5 Shoujo Manga Favourites

Over the past few years, I’ve gained a rising interest in manga which also includes a fast-growing physical collection. I’ve not written a post specifically about this hobby before on the blog, but now I’ve read my fair share of different series, I feel invested enough to be able to recommend some of my favourites – and on this occasion, it’s specifically about shoujo!

This post was inspired by a Tweet from Shoujo Crave on Twitter, listing the top 50 Best Modern Shoujo Manga. I’m unsure where exactly this poll was held, but the results are definitely worth a browse. Although I’ve only read a handful of them myself, I recognise quite a few of these titles and I’ve also purchased a small selection of them in Japanese to practice my language study (which I’ve not managed to read yet). You can view all 50 titles in the thread here:

I’ve definitely got a longer wishlist after that, but now for my personal favourites. I chose 5 of the most memorable and enjoyable shoujo manga that I’ve read over the last few years, some that were featured in Shoujo Crave’s thread, and some different ones too.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Japanese: ヲタクに恋は難しい (Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii)

Story and Art by: ふじた (Fujita)

Japanese: 11 volumes (finished), 30/04/15 – 14/11/21

English: 6 double volumes (finished), 17/04/18 – 14/06/22)

Adaptation: Anime (Amazon Prime), 2018

“Narumi Momose has had it rough: Every boyfriend she’s had dumped her once they found out she was an otaku, so she’s gone to great lengths to hide it. When a chance meeting at her new job with childhood friend, fellow otaku, and now coworker Hirotaka Nifuji almost gets her secret outed at work, she comes up with a plan to make sure he never speaks up. But he comes up with a counter-proposal: Why doesn’t she just date him instead?”

Finding a manga about mid-20-something, geeky office workers was the series I never knew I needed! Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku contains so much feel-good content that you can’t help but fall in love with each and every volume featuring a balanced selection of both friendship and romance whilst also being filled to the brim with otaku references and culture! If you have an interest in gaming, manga and/or cosplay, then I’m sure you will find plenty of joy reading this.

An Incurable Case of Love

Japanese Title: 恋はつづくよどこまでも (Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Dokomademo)

Story and Art by: 円城寺マキ (Enjoji Maki)

Japanese: 7 volumes (finished), 09/09/16 – 08/03/19

English: 7 volumes (finished), 01/11/19 – 06/04/21)

Adaptation: J-Drama (Viki), 2020

“After witnessing a handsome and charming young doctor save a stranger’s life five years ago, Nanase Sakura trained to become a nurse. But when she meets the doctor again and they start working together, she finds Kairi Tendo to be nothing like the man she imagined him to be!”

This is a comfort series of mine. I read An Incurable Case of Love just as I was expanding my manga collection in 2021, but it has always remained a highly memorable series even after reading many other works since. Despite it being fairly short at 7 volumes, the story is jam packed with content, emotions and great characters; seeing Sakura try so hard at both her job and winning Tendo’s affections definitely left an impression on me. If you enjoy relationships featuring older characters within a workplace environment, then this would be a solid choice to consider.

A Sign of Affection

Japanese Title: ゆびさきと恋々 (Yubisaki to Renren)

Story and Art by: 森下suu (Morishita suu)

Japanese: 8 volumes (ongoing), 13/12/19 – present

English: 5 volumes (ongoing), 31/03/20 – present

Adaptation: No (but we need one!)

“Yuki, who’s always been deaf, is used to communicating with sign language and her phone. But she’s not used to English, so when a tourist from overseas asks for directions, she nearly panics… until a handsome stranger steps in to help. His name is Itsuomi, and it turns out he’s a friend of a friend. A charismatic globetrotter, Itsuomi speaks three languages, but he’s never had a deaf friend. The two feel drawn to each other and plan a date on a romantic winter’s night… but Yuki’s friend is afraid that she might be setting herself up to get hurt. Could this be something real? Or will these feelings melt away with the snow?”

A Sign of Affection will surely win the hearts of everyone thanks to the beautiful connection shown between our 2 main characters. Itsuomi begins to study sign language to engage himself in Yuki’s world, and Yuki is also starts to experience new things thanks to Itsuomi’s hectic life. Watching them grow, both individually and as a couple is all part of the journey – and an experience you don’t want to miss! The communication between them is key to what makes this manga so wonderful, and getting even as much of a glimpse of their special bond will leave you in anticipation for that next volume.

My Love Mix-Up

Japanese Title: 消えた初恋 (Kieta Hatsukoi)

Story by: ひねくれ渡 (Hinekure Wataru)

Art by: アルコ (Aruko)

Japanese: 9 volumes (finished), 13/06/19 – 13/06/22

English: 6 volumes (ongoing), 05/10/21 – present

Adaptation: J-Drama (Viki), 2021

“Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But he despairs when he borrows her eraser and sees she’s written the name of another boy – Ida – on it. To make matters more confusing, Ida sees him holding that very eraser and thinks Aoki has a crush on him!”

I’ve never read anything like My Love Mix-Up! before and its ridiculous concept had me hooked right from the start. I don’t usually gel with plots revolving around miscommunication, but something about this whole crazy mix-up makes for an incredibly sweet and entertaining BL manga. Thanks to a multitude of hilarious expressions and reactions from Aoki between the more serious and emotional sections, My Love Mix-Up! will make you feel a whole array of emotions from start to finish, not just for Aoki and Ida, but for their friends too. Knowing this series only has 9 volumes is killing me though, I’m going to be so sad when it’s over…

Yona of the Dawn

Japanese Title: 暁のヨナ (Akatsuki no Yona)

Story and Art by: 草凪みずほ (Kusanagi Mizuho)

Japanese: 40 volumes (ongoing), 04/08/09 – present

English: 38 volumes (ongoing), 02/08/16 – present

Adaptation: Anime (Crunchyroll), 2014

“Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family! Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?”

Yona of the Dawn was my introduction to manga and I honestly don’t think I could’ve picked a better one to start with. Although this series is long-running with no end in sight, it features so much interesting and varied content that there’s never a dull moment. You will meet so many amazing characters that it’s difficult to choose just one favourite, and Yona’s character progression is beyond incredible, but the whole group dynamic between her, Hak, Yun and the dragons is the main focus on the series. If you’re looking for more of a plot focused Shoujo with romance as a side, then I definitely recommend giving Yona of the Dawn a shot!

That brings us to the end of the post. I hope you enjoyed reading about my manga recommendations and that you maybe even found a new series that you’re interested in. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read (or watched the adaptations of) any of these 5, and please let me know your favourite shoujo series as I’d love to hear some recommendations!

I had a great time writing my first post about manga, and I hope to do something similar in the near future!

Thanks for reading!


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