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What are the best romance manga series?

When it comes to manga, male readers have access to a wider selection of titles and genres to choose from compared to female readers. None is as popular with male readers as shonen is, featuring over-the-top action and fight sequences. Female readers might feel left out in all of this as a result. This is where the shoujo or shojo genre comes in, which is a genre marketed specifically to female readers. The term is actually the Japanese word for "girl". The genre itself covers many subjects in various narrative styles ranging from historical drama to sci-fi. There is one differentiating factor though that sets it apart from the shonen manga genre. Shojo manga typically focuses more on relationships and emotions. In that regard, shojo manga actually focuses more on its target demographic rather than on the various genres themselves.

When shojo manga reached Western shore though, things got a bit more ambiguous. It wouldn't be uncommon for fans in the west to classify a title as shojo even though its Japanese creators label them differently. Anything that is non-offensive and features female character is classified as shojo manga. A good example of this is the manga Azumanga Daioh, which is classified as a shonen manga in Japan. This brings us to the main topic of this discussion, romance manga series. This western misconception extends to this popular shojo manga genre as well. Anything that has any sort of romance element to it, gets categorized as shojo manga. Prime examples of this are the shonen series, Love Hina and the seinen series, Oh My Goddess! All of this is quite confusing, we know. Regardless, what matters the most is that we're enjoying what we're reading, right? With that said, we went ahead and made a list of some of the best romance manga series that you guys can check out and read today. Have a look below and tell us your thoughts in the comments section as well. 

31 comments
  1. 1Ao Haru Ride

    79

    Ao Haru Ride is a romance manga series that follows the rising love interest between Yoshioka Futaba and her childhood friend, Mabuchi Kou and the struggles they face at the start of their budding romance.

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  1. 2Fruits Basket (Vol. 1)

    77

    Fruits Basket is a romance manga series following Tohru Honda, an orphan who lives with the Sohma family with a special secret. They transform into the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac animals when hugged by the opposite sex.

  2. 3Kamisama Kiss

    76

    Kamisama Kiss is a romance manga series that follows our unlikely heroine, Momozono Nanao has a chance encounter with a guy with fox ears in an abandoned shrine that later ends up with her in a divine agreement with this mysterious stranger.

  1. 4Skip Beat! (Vol. 1)

    75

    Kyoko heads for Tokyo to follow and support, Sho, as he makes it as a big celebrity. Realizing that she's being treated badly and being disregarded, she decided to enter the show business to beat him in this funny romance manga series.

  2. 5Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Vol. 1)

    75

    Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is a shojo romance manga series that follows the life of Sawako Kuronuma, a high school girl that is made fun of because of her appearance. Her life changes when a popular boy in school, Shouta Kazehaya takes notice of her.

  3. 6Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 1)

    72

    A scholar-student in an exclusive school for the rich and famous named Haruhi broke an $80,000 worth of vase. To pay back for the damages that she has done, she has to work for the Ouran High School Host Club.

  4. 7Hana-Kimi (Vol. 1)

    68

    Ashiya Mizuki started to idolize a high-jump athlete, Izumi Sano, after watching him play in a competition. Mizuki decided to follow Sano by entering where he studies - an all-boys school. Now, she must disguise herself to stay by his side.

  5. 8Watashi ni xx Shinasai!

    67

    Watashi ni xx Shinasai! (Missions of Love) is a shojo romance manga novel by Ema Toyama. Published by Kodansha USA in 2018, this manga tells the story of Yukina Himuro and Shigure Kitami.

  6. 9InuYasha (Vol. 1)

    60
    Kagome discovers a magical well that brought her to a different dimension where she met a half-demon called Inu-Yasha. Together, they plan to recover the lost pieces of "Jewel of Four Souls" before the evil mortals get their hands on it.
  7. 10Gakuen Alice

    59

    Alice Academy is a special school for people with paranormal talent or "Alice". Mikan decided to follow her childhood best friend Hotaru to this prestigious school. Now, she must also learn how to use her rare power just like her friend.

