30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read in 2022

Shōjo manga are marketed towards “young teen females” (girls) between the ages of 12 and 18; they include a variety of different subgenres. Often featured topics of this genre include romance, comedy, everyday (school) life, and even horror, while other topics, although featured, are less frequent. The shōjo group of manga is probably the most popular and best-known group for girls, since the majority of the most famous manga are actually shōjo works. In this article, we are going to bring you a list of the 30 best shōjo manga you need to read.

1. Kimi ni Todoke

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: May 25, 2006 – November 13, 2017
Number of Volumes: 30

The high school student Sawako Kuronuma is loathed by her classmates, as various rumors manifested in the school that she could see ghosts and curse people. The reason for this is the similarity of her name to Sadako, a character from the Ring.

Many students fear her presence and avoid her as much as possible. Only the new and very popular student Shōta Kazehaya treats her like any other girl. One day they get the opportunity to talk to each other, which turns their entire life upside down.

With his help, she tries to make new friends and to talk to strangers like any other schoolgirl. She is almost exaggeratedly grateful for his support and a close relationship slowly develops between the two, which has to overcome many hurdles.

2. Maid Sama!

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: December 24, 2005 – September 24, 2013
Number of Volumes: 18

The Seika High School was once a school for boys only, but over time it opened up to girls too. The isolation created a harsh climate in the classes, so the girls find it very difficult to gain a foothold and repeatedly suffer from the humiliation of the boys.

The girl Misaki Ayuzawa still manages to assert herself against her classmates and become the first student representative. Because of her behavior, she is soon seen as a man-hater but is respected or feared. But behind this facade, she also fights against various other problems.

Among other things, her family, which consists of her mother and little sister, was abandoned by her father and is now sitting on a large pile of debts. To stop the collapse of her own apartment and to help her overworked mother, Misaki looks for a job in a maid café. Since she mainly has to serve male customers there, she tries to keep her job a secret from her classmates.

3. Sailor Moon

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997
Number of Volumes: 18

Usagi Tsukino is a normal fourteen-year-old, little inclined to study and sports, a little careless and a crybaby. Her life changes when she one day saves a black kitten from a group of kids. That same evening, the cat introduces herself to her as she enters from her bedroom window, tells her name is Luna, and gives her a pin.

This item gives Usagi the power to transform into Sailor Moon, the warrior of love and justice, dressed in a sailor suit and protected by the Moon. Her task, explains the cat, will be to defend the inhabitants of the Earth from the continuous attacks of the Dark Kingdom, as well as to find her companions to track down the mysterious Princess of the Moon.

The girl will be joined, one by one, by the shy and studious Ami Mizuno, who transforms into Sailor Mercury, the surly priestess Rei Hino, aka Sailor Mars, the strong and lonely Makoto Kino, who becomes Sailor Jupiter, and the sweet and beautiful Minako Aino , i.e. Sailor Venus. To help the Sailor warriors will also be added the mysterious hero in a tuxedo, Tuxedo Kamen under whose mask is hiding Mamoru Chiba, a boy with whom Usagi will fall in love.

4. Last Game

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: July 24, 2011 – June 24, 2016
Number of Volumes: 11

Yanagi Naoto is a rich and good-looking boy, who in addition to being the first in his class can boast the admiration of everyone around him; Suddenly, the arrival of Kujō Mikoto puts an end to his idyll of him, because – although he acts without the slightest malice – he ends up being more skilled than Yanagi at anything. The young man, wounded in her pride, then tries to challenge the girl in the most disparate activities, but always ends up finishing second to her.

He, thus, begins to meditate on the cruelest of revenge, a real “Last Game”: he would have made Kujō fall in love with himself, and then shatter her heart in a blatant way. The transition from theory to practice, however, proves more complicated than expected, as Yanagi – although he does not want to admit it – begins to find himself really attracted to his rival of all time.

5. Fruits Basket

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: July 18, 1998 – November 20, 2006
Number of Volumes: 23

Tohru Honda is a 16-year-old high school student who lives alone in a tent after the death of her mother. Without knowing it, she moved to the property of the Sôma family. When she explores the surroundings, she sees a house and enters it. There she meets Yuki and Shigure Soma. Having learned that she was living in a tent, they offered to stay with them in exchange for household chores.

