Sucker for a good love story? Looking for some sweet romance manga? Well look no more, check out some or all of these ten romance manga that all have something good to offer. Comedy, feels, psychology, drama, mystery and even horror. Happy reading, love wins.
#10 - Midori no Hibi: High school delinquent desperate to find love wakes up one morning with a girl as his right hand. Yes, literally.
#9 - Maison Ikkoku: Godai Yuusaku is about to move out his boarding house but decides to stay when he falls in love with the new landlord. Did I mention she's a widow?
#8 - Tasogare Otome x Amnesia: The president of the paranormal club can see the ghost of a girl who passed away over 60 years ago.Together they work together to find out the reasoning behind her death. Is love with a ghost even possibe?
#7 - Nana: Two girls with the name: Nana, meet with aspirations to start new and the other to become a music star. Each Nana has their fair share of love, life and other problems.
#6 - Molester Man: The title is misleading. This a story about a misunderstanding on a train that allows a guy with no friends to become friends with some girls.
#5 - Nana to Karou: Into BDSM? Nana to Koaru are about two childhood friends who start to engage in S & M.
#4 - Hetakoi: Spending his 20th birthday alone, 'Grandpa' accidentally finds a naked girl drunk, passed out, spread eagle in the bathhouse. He ends up in the same club as the girl he saw naked!
#3 - Good Ending: Yuki learns that the main character has a crush on one of the members from the tennis club. Now, go confess your love!
#2 Aku no Hana - A psychological take on the romance genre. The main character steals the gym uniform of the girl he admires and is caught by the weird, friendless girl in his class. Will she blackmail him..?
#1 - Nozoki Ana - Kido Tatsuhiko is staring his new college life. He notices a hole in his room wall and looks in to find his neighbor..er- playing with herself. She then looks directly at him through the same hole! What in the world is going to happen...?
Honorable Mention: Sundome
I was hesitant to put this on the list despite it being one of my all time favorite manga. Mostly because it's level or perversion and weirdness is at an all time high. The artwork also reflects the more- dark, strange nature of this narrative. It's essentially about a loser boy being sexually and psychologically abused by a girl. It's really good though.
Have you read any or even all of these? If not take a gander and maybe you'll find your new favorite romance manga.
At times I wonder how it feels like to consume Japanese media as a woman. It’s no big secret that Japan’s view on women can be seen as a bit dated. It’s a country of tradition, but sometimes change is needed. I find that this translates into Japanese narratives; mainly video games, manga and anime. Not to say they aren’t tons of great female characters out there in their literature, but it’s harder to find. If you were to ask me to name off the top of my head, great female characters from manga/anime I'd have to sit down and think. Ask me the same question about comic books and I’ll never shut up. Now this is a tricky topic because for the majority of great characters, the gender doesn’t really matter. That’s not what defines the character or makes them memorable. But for the aspects that are female specific, we never see them properly explored. Begin rant.
“Deres”. This is the worst type of female categorization. Not to say male characters can’t be classified this way either, but it’s a marketing thing with female characters. Do you like tsundere girls or yandere better? This type of characterization is gimmicky and lazy. It traps the character within specific parameters and never allows them to grow outside of them. Sure there’s nothing wrong with creating characters that have personalities that would otherwise categorize them as such, but to make them a staple in every series makes it stale and makes the characters one dimensional. In the case of tsundere females, it always seems more like a cheap marketing scheme to sell that character instead of an earnest effort to create a girl who may actually have trouble expressing her true feelings outwardly.
Next issue is that the women are always submissive and victims. Idly following behind a man, not expressing herself. Being soft spoken and conditioned to stay in her lane. But if she’s outspoken, it’s seen as tomboyish, unladylike and undesirable. These are the type of messages a lot of these anime portray. If she is the serious and in charge type of character it stems from a back story where she was probably physically and psychologically abused. Therefore making her seemingly strong exterior a defense mechanism for dealing with her tragic past. Very rarely can you find a competent mangaka who actually explores a woman’s character by what inherently make men and women different. What society expects of us (exploring and breaking those stereotypes) and obviously the biological differences. Wolf Children's Hana is a great example of the trials and tribulations of being a single mother.
In addition to the previous point, female characters can be downright useless, undermined, ignored and consumed by the notion of love. This surprises me to a certain extent because I see this happening in manga written and DRAWN by a woman. For example: Katekyo Hitman Reborn that is written and drawn by Akira Amano. Haru, Kyoko, Nana Sawada (Tsuna’s mother) and Lal Mirch. Haru and Kyoko literally chose the role to cook and clean while everyone worked on saving the future. Like future obedient housewives. Lal is supposed to be one of the most powerful characters in that universe but we never get to see that at all. Tsuna’s mom was abandoned by her husband but is inexplicably love struck with him even though he’s never around. Something her own SON struggled with because in his eyes, he was a dead beat dad.
What about the girl who’s character is solely defined by how badly she wants to have a boyfriend or something? Without love or some boy (or girl) to fawn over that girl literally has nothing else going for her. Video games that eventually completely give into its fan service sub-genre and becomes all about boobs, panties, bathhouse scenes and bedding the male main character. Sometimes you have a compelling story being told and somehow it turns into a harem of one guy being lusted by anything with ovaries.
Oversexualization isn’t a new thing in any form of media because sex sells but lord almighty does anime take this overboard. Ecchi, fanservice and ridiculously proportionated women. You can find entire threads of conversations of people discussing an anime and the only thing being discussed is the outward appearance of the female characters. Nothing else. Not her thematic role, depth or any of that. Entire fanbases dedicated to a female character who offered the story NOTHING but a banging body. It’s exhausting.
Don’t misunderstand. Manga and anime have lots of cool,deep, complex women as characters. There's nothing wrong with being in love, having a harsh past or even being the a house wife, stay at home mom. That isn't the point. It just seems that in manga and anime these are the only options a female character has. Japan needs to step it up and realize that it's probably time for some much needed change. End petty rant.