  8. 11Absolute Boyfriend (Vol. 1)

    57
    Absolute Boyfriend (Vol. 1) is a Romance manga by Yuu Watase. It was first serialized in Shojo Comic from 2003 to 2005. Viz Media is the publisher of this manga’s English version.
  9. 12Ranma 1/2 (Vol. 1)

    51

    Ranma 1/2 (Vol. 1) is a fantasy romance manga created by Rumiko Takahashi. This humorous romance sequential art manga is first published in 1988 and about Ranma who turns into a girl.  

  10. 13Paradise Kiss (Vol. 1)

    47

    Paradise Kiss is a romantic drama manga written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa. This manga tells the story of Yukari Hayasaka and her struggle to balance modeling and school. Paradise Kiss has 5 published volumes.

  11. 14Backstage Prince (Vol. 1)

    45

    Backstage Prince is a romance manga written and illustrated by Kanoko Sakurakoji. This manga tells the story of a high school girl named Akari and her chance encounter with Ryusei, a famous kabuki actor. Backstage Prince has 2 volumes.

  12. 15Mugen Spiral (Vol. 1)

    42

    Mugen Spiral or Dream Spiral is a fantasy romance manga with two volumes written by Mizuho Kusanagi and published by Hakusensha in Japanese and Tokyopop in English. This features the story of Yayoi and Ura.

  13. 16Fall In Love Like a Comic (Vol. 1)

    38

    Fall In Love Like a Comic is a romantic comedy manga written and illustrated by Chitose Yagami. This manga was serialized in the Ciao magazine. It was originally published in 2002.

  14. 17Stray Love Hearts

    37

    Stray Love Hearts is a romantic comedy shojo manga written and illustrated by Aya Shouoto. This manga was serialized in Sylph magazine in 2008. Stray Love Hearts or S.L.H has 5 published volumes.

  15. 18Mistress Bought and Paid For

    34

    Mistress Bought and Paid For is written by Lynne Graham and illustrated by Junko Okada. It is about Lydia who took part in a fashion show organized for charity purposes. When a robbery happened and she took the blame, Christiano helped her. 

  16. 19Tokyo Crazy Paradise (Vol. 1)

    30

    Tokyo Crazy Paradise is a comic book by Yoshiki Nakamura that tells the story of a woman who disguised herself as a man. She worked as a bodyguard of the third generation boss of the Yakuza group. 

  17. 20Blue Moon Bride

    27

    Blue Moon Bride is written by Renee Roszel and illustrated by Kako Ito. Hannah resigned after she was called "below average" by her boss and unexpected things happened when she takes a vacation at Blue Moon Inn. 

  18. 21To Marry a Stranger

    27

    To Marry a Stranger is written by Renee Roszel and illustrated by Takako Hashimoto. Love Mansion, who is popular for unmarried women who wants to fall in love, is visited by Helen. Will she find her true love because of a legend?

  19. 22Voice Over! (Vol. 1)

    26

    Voice Over! (Vol. 1) is young adult romance manga created by Maki Minami. This young adult sequential art manga is the first book in Seiyu Academy series and first published in 2009.

  20. 23Tenshi Ja Nai!! (Vol. 1)

    25
    Tenshi Ja Nai!! (Vol. 1) is a young adult romance fiction manga created by Takako Shigematsu. This sequential art manga is first published in 2005 by Go!Comi. 
  21. 24Angel Diary (Vol. 1)

    22

    Angel Diary (Vol. 1) is a fantasy romance manhwa illustrated by Kara and authored by Lee Yoon-hee. This sequential art manga is first published in 2005 by Yen Press.

  22. 25MeruPuri (Vol. 1)

    20
    MeruPuri is a comedy manga series illustrated and written by Matsuri Hino. This manga follows the story of Airi Hoshina and her search for love. MeruPuri was published in four volumes.
  23. 26W Juliet (Vol. 1)

    18

    W Juliet (Vol. 1) is a romance manga created by Emura. This shojo sequential art manga is first published in 1999 and about Ito Miura who played Romeo in a play. 

  24. 27The Earl & the Fairy (Vol. 1)

    14

    The Earl & the Fairy (Vol. 1) is a graphic novel and a historical fiction book written by Mizue Tani for young adults. This romance-themed manga was published on March 6, 2012 by VIZ Media LLC.