Tohru accepts and then begins to live with Yuki, Kyô, and Shigure. Very quickly, she learns the secret of the family: 13 of its members are victims of a curse. These people transform into one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the cat, when a person of the opposite sex throws themselves at their neck or when they feel embarrassed or even weakened.

They become human again a few minutes later (the duration of the transformation can vary), but reappear completely naked (which can be very annoying, especially for Tohru who is often there during the transformation).

6. Snow White with the Red

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: August 10, 2006 – present
Number of Volumes: 24

Shirayuki is a herbalist from the Kingdom of Tanbarun characterized by a single peculiarity: her red hair. When the prince of Tanbarun, Raji, orders her to become her concubine because of her, she cuts her hair and flees to the nearby Kingdom of Clarines.

Along her journey, Shirayuki meets her second son Zen prince, and her two guards, Mitsuhide and Kiki, who help her escape from Raji. After also rescuing Zen due to poisoning, she Shirayuki embarks on the path to become a herbalist in the royal palace of Clarines.

From that moment, her life begins to intertwine with that of the characters linked to the court, and in particular to that of Zen, for which she begins to feel ever stronger feelings.

7. Honey So Sweet

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: August 2012 – December 2015
Number of Volumes: 8

Nao Kogure is an orphaned girl who lives with her uncle Sosuke, who is a little older than her; Nao is unsure how to view Sasuke, at the same time feeling feelings of gratitude and love towards her. Arriving in high school, Nao is unexpectedly approached by Taiga Onise, a boy considered by all to be a hooligan; after taking her out of school, the young man offers her a bouquet of red roses and proposes to get engaged to him, with the assumption of a future marriage.

The girl, taken by the fright, agrees to her request, so the two start dating; later, Taiga will reveal the reason for his singular request: previously, on a rainy day, Nao had been the only one to stop to leave Onise – beaten, almost unconscious and lying on the side of the road – some patches and his umbrella.

8. Say I Love You.

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: 2008 – July 24, 2017
Number of Volumes: 18

Mei Tachibana is 16 and has never had a boyfriend and feels lonely. Suddenly, of all people, the crush at her school is interested in her: Yamato Kurosawa. Mei falls in love with Yamato and the friendship develops into a real and serious relationship.

The two have to survive different crises and collect their first experiences together. Above all, Aiko Muto is against the relationship. Over time, Mei makes new friends and Aiko ultimately recognizes the relationship.

9. orange

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: March 13, 2012 – May 31, 2017
Number of Volumes: 6

Naho is a sixteen-year-old high school student living in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. His daily life is turned upside down by the receipt of a letter from the future. It would have been written by Naho herself, ten years later. This Naho is now twenty-six years old and is eaten away by remorse. Through this letter, she intends to prevent Naho from repeating the same errors. Thus, the letter contains elements on the events of the coming months and instructions mainly concerning the arrival of a new student in the class, Kakeru.

10. Ao Haru Ride

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: March 13, 2012 – May 31, 2017
Number of Volumes: 6

Naho is a sixteen-year-old high school student living in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. His daily life is turned upside down by the receipt of a letter from the future. It would have been written by Naho herself, ten years later. This Naho is now twenty-six years old and is eaten away by remorse. Through this letter, she intends to prevent Naho from repeating the same errors. Thus, the letter contains elements on the events of the coming months and instructions mainly concerning the arrival of a new student in the class, Kakeru.

11. Skip Beat!

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: February 7, 2002 – present
Number of Volumes: 47

Mogami Kyōko and Fuwa Shōtarō are childhood friends. Kyōko has always known Shō, helps his parents, takes care of him and forgives him everything, like a prince. Also, when at the age of 16, the latter leaves Kyoto, his hometown, to run away to Tokyo where he has a chance to break into the song, he asks Kyōko to accompany him.

She accepts, very happy to have been chosen by her childhood friend. But once there, Shō is totally absorbed in his work as a singer. He almost never enters the apartment they occupy, while Kyōko combines the jobs in order to be able to pay the rent and the lifestyle of Shō, now become famous. Despite the difficulties, the young girl continues to work until exhaustion for her prince, and all this while keeping a smile!

12. Lovely★Complex

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: September 2001 – December 2006
Number of Volumes: 17

The tall Risa Koizumi and her short classmate Atsushi Ōtani both go to the first grade of high school. They are often referred to as “All Hanshin Kyojin,” a well-known Japanese comedy duo, because of their size differences and frequent arguments. But both are otherwise very similar, have the same taste in music and develop a good friendship with each other.

