delivered to her doorstep. He is perfect in every way, and dedicated to her. However, as she grows more attached, she also realizes she needs to return him before the end of the trial or pay a million dollars.
If you have more good romance manga recommendations, let fans know in the comments section below.
As an extra addition, while they both have anime series, both the Blue Spring Ride manga and My Little Monster manga are excellent. Instead of hoping for second seasons that won’t happen, I recommend reading them because their anime series don’t do them justice.