Shoujo Digest: Shiawase Time

 It’s time for some shiawase shoujo manga! Because there’s no such thing as too cute  ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

I think this is pretty apparent, but I have an undying love for shoujo manga. At times I’d find a good shoujo author, and spend hours aiming to finish ALL her manga by the end of the day. I call this guilty pleasure my shiawase [ 幸せ; blissful ] time – I love how it immerses you in a world of fluffy romance and blocks out everything else in the world. I’ve loved that magical feeling since I was nine, and I don’t think I’m going to be sick of it anytime soon, so here are some recommendations for my fellow romanticists out there. Today I’m going to be recommending some (hopefully) awesome shoujo manga mainly focused on romance, along with other differing themes to suit your interests. Shiawase time, スタート!

 

*Ao Haru Ride | Author: Sakisaka Io

Genre:Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice Of Life

Status:Ongoing

Volumes:5

Year released:2011

Summary:Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high-school student. Because she’s cute, she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a misunderstanding, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the one boy she has always liked, Tanaka-kun. Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her.

While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but now things could never be the same again. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that hadn’t even started from three years ago?

There’s a truckload of shoujo manga out there that feature Japanese high-school life, but Sakisaka Io’s works never fail to keep me entirely glued to my computer screen. Her previous series, Strobe Edge, which Hoshi covered in one of her manga digest postscharmed the hearts of many, and Ao Haru Ride doesn’t fail to impress. Art-wise, AHR has a character design that might look messy at first, and I would say is more of an acquired taste over time – I soon came to love it. AHR doesn’t have all your usual huge sparkly eyes, but rather adopts a clean, cute look to its characters, especially the guys *ahem* hot guys everywhere. (inner fangirly voice: OMG KOU I LUV U!!!)With a pace slightly faster than its predecessor, AHR also features a rather different female lead – in order to fit in, Futaba tries to act as boyish as possible to overshadow her pretty face. I know, it’s unheard of, right? xD I really enjoy reading through the story through her eyes and I could feelthe emotions – and there are a lot of them – that she was feeling. Kou, our male lead, appears to be cold and distant, but actually has a really adorable, silly side to him that’s been dulled by his parent’s divorce. He’s an extremely lovable male lead with emotional scars – just my type 8) Sakisaka Io likes to introduce love triangles/squares (hehe), but they are one of those rare ones which actually don’t irritate you. The love triangles aren’t superficial, cliche flings, but rather they add a lot of dramatic twists and turns to the story that got me crying and laughing and fuming, sometimes all at the same time! Reading this manga makes me feel like I’m watching a drama – and the feelings that reach you, hit you hard. I read all the available chapters in 1 day and was hung up on it all week, and even now I’m dying waiting for the next hanger. All those cliffhangers, sigh. My advice for this manga: don’t judge it by its cover, give it a chance, a few more chapters maybe, and I think you’ll really fall in love with it. ^w^


 

*Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu | Author: Aoki Kotomi

Genre:Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Tragedy

Status:Completed

Volumes:12

Year released:2005

Summary: Takuma and Mayu’s story began when they were only 8 years old. During his childhood, Takuma was constantly hospitalized due to his heart condition. He soon became friends with Mayu, the daughter of the doctor in charge of his case. Day by day they grew closer and closer. However, the summer when Takuma was 8, he made a promise to Mayu that he couldn’t keep… Their story unfolds as they grow older and their bond gets stronger…

This manga is hands down one of the saddest manga I have ever read ;w; I guess I just enjoy torturing myself with really emotional, sappy love stories – it’s one of those manga when you know it’s going to end in a horribly sad way but you can’t help but continue reading it TT^TT When you see tragedy as one of the genre, you already know you’re in for a huge sobfest – its really an entire emotional rollercoaster following our main characters from their childhood days to when they’ve grown into adults. This manga is pretty long and the sheer duration of time it covers can be slightly daunting and tiring at times, but if you stick through it, you’ll get a really beautiful, dramatic story that makes its way into your heart. I wouldn’t say that the art is amazing, or that that story plot is as very unique one, but it’s simply the way it’s presented that really touches people and compels you to read on. The manga’s also been adapted into a movie, and that’s worth catching too!

