nodame cantabile

Romance Manga

Here are some fabulous shojo romance choices to keep you warm and cuddly! Enjoy! (No particular order)

Haru No Ride

Reason to read: The struggles the characters face are real. Futaba struggles with her identity, and Kou with his family and self-worth. We get to see these two characters fall in love and get many satisfying romantic moments! 


Wolf Girl and Black Prince 

Reason to read: At first, I wasn’t a fan of this one, but I am glad I gave it a second chance because this manga is freaking fantastic. The dynamic between the two has a rocky start but romance and reciprocated feelings soon ensure. Another great thing is that this manga actually mentions (and may in the future show) sex, unlike many shojo that tend to pretend that it does not exist. 


Ouran High School Host Club 

Reason to read: If you haven’t seen the fabulous anime, then go watch it and come back and read it. Your welcome. If you have seen it, then we all know what that final scene was missing. Do not fret! For this manga continues the antics and the romance! Everything from the characters to the plot are perfect in this manga and I can say with complete confidence that this manga has the most satisfying, heart-warming ending of any manga I have ever read. 


Nodame Cantabile 

Reason to read: I do not play an instrument and have never listened to classical music, but this manga gave me a profound appreciation for that world. Nodame is by far the most unique and interesting heroine I have come across in manga, and her relationship with Chiaki is great because the love takes a while to blossom, but that makes it a lot sweeter. There is a 3 season long anime series that I watched and enjoyed and I actually do believe that watching it might be a better option because this show does involve music, but the manga has a lot of spicy details that are fun to come back to after watching! 


Hibi Chouchou 

Reason to read: This manga is not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who like it LOVE it! The reason this manga polarizes people is because both protagonists are extremely quiet and shy, so we get a lot of glimpses into their thoughts and wishes, but not a lot of actual dialogue. The reason everyone should give it a try is because it really is an accurate depiction of the struggles of shy love and is really well drawn and cute.  


Kamisama Hajimemashita 

Reason to read: Nanami proves that a cute face and dainty demeanor does not define her level of strength. Tomoe and her relationship grow so naturally and the special circumstances they are in makes the reader really want to root for them. 


Horimiya 

Reason to read: Hori and Miyamura show each other sides of themselves that no one knows and they become essential parts of each others lives. They are so freaking cute together!


Your Lie in April 

Reason to read: First of all, I REALLY recommend watching the anime first. Our protagonists are musicians so if you actually want to hear their music, the anime is the best option. I would recommend reading the manga after watching the anime if you want to relive the pain good feelings. The strange thing about this show/manga is that technically, it is categorized as a “shonen” which automatically makes me think of lots of boobs and butts, but this show is an innocent and lovely choice for any reader! WARNING: sadness inside. 


Kaichou wa Maid Sama! 

Reason to read: Misaki is one of the most kick-ass girl characters. She juggles being the student council president with great grades and a job at a maid cafe all while her home life crumbles. Usui and Misaki are one of my favorite manga couples because they truly deserve each other! 


Akagami no Shirayukihime 

Reason to read: Shirayuki may look like a weakling, but she is actually mentally strong and incredibly brave. I have not read too much of this manga yet, but so far I like what I see, and since I always spoil stuff for myself, I know for a fact that love is around the river bend! 


Cherry Boy, That Girl 

Reason to Read: First of all, this is a Korean manhwa, not a manga, so you read it left to right. This freaking work of art…I love this manhwa. It has it all, twists, turns, love, deceit, tricks, and treats galore, all wrapped up in fully colored chapters!


Last Game

Reason to read: OMGGGGG. It all started when Kujou knocked Yanagi off of his high-horse by beating him in almost everything: school, sports, and the like. Yanagai was one of those boys who has talent, but mostly gets what he wants because he is rich. Then Kujou comes out of nowhere and with her ordinary, plain-jane looks steals his pride without really trying at all. From that moment, Yanagi has followed Kujou to high school and now college to try to win the Last Game. Yanagi is the true gem of this manga because unlike in many shojo romances, it is actually told from the boy’s perspective and the boy falls in love first. 


Special A

Reason to read: This is literally the epitome of the classic “competition –> love” scenario…and I love it. The charm of this manga is all of the different love stories that blossom between all of the other characters. There is a good anime for this show, but the manga is a tad better.    

Underrated Anime

Here are some titles that I feel deserve more love than they get!

From the New World - This anime was a masterpiece. Paced and well-planned, the show entangles you without you knowing until its too late. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to sink their teeth into a psychological fantasy that leave you with a strange mix of innocence and uneasiness. 

Princess Jellyfish - A love story between a confident and fashionable crossdresser and an awkward, introverted girl. This is golden!

Welcome to the NKH! - Just the right amount of humor and psychological torment to keep every viewer enthralled. Is it a conspiracy? 

Monster - What happens when a promising young doctor saves the life of a boy who was fated to die? A gripping thriller of justice and revenge!

Bokurano - A group of kids become the chosen pilots of a robot faced with saving the planet, a beyond awesome experience for them!…or so they think. They sign the binding contract and now each one of them must pay the price. 

Wolf’s Rain - As legend has it, wolves will open the gate to Paradise in a dying world. This anime is a gripping, heart-wrenching tale of an unlikely pack of wolves searching for promised Paradise. Out of any of the shows on this list, Wolf’s Rain is worth watching. It is a legend it its own right. 

Samurai Champloo - THE MUSIC. The music alone should be enough to draw you into this epic tale, but in case you need more persuasion, know that this show revolves around the two most badass fighters in town and their quest to help a girl they are indebted to find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. Ugh its so gooooood. 

Mawaru Penguindrum - Weird and comical sum up this anime pretty nicely! It is a fun watch that you will find hard not to binge on once you start. Stay with me people: An alien penguin-hat grants a girl her life back in exchange for her two bothers’ help in acquiring the Penguindrum (whatever that is). I know what you are thinking, but please give it a try! You won’t regret it! 

Eden of the East - “This nation faces a great crisis. One among you must save us. I cannot tell you how. I cannot tell you why. Should you fail, you will be eliminated.” 12 people have been chosen to save Japan, each given a phone with 10 billion yen on it and the simple instruction to save Japan–their lives are on the line. Despite this harsh description, the actual show also has an element of humor, so don’t be afraid to jump in! Noblesse Oblige.

Steins;Gate - Many of you have probably heard of this and thought that is was too stuffy or complicated for you, but I’m here to tell you that you will watch this show, make it to episode 22, and then thank me. YOUR WELCOME. Sure, this show takes some getting into, but once you delve deeper into the plot, you will find things falling into place. It has unconventional characters, a really great romance stuck in there, and a pretty refreshing, sciency tone. Enjoy. 

Nodame Cantabile - To think that so many people have not seen this gift to humanity sickens me. Nodame is most assuredly the most interesting and unique anime character to walk this little anime earth. There is music! There is romance! There is SO MUCH HUMOR! There are 3 seasons!!! You can’t really pass up this opportunity to watch a legend.  

Hunter X Hunter (2011) - This is the only long-running shonen series I will ever watch. This is a series for those of you who like action but not fight scenes that span multiple episodes and like actual character development and good animation consistently throughout the show (I swear its perfect the whole way). Gon wants to be a Hunter just like his father and he meets Killua, the boy-assassin (an resident cinnamon roll), Kurapika, the last of the Kurta clan hell-bent on revenge, and Leorio, a guy who wants to strike it rich. Follow these four on a journey you won’t forget!

10

I feel an incredible urge to hug you. Could this be… love? (2006 vs 2010)

Here are a few manga/anime that have had an impact on my life:

Wolf Children made me want to have kids…for a few seconds.

Kuroko no Basuke made me want to play basketball…for a few days.

Nodame Cantabile made me want to learn to play Piano…for about a week.

Kitchen Princess made me want to become a chef…for a month.

Free! gave me a very strong compulsion to swim…until it became cold outside.

Hana Kimi made me want to fall in love…for quite a while.

But Fruits Basket made me want to help people…for as long as I’m able.

Nowadays I like kids (as long as they’re not mine), I shoot hoops alone when I need to exercise, I like listening to classical music on occasion, I love cooking as long as it’s for more than just myself (and I get to eat it), and I still love to swim in the summer, I also still want to fall in love (i’m in no hurry though), but Fruits Basket has done something even more incredible. It changed me and my career goals. I am now about to graduate with a bachelors in Social Work. Manga and anime can have an impact on your life. It can be small or it can change your life completely. Fruits Basket has changed the very fabric of who I am and what I want to do with my life.