Her classmates Ryōji Suzuki and Chiharu Tanaka, Nobuko Ishihara, and Heikichi Nakao, found each other in the summer, so Koizumi and Ōtani are now surrounded by two couples. Now they finally want to fall in love, and Koizumi soon finds out that Ōtani already had a girlfriend in Mayu Kanzaki.

Koizumi soon meets Haruka Fukagawa again, a kindergarten friend of hers, who now falls in love with her. The one year younger transsexual Seishiro / Seiko Kotobuki falls in love with Ōtani, who rejects her when it is discovered that she is a boy by birth.

After a while, Koizumi falls in love with Ōtani, but initially cannot admit this to himself. However, her friends soon realize that she is in love with him and support her. But even when Koizumi manages to convey her feelings to Ōtani, Ōtani misunderstands them and sees Koizumi only as a good friend. Only next summer does he understand that Koizumi has fallen in love with him.

13. Yona of the Dawn

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: August 4, 2009 – present
Number of Volumes: 37

Yona, the princess of the Kôka kingdom, grew up carefree. Since childhood, she has been pampered by her father and protected by his bodyguard and childhood friend, Hak. On her sixteenth birthday, Yona is happy: her cousin and secret love, Soo-Won, comes to visit her to celebrate her birthday, and she intends to confess her feelings to him.

But nothing will go as planned. Forced to abandon her position, she will have to fight to regain the throne that is rightfully hers. As well as for its survival, because the country of Kôka is full of dangers.

14. Nana

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: May 26, 2000 – May 26, 2009 (on hiatus)
Number of Volumes: 14

Nana Ōsaki is a punk singer whose only wish is to be able to debut with her group and surpass the band Trapnest, in which her ex-boyfriend, Ren Honjō, works as a guitarist. Nana and Ren were partners in the same band in the past, Black Stones (aka Blast for short), but split up when Ren was offered the opportunity to replace a member of the popular band Trapnest, so he left his gang to head to Tokyo.

Nana, after realizing that if she went with him to Tokyo she would see her chances of becoming a popular singer greatly diminished, she decides that a life in which she is simply considered Ren’s girlfriend, remaining professionally in his shadow and fulfilling a role that is not more than that of a housewife who is not an independent woman, it is not the life she wants.

So she finally decides to keep what is hers. For her part, Nana Komatsu, the other nana, is called by Ōsaki “Hachi” (which derives from “Hachiko” a very famous puppy in Japan), since she considers that she looks like a small puppy, very loyal towards those who care about her, but demanding a lot of attention in turn.

15. Kamisama Kiss

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: February 20, 2008 – May 20, 2016
Number of Volumes: 25

Nanami Momozono’s father has a thing for gambling, which causes them to live in misery. One day, her father runs away from home and abandons her, leaving behind his debts. Unable to pay the rent, Nanami is evicted from her apartment. She then wanders the streets until she meets a strange man, who gives her his house after hearing her story.

He leaves after kissing her on the forehead. When she goes to the address he gave her, Nanami realizes that the house is actually a temple, where spirits live, including a boy with fox ears and a tail. She learns that by kissing her, the man made her the new god of the Earth and she will have to face many situations to keep her place as a divinity!

16. Cardcaptor Sakura

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: May 1996 – June 2000
Number of Volumes: 12

Sakura Kinomoto is a fourth-grade girl leading a very normal life. But one day, she is attracted to a noise in her father’s library. While searching for the origin of the sound, she finds a mysterious book: The Book of Clow, which she opens by accident.

She then accidentally drops almost all of the Clow Cards that were there, and only manages to keep one: the wind card. By her ability to open the seal of the book, Sakura discovers that she has special powers and that it is her responsibility to recover the scattered cards. She, therefore, becomes the “Cardcaptor”.

17. Hibi Chōchō

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: February 20, 2012 – June 5, 2015
Number of Volumes: 12

High school student Suiren Shibazeki is very popular with both boys and girls, but finds it a burden. By the time she enters high school, she has developed into a withdrawn, shy girl who tends to avoid others. Her only friend is Aya Shimizu. Even in the new school, she gets the unwanted attention of her classmates, only Taichi Kawasumi shows no interest in her.

As Suiren later learns, the quiet karate athlete has problems talking to girls himself. But when Suiren is harassed by another boy, Kawasumi comes to her aid. And so he arouses her interest and she falls in love with him. But due to their shyness, it takes a long time and requires the help of their friends for Kawasumi and Suiren to become a couple.

18. Kodocha

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: August 1994 – November 1998
Number of Volumes: 10

The story begins with Hayama Akito, a bad boy, and Sana Kurata, 11 years old, in primary school and actress, who can no longer bear to see Akito lowering the school level in this way. When she discovers that he is actually blackmailing teachers, she decides to get revenge. With the help of Tsuyoshi, a friend of Akito’s who can no longer stand his evil deeds, she manages to take a picture of him with his pants down, and begins to blackmail him.

She decides to follow Akito home and then discovers more things than she wanted. She sees Akito being kicked out by his sister, who calls him a monster and an assassin at the same time. It is later discovered that his mother died in childbirth, and that is the reason why his family members hate him so much.

19. The Demon Prince of Momochi House

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: July 24, 2013 – August 24, 2019
Number of Volumes: 16

On her sixteenth birthday, Momochi Himari, despite being an orphan, unexpectedly inherits an old house. Despite the warnings she receives that the Momochi house is haunted, she having nowhere else to go she still decides to move there. Upon arriving at the scene, she discovers that her house is squatted by three handsome young men: Aoi, Yukari and Ise.

The three immediately warn the unsuspecting Himari that she must leave the house as soon as possible, also using the story of ghosts and curses, but she doesn’t want to. Soon, she will discover that this is all true: her house turns out to be on the border between the human and the spirit world, and she is destined to act as the guardian between the two.

20. Crimson Hero

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: 2003 – 2011
Number of Volumes: 20

Nobara Sumiyoshi is a fifteen-year-old girl, the daughter of the okami (manager) of an important ryōtei (traditional Japanese restaurant); Her mother presses Nobara to lose her tomboy habits and learn the art of serving customers, but she’d rather leave the role of young okami to her pretty little sister Soka instead, because she has another passion that completely absorbs her: volleyball.

21. Real Girl

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: July 23, 2011 – May 24, 2016
Number of Volumes: 12

Hikaru Tsutsui is a high school student, often shunned and mocked by his peers for his otaku nature. One day, after arriving late for school, he is forced to clean the pool together with Iroha Higurashi, a beautiful girl with a very bad reputation. Later Iroha asks him to go out together and Hikaru accepts, but the two can only be together for six months, at the end of which the girl will have to change schools due to the work of her father.

22. Dangeki Daisy

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: May 2007 – October 12, 2013
Number of Volumes: 16

The day her brother Sōichiro Kurebayashi dies, Teru finds herself alone. The latter, having strangely planned everything before his death, gives her a cell phone with which she can reach a certain “Daisy”. This is how, thanks to the encouraging emails of this mysterious character, she was able to move forward and continue to live despite this tragic event.

However, in high school, all is not well; Teru is actually the target of the student council and hides it from “Daisy” who promised to help him in any circumstances. One day, Teru, being persecuted by the student council, accidentally breaks a window. To repay her, she becomes the minion of the cruel Kurosaki, the new guardian of the school, who will not hesitate to overexploit her. But behind this blond thug with bad manners and questionable behavior could hide a whole different face.

23. Dreamin’ Sun

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: October 13, 2007 – August 11, 2011
Number of Volumes: 10

The girl Shimana Kameko no longer feels happy at home. After her mother died, her father remarried and now has a second child with Shimana’s stepmother. The family’s focus is now on their little brother, and Shimana fears that if she accepts the new family, she will betray her late mother. She skips school and wants to run away from home. In the park, she stumbles upon Taiga Fujiwara, who is lying there drunk. He doesn’t come to his house because he was locked out for being drunk and offers Kameko a room on three conditions.

24. My Love Story!!

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: October 2011 – July 13, 2016
Number of Volumes: 13

Takeo Gōda and Makoto Sunakawa are childhood friends, despite their great physical and psychological difference. The first conceals great sensitivity behind an imposing body and easily falls in love without success because all the girls he has loved have preferred his friend to him, while the second is of great beauty but remains indifferent to the passions he unleashed.

One day, Takeo intervenes in the metro to protect a young girl, Rinko Yamato, from being touched by a pervert. This one multiplies the gestures of gratitude against him but shows a certain embarrassment in his presence, which Takeo attributes to the fact that she too has certainly fallen in love with Makoto. However, it seems that, this time, it’s Takeo who is the object of love at first sight.

25. Strobe Edge

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: 2007 – 2010
Number of Volumes: 10

Ninako, a high school student, fell in love with Ren, the most handsome boy in high school. But he already has a girlfriend. Also, Ninako’s best friend Daiki, and later Takumi Ando tells her that he loves her. Misunderstandings ensue.

26. Yumeiro Patissiere

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: October 2008 – July 2011
Number of Volumes: 12

Amano Ichigo is a rather awkward young schoolgirl, who grew up in the shadow of her younger sister, who was very good at the piano. Her life is turned upside down the day she meets Henri-sensei, a renowned pastry chef. The latter, who discovered that Ichigo possessed a sense of taste of extremely rare finesse, recommends her to the Sainte-Marie Academy. In this private school, which trains the elite in pastry, Ichigo will have a hard time finding his place, being good at tasting cakes, but certainly not at making them.

27. S・A

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: April 1, 2003 – March 19, 2009
Number of Volumes: 17

Since she was little, Hanazono Hikari has been the best in all areas. Until Kei Takishima, the son of the President of the Takishima group, arrives and beats her hands down during an improvised wrestling match. Since this humiliation, Hikari has only one idea in mind: to beat Takishima. So she begs her father who sends her to the same high school as her opponent, the prestigious Hakusenkan Academy, although not as fortunate as him, and immediately enters the Special A class that brings together the school’s seven best students.

28. Daytime Shooting Star

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: May 20, 2011 – November 5, 2014
Number of Volumes: 13

Suzume Yosano’s parents move to Bangladesh as her father gets a job and gets posted there while she herself moves to Tokyo to live with her uncle Yukichi. When she gets lost on the way to her uncle’s house, a strange man helps her. On the first day of school, she finds out that this strange man is her homeroom teacher, Satsuki Shishio. Eventually, she falls in love with him. Since Suzume’s uncle and Shishio Satsuki are acquainted with each other, they see each other quite frequently over time. When she finally confesses her feelings to her class teacher, he rejects her.

29. Boys Over Flowers

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: October 1992 – June 2008
Number of Volumes: 37

Boys Over Flowers tells the story of sixteen-year-old Tsukushi Makino, whose parents sacrificed everything to send her to Eitoku, a private school for children from good families, far beyond their means, in the hope of raising money, and her finding a handsome and rich son-in-law.

Tsukushi’s vision is not really the same. It must be said that the atmosphere that reigns there is terrible. The students are bad to the bone, like stereotypes of the children of the rich, especially the F4, a group of four extremely rich boys who rule in Eitoku. Anyone who opposes the F4 will receive the infamous red card and be persecuted by the whole school.

Makino is determined to stay in her corner for the remaining two years and devote herself to her studies. But one day, Tsukushi’s only friend, Makiko, stumbles upon Tsukasa Dômyôji, the head of F4 and heir to the Dômyôji group, the richest in Japan. She begs his forgiveness but the boys don’t seem ready to listen to her.

30. Ouran High School Host Club

30 Best Shōjo Manga You Need to Read

Original Run: September 2002 – November 2010
Number of Volumes: 18

Ouran High School is a privileged educational institution where children of the richest and noblest families in Japan (children of politicians and big business tycoons) go to school. At the school, some of the best teachers in the country design the curriculum in such a way as not to overload the pampered wealthy students. Thanks to such care, they have a huge amount of free time that they spend on their hobbies.

One of the adornments of the Ouran School is the so-called “Host Club”, where rich and handsome young men use their natural abilities to entertain equally rich and beautiful girls with a certain benefit for themselves.

By chance, Haruhi Fujioka, who had enrolled in this school thanks to his academic achievements, enters the abandoned music classroom in which this club is based. After accidentally knocking a luxurious 8-million yen vase off a stand, Haruhi Fujioka found himself in virtual slavery by the wealthy members of the Host Club. From now on, he must go to the store, work as a servant, carry out small errands and do other dirty work in the club until graduation, thereby fulfilling his duties to the club.

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.