 

*A Kiss to My Prince | Author: Kim Hee Eun

Genre:Comedy, Drama, Historical, Romance, Shoujo

Status:Completed

Volumes:5

Year released:2005

Summary: Everyone always says to set high goals for oneself. Sei-Ann, an orphaned young lady who was raised in the care of a noblewoman, does just that when she decides she’ll become the prince’s bride. With above average looks and ambitions that would rival that of a king, Sei-Ann is determined to leave her social status behind and become the wife of the next Crown Prince. Ever since she was a child, she knew that she was somehow special and was meant to go places. And even if it meant enduring a marriage with the most hideous looking prince, she feels it would be a small price to pay to claim her fate as the First Lady of the kingdom.

Set in a historic period of time with poofy ballroom dresses and corsets? Check! Hugeass castle full of hot princes? Check! This is everything I love in a shoujo manga, really. I’m a huge fan of historical romance, so this was a surprisingly good read as I rarely read Korean manhwa. The art style is slightly awkward or derpy at times, but the thing that stands out from other manga is its gorgeous clothing designs *w* Sei-Ann is a witty female lead that’s full of fun and attitude, while our three princes have distinctly different personalities to suit all… tastes 8) *waggy eyebrows to all readers* Again, there’s a surprising twist further into the story, and the last few chapters had me shaking my computer screen in anxiousness. Reading about royal families is sort of a guilty pleasure I guess, because it’s something that we will never be able to experience – that’s why I thoroughly enjoyed venturing through the castle along with Sei-Ann, and falling in love with the princes as she did!


 

*Hanaori Soushi | Author: Choujin

Genre:Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Fantasy, Supernatural

Status:Completed

Volumes:3

Year released:2011

Summary:Having lost their parents at a young age, Chiharu and her brother find strength in each other. The past behind, the two live their lives in peace. However, the appearance of a new transfer student named Hisaya will put an end to these tranquil days. What does he want, and why does it involve Chiharu?

A complex tale involving magic, reincarnation, betrayal, and maybe…love?

I actually found Hanaori Soushi when Kinokuniya was having its 20% sale and I decided to splurge on some pretty shoujo manga. The first thing that attracted me to this was the beautiful art – really pretty character designs, as well as very detailed, smooth shading provided an enjoyable reading experience. Not to mention that this manga practically has a harem of bishounen, and who doesn’t love smexy guys? *w*The premise is uniquely intriguing – it focuses on the rapidly-spreading existence of Neta (seed), which appears in people’s hearts and turns them into killing machines. One fine day, a group of mysterious people approach Chiharu and inform her that she is the only person in the world that has the power to extract these seeds permanently, otherwise all they can do is continue temporarily destroying the seed (and its human host) again, and wait until it respawns. They call themselves Sekku no Ko (節句の子), which basically translates into children of the seasonal festivals. They were gifted with magical powers related to nature’s elements and were taken captive into a garden as they were deemed as a potential threat to humanity. They were later cursed to a life of immortality by a group of dark mages that had wanted to mold their souls into something more powerful than a human could ever be, but they escaped before the entire ritual could be completed, and are thus eternally stuck in their immortal bodies. They’re helping to keep the seeds in check for now, but the problem is that the appearance of these seeds are getting more and more frequent, and at this rate they are never going to be released from their torture – their ultimate goal is to become mortal again. The manga follows through the journey of finding out the reasons behind why they were cursed, also also uncovering the culprits behind this entire incident. It actually takes place over the span of a few hundred years, but the past is told in flashbacks. What really made the manga memorable for me were the plot twists in the last volume, which had me flipping the pages so frantically and anxiously! Hanaori Soushi has lots of drama involving the relationships between siblings, friends and of course, what would a shoujo manga be without romance? 8) Lots of mushy wushy is involved – and literally, it tells the story of a love that transcends time. Thankfully, the ending is extremely heartwarming, and it’s the kind of beautiful end that leaves you feeling satisfied.

