Hello! We are back with our weekly recommendation. I am currently head over heels in love with manga. I love how, with manga, I can easily binge 2-3 episodes worth of anime faster and in a lot more detail.
But anyway, today's topic of discussion is the 25 best shoujo manga of all time.
Note: This was only edited, not originally written, by Cody Perez. This may not necessarily reflect Cody’s views.
You may be wondering why manga. Why not anime? Wouldn't it be better if I recommended the anime versions of these mangas instead? Well, no. It wouldn't. There are a few reasons why manga is the better choice here.
First, there are a lot of parts in a manga that gets excluded when it's being adapted into an anime. Second, as I said, it would be way faster if you read the manga rather than watching the anime. And, last but not the least, some of these titles have not been adapted into anime yet, even though they are quite good.
As usual, I will refer to Myanimelist for the scores. Now, without further ado, let's start with number 25.
The Best Shoujo Manga of All Time
25. Missions of Love
Yukina Himuro, a third year junior high school student, has a reputation. She is referred to as the “Absolute Zero Snow Woman” by her classmates due to her cold gaze and demeanor. Yukina is also a famous novelist.
One day, Yukina overhears the student council president, Shigure Kitami, who is popular with girls and good manners, rejecting one of the girls who confessed his love for her. Yukina notices that he writes something down in a book. Yukina approaches Shigure later and makes him take up what she calls his “Mission”.
24. Vampire Knight
Yuki's earliest memory is a stormy winter night when she was attacked by a renegade vampire and saved by, Kaname Kuran, a pure-blood vampire. Ten years later, Yuki is adopted by the daughter of the director of the Cross Academy, Kaien Cross, and becomes the guardian of the vampire race.
At her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend whose hatred of beings who destroy everything he loves has given him trust issues. This coexistence arrangement seems fine. But have the vampires really given up on their way of killing humans? Or is there some darker truth behind their actions?
23. Hibi Chouchou
Whenever Suiren Shibazeki walks by, everyone's eye is on her, savoring her cuteness and charm. In fact, boys paid so much attention to her in elementary school that she avoided it altogether. She attends an all-girls' high school hoping to avoid unwanted attention, but her classmates' attention still suffocates her.
After graduating high school, Suiren returns to a co-ed school and takes center stage again. One day, a boy named Kouha Kawasumi, a talented karate student who is equally quiet, saves her from a group of boys. Thus, begins a heartwarming romance that blossoms between the two soft-spoken youths.
22. Say I Love You
Say I Love You is one of the best shoujo mangas and ranks 22nd on our list. 16-year-old Mei Tachibana decides she does not need friends because friends just end up hurting her. She is the complete opposite of Yamato Kurosawa, the most popular boy in school, who has dated several girls in his year. Mei's aloof behavior immediately catches the attention of Yamato, who vows to be her friend no matter what.
The two teenagers soon get into an unusual relationship, much to the chagrin of Mei and her jealous classmates. As they get closer, Mei must determine whether or not his affection is real and whether she has the courage to say “I love you.”
21. Cheeky Brat
Yuki Machida, a sophomore high school student, is the school's basketball team manager. During the welcoming ceremony, she meets Sho Naruse, a cheeky student who is a year younger than her and also joins the basketball team. Day after day, Sho tests her patience with his selfish and lustful comments.
However, Yuki is in love with the basketball team captain Kido, who recently got himself a girlfriend. One day, Sho learns of Yuki's feelings for Kido. After the last game of the year, Sho admits to Yuki that he is in love with her and declares he will win her affection. Finally, Yuki confesses her feelings to Sho, and they become a couple.
20. Strobe Edge
Middle school student Ninako Kinoshita had never fallen in love with anyone until she met her popular schoolmate, Ren Ichinose, while taking the train to school. She gradually falls in love with him, although she has to face the fact that Ren is already in a committed relationship with Mayuka Korenaga, a model and older sister of her friend Daiki, whose love confession Ninako rejects. Through Ren, Ninako is also introduced to her friend Takumi Ando, who, despite her inclinations as a girl, is entirely in love with her.
19. High School Debut
While in high school, Haruna Nagashima immerses herself in the game of softball while secretly hoping to find romance. For her, high school has just begun, and now is the perfect time to fall in love with a potential boyfriend. But there is one problem: she does not know where to start.
On the first day of school, she accidentally runs into You Komiyama, the year's most popular boy. Considering his stunning looks and popularity, Haruna is sure he can help her with her problem. The handsome boy reluctantly agrees to teach her everything about love on one condition: she must not fall in love with him.
18. My Little Monster
Shizuku Mizutani is a so-called “study bug” who does not really care about her classmates and instead strives to become a successful professional like her mother. Her world changes, however, when she is bribed to deliver the notebook of the delinquent Yoshida Haru, the school drop-out.
Despite their confrontational introduction, Haru soon becomes convinced that they are friends and even goes so far as to confess his love for her. As she spends more time with Haru, Shizuku learns that behind his rugged outward appearance, he has a kind and honest soul.
