The 20 Best Manga Romance Books (Graphic Novels)

As a child, you might have been exposed to a lot of mainstream anime. Some of the globally known anime are Naruto and One Piece. For romance anime, you might be familiar with “Maid Sama!” or ones you might see on Netflix like, “Komi Can’t Communicate.” 

The 20 Best Manga Romance Books (Graphic Novels)

Well, these anime are derived from their manga. The term “Manga,” refers to graphic novels that are popular in Japan, and have become a staple in the entertainment industry since after World War II. 

Since you’ve stumbled upon this article, you are probably someone who has been reading manga for a long time or someone who’s just starting to read. Filled with heartwarming storylines that center on youth and unique characters that you will come to love, these 20 best romance manga books will surely keep you entertained.

20 Best Manga Romance Books:

Kaguya-Sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1

Short summary: Kaguya-Sama: Love is War is a seinen romance. This is the story of the student council president, Kaguya, and vice president, Miyuki. They are unique characters that have great chemistry together. 

The premise of this manga is that the two harbor feelings toward each other but don’t want to be the first to confess. 

That’s why, throughout the series, you will read about their mind games as they try to make each other admit their love first. This manga has its own anime adaptation with 37 episodes.

Date published: May 2015 – November 2022

Volumes/Chapters: 28

Horimiya by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara

Horimiya Vol. 1

Short summary: Horimiya is a slice-of-life romance manga that features the story of Hori and Miyamura. Hori is the popular and beautiful schoolgirl, and Miyamura is the quiet and nerdy boy that actually loves body art. 

Although they’re two people who you’d likely think have a relationship, you’ll soon realize how they complement each other as a couple. Horimiya also has its own anime adaptation, which was released in 2021. 

Date published: October 2011 – March 2021

Volumes/Chapters: 16

The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto

The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol. 1

Short summary: The Demon Prince of Momochi House is a supernatural romance manga that follows the story of Himari and Aoi. Himari is a high school girl who inherits a house from her grandfather, only to find out it is inhabited by the demon prince Aoi. 

With a house full of spirits and demons, Himari must navigate the supernatural world while trying to win Aoi’s heart. This manga is also called “Momochi-san”, for short.

Date published: July 2013 – August 2019

Volumes/Chapters: 16

Orange by Ichigo Takano

orange Vol. 1

Short summary: Orange is a heart-wrenching romance about a girl named Naho who receives letters from her future self warning her of a tragedy about to happen. Naho then tries to change the future in order to save her love.

Prepare a box of tissues as you read, though! You’ll probably be needing it. Orange was adapted into an anime and live-action film because of its popularity. This is expected as Takano, the author of “Orange,” is known for her unique storytelling and the emotional depth of her works.

Date published: March 13, 2012 – April 12, 2022

Volumes/Chapters: 7

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita 

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Complete Manga Box Set (Wotakoi Box Set)

Short summary: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is a romantic comedy that focuses on the relationship between a group of otaku office workers. Otakus are obsessive fans of anime, manga, and video games. The main couple, Narumi and Hirotaka, are childhood friends who reunite at work. 

They discover their shared otaku interests, and this leads to a hilarious and awkward romance. This series gained a large following online, which led to an anime adaptation. In 2020, a live-action film was also released.

Date published: April 17, 2014 – July 16, 2021

Volumes/Chapters: 11

Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka

Ao Haru Ride, Vol. 1

Short summary: Ao Haru Ride is a classic high school romance about the story of Futaba and Kou. Futaba reunites with her middle school crush, Kou, but many things have changed. 

Kou has become cold and distant, and as they begin to grow closer again, Futaba must navigate her feelings while dealing with Kou’s emotional baggage and high school life drama.

This series has beautiful artwork and a relatable storyline, making it a must-read for anyone who loves a good teenage romance. You might get frustrated along the way, silently screaming at the main leads to please confess to each other.

Due to the popularity of this manga, it was adapted into an anime and a live-action film. Ao Haru Ride can be translated to “Blue Spring Ride.” The author aimed to convey the bittersweet sentiment of youth, which is often linked to the fleeting beauty of spring.

Date published: December 2011 – June 2015

Volumes/Chapters: 13

My Dress-Up Darling by Shinichi Fukuda

My Dress-Up Darling 01

Short summary: My Dress-Up Darling is an ongoing manga that follows Wakana Gojo, a high school student who has a passion for crafting and sewing. Marin Kitagawa is your usual popular high school beauty.

Reading those descriptions, you’d think that Gojo and Marin have nothing in common. In reality, they both share a love for cosplay! 

Many readers have commended the series for its respectful and affirmative depiction of LGBTQ+ characters and topics, such as Marin’s gender identity and his relationship with Wakana.

Date published: January 2018 – present

Volumes/Chapters: 11

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket Collector's Edition Vol. 1 (Fruits Basket Collectors Ed)

Short summary: Fruits Basket is not your ordinary romance manga, as it has some supernatural elements to it. High school student Tohru Honda befriends members of the Sohma family, who are cursed to transform into animals of the zodiac when hugged by someone of the opposite sex.

As the series progresses, Tohru stays by the Sohma family’s side and attempts to help them break the curse. She’s also classmates with Yuki and Kyo, with whom she develops deeper relationships.

Fruits Basket became so popular that it led to the development of its own merchandise and themed cafes! It also has its own anime adaptation with 63 episodes.

Date published: July 1998 – November 2006

Volumes/Chapters: 23

Love Me, Love Me Not by lo Sakisaka

Love Me, Love Me Not, Vol. 1

Short summary: Love Me, Love Me Not is another high school romance manga by Io Sakisaka, author of Ao Haru Ride. This is a cute story of two high school girls struggling with their first loves. 

Yuna and Akari meet under unique circumstances and find out they live in the same building. This leads them to form a relationship and grow closer. This is a great manga about friendship, romantic experiences, and youth.

Love Me, Love Me Not was adapted into an anime and live-action film due to its popularity.

Date published: June 2015 – May 2019

Volumes/Chapters: 12

Maid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara

Maid-sama! (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 1: Includes Vols. 1 & 2

Short summary: Maid Sama! is a fun romance manga that follows the story of Misaki and Usui. Misaki is a strong and independent woman who became the first female council president in their school.

Misaki’s family is struggling, which is why she has to support them by taking a part-time job as a maid in a local cafe. Takumi Usui accidentally discovers her working there. As they spend more time together, Misaki finds her growing feelings for Takumi hard to balance with school duties and a part-time job. 

The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, as you will laugh out loud and blush with their interactions. Maid Sama also has a 26-episode anime series.

Date published: December 2005 to September 2013

Volumes/Chapters: 18

My Love Mix-Up! by Aruko and Wataru Hinekure

My Love Mix-Up!, Vol. 1

Short summary: My Love Mix-Up!  is a romantic comedy that focuses on the stories of Aoki, Hashimoto, and Ida. It is a series of misunderstandings that lead to a blossoming romance between the two boys, Aoki and Ida. 

This is a hilarious BL romance manga that readers will surely enjoy. 

Date published: June 2019 – June 2022

Volumes/Chapters: 9

Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akizuki

Snow White with the Red Hair, Vol. 1

Short summary: Snow White with the Red Hair is an ongoing fantasy romance manga that currently has 25 volumes. This manga takes inspiration from Snow White but gives it a twist. 

Our main heroine is Shirayuki, a herbalist with gorgeous red hair, who catches the eye of prince Raj, who orders her to be his concubine. She refuses his orders and cuts her hair.

She escapes to the neighboring kingdom, where she meets and befriends Prince Zen and his two aides. When Zen receives a poisoned apple meant for Shirayuki, she successfully obtains the antidote to help him.

Thus begins their adventure together. This manga was adapted into an anime series in 2015, which became very popular and led to a surge in sales of red hair dye in Japan.

Date published:  August 2006 – present

Volumes/Chapters: 25

My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko

My Love Story!!, Vol. 1

Short summary: My Love Story!! is a romantic comedy manga series that follows the love story of Takeo and Yamato. Takeo is a very tall high school student, often misunderstood as scary but actually having a heart of gold. Yamato is a shy and petite girl. 

Takeo’s best friend is Makoto, who is charming and good-lucking. Most of the girls Takeo likes end up falling for his best friend, except for Yamato. 

Throughout the manga series, Takeo and Yamato face various challenges – from misunderstandings to jealousy and self-doubt. But whatever comes their way, they always manage to come out stronger.

My Love Story is translated to “Ore Monogatari!!” in Japan, which was adapted into an anime series and live-action film in 2015.

Date published: October 2011 – July 2016

Volumes/Chapters: 13

Lovely Complex by Aya Nakahara

Love★Com, Vol. 1

Short summary: Lovely Complex is a romantic comedy shojo manga that finished in 2006. Since its manga release, it has also been adapted into a live-action film, an anime television series, and a game. 

It also has a sequel manga titled “Love Com D or Love.” This manga follows the story of Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani. Risa, the female protagonist, is a tall girl – standing 172 centimeters. On the other hand, Otani is 156 cm, a very short height for a boy.

This charming and funny story explores the ups and downs of teenage romance with a unique twist on the “opposites attract” trope.

Date published: September 2001 – December 2006

Volumes/Chapters: 17

Daily Butterfly by Suu Morishita

Daily Butterfly nº 01/12

Short summary: Daily Butterfly is a cute high school romance manga about two painfully shy high schoolers, Suiren and Kawasumi. After being bullied by boys who liked her, Suiren became reserved and rarely spoke. 

As she started high school, Kawasumi stood out to her because he didn’t show any interest in her. The title “Daily Butterfly” is better known as “Hibi Chouchou” in Japan. If you’re looking for a heartwarming story about first loves, this is the perfect starter manga!

Date published: February 2012 – June 2015

Volumes/Chapters: 12

The Quintessential Quintuplets by Negi Haruba

The Quintessential Quintuplets Part 1 Manga Box Set (The Quintessential Quintuplets Manga Box Set)

Short summary: The Quintessential Quintuplets is a high school romantic comedy with five cute girls (hence the title, “quintuplets”). This follows the misadventures of Fuutarou Uesugi, who lives a difficult life because his mother died and his father has a large debt. 

An opportunity presents itself in the form of becoming a tutor for five identical sisters. But with five sisters having different personalities and academic problems, Fuutarou has his work cut out for him.

This manga series has been so popular that it has inspired a live-action TV adaptation, an anime series, and even a video game. 

Date published: August 2017 – February 2020

Volumes/Chapters: 14

Last Game by Shinobu Amano

Last Game Vol. 1

Short summary: Last Game is an endearing high school drama that features the story of Kujou and Yanagi. Yanagi is the male lead, who is a rich and popular boy. On the other hand, Kujou is a poor and silent girl who has always topped Yanagi in everything. 

For a long time, Yanagi has treated this as a “game”. But as time passes, they are met with the question: “Are they developing feelings for each other?” Will they confess, or will they keep up this competition forever?

This cute manga series will definitely have you reminiscing about your youth and high school days.

Date published: July 2011 – June 2016

Volumes/Chapters: 11

Inu X Boku SS by Cocoa Fujiwara

Inu x Boku SS Vol. 1

Short summary: Inu X Boku SS is a hilarious romantic comedy manga about sheltered and socially awkward Ririchiyo, who moves into a mansion for the wealthy elite. The twist is that all her neighbors are supernatural creatures, including her handsome half-human, half-demon bodyguard, Soushi.

Soushi is there to defend her as she attempts to get used to her new surroundings and deal with the oddities of her neighbors. Will their professional connection blossom into something more?

Inu X Boku SS was adapted into an anime series in 2012.

Date published: April 2009 – February 2014

Volumes/Chapters: 11

Skip and Loafer by Misaki Takamatsu

Skip and Loafer Vol. 1

Short summary: Skip and Loafer is a romantic comedy manga. This follows the story of Mitsumi, a country girl who has always dreamed of leaving to chase her dreams in Tokyo.

She finally gets the opportunity as she transfers to a Tokyo high school. There, she meets Shima Sousuke, a popular handsome classmate. As they spend their days together, friendships form, and Mitsumi gets to enjoy her life away from home. 

They’re currently creating an anime series adaptation for Skip and Loafer, which will be released in April 2023.

Date published: August 2008 – present

Volumes/Chapters: 8

A Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano

A Girl on the Shore

Short summary: A Girl on the Shore is not your ordinary romance manga. The story follows two teenagers, Isobe and Koume. As they form a physical relationship with the intention of keeping it casual, they encounter struggles with their complicated emotions.

A Girl on the Store tackles important issues in a relationship and in youth, such as sexuality, identity, and feelings of loneliness. Although this isn’t a light read, it is still a good addition to the list.

Date published: July 2009 – January 2013 

Volumes/Chapters: 2

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the first manga in history?

The first manga in history is considered to be the “Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga.” Although your usual manga, these four-picture scrolls depict humorous and satirical scenes of animals engaging in human activities. 

What is romance manga called?

The romance genre is also known as shojo manga. These types of manga are meant for young girls. These shoujo stories focus on the development of romantic relationships and are generally a light read.

What is the longest romance manga?

To date, the longest romance manga is “The Glass Mask,” written and illustrated by Suzue Miuchi. It is currently ongoing and has a total of 49 volumes.

What does Korea call manga?

Koreans use the term “manhwa,” which is a general term for comics and print cartoons.

Is manga good for the brain?

Yes, it is. Manga can enhance your creativity and let you process reading images and texts faster!

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Lisette Lao