Good Shoujo Manga

Post about anime's sister, manga in here. Manga reviews accepted in here as well.

Postby airichan623 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:31 pm

Atria35 (post: 1519815) wrote:Switch these two around and we can start talking. Princess Ai has some of the dumbest characters, worst dialogue, and the main character? That Mary-Sue that you were complaining about in Fushigi Yugi. At least Fushigi Yugi throws in some realistic character interactions between the two girls. Princess Ai has nothing redeeming about it.

Ok, I stand corrected. However, I still find Princess Ai a more likeable character than Miaka. Call me crazy. I dunno, I'm a sucker for a sweet guy like Kent and some cool costumes. And the art's pretty too.

Nate (post: 1519928) wrote:Only two of the main male characters are attracted to Miaka, those being Hotohori and Tamahome. That's it. None of the others are in love with her. Nuriko is jealous of her, and Tasuki has a slight attraction to her at the beginning that wears off quickly.

She's actually pretty dense, and very gullible, and it gets her in pretty big trouble a couple of times throughout. She's not a Mary Sue at all, unless you're going to have an extremely loose definition of the term...and if you do, then Tohru from Fruits Basket is ten times the Mary Sue Miaka is, so you should hate that too. Wait, what's this, you like it? Hmm...how very odd.

Touche, Nate, touche. You're right, I'm not completely informed on the term. My definition is based on the idea of the "every girl with no memorable traits or abilities who seems to get multiple guys despite of this." Excuse my ignorance. I just plain don't like Fushigi Yugi for some reason, it just doesn't interest me, and I've read seven volumes. Maybe I'll try it again soon.
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Postby Nate » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:05 pm

airichan623 wrote:My definition is based on the idea of the "every girl with no memorable traits or abilities who seems to get multiple guys despite of this."

She's a typical shoujo main character. She's klutzy and loves eating (but maintains a trim figure) and is really confused on guys. Still, she sticks by her friends, and she doesn't just sit around and do nothing while the guys protect her. She took her duties as Priestess seriously and was determined to save her friend. Even after what happened later.

She doesn't get multiple guys. Again, Hotohori wants her badly because of his childhood. He wanted a girl who could love him for him, rather than because of his social status, and he couldn't get that from a girl in his world since they all knew him as emperor, whereas didn't (which is why he keeps his true identity a secret when they first meet). His attraction to her never changes, but (for the most part) he leaves her alone because he knows you can't force someone to love you.

Once Miaka decides Tamahome is the guy she loves (which admittedly doesn't take very long), she's faithful to him and there's really no romance drama at all. There's a slight bit later when stuff happens to Tamahome, but never is Miaka set upon by multiple guys who want to date her. Most of the Suzaku Seven are completely uninterested in her romantically, and again, one of them respects her decision to be with Tamahome and the other one just has a slight crush which he never acts on.
I just plain don't like Fushigi Yugi for some reason, it just doesn't interest me, and I've read seven volumes.

Hey, it's not for everyone. I had a friend who was way into anime and I tried to get him into it, and he saw the first four episodes and was like "Eh, I don't really care for it." It just doesn't click for some people. It did for me.
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Postby Neane » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:48 pm

I am a bit shocked that NANA is a Shoujo manga.
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Postby Maokun » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:43 pm

I'm pretty sure it is defined as josei everywhere.
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Postby Atria35 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:45 am

Maokun (post: 1539452) wrote:I'm pretty sure it is defined as josei everywhere.


It is for a lot of people, but I know a few people who insist it's shoujo because of the magazine it ran in.
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Postby Neane » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:34 am

Atria35 (post: 1539511) wrote:It is for a lot of people, but I know a few people who insist it's shoujo because of the magazine it ran in.


So it is the same thing as Shigurui [This manga is considered Seinen due to the fact that it is the most graphic manga ever made, but it runs in a Shounen Magazine.]
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Postby MangaRocks! » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Okay, so, I was actually going to post in this thread back when it was started, but didn't have the time right then to do good write-ups on all the manga I was going to suggest, and then I kinda forgot. :sweat: Now that the thread has been revived, however, I'll go ahead and post my current thoughts. (Oh, and just as a note, I do have some more shojo on my plan-to-read list that I suspect I might have also added to this post, but obviously I'd need to actually read them first to confirm that, so right now I can only work with what I've got. :)) Anyway...


10/10 (Masterpiece):

Fruits Basket:
There's definitely a reason that it still is (and, in fact, likely always will be) my #1 favorite manga. First, there's the main character, who is absolutely amazing-- she just pours light and hope and life into everyone around her, no matter what. So, when she comes into contact with this big extended family of generationally-cursed (and thus, at this point, pretty seriously screwed-up :P) people, the effect is truly awesome. Add to that the fact that (despite their large number) all of the characters, complete with their personalities, mental states, emotions, relationships, and etc., are fleshed out well and are very believable (even the outrageous ones); the drama is (at times) fairly intense; the humor is absolutely hilarious; and the finale is so emotional and so perfectly beautiful that it left me both speechless and in tears (in a VERY good way!!)... and there you have my reason. In terms of fiction (manga or regular novels), I can honestly say that this is one of the best things I have ever read.

Amatsuki:
A joke was made in one of the volumes that this series is a 'Science Fiction Historical Supernatural Fantasy Romance Mystery', which is funny not only because it's true, but because it *works.* It does indeed have all of those elements, and yet somehow they're all blended perfectly into one awesome package. Add to that the fact that the plot is really intriguing, the characters are well-developed and endearing, and the art style is interestingly unique, and you have a winner. (In fact, since this series is currently ongoing, I'd originally rated it a 9 with the intention to give it a 10 if the end is pulled off well; but, at this point, I'm just going to go ahead and trust the mangaka and give it the 10 until and unless I see something to the contrary, because right now it's literally just that good.)


