Shoujo- A genre simultaneously linked with romance and teenage years. While the association isn’t incorrect, it is a disservice to the genre if we claim it all to be. Shoujo Manga, if done right, has something a lot of Shounen Manga lack. It can offer you a realistic view of the world while letting you fantasize about a life you’ll probably never had or romances that aren’t real but entirely too sweet to not dedicate all your time to and get involved enough to write fanfiction about.
5. Dengeki Daisy
Motomi Kyousuke’s Dengeki Daisy, roughly translated as Electric Daisy, puts forward the story of an orphan Teru Kurebayashi, and her dead brother’s friend Daisy, whose existence she is aware of through the messages they exchange using her brother’s phone. She also makes an unlikely friend in the school Janitor, Tasuku Kurosaki. Of course they turn out to be the same person.
It sound pretty generic on this point, right? What makes the series great is its refusal to focus only on the romance aspect, and make the most out of the world of hacking and Teru’s journey on finding out the mystery behind her brother’s death.
4. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Kun
Sakura Chiyo tries confessing to her crush, Nozaki-kun, but he mistakes her as a fan! Reads the synopsis and it’s as simple as that.
It is expected of Tsubaki Izumi’s work to literally make you roll on the floor laughing, but what make Nozaki-kun stand out is it’s wonderful range of varied characters and the mangaka’s dedication to deconstructing every shoujo trope ever and pulling a funny spin on it.
Another one of Tsubaki Izumi’s gems, Oresama Teacher presents the story of Kurosaki Mafuyu, a former delinquent and her attempt to leave delinquency and living a normal school girl life. Her plans fail when she meets Saeki Takaomi, her new school’s Homeroom teacher, and the reason behind her personality in the first place.
It’s funny, has a wide range of character, with each character having their own specific ideals and motives. Human’s aren’t black and white, they are grey and coulourful, and this manga believes it. There might be a romantic tag but it’s pretty much non existent, though there are some teacher student hint. Oh, and it’s a reverse harem. Aren’t they always wonderful? Hint Hint: Ouran Highschool Host Club.
2. Warau Kanoko-sama
Tsujita’s Rinko’s Warau Kanoko-sama chronicles loner Kanoko’s journey as she prefers to observe human behaviour and not get involved in the mix, owing to her father’s job that forces her to change school after a short while. And yet, the more she tries to stay away, the more she gets entangled in the mess and always makes one good friend in every school.
What makes the manga so special, is Kanako’s character. Sarcastic, witty and entirely oblivious, she is a fresh change from the usual shoujo heroine. Her theories on human behaviour is a treat and makes us question our ways.
1. Skip Beat
Kyouko Mogami lived solely for her childhood friend Shoutaro “Shou” Fuwa. She follows Shou to Tokyo so that he may realize his dream of becoming a famous singer. When his dream is realized, Kyouko overhears the truth behind his decision to bringing her with him: he was using her as a maid.
Shocked and enraged, Kyouko swears to take revenge by outdoing him in show business.
The synopsis makes Skip Beat! appear like any other shoujo and at this point, I don’t think there’s anyone that hasn’t heard of Skip Beat!. It’s also got a lot of criticism fro being overrated. Sure, Skip Beat! might not be the best Shoujo out there, but it’s definitely not overrated. At the same time, Skip Beat! might not be for everyone. Especially for people looking for fast romance.
Kyouko is one of the most well rounded three dimensional shoujo heroine I’ve come across, with an equally well made male lead who isn’t a grump and is actually nice to the heroine. I would say, the space of the romance is pretty realistic and so is Kyouko’s journey in the show biz. Skip Beat! also chooses to give equal importance to the supporting characters and their stories.
However, what really stands out for Skip Beat! is how efficiently it subverts every Shoujo trope without batting an eye. Skip Beat! is a must read, especially for young woman.
After creating this list, I realised I’ve left out a lot of interesting shoujo Manga’s. Oh, well, better make a round two then.