17. Ao Haru Ride
Futaba Yoshioka is a 16-year-old high school student who tries to fit in with his peers by acting “unfeminine” because her classmates ostracized her out of jealousy in the past. One day, she meets Kou Tanaka, her first love, who had previously moved to Nagasaki during high school. Kou, who today bears the surname Mabuchi,” has turned into a completely different person from the one she knew back then.
In the beginning of the new school year, Futaba decides to make positive changes for herself and volunteers as class representative. She is accompanied by Kou and his classmates, who all feel a sense of connection to one another.
16. Last Game
Born into a wealthy family with high social status, Naoto Yanagi is not only rich and spoiled but also intelligent, luxurious, handsome and has never lost to anyone before until Mikoto Kuujo transfers into his class. The two are completely opposite, as Mikoto is poor, very practical, and has almost no knowledge of emotions.
They develop a one-sided rivalry, with Naoto giving his best on all fronts but, to his dismay, always suffers defeat. Vowing to win against her at least once, he follows Mikoto through middle school, high school, and eventually college, where he challenges her to one “final game” to decide which of them is better.
15. Daytime Shooting Star
Suzume Yosano has lived in the countryside for 15 years of her life. When her parents decide to move abroad for work and leave her with her uncle in Tokyo, she finds himself in a whole new environment. However, she gets lost and passes out on the way to her uncle's house.
When she wakes up safely at her uncle's house, she learns that a strange man brought her there and that he is an acquaintance of her uncle. When Suzume first goes to her new school, she also discovers that the strange man in question, Satsuki Shishio, is actually her class teacher.
14. Snow White with the Red Hair
Shirayuki is the friendly herbalist of Tanbarun. Her bright red hair ends up attracting unwanted attention from the vain Prince of Tanbarun, Raji Shenazard. Remembering the unattractive offer to become his concubine, Shirayuki cuts her hair and flees the country overnight.
Then she meets Zen Wistalia, a prince from the neighboring country of Clarines. When Zen takes a bite of the poisoned apple that Prince Raji sent to reclaim Shirayuki, she expertly uses the potion at her disposal to heal him. With Zen and his two friends, Kiki and Mitsuhide, Shirayuki travels to Clarines, where she wants to build a life as a pharmacist at the palace.
13. House of the Sun
Mao has lived in Tokyo since childhood and enjoys spending time with the Nakamura family. After experiencing difficult circumstances at home, she finds happiness in the Nakamura household. However, that feeling fades when Mr. and Mrs. Nakamura die in a tragic incident.
Mao is now a high school student. Her parents are divorced, and her father has decided to remarry. Hiro Nakamura, Mao's childhood friend, learns that her parents have abandoned her and offers Mao to live with him. Mao decides to stay there until she can reconcile with her father and return to his original home. However, as they spend their days together, Hiro and Mao grow even closer.
12. From Me to You
15-year-old high school student Sawako Kuronuma is nicknamed Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to a character from the horror movie, The Ring. She has always been feared and misunderstood for her appearance. Rumors at school claim she can see ghosts and curse people. However, despite her ominous appearance, she is actually a cute and humble girl who only wants to help.
She has been ostracised for so long that the idea of making friends was foreign to her. But when popular boy Kazehaya starts talking to her, everything changes. She finds herself in a completely new world, one where she makes new friends and can talk to other people without scaring them.
11. Dengeki Daisy
When Teru's older brother dies, she is left with only a cell phone with the address of an elusive character named Daisy, who Teru's brother says will take care of her. Daisy becomes Teru's strength over the next few years as she faces the daily battles in her life.
One afternoon, after her bullies are mysteriously expelled from the student council, Teru accidentally breaks a school window. This is how she ends up being forced to work for a grumpy, cruel school guard named Tasuku Kurosaki. When Teru starts working for the ominous school janitor, their relationship begins to transcend that of a master and servant, and she begins questioning Daisy's true identity.
10. Lovely Complex
When Risa Koizumi finds out that her arch-nemesis, Atsushi Ootani, has a romantic interest in her friend, she decides to team up with him. After all, she also has feelings for his friend. Unfortunately, their respective crushes fall in love with each other instead.
Determined to find new love after their recent misfortune, the two decide to encourage each other while maintaining their usual rivalry. Even though they keep denying it, Risa and Ootani are more alike than they admit: they both have bad grades, the same appetite, and a tendency to behave very childishly.
One morning, Naho Takamiya receives a letter from the apparent future version of himself. The letter reveals a number of events that would apparently occur that very day. At first, Naho thinks it is a joke. But when the letter turns out to be right about a student named Kakeru Naruse, who transfers to her class later that day, she is forced to believe it.
As Naho continues reading the letter, her future self mentions some regrets and urges her to make the right decision. Somehow, these regrets all seem to be connected to Kakeru.
8. Cardcaptor Sakura
Sakura Kinomoto is an energetic and sweet 10-year-old girl who attends Tomoeda Elementary School. One day, not long after entering fourth grade, Sakura finds a mysterious book called “The Clow” hidden in her father's bookshelf.
