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Looking to start shoujo romance, need something memorable

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Post #650268
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6:19 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 10


I am really in the mood for a fleshed-out, sweet romance that isn't going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I have never read a shoujo before, but I think that if I am looking for a great romance, I should try it out if I can find one that fits my guidelines - that's where you guys come in laugh

What I absolutely DO NOT want:

- Cheating
- "Plain" or ordinary / average MCs. I generally do not find them memorable
- "Flowery" overly feminine guys (long hair, ridiculous bloated lips)
- Abusive / tsundere girls or guys
- Reverse harems / heavy love triangles
- Yaoi or Yuri
- Romantic comedies - I don't mind if the series has comedy, but I don't want "romantic comedy" humor (slapstick misunderstandings etc.)
- Sad / tragic endings if the work is completed

What kind of things I enjoy:

- Couples that are protective of each other
- Sad / tragic protagonists (bullied / sexually or emotionally abused)
- Action / adventure / supernatural / sci-fi plots
- Heartwarming, memorable moments (give me something so sweet I contract diabetes, but heavy enough to bring the feels as well. I prefer darker stories that end well, I think they magnify the sweet moments so much more than a conflict-free slice of life.)
- I like when the conflict is not entirely caused by the relationship (e.g guy chasing girl, girl chasing guy) but is instead something external to the protagonists that they must overcome together. I want the conflict to bring them closer together, not push them apart until the last minute when they suddenly realize their feelings.
- Mutual love at first sight / "fated" connection between the protagonists


I have seen some shoujo with absolutely beautiful artwork and I would prefer you recommend those (especially attractive character models.) I also would prefer if the guys perspective is taken occasionally, or at least his thoughts are expressed to the reader - I think romance is best when you understand and love both characters both inside and out.

I haven't read any shoujo, so any recommendation is fair game. It might be important mention that I dropped both Kimi ni Todoke and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun animes because I could not stand the characters. I don't know if that will help any with the recommendations

Thanks for your time!



Last edited by Feyfray at 9:08 am, Aug 20 2014

Post #650269
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6:45 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 1792


Taiyou no Ie
Last Game he is more being shy than tsundere and very overprotective
Hana to Akuma

all these include triangles in some way but you won't find much without it, and these are really good in that regard, likable characters stay likable, and the rest doesn't feel out of place or useless.

basically, if you want to read some good shoujo, you won't get around these.
there are others I could mention, but these are probably the best ones.

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Post #650270
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6:48 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 30


Kare Kano matches four out of the six points of things you enjoy. The art may not be as beautiful as other shoujos, but it certainly is able to bring out beautiful moments.

Post #650271 - Reply to (#650269) by Lorska
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7:01 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 10


Quote from Lorska
Taiyou no Ie
Last Game he is more being shy than tsundere and very overprotective
Hana to Akuma

all these include triangles in some way but you won't find much without it, and these are really good in that regard, likable characters stay likable, and the rest doesn't feel out of place or useless.

...


I don't mind if it's a "triangle" where another guy/girl likes one of the MCs, what I don't want is a situation where a large majority of the plot is dedicated to "which guy will the heroine choose?" because I am not interested in a shipping war. Do most shoujos contain something like that, or are you talking about a triangle where one point is almost always completely unrequited? That doesn't bother me. I just don't want some indecisive MC flip-flopping between two guys. I want the protagonists to only have romantic feelings for one other person - I am not really concerned with who else likes the main couple or tries to interfere. Does that change anything or will it still be hard to find shoujos without that?

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7:15 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 17


It's very untypical and unfinished as of yet, but check out Ore Monogatari!!.

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7:58 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 241


I second Karekano and Ore Monogatari.

NG life is great. the mc, who has his previous life's memories, is torn between his previous self's wife who is now a cute boy and his previous life's best male friend, who is now the cute female childhood friend who's got a huge crush on him. I say "torn" but it's mostly him being stuck with the memory of his wife, unable to move on. He's not gay, he just can't accept that the love of his (previous) life is now male. It's really good, and even though it's definitely meant to be read with a smile, there are plenty of scenes that tug at your heartstrings. Also, not only the main characters, but also the secondary ones, are well developed.



Also, I know this is not what you've asked for, but a really good, not shoujo, slice of life romance is Sekine-kun no Koi. It was the first thing that came to mind when I read the title of the thread (I hadn't noticed the "shoujo part")

Post #650275
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8:09 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 12


Please save my earth - one of the best I have read. It's an old manga but I think with a great story and there were even some parts where I cried and I do it very rarely. In the first volumes the art may seem not so good but it does get better with each volume as well as the story may seem slow at first but then it really does pick up.

Basara - another great manga. Really recommend this one.

Cat Street - my third favorite shoujo manga.



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Lost Cow
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8:52 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 65


Mars- It pretty much fits all your criteria exactly. Definitely check this one out. It's one of the shoujo classics for sure. ES by the same mangaka might also float your boat, but it's seinen if you're just looking for shoujo.

Kingyo Sou-Not dark at all, but if diabetes is what you're looking for, there you have it. It's a great, short series with an unconventional romance.
Sarashi Asobi- Another short series with an unconventional romance (girl/shinigami). It has its dark moments and its fluffy moments. The heroine is a bit of a tsundere, but it's nothing excessive. IIRC, there are no love triangles in this one (it's short).

Seconding everything recommended by the others above.

