The 10 Best Romance Manga
When we think of romance, we think about love, sweet moments, heartbreaks, intimate relationships, and more. The same feelings are present in romance manga! Most of the time, this genre caters to shoujo manga fans. However, the target audience is much broader than you might expect!
Everyone experiences love. No one is an exception! Stories that appeal to the heart and our deepest feelings are ones everyone can relate to. The romance genre is perfect for readers who crave heart-tugging, heart-fluttering, and heart-wrenching moments.
Here are the top 10 best romance manga that everyone will want to read. Many of these may be familiar to fans, and some are not, but all of them are good. Read on and feel the love in the air.
The Top 10 Romance Manga
- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
- Kimi ni Todoke
- Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend)
- Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
- Dengeki Daisy
- Lovely Complex
- Bokura ga Ita (We Were There)
- Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)
- Strobe Edge
10. Strobe Edge
Coming in at number 10 is a manga that accurately portrays first crushes, love polygons, and unrequited love. This is definitely a story born from the romance genre, but it’s also one that accurately represents the realities of real-life romance. It’s Strobe Edge!
Bit by bit, high school girl Ninako gets closer to the school heartthrob, Ren. But there’s a problem—Ren is already in a relationship! Ninako likes him, so what now? There’s also another guy who likes her. Woah! Things are getting out of control! But this is how high school romance goes. One-sided love, love triangles, and even love squares (if that term even exists)—this is a story about a messy, yet expressive, love story.
9. Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)
Number nine on the list is a series that wants to hit you hard in the feels. Hard enough to make you realize what a good romance manga it is. Ao Haru Ride (translated as Blue Spring Ride) was made to make your heart flutter and wrench it with all kinds of emotions.
Yoshioka Futaba just pushed the reset button in her life. She’s now a new woman and she doesn’t want her past life to repeat again in the future. All the changes she made stemmed from her previous persona and the boy she liked from middle school who just suddenly disappeared from her life. But now in high school, the boy pops up again, totally changed as well; he even has a new name. What’s with all the changes? And will their relationship work now that they’ve both changed?
8. Bokura ga Ita (We Were There)
Love is very complicated, and Bokura ga Ita (translated as We Were There) proves it! As far as complicated love stories go, it’s a real masterpiece! With all the nuances of love, life, and romance portrayed in this romance manga, it's not surprising that it is number eight on this list.
Nana Takahashi firmly believes that high school romance is nothing special and her life will be the same as always. That is, until she ends up being classmates with the massively popular boy Yano Motoharu. Many girls flock over Yano. Nana’s different, though. She doesn’t like him. But will she really not waver in her feelings as both of them get closer to each other?
7. Lovely Complex
At number seven is a romance manga that is not only romantic and sweet but also funny and silly! It’s called Lovely Complex and it’s a series that tickles the heart with all the complexities of love. While you’re reading this manga, you’ll find yourself slowly falling in love with the characters and their charming love-hate relationship.
Ootani Atsushi is quite a small high school boy. Koizumi Risa, on the other hand, is a ridiculously tall girl. Both of them are heartbroken with their respective crushes falling in love with one another. And so, they share the same issues and circumstances. Now, they’ve become friends. More than that, they’ve become really, REALLY close! Also, their unusual pairing is a perpetually funny to the people around them. But is this fate? Is this destiny? Maybe both of them are in for something greater than they have already experienced.
6. Dengeki Daisy
Why is Dengeki Daisy here on this list and on the sixth spot? I wholeheartedly believe it deserves the sixth spot! It is unlike any other romance manga or even shoujo manga. It’s unique, it’s novel, it’s something that breathes new life into the romance genre! You definitely need to read it and find out for yourself.
Kureyabayashi Teru’s only keepsake from her late brother is a cell phone. In that phone is a contact named Daisy. The instruction given to Teru was that she can contact Daisy whenever she needs someone to talk to and confide with. Teru’s problem, though, is that she’s in debt! She has to work with the rude but good-looking janitor Kurosaki Tasuku. This is how the story begins. From here on out, Teru’s life and future shall be intertwined with Daisy and Tasuku.
5. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (translated as My Little Monster) isn’t only about love, but also about life. Romantic love is there but it is entwined with the gradations of life. This series shows that life is indeed beautiful with all the experience that it can offer. With its focus on friendship, self-discovery, and budding feelings, this manga makes a name for itself and deserves the fifth seat on this list.
Shizuku Mizutani doesn’t care about anyone or anything unnecessary. All that she cares about are her grades. One day, she reluctantly accepts the task of delivering notes to an absent classmate. This classmate is Haru Yoshida, and he’s very similar to Shizuku. And now that she has delivered his notes, he now believes that they are friends. Thus, their uncanny relationship begins!
4. Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend)
With the power to make all readers swoon uncontrollably, Zettai Kareshi (translated as Absolute Boyfriend) steals the spotlight by snatching the fourth place on this list to capture all eyes, seize all attention, and make all hearts flutter.
Riiko Izawa has a lot of experience when it comes to rejection and being dumped in romantic relationships. She becomes desperate and turns to an online website for help. A "nightly lover figure" free trial pops up. The next day, a good-looking naked guy is delivered to her doorstep! That’s not all. He wants to be her boyfriend! Is this really happening? What’s the price for this? Riiko will soon find out!
3. Kimi ni Todoke
Talk about realistic! Kimi ni Todoke is definitely that! It gives readers the chance to experience romantic love in the most realistic of ways. The story is simple, ordinary, and pure. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring or not special. It’s number three on the list, so that should say something. This is one of the best romance manga in the world.
Kuronuma Sawako not only has a name similar to that of Sadako from The Ring, she also is gloomy and shy. With her appearance and personality, she is often misunderstood by her classmates, despite her good intentions. Unexpectedly, a boy with a refreshing personality and good looks makes contact with her. Is this her golden opportunity? Will he be able to save her from the depths of her own darkness? Is there actually hope for her when it comes to romance?
Horimiya comes in at number two, which means it’s not your average romance manga. It stands above most of the others. The romantic elements are definitely genuine and refreshing. Indulge yourself with the intimacy of the relationship in this story and let your heart beat faster.
Hori and Miyamura are students who have double lives. Hori may seem like an ordinary school girl, but after class, she’s a teenage girl completely devoid of social interaction because she has to take care of her brother at home. On the other hand, Miyamuri may seem like a nerd and otaku at school, but after class, he’s actually a social butterfly who’s not really good at academics. One day, they both discover the other’s double lives. Their interaction leads to friendship! From friendship comes love!
1. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
All the clichés, all the romance elements, all the heart-tingling scenarios; you’ll find all of them here in one single manga—Kaichou wa Maid-sama! It’s a guilty pleasure for everyone. It’s so good it actually makes your heart pound and pound…and pound some more. No wonder it’s so popular. No wonder it's number one. Read it and you’ll get why a lot of people love it!
Misaki Ayuzawa is the “demon” student council president of her school. She’s also a maid at a certain maid café that she works at after school. Being a maid at a maid café is her biggest secret, and it will surely tarnish her reputation as the demon president if it ever comes out. Of course, her secret gets discovered. The most popular guy in school—Usui Takumi—has discovered her secret. Is this the end for the demon president, or will Usui keep her secret for a price? No matter what, both of them are now in contact and something big is about to begin!
Recommended Shoujo Manga
Romance manga often intersect with the shoujo genre. The narratives in this genre are usually romance stories that are targeted at teenage girls. They commonly have female leads, romantic plots, and resolutions that feature personal growth. Here are some shoujo manga that might interest you.
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Kamisama Kiss
- Fruits Baskets
- Skip Beat
- Yona of the Dawn
Recommended High School Romance Manga
A lot of entries on this list feature stories set in a high school setting. It is a prime setting for narratives dealing with first love and heartaches. Here are some more romantic manga that are set in high school.
- Boys Over Flowers
- Peach Girl
- High School Debut
- Kare Kano