 

*Dengeki Daisy | Author: Motomi Kyousuke

Genre:Action, Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice Of Life

Status:Ongoing

Volumes:11

Year released:2007

Summary: Teru, a poor and kind girl, recently lost her older brother, her only remaining relative. Before he died, he gave her a cell phone connecting her to a person he said would support her if ever he were unable to. As time passes she is cheered on by text messages sent from this enigmatic person, known only as DAISY. But one day, through an unexpected incident as Teru begins working for the delinquent school janitor, Kurosaki, she starts to question DAISY’s identity. DAISY may be closer to Teru than she thinks…

Before Dengeki Daisy, I didn’t know computers and shoujo could go together. xD It seems like a rather far-fetched thing, but Dengeki Daisy manages to incorporate hackers, viruses and other geeky computer stuff seamlessly into a shoujo manga. The premise of a mysterious guardian angel (DAISY) looking after Teru through a cellphone is really interesting and it keeps you in suspense – although early on it’s early pretty obvious who DAISY actually is, Teru doesn’t actually realize it until a lot later. I came to the point when I was so close to screaming at the screen “DAISY IS RIGHT BESIDE YOU!” but when it did happen, I was so touched I actually cried ;w;

But it’s not only the geeky computer part that interested me – to be honest, this whole sweet, innocent girl falls in love with a delinquent thing isn’t new, but Dengeki Daisy manages to pull it off wonderfully. Not only is the age gap much wider this time round, the delinquent is actually working as a janitor at the school – at this point in time, you’re probably wondering how on earth could someone even fall for this guy. Well, I thought that too, until the manga begins to reveal the little things that he’s been doing for her in her everyday life, ever since she was a little girl. They’re more of a comedic couple than a romantic couple, these two, and both of them aren’t particularly adept at expressing the love thing. Their love-hate relationship is really fun to watch because their quarrels are hilarious (“GO BALD!” she said), and when their few but lovely romantic moments arrive, they’re golden. Overall, this is a rather heavy read as the tone and atmosphere starts to get heavier as the series progresses, but I’m still sticking to it today for those precious romantic moments. Whether you’d like this manga or not is very subjective to your taste, but it’s definitely worth a try. ^A^


 

And so that’s it for this time round! Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and ‘ve gotten some good shoujo manga out of it! ^A^ I’m always up for more fluffy romance, so if you have any awesome shoujo manga to recommend, please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment! Even a comment full of SQUEEs and DAWWWs is okay too, because I know how you feel – shoujo manga does things to my heart :’) Till next time!♥

About

A stressed-out jyoushi kousei doubling as Metanorn's loli with a soft spot for sappy romance animanga. She will watch anything with bishies in it. :3
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15 Responses to “Shoujo Digest: Shiawase Time”

  1. Iso says:

    Great post! I like to read shoujo manga once in a while because the love and romance featured in these manga are usually very pure and innocent – there’s just this feel to it that you don’t get from reading other genres.

    When I saw the cover art for Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu, my first thought was “hold on a second, that looks very familiar!” A google search confirmed my suspicion, because apparently the cover poster for the live action movie shows the lead characters in the exact same pose in the exact same setting. I knew of the live-action movie, but never did I once think that it was based off a manga!

    I read the first few pages of the first chapter of Dengeki Daisy before, but I didn’t continue on for some reason… Why exactly, I can’t remember. I’ll probably pick it up again sometime. In fact, someone else I know also mentioned to me before that it’s pretty high-rated.

    As for recommendations, you should take a look at Hiyokoi by Yukimaru Moe. It’s pretty good ;)

    • Miyu says:

      heyyy lso! :D you didn’t strike me as the type that would read shoujo HAHA it’s okay, guys who read shoujo are to be admired (Y)

      did you watch the movie? i cried so badly ;w; it’s a very long story though so if you get bored of the manga you can watch the movie AHHH TOUCHING LOVE STORIES! (✿ ♥‿♥)

      dengeki daisy’s peak is actually during the middle-ish, maybe around chapter 30, and now it’s getting slightly repetitive, but it’s still worth sticking around for the lovey dovey moments xD

      oh i’ve read hiyokoi! i thought the idea of pairing a tall guy with a petite girl was cute, but the female lead did annoy me at times :\ so i think i dropped it halfway xD

  2. Amutofan123 says:

    I’m a pretty die-hard shoujo fangirl (and anyone who follows me on Twitter should know that). I haven’t gotten that far in Ao Haru Ride yet, but it’s pretty sweet so far. It’s exactly the time of manga that I like. And Dengeki Daisy is one of my favorite manga ever! It’s hilarious and adorable and Kurosaki is love~

    I haven’t heard of the others in this post, but I will certainly check them out. The more shoujo, the better~

    • Miyu says:

      hehe i saw your twitter! it’s filled with fangirly shoujo things, i think we can be best friends. i know! aoharuride kind of hits that soft spot in everybody, and i think it’s a shoujo that most would come to love 8) KUROSAKI //// he’s usually so rowdy and stuff but when he’s talking to teru he can be so adorably gentle.. (´ ▽`).。o♡

      hehe hope you’ll like the other manga! yes indeed, shoujo is my guilty pleasure :3

  3. Karakuri says:

    A Kiss to My Prince looks really good!! I’m a sucker for those kinds of historical romance stories. …Hell, all of these look good.

    I don’t think I’ve read any of these, so thanks for the recommendations, Miyu! ヽ(*´ω`)ノ

    • Miyu says:

      hey karaaa ♡ i know right, i love historical romance (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) but actually i think it’s easier to find good historical romance books than manga, i haven’t really read a lot that have made my heart go doki doki! xD do you have any titles to recommend?

      glad you enjoyed it hehe :3 my evil plan to convert everyone into shoujo addicts is working!!! (now we just have to tackle OC HAHA /not happening)

  4. akagami says:

    I’m reading Aoharaido and Dengeki Daisy, both great mangas! I haven’t heard of the others (at first glance, I don’t like the art of Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu, A Kiss to My Prince looks interesting, and Hanaori SoushiI’m kind of turned off because of the supernatural/sci-fi aspect).

    Have you read Love so Life (very cute and fuzzy, kind of like when I watched Usagi Drop) and Strobe Edge (so good!!! I love sweet romance stories)? Love those two!

    Other shoujo manga I’m currently reading (in my queue to continue/finish) are:
    Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume (it can be a little slow but enjoying it nonetheless)
    Lovely Complex (I watched the anime when it aired and catching up on the manga)
    Ame Nochi Hare (Cute! With some gender swapping, don’t be turned off because of that!)
    Akagami no Shirayukihime (historical setting with a strong female and male lead – a silly tidbit, this title inspired my name ^^)
    Faster than a Kiss (teacher and student story, I ♥ Fumino)
    Hana to Akuma (demons and humans, the interactions with Vivi and Hana are just toooooo cute)
    Kimi ni Todoke (because it’s just awesome. I cried so much)
    Monkey High (the two are just too cute together!!!)
    Shiro no Eden (it’s decent, I was looking for something to read a while back and this caught my eye)
    Stardust Wink (likewise, cute and enjoyable, but nothing outstanding)
    Watashi ni xx Shinasai! (It started out pretty interesting, now I’m continuing it when I have nothing else to read)
    Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen (some shoujo fun, Euda, please don’t stop kicking Johane’s butt)

    I really have too much of a backlog in everything, so much good stuff and so little time =(

    • Miyu says:

      woah so many titles! hehe you know i like to search for random shoujo manga when i’m bored/when i feel like it, but the problem is that i’ve been reading so many that i can’t keep track of the ongoing ones TT^TT haha

      HISTORICAL ROMANCE!♡ ooh if Akagami no Shirayukihime is good enough to inspire your name i’m sure it’ll be a good read, will check it out!~ will try love so life too hehe.

      for watashi ni xx shinasai though i’ve gotten kind of turned off by the ridiculousness of it all and it’s just lost it’s appeal :c i stopped quite awhile ago, but is there anything that you think’s good enough to go back to continuing it?