The love triangle is pretty much a staple of shoujo manga, but there are plenty that don't have ones that take over the plot/main romance. The ones I've recommended to you all follow your request on this.

I've got a public list called Sweet Diabetes that you can check out, if that's what you're mainly looking for.

Your requests combine to be a very specific type of story. It'd be better being more broad about what you want to get more recommendations. There are many gems in shoujo/romance in general, but most don't subscribe exactly to what you've asked for.

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Post #650277 - Reply to (#650276) by sculamio
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9:00 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 10


Quote from sculamio
Mars- It pretty much fits all your criteria exactly. Definitely check this one out. It's one of the shoujo classics for sure. ES by the same mangaka might also float your boat, but it's seinen if you're just looking for shoujo.

Your requests combine to be a very specific type of story. It'd be better being more broad about what you want to get more recommendations. There are many gems in shoujo/romance in general, but most don't subscribe exactly to what you've asked for.


Well, the "things I enjoy" was only meant to help. I'm not looking for something with all of those things, but any of those things would be nice. I am very open to anything, I just figured it was good to be as specific as possible because if I just wanted generic recommendations I might as well just search "romance" and sort by rating. I don't really know what I want most of the time until I've found it, so I just thought I would list some things that I know for sure I enjoy. I didn't think my "what I don't want" was too restrictive, but maybe it was.

And I had completely forgotten that MARS was based on a manga. It's my second favorite Asian drama behind Orange Days. It's a wonderful story and it's definitely right in line with the kind of stories I love most. MARS is a great example of something that has what I would consider light triangles that don't bother me at all.

Thanks to everyone for the recommendations so far - I read nonstop so I am going to make a huge plan to read list.


Last edited by Feyfray at 9:13 am, Aug 20 2014

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The Wicked Bitch
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9:15 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 179


Six Half ?
It's really interesting, where the girl has a memory loss, starts to look back what she has been doing, and finally tries to find herself again
The protagonists are definitely protective to each other, and of course, the girl's internal conflict more about her past life, and her current state

Last edited by candicane at 9:35 am, Aug 20 2014

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Post #650280
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9:19 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 576


Coelacanth - Mystery manga with a dark ambience, essentially love at first sight, tragic childhood/abuse. Beautiful art. There's no narration from the male side though.

Maybe Gekka no Kimi - Love at first sight. MC is male. Pretty art.

I second Mars, Cat Street, Hana to Akuma...

Post #650284
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11:07 am, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 155


I third Hana to Akuma. Here are some that I think fit most of your description:

Mix Vegetable
Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume - funny but not the kind you don't like
Love Com - same as above
Dear - fantasy and super cute as well smile
Gakuen Alice - the male MC is a bit of a tsundere though....

All of these focus on a plot other than the couple's romance. Have fun reading biggrin

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12:10 pm, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 26


Kanata Kara Fantasy manga with both main leads protective of each other. Main character could still be considered ordinary (in that she's not out-of-this-world strong or anything), but I think it's still worth a try since she has a lot more common sense than the typical shoujo lead.
I second Mars, Cat Street, Kingyo Sou (this one especially since I feel like it might be overlooked and it's such a sweet story!), and Basara.

Post #650289 - Reply to (#650271) by Feyfray
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12:56 pm, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 1792


yeah no, this is complete dedication to their respective love interests. To the point where you actually feel bad for the one left out...

well the basic triangle is that there is one meddling and that is sadly part of almost every shoujo, something they should start to get rid of... the "advanced" version is common but there are at least some that go without, I lost count of shoujos that have this: "oh no I'm so sad because of the main protagonist that did some stupid things because of misunderstandings that could have been totally avoided, in fact this was my own fault to begin with, oh this other guy who just waited for this is so nice and comforting me, oh he is confessing to me and because I am so loose anyway might as well give it a go!"
yeah right...
just stay away from mainstream stuff because that is pretty bad in that regard.
but most of the things mentioned here are very good smile

that said, there will pretty much always be shipping wars. Taiyou no Ie has a lot of people supporting different couples but honestly they never had a chance of happening to begin with.

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Post #650291 - Reply to (#650289) by Lorska
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1:08 pm, Aug 20 2014
Posts: 10


Quote from Lorska
that said, there will pretty much always be shipping wars. Taiyou no Ie has a lot of people supporting different couples but honestly they never had a chance of happening to begin with.


True. I think the majority of shipping wars are harmless fun and they don't really bother me, but there are lots of series where the MC has strong feelings for two or more characters and you genuinely have no idea who they are going to end up with. If you've seen the anime White Album 2, it's exactly the kind of love triangle I try to avoid. It can probably be done well (personally, I hated White Album 2) but it usually makes me hate one or more of the MCs because they end up leading people on and completely devastating them. Even if it doesn't go as far as WA2 with the MC returning feelings to both girls (or guys,) I prefer protagonists that don't fall in love with multiple people so easily. I'm typically not reading or watching romance fiction for realism, it's more of a fantasy or escape for me. I like reading / watching romance stories to see people overcome obstacles through the power of love, not destroy someone because of it.

I think having a "love interest" (I say this loosely because they have no chance and it's obvious) that has unrequited feelings can be a powerful plot device and I don't mind it at all. At the end of the day, though, I want to be in love with the OTP and I hate it when wavering feelings undermine how I feel about the protagonists.

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