  25. 28Sakura Gari

    11

    Sakura Gari is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. The manga is set in the 1920s in Japan and also the author's first manga with a young male protagonist. Sakura Gari was first published in 2007.

  26. 29The Water Dragon's Bride (Vol. 1)

    10

    The Water Dragon's Bride (Vol. 1) is a young adult fantasy manga created by Rei Toma. This sequential art shojo manga is published in 2015 by Viz Media LLC. 

  27. 30Her Majesty's Dog (Vol. 1)

    7
    Her Majesty's Dog (Vol. 1) is a romance fantasy supernatural manga created by Mick Takeuchi. This sequential 11-volume art manga is first published in 2001 by Go Cumi.
  28. 31Kiss/Hug (Vol. 1)

    1

    Kiss/Hug is a romantic comedy manga written and illustrated by Mitsuki Kako. This manga tells the story of a transfer student from England named Ryuu and his encounter with an attractive lady on the night of the Tanabata festival.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that the manga "Ookami Shojou to Kuro Ouji" is one of the most loved romance manga? This top romance manga has sold over 2.4 million copies as of April 2014. While the 7th volume reached the number four place on the Oricon weekly manga chart, the company that supplies statistics on different fields in Japan with 102,872 copies sold.

"Ookami Shojou to Kuro Ouji" or most commonly known as Wolf Girl and Black Prince is a Japanese romance manga series written by Ayuko Hatta. Its story revolves around a high school student named Erika Shinohara that wants to fit in a clique so that she would not be lonely. But because her friends consist of girls who have boyfriends, she lied and tell that she also has one. She then met a guy named Kyoyo Sata and made him pretend that he is her boyfriend. It was adapted into a drama CD in 2013. It also had an anime adaptation by TYO Animations aired in Japan that ran from October 2, 2014, to December 21, 2014, lasting for twelve episodes. A movie adaptation was released on May 28, 2016. It stars Japanese actors Fumi Nikaido and Kento Yamazaki as leads and Nobuyuki Suzuki and Mugi Kadowaki as supporting casts. Despite the criticisms the series has encountered, these adaptions make Wolf Girl and Black Prince as one of the best romance manga.

