5 Awesome “Shoujo” Manga and Where to Buy Them if You’re Outside Japan!

  • If you read manga (漫画), or Japanese comics, then you probably already know what shoujo (少女) manga is. But for those that are new to it, it is a category for readership or circulation that is aimed at teenage girls – this is directly evident in the word “shoujo” which means “little girl” or “young woman”. But that’s not to say that other age groups don’t enjoy reading shoujo manga, too!

    Within this category, a variety of genres can be covered, from romance or comedy to fantasy or even historical drama. Here are five popular titles, in no particular order, that you can add to your list if you haven’t already read them.

    1. Hirunaka no Ryuusei (ひるなかの流星; Daytime Shooting Star) by Mika Yamamori (やまもり三香)

    This story revolves around high school student Yosano Suzume (与謝野すずめ) and her life in Tokyo (東京) after she moves there from her town in the countryside. Because her parents need to move overseas due to a job transfer, she stays behind but has to move in with her uncle.

    When she arrives in Tokyo, she bumps into a mysterious, dark-haired man who turns out to be her homeroom teacher. From there, we see how her new life unfolds: what relationships she creates with the new people in her life, her first love, her first heartbreak and everything in between.

    Since shoujo manga is aimed at young girls and young women, a story like this can easily feel relatable, which makes for a good read!

    2. Dengeki Daisy (電撃デイジー) by Kyousuke Motomi (最富キョウスケ)

    Number of volumes: 16
    Status: Complete
    Available in English: Yes (by Viz Media)
    Anime adaptation: No
    Live-action adaptation: No

    When her brother, her only remaining relative, passes away, Teru (照) is left alone. But her brother leaves behind a mobile phone for her, telling her that this phone will connect her to a person who will support her in times of need. This person is called Daisy (デイジー).

    Their main form of contact is only by text message, so Teru doesn’t know who Daisy actually is, but over time Daisy becomes her most trusted person.

    Teru continues on with her daily high school life and even starts working for the delinquent janitor at her school. As time passes, she begins to wonder about Daisy’s true identity. We go on a journey with Teru to find out more about Daisy, who they are and how they are connected with Teru’s brother.

    There’s drama, comedy, romance and intrigue in this one!

    3. Akatsuki no Yona (暁のヨナ; Yona of the Dawn) by Kusanagi Mizuho (草凪みずほ)

    Number of volumes: 23 (as of April 2017)
    Status: Ongoing
    Available in English: Yes (by Viz Media)
    Anime adaptation: Yes (also in English)
    Live-action adaptation: No, but there was a stage play previously done

    Yona (ヨナ) is the only princess and heir to their kingdom, and as such, she has been sheltered and doted on by her father, King Il. She is protected by her appointed guardian, Hak (ハク), and enjoys spending time with the person she has a crush on, Soo-Won (スウォン). Living such a peaceful and, some may say, spoilt life is all that Yona knows. But that all changes when she witnesses the murder of her father on the night of her 16th birthday.

    Having fled from her castle, Yona, who has suddenly been orphaned, travels to different lands with Hak in search of the descendants of the legendary Four Dragons (四龍), which are rumored to have the power to save her kingdom.

    This story is still ongoing and would be a great addition to your list of manga favorites. There is never a dull moment when each story arc has moments of joy, romance, action, tragedy and comedy. You quickly become attached to the characters and want to go on their journey with them too!

    4. Black Bird (ブラックバード) by Sakurakoji Kanoko (桜小路かのこ)

    Number of volumes: 18
    Status: Complete
    Available in English: Yes (by Viz Media)
    Anime adaptation: No
    Live-action adaptation: No

    Harada Misao (原田実沙緒), ever since she was little, has been able to see supernatural creatures that live in a world apart from our own. But being a high school girl, she wants nothing to do with this “other side”; all she wants to do is live her life normally. The demon prophecy says otherwise.

    Misao is actually the bride of this demon prophecy, and in this prophecy, it is said that her blood will grant incredible powers. Her skin will provide immortality and if she were to be wed, then the clan of the demon that marries her will gain prosperity.

    So after her 16th birthday, when this prophecy comes to light, her world and the demon world become intertwined. And just to make things a little more interesting, she reunites with her childhood friend, Kyo (匡), who happens to be a demon, too!

    Whilst this story has bits of comedy, drama, romance and some action too, it really is a testament to the challenges and obstacles that an undying love can overcome.

    5. Ao Haru Ride (アオハライド; Blue Spring Ride) by Sakisaka Io (咲坂伊緒)

    No. of volumes: 13
    Status: Complete
    Available in English: No
    Anime adaptation: Yes
    Live-action adaptation: Yes

    This is another high school love story that is centered on Yoshioka Futaba (吉岡 双葉). Back in middle school, she was the cute and demure type that had a distinct hatred towards the rowdy boys in her class – all except one, Tanaka Kou (田中洸). But she never gets to express her feelings to him before he moves away unexpectedly.

    Futaba was also ostracized in school because the other girls were jealous of how unintentionally cute she was. Now in high school, she has changed her image to ensure that she can maintain her new friendships without any issues. And all seems to be going well until she bumps into Tanaka Kou again… only now he goes by the name Mabuchi Kou (馬渕 洸).

    After a quick catch-up, the two learn of their mutual feelings for each other in the past. But Kou expresses that they cannot go back to that time. The question now is, how can they move forward together? And will they be able to reconnect and start a love that should have happened three years before?

    Because Kou has reappeared in her life, there’s a bit of reminiscing and also connecting the past Futaba to the present Futaba. We also get to see some new beginnings and relationships with other characters in the making.

    You easily get wrapped up in each character’s story as you watch them evolve throughout the pages in the manga. There will be some good laughs, some heart-wrenching moments and even some tearful ones, too.

    Other Titles to Check Out

    If these titles aren’t enough for you, here is a bonus list of great shoujo manga for you to try!

    • Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット)
    • Kimi ni Todoke (君に届け)
    • Orange (オレンジ)
    • Bokura ga Ita (僕等がいた)
    • Kamisama Hajimemashita (神様はじめました; Kamisama Kiss) Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji (オオカミ少女と黒王子; Wolf Girl and Black Prince)
    • Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge (ヤマトナデシコ七変化; The Wallflower)
    • Tsubaki-Chou Lonely Planet (椿町ロンリープラネット)
    • L-DK (エルディーケー)
    • Heroine Shikkaku (ヒロイン失格)

    Now the five popular manga titles I have detailed above are ones that I have personally read and recommend to others as well. Some are old, recently finished or still ongoing, but all are good!

    Where to Buy Shoujo Manga

    It’s also really great, as readers, when we can support the authors by buying their work, don’t you think? So if you’re looking for places to buy manga, and you can’t find it locally, here are two online stores you can check out.

    Kinokuniya (紀伊國屋)
    A bookstore in Japan that has other international locations. Their online store offers English releases, as well as “raw manga”, which is the original Japanese release. They also ship internationally, so be sure to check out their website for more details on that.

    Kinokuniya website

    Book Depository (ブックデポジトリー)
    As far as I know, they don’t offer “raw manga” releases, but they do have English ones. They also do free shipping!

    Book Depository website

    Because there are so many titles out there, the five I’ve gone into detail about in this article are just like a handful of stars in the night sky. So keep reading, keep searching for more, and share the ones you enjoy with others, too!

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