Romance anime is good, but romance manga is usually better. Not to mention portable so you can get your fix of that addicting thing called love anywhere you end up. Usually in romance manga they are not pressed by time or budget so you end up with a cleaner, more thought out, and polished story.

I have also provided recommendations for romance animes as well, most of which have very decent mangas as well. However, for the sake of variety, I have left them off this particular list.

hana kimi

Hana Kimi

Hana Kimi, short for Hanazakari no Kimi Tachi e, follows the female Japanese-American girl named Mizuki. She transfers to a private school in Japan so that she may be close to her idol Izumi Sano. Izumi Sano was a all star high jumper who mysteriously stopped doing the sport in his prime. Mizuki aims to find out why and get to know the man that has inspired her so. However, there is just one problem. The school she is transferring to is an all-boys academy. So in order to be near Izumi Sano, she must dress as a man and disguise herself. It only becomes more difficult when she is assigned to be Izumi Sano's roommate.

I have never been a fan of gender bending, a lot of gender benders give manga the reputation in the West as being 'weird'. However, Hana Kimi is a barrel of laughs as you can imagine with a girl in a boys school, making them have very confusing feelings. However, it also has some great romance since for most of the manga the male love interest knows that Mizuki is in fact a woman. He feels the need to protect her and her identity and it is really quite sweet.

mars manga


Kira is a shy artist in high school. She does not socialize well and lives only for her art. Rei is exactly the opposite. He is an rebellious, violent and damaged play boy. To him, his delinquency is like a badge of honor. One day Kira witnesses Rei kissing a statue of Mars, the roman God of war. It awake a passionate creativity in her. Shy overcomes her debilitating shyness and asks him to model for her. Much to her surprise, Rei accepts.

Mars is a considered the hidden treasure of the romantic manga genre. While it is shorter than the others on this list, it is an extremely gripping story. It is also beautifully drawn. The story is so generic, what with the shy girl falling in love with the rebellious boy, but the way the author portrays it with both the sweetness of love and the pain that is shared between both characters is just so touching.

hana yori dango manga

Hana Yori Dango

Tsukushi Makino is a daughter from a lower middle class family. However, her family works hard to send her to a prestigious private school where the children of the rich and famous dwell. While she is smart, she lacks the designer clothes and fancy vacations to foreign countries to fit in. The most powerful group of students in that academy are known as the Flower 4. The sons of rich and powerful families, if you get on their bad side, they will make your life miserable until you leave the academy. Tsukushi is one of those that gets on the bad side of the leader of the Flower 4, Tsukasa Domyouji. However, after punching him in the face, Domyouji becomes absolutely enamored with her.

If you liked 50 Shades of Grey, this manga is a bit like it. Of course there is no BSDM in it, but the main characters are similar. The major downfall of Hana Yori Dango is the simplistic artwork, however once you get use to it, this story is so utterly gripping and sweet that it is hard to put down. At first you find yourself hating Domyouji but slowly learn to love him as Tsukushi does as a loveable idiot.

hot gimmick manga

Hot Gimmick

Hatsumi Narita and her family live in a small apartment because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. These apartments are ruled over by the Tachibana family. Mrs. Tachibana feeds on rumors and if you get on her bad side, she can make the life of your family in the apartments a living hell. When Hatsumi's little sister needs her to buy a pregnancy test, Hatsumi reluctantly accepts. However, Mrs. Tachibana's snobbish son Ryoki witnesses her buy it. If this secret got out, it would ruin her family. Ryoki agrees to keep her secret is she becomes his slave. Things become even more complicated when Hatsumi's childhood protector Asuza moves back into the neighborhood with sinister motives.

This is another romantic comedy that follows a normal girl who is pursued by a rich boy. While it sounds like Ryoki will make her do terrible things as a slave, he actually has quite a bit of humanity when it comes to that. He is a spoiler rich boy, but Hatsumi and her overwhelming normalness break him of that.


Great Teacher Onizuka

Onizuka spent most of his teen years skipping classes and leading a notorious biker gang with other misfits. However, now that he has matured as an adult, Onizuka sets his sights on a nobler profession. Onizuka dreams of becoming the greatest teacher in all of Japan, though he has the less than noble aim of doing to seduce a high school girl. The only problem in Onizuka's plan is that his has less than approved teaching methods and the members of Japan's academia look down on him because of his rowdy past. However, for the troublesome class he has been put in charge of, his methods might be just what they need.

I recommend Great Teacher Onizuka as it has quite a bit of romance, only it is from the perspective of a male lead. Of course, the plot may suggest that he tries to seduce high school girls, but his main love interest actually ends up being a female teacher. Of course, there is a lot of perverted comedy, but overall Great Teacher Onizuka is a poignant comedy that follows him as he pursues his love interest and solves the problems of his students.

These are just a few of the best selected from my personal manga library. If you have been fortunate to read all of these or have a specific sort of manga in mind, leave a comment. I can give more suggestions if you want them!