I dunno if you got any asks like this but what Shojo Anime/Manga do you recommend personally?
Hi! It’s actually been a while, probably because I’ve mostly moved to Twitter for anything other than reblogs. Still, I’m glad you asked, because I’m always happy to talk about my favorite series.
Just FYI, some of these series are out-of-print; others, I haven’t read for quite a while and my opinions may be different if I were to re-read them today. None of them are particularly obscure - I’ll be honest, I’m pretty basic when it comes to this stuff. I’m going on personal taste, not feminist merit here. In no particular order:
Basara is excellent action-fantasy with a heroine who has to step and be strong even when it’s a struggle in a post-apocalyptic future
Yona of the Dawn is about a deposed princess in fantasy Korea trying to gather the Four Dragons so that she can get her kingdom back
Red River is basically a bodice-ripper and has a looooooot of issues with sexual assault but I enjoy it nonetheless
Please Save My Earth is a cool sci-fi that explores concepts of identity, reincarnation, and revenge
Fruits Basket is a beloved classic with a nurturer heroine helping a family cursed to turn into animals when they are embraced by a member of the opposite sex
My Love Story is very, very sweet and has a lovely, healthy relationship at its center
Kamisama Kiss is a problematic fave - the main love interest is a complete asshole but I love how it incorporates Shinto mythology
Kimi ni Todoke has somewhat outstayed its welcome but when it’s good, it’s so sweet and charming
Revolutionary Girl Utena is an all-time classic and the inspiration for this blog
Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden fixes a lot of issues with the series it spun off of and really illustrates Watase’s maturation as a storyteller
Lovely Complex features a couple founded on mutual interests and compatibility - she’s just way taller than him, and they both struggle with that
Nana features unflinching, unromanticized portrayals of unhealthy, even abusive relationships, and celebrates female friendship - unfortunately, it’s unlikely to ever be finished
Paradise Kiss is from the same author as Nana, and in my opinion the superior series; it’s a tight five volumes and one of the best female coming-of-age stories I’ve ever read
Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga is a historical “what-if” where, due to widespread disease, women end up running the Tokugawa shogunate
Princess Jellyfish is a beautiful story about people who reject or feel rejected by society, the community they build as outsiders, and how they react when it is threatened
Ouran High School Host Club, after a bit of a rough start, does a really admirable job of examining not only gender roles but socioeconomic inequality
Millennium Snow is from the same author with a full decade between when the first and second halves were written, and it’s interesting to see how Bisco Hatori matured as a writer and how it altered the course of the story.
Kare Kano has an excellent anime adaptation, from the same director as Evangelion, but for the love of god, skip the manga
All My Darling Daughters is a one-shot from Fumi Yoshinaga that is clearly, explicitly feminist.
Cardcaptor Sakura is a pretty good manga and a great anime, one of my favorite magical girl stories ever
I’m sure this is more than enough to start! Have fun!