      • akagami says:

        No no, it’s still very ridiculous. If you got turned off at the beginning, there’s nothing there to make you want to return.

  5. Hoshi says:

    ~Uwah, such a pretty post, Miyu *A*

    I enjoyed Strobe Edge a lot (and plan on buying it here in the States when they release it in November), so I’ve been constantly tempted to read Ao Haru Ride, but for some reason I haven’t. Now I’m officially convinced I should!

    Hanaori Soushi sounds really interesting as well. I like the fantasy twist and the whole ‘love that transcends time’ theme to it~ I wish someone would translate it, or that I could learn Japanese faster so I can read it s;ldkfhkgf ;~;

    • Miyu says:

      sankyu hoshi! (´∀`)♡

      if you liked strobe edge, YOU NEED TO READ AOHARURIDE!! REALLY!! *fangirls* i loved strobe edge, but i think i’m liking aoharuride even more right now hehe. sakisaka io is awesome and i’m definitely going to be checking out her future titles.

      hanaori soushi was a good and refreshing read. it’s pretty new though, so i think there might be people translating it later on. i kind of got the gist by reading it in jap, but honestly if i had translated scans it’ll be a lot easier and clearer to read xD ganbatte with learning japanese! it’s worth it in the end c:

  6. Blubbly says:

    I remembered staying up late at night just so I could read all chapters of Strobe Edge. I’m enjoying Ao Haru Ride quite a bit as well. I read A Kiss To My Prince some time ago, but never really did appreciate it as much as the author’s other work “Dear My Girls”.

    Much like you, I’m another shoujo fan and I just can’t seem to stop munching them all up once I start. If you’re looking for fluffy/cute romance, maybe Kiss Made no Kyori? There are, however, only 2 translated chapters so far. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji’s not bad as well. Parfait Tic’s a pretty good classic manga. It has the typical love-triangle formula as well but it is done well. The pacing’s not rushed and though you might get frustrated with certain characters, if you can overcome that it’s a throughly enjoyable read.

    Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu’s genre tag looks almost similiar to Bokura Ga Ita. It has a pretty realistic approach to the shoujo genre. If you’re looking for more manhwa check out Savage Garden. Has gender-bender themes to it with historical settings.

    And if you’re looking for something different, try reading Oboreru Knife.

    • Miyu says:

      i would think that strobe edge is my favorite manga in terms of romance and school life – it’s hard to find anything that will top it in that expect, it’s written beautifully :’)

      i don’t think i’ve actually read dear my girls yet, so i’ll be sure to check it out. i knowww, us shoujo lovers have that tendency of being unable to stop once we start. woahh thanks for all the recommendations, i’ll try reading them and get back to you after.

      and also welcome to metanorn! (。・ω・。)ノ♡ thanks for delurking hehe hope to see you around!~

  7. anaaga says:

    I’m not a big an of shoujo, but some of the shoujo here looks appealing. Except Dengeki Daisy. I just want that to end.
    How do you people manage to find decent shoujo when I can’t? Except the fact that I only have “yaoi” tag marked.

    By the way such a gorgeous cover. Y U PEOPLE R SO GOOD WITH PHOTOSHOP

    (Whoa, I’m actually commenting. It’s been forever)

  8. MikADo says:

    wow you just put so many things on my list to see, damn it why do they all look so fun and adorable! i need more time to study!

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