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31 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    April 6, 2018
    "Don’t buy this if you can’t read French, the translations aren’t great and there’s a lot of cultural stuff you’ll miss out on. But if you’re looking for the definitive French Romance Manga, this is it. The only one. Stray Love Hearts is definitely one of my top 10 mangas, largely for being both entertaining and unique. Great art, too. I’ve read it a couple of times and always notice new character details or foreshadowing. It’s got a rich plot with a lot of twists, focused on likeable characters with real problems; in that sense, it’s a lot less outlandish than most mangas, but it’s definitely a fun read. Comes highly recommended for the other French-speaking manga fan out there."
    Refering to:
    17
    Stray Love Hearts
  • #2
    A
    Anonymous
    March 24, 2018
    "I've been looking into these Japanese stories called mangas for about week now and decided to pick this up. It's actually not bad, the writing in decent and the characters do get a fair amount of character progression though out the story. My only gripe is that these things are pretty short and quite pricey for what they are. Certainly a decent read though."
    Refering to:
    21
    To Marry a Stranger
  • #3
    A
    Anonymous
    May 5, 2018
    "I purchased this book for my niece that is a huge manga fan. It is appropriate for a teenager and the illustrations are just fantastic. My niece loves art and she has successfully copied many of the illustrations from the book. She liked the story line a lot too. She has even asked me to get her more books from the series."
    Refering to:
    15
    Mugen Spiral (Vol. 1)
  • #4
    A
    Anonymous
    March 27, 2018
    "Pretty interesting treatment of the romance manga genre. Love the traditional theater (kabuki) thread and how it parallels the real-world plot. I would say this is ideal if you or your teen wants to get into this kind of manga without wading through a bunch of sexy crap with little quality."
    Refering to:
    14
    Backstage Prince (Vol. 1)
  • #5
    A
    Anonymous
    April 23, 2018
    "I don't typically read manga like this, but it was an interesting story, and very unique. The manga is about a performance of Romeo & Juliet that turns into an actual romance story. The interesting thing about it is the gender roles go against the norm and are actually kind of reversed."
    Refering to:
    26
    W Juliet (Vol. 1)
  • #6
    A
    Anonymous
    May 13, 2018
    "This is an OK book but not one of my favorite. Granted it is geared toward young adults so the romance content is going to be a bit watered down for my taste. All in all it might make a good read for the younger crowd but anyone out of their teens should probably look elsewhere."
    Refering to:
    27
    The Earl & the Fairy (Vol. 1)
  • #7
    A
    Anonymous
    April 14, 2018
    "Enjoyable read. This is a light-hearted story that focuses on character development, and Hime Kino's development is one that I want to see! It reminds of Skip Beat! in that sense where it focuses on individual growth and focuses on getting successful in the acting industry."
    Refering to:
    22
    Voice Over! (Vol. 1)
  • #8
    A
    Anonymous
    February 13, 2018
    "This appears to fit this search well in terms of the genre of manga. There are no user reviews though, so I don't know if this is a very good choice among the genre and competing products. I'd rather see something similar with user reviews to tell me what to expect from it."
    Refering to:
    8
    Watashi ni xx Shinasai!
  • #9
    A
    Anonymous
    July 11, 2018
    "This manga has such a different art style compared to other mangas out there. Storywise, if you're into lighthearted stuff, consider reading something else. If you want heavy drama and cold(but complex) characters like the main male protag, give this a try."
    Refering to:
    13
    Paradise Kiss (Vol. 1)
  • #10
    A
    Anonymous
    July 11, 2018
    "This is SO CUTE! I love the trope that her roommate has a big secret and Hikaru is trying her best to keep it. I want to reveal more about the story but honestly, Y'all should just read it to find yourself screaming muffled to your pillow and all that."
    Refering to:
    23
    Tenshi Ja Nai!! (Vol. 1)
  • #11
    A
    Anonymous
    March 27, 2018
    "Nice short read if you don't have a lot of time on your hands. If you are a lover of manga like me this read is a must have. This manga is a short romance novel that will keep you interested and it's perfect if you like cutesy high school romance."
    Refering to:
    16
    Fall In Love Like a Comic (Vol. 1)
  • #12
    A
    Anonymous
    February 12, 2018
    "By all dimensions of storytelling, this episodic adventure satisfies all and every one of them. Consistently great. Great characters. a love story, a great love story. a story that needs to be told rather than one that is just repeated."
    Refering to:
    9
    InuYasha (Vol. 1)
  • #13
    A
    Anonymous
    July 11, 2018
    "This is definitely one of the most hilarious manga intros i've ever read, haruhi was just looking for a quiet place to study and suddenly her world is shaken to the core! I'm also laughing at how they thought she was a guy at first."
    Refering to:
    6
    Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 1)
  • #14
    A
    Anonymous
    March 20, 2018
    "If you like Romance manga series get Mistress Bought and Paid For. This was a really inviting tale and made a ton of sense as far as the plot construction. I was really into what was going on in the book and loved it from day one."
    Refering to:
    18
    Mistress Bought and Paid For
  • #15
    A
    Anonymous
    April 25, 2018
    "This was different and I liked it. The pictures are excellent and the story is unique because of the period and Japanese culture of the time. It was like taking a historical journey through pre-war Japan."
    Refering to:
    28
    Sakura Gari
  • #16
    A
    Anonymous
    April 30, 2018
    "I was never really into Manga until a friend of mine made me read Her Majesty's Dog (Vol. 1). This romance/fantasy really pulled me in and made me want to read all of the others in the series."
    Refering to:
    30
    Her Majesty's Dog (Vol. 1)
  • #17
    A
    Anonymous
    February 14, 2018
    "This is a stand out romance manga. The premise is different than anything else I have read and it has a good amount of comedy to it. If you want something more lighthearted I'd recommend it."
    Refering to:
    7
    Hana-Kimi (Vol. 1)
  • #18
    A
    Anonymous
    April 11, 2018
    "MeruPuri is actually really well delivered and hilarious. The storyline is surprisingly deep, and the characters are so lovable and authentic, I actually felt like I was getting to know them."
    Refering to:
    25
    MeruPuri (Vol. 1)
  • #19
    A
    Anonymous
    February 12, 2018
    "Fruits Basket is a wonderful manga book. Fruit Baskets fits perfectly with the accompanying anime. The characters are well developed and storylines are a great journey to travel along."
    Refering to:
    2
    Fruits Basket (Vol. 1)
  • #20
    A
    Anonymous
    March 19, 2018
    "I think Kiss/Hug (Vol. 1) is a must-read. I consider Kiss/Hug (Vol. 1) to be the best romance manga series. I like the context so far and await the upcoming volumes of Kiss/Hug."
    Refering to:
    31
    Kiss/Hug (Vol. 1)
  • #21
    A
    Anonymous
    February 10, 2018
    "Absolute Boyfriend is written well but it's mainly suited for females. Even if it's not aimed at a male audience the art style is superb and the story telling is great as well."
    Refering to:
    11
    Absolute Boyfriend (Vol. 1)
  • #22
    A
    Anonymous
    April 19, 2018
    "Ranma 1/2 is an absolutely fantastic read for just about anyone regardless of experience with manga and anime. It is a very long series but worth every single page."
    Refering to:
    12
    Ranma 1/2 (Vol. 1)
  • #23
    A
    Anonymous
    May 4, 2018
    "I was surprised by this manga series. The Water Dragon's Bride is advertised as a romance book but it has some twists and turns that make this book seriously good."
    Refering to:
    29
    The Water Dragon's Bride (Vol. 1)
  • #24
    A
    Anonymous
    July 11, 2018
    "This manga is so cute and bittersweet! I love Kou so much and I always re-read this manga and watch the anime whenever i'm feeling extra sentimental uwu"
    Refering to:
    1
    Ao Haru Ride
  • #25
    A
    Anonymous
    February 15, 2018
    "This manga sucked me in from the first few pages and I had to keep on reading. I enjoy all the characters especially Sawako, who is quite endearing."
    Refering to:
    5
    Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Vol. 1)
  • #26
    A
    Anonymous
    February 6, 2018
    "Skip Beat! is one if the best new romance manga series. The artwork is amazing and the characters are just so sweet. I can't wait to read more."
    Refering to:
    4
    Skip Beat! (Vol. 1)
  • #27
    A
    Anonymous
    March 24, 2018
    "This is a great book of the romance manga genre. It has all the elements of a romance novel but set in the Manga anime world."
    Refering to:
    20
    Blue Moon Bride
  • #28
    A
    Anonymous
    February 2, 2018
    "Kamisama Kiss is a romance-comedy manga with lots of twists. It's worth looking into for manga fans and fans of the genre."
    Refering to:
    3
    Kamisama Kiss
  • #29
    A
    Anonymous
    February 8, 2018
    "Gakuen Alice is my favorite manga series. It is a romance series that is pretty cool. I like the music in it too."
    Refering to:
    10
    Gakuen Alice
  • #30
    A
    Anonymous
    April 20, 2018
    "This is a great choice. It is what I was looking for. It's good if you're looking for a romance manga series."
    Refering to:
    24
    Angel Diary (Vol. 1)
  • #31
    A
    Anonymous
    July 11, 2018
    "This is one of my few favorite romance manga and I wish they'd turn it into an anime series someday"
    Refering to:
    19
    Tokyo Crazy Paradise (Vol. 1)
This list is about What are the best romance manga series
RankAnswersTypeVotesPrice
1Ao Haru RideBooks 79 Paid
2Fruits Basket (Vol. 1)Books 77 Paid
3Kamisama KissBooks 76 Paid
4Skip Beat! (Vol. 1)Books 75 Paid
5Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Vol. 1)Books 75 Paid
6Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 1)Books 72 Paid
7Hana-Kimi (Vol. 1)Books 68 Paid
8Watashi ni xx Shinasai!Books 67 Paid
9InuYasha (Vol. 1)Books 60 Paid
10Gakuen AliceBooks 59 Paid
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