9/10 (Awesome):

From Far Away (a.k.a. Kanata Kara):
(Hmm... tried to write a synopsis, but for some reason I wasn't getting it to do the plot any real justice, so here's it's MAL entry.) Anyway, while there's obviously plenty of fantasy elements in this series, one of the great things about it is actually its realism in little details-- like the fact that the place's language is totally different from the main character's own, so she has to learn to speak it; etc. Plus, the art (while obviously a bit older-styled) is great, the characters are well-done, and both the romance and the story are excellent.

Kieli (including the novels):
This series is quite interesting. The main characters are a girl who sees ghosts (and feels more at home with them than with living humans), a radio possessed by a snarky old soldier, and an attractive Undead guy :grin: ... and it has a good, supernatural-sci-fi story, too. Minus the main characters' sometimes-fairly-vocal agnosticism :P, it's great.

Akagami no Shirayuki Hime:
Everything about this is excellent-- the art, the setting, the characters (lead female: an apothecary who is smart, capable, and strong *without* being a tsundere; lead male: also smart, very perceptive, and warm; other characters: equally great), and the main relationship (which is actually completely straightforward, progresses in a realistic manner at a realistic pace, and {despite some of the other characters' agendas/likes/desires} has pretty much no significant interference).

Kimi ni Todoke:
An excellent, very clean, sweet and innocent romance series. Nothing more really needs to be said.

Otomen:
While the overall premise-- a manga about a bunch of guys who have really 'girly' personalities and/or interests-- is already cute, the best thing about this series is the fact that everything about it (and I do mean EVERYTHING... from that premise, to all the mini-plots, to the characters, to the relationships, to literally every single other detail-- even right down to the extreme use of hearts, flowers, and {in particular} *sparkles* in way too many panels :lol:) is actually one big on-purpose, good-natured meta-parody of shojo in general-- which, as you can imagine, is really amusing. (And as a bonus, the characters are fun, too.)


8.5/10 (Great/Awesome; likely to end up as 9/10's when completed):

Dengeki Daisy:
Some of this series' dialogue and humor can get fairly edgy at times, but for me the art, characters, and story make up for that. The characters and their relationships are both interesting and amusing; there's a good technological conspiracy plot alongside the romance; and even when a well-used plot device is occasionally included, there's always a really nice twist on it.

Natsume's Book Of Friends (a.k.a. Natsume Yuujinchou):
The overall feel of this series is pretty unique (and really likeable). Also, Natsume's innate kindness and desire to help others (be they human or yokai), no matter the cost to himself, is something to look up to; and the slow and subtle plot progression and character development winding throughout the series is great, too.


8/10 (Great):

Land Of The Blindfolded (a.k.a. Mekakushi no Kuni):
Mixing up a school romance plot with some neat supernatural qualities (plus some likable characters) made this series quite enjoyable.

Hug! (one shot by Yuka Fujiwara):
A girl who adores her cute little dog meets a cute boy who not only has the same name as her dog, but also looks just like him and even has the same personality, too. Which then of course sets off the exact same impulses in the girl to want to hug and kiss him like she does with her dog (though her best friend restrains her when she can :grin:). Needless to say, this ends up being 50 or so pages of absolute adorableness.

D.N.Angel:
This series has a fun premise, an interestingly tangled knot of relationships, and some great magical-fantasy mythology (artworks with souls, etc.). The only current downside is that it's ongoing, but on hiatus (on a cliffhanger, no less :eyeroll:)-- its mangaka is apparently notorious for having multiple ongoing series and switching back and forth between them in long chunks, rather than finishing them one at a time. The mangaka's writing habits aside, however :P, it's quite good.

Lovely Complex (a.k.a. Love*Com):
This series could have done without a lot of the Seiko stuff, and it did seem to lose a bit of steam towards the end (though the final volume pretty much makes up for that), but otherwise it was quite good (and quite funny) overall.


*Whew!* That's all I can think of for now... hope it helps! :)
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Postby love2cookpie » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:37 pm

I love Lovely*Complex. There is some cross dressing and minor homosexuality in it, but it is hilarious. I really enjoy Skip Beat! The art isn't great (better than I could do) but the main character is so funny. There is some violence and occult stuff. Of course Furuba. And Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango), once again, funny. It's old school, and deals with rich boys, there's some bullying, and promiscuity (off page).
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Postby Atria35 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:08 pm

I read Ultra Maniac recently. It's a very competently done, very cute shoujo. I wouldn't put it up there with the bests, but I like it a sight more than some other shoujo I've read.

Also- Crimson Hero. I'm fairly indifferent on this one, it does some of the cliches fairly poorly, but does some fairly unique things with the sports premise. So it all evens out.
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Postby steenajack » Thu May 03, 2012 9:50 pm

Miki Falls by Mark Crilley:
http://www.amazon.com/Miki-Falls-Spring/dp/006084616X

I shall make a review of this series one day. :D
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Postby Neane » Fri May 04, 2012 11:28 am

There is a X-Men manga, that is shoujo in the style of Fruits Basket, I checked it out in the comic book store and I have to say it was good.


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It is called X-men: Misfits .
Here's the cover of the first TPB.
From left to right: Pyro, Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), Iceman.

Think Fruits Basket but instead of bishