Yup, it’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and of course, not all of us have found that special someone to share it with (yet!). And sometimes, if you’re feeling just a little bit lonely when everyone else seems to be feeling the exact opposite, you just want to drown yourself in a different world. A new world, with a little guaranteed romance just for you. That’s where some wonderful shoujo manga kicks in! Sure, it’s for girls, but this week, anyone can enjoy some good ol’ shoujo. Just forget all that ails ‘ya and read a title or two on this list!
14-sai no Koi
This is an awkward, goofy, and adorably romantic little manga series. There isn’t much of it out yet, just about 2 volumes or so worth, but it’s quite good. The romance aspect is strong, and it’s very cute. Unlike a lot of standard shoujo series, which details the romance from start to finish (with many trials and tribulations along the way), 14-sai no Koi puts you right in the middle of two kids who are happily in love, living their high school life the best they can. Due to their school personas, they can’t quite interact all lovey-dovey at school, so they find time to meet up and act like a normal couple whenever they can. Of course, they’re each only 14 so they’re adorably innocent and cute and it’s just a barrel of lighthearted fun.
Another cute series, though this one features characters that are a bit older than 14-sai no Koi. However, they are somewhat similar in that each main character has a certain school persona, and then a different persona outside of school. In this case, the main character Hori is a perfect student and over all gracious person in school, whereas at home she’s a doting kind of housewife. She’s not married, of course! On the flipside, Miyamura is just a quiet guy with glasses in school, but outside of it he’s some sorta crazy delinquent punk with many piercings and tattoos. He’s not actually a punk, of course. He just has a lot of piercings and tattoos. This manga also only has about 2 volumes out, but it’s a cute journey for these two characters to go through. They’re just beginning to fall in love~
This is just a collection of 4 one-shots by one of my favorite authors, Sahara Mizu/Yumeka Sumomo (she also did My Girl, which I heartily recommend!). All of the one-shots are romantic in nature and are somewhat similar thematically. Each story goes through seven days, assigning each day a color as befits that day. It may sound a bit odd, but trust me it’s a cute little mechanic. Sahara Mizu is of course an expert at the romantic one-shots, and this is by no means an exception. Every story in this collection is adorable and cute and heartwarming and will probably make your lonely Valentine’s Day a little brighter (until you get out of fantasy land at least). My personal favorite is the first one, because I love glasses~
Another collection of romantic one-shots, again done by Sahara Mizu. This time the inspiration comes from a Japanese band called Sukima Switch. I’m not too familiar with them (besides the fact that they did one of the opening themes to Kemono no Souja Erin) but if Sahara Mizu enjoys them that’s good enough for me! Each chapter is based off of a single song from the band. If you’re a fan of the band, I’d imagine this work would be right up your alley, but even if you’re not it’s damn good! Of course this collection meets (and in some ways exceeds) all the expectations I have as a fan of the author. This time around my favorite story is the 4th one. Old people love is cute~
Taiyou no Ie
This is the last manga I’d like to cover, and it has about 4 volumes of material out. It’s perhaps the most traditionally shoujo out of all of these in terms of art style and atmosphere. There isn’t anything wrong with the generic shoujo atmosphere, but there’s a lot of trashy shoujo manga out there. This, of course, is one of the good ones! The main character is this high school aged girl, Mao, who lives with her crush, the older childhood friend Hiro, due to a variety of circumstances. Mao is of course adorable and her connection to Hiro is cute to see develop. The romance is a little bit slower in this one (to some degree) but I like it that way. Beyond that it deals with themes like family and abandonment, so romance is not all that’s going on here. It’s still a significant portion of the manga, though. If you’re looking for a cute shoujo to just fall into for an hour or two, this definitely fits the bill.