When opened, a small, winged creature with an Osakan accent exits the book and introduces himself as Keroboros, a Seal creature who guards magical cards known as Clow Cards and prevents them from leaving the book. Unfortunately for the posh guards, the Clow Cards seem to have escaped, and now it is up to Sakura to catch them before the cards unleash their powers and wreak havoc on Tomoeda.
Seika High School was once an all-boys school but is now a co-ed one instead. Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female president of the school's student council. She is nicknamed “Devil President” due to her mastery of aikido and enforcement of iron-strict rules.
But Misaki has an embarrassing secret: she has to work at a maid café to support her family. Her reputation would be destroyed if anyone in her school found out. After Takumi Usui, the most popular boy in school, discovers her secret, she fears what that means for her and her reputation at the school.
6. Ouran High School Host Club
Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship holder in the famous Ouran Academy, a fictional school for wealthy children in Bunkyo, Tokyo. While searching for a quiet place to study, Haruhi finds the abandoned Third Music Room, where the Ouran Academy Host Club, a group of six male students, meets to entertain female “customers” with sweets and tea.
During their first meeting, Haruhi accidentally destroys an antique vase worth 8,000,000 yen and has to pay off her debts as a club errand boy. Her short hair, casual clothes, and make-up-less face make the hosts mistake him for a male student.
5. Fruits Basket
Honda Tohru is an orphan with no other place to stay than a tent in the forest until the Souma family brings her in. However, the Soumas is no ordinary family, and they hide a big secret. When touched by any member of the opposite gender, they turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac.
Now, Tohru Souma must help Kyo and Yuki hide their curse from their classmates and friends, Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima. As she is pulled further into the mysterious world of Soumas, she meets more family members and makes friends along the way. She then learns that this curse has caused much suffering and has destroyed many a Souma.
4. Kamisama Kiss
As she sat on a park bench collecting her thoughts, Nanami Momozono met a strange man hanging onto a tree to hide from a dog chasing him. After saving him from the dogs, she learns the man's name is Mikage.
After learning about Nanami's situation, he offers her a house as a token of gratitude. She accepts the offer because she is homeless. When Nanami arrives at Mikage's house, she is surprised to find that it is not an ordinary home but a shrine of worship.
3. Skip Beat!
16-year-old Kyouko Mogami follows her childhood friend and love interest Shoutarou “Shou” Fuwa to Tokyo to support him as he works on his dream of becoming a top idol in the entertainment industry.
But, after learning that Shou thinks of her as nothing more than a housemaid, she vows to retaliate by getting into the entertainment industry herself and beating him at his own game. However, Kyouko's revenge plan suffers an immediate setback when her chosen talent agency rejects her. Fortunately, the agency's president gives her a second chance and places her in the newly created “Love Me” section.
Nana Komatsu is a naive, unmotivated girl who spends her high school years chasing crush after crush. Although she is constantly faced with failure in her search for love, her mood is never ruined. Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is resolute and proud. She is in love with music and is a member of a band.
However, when faced with a choice between her relationship and her music career, she chooses the latter and breaks up with her boyfriend. Two girls with the same name but very different ambitions sit together on their way to the city and, as fate would have it, end up sharing the same apartment. A deep and unique bond is forged as they support and take care of each other.
1. Yona of the Dawn
A human-shaped red dragon once ruled the Kouka Kingdom. Four dragon-blood warriors helped him lead the kingdom to prosperity. Time passed, and this story became a legend to tell the children. As the only daughter of Kouka, Yona lives a peaceful and easy life.
She falls in love with her cousin, Su-won, and is protected by her bodyguard, Son Hak. After her beloved Su-won stages a bloody coup and kills her father, Yona runs away with Hak by her side. Surrounded by enemies on all sides, the exiled princess still longs to save her kingdom.
Copywriter, experienced editor, website creator, PR associate, consultant
- Expertise: Gaming, Pokémon, movies, TV shows, PR, and creative writing
- Education: BS in Business Economics (specializing in Business Management), minor in Japanese from Tokyo International University
- Helped lead or create websites, such as GameRevolution, VGR, RPGInformer, MangaInsider, FandomPost, POKUniverse, and more.
- Helped launch various indie video games, tech startups, and consulted for YouTube Shorts
- Writer in the entertainment industry since starting in high school in 2011
Experience: Cody Perez started his career as a journalist and creative writer in the tech and gaming spaces in 2011 while in the middle of high school. Since then, he has produced thousands of high-quality, researched articles for some of the largest entertainment websites in the world, including IGN, Destructoid, Siliconera, Digital Trends, DotEsports, and many more. He also was the lead editor at GameRevolution, growing the site to reach its consistent, historical peak of 8 million MUV the entire time he worked there. Cody also helped launch various successful sites, such as VGR (2 million MUV in a year), POKUniverse, and RPGInformer.
Cody brings together his passion for tech and gaming to his work life, so he can enjoy his hobbies nearly 24/7. He has now taken his expertise and experience with subjects like gaming and Pokémon to Wealth of Geeks, where he is often found creating new lists and reviews, or editing older content to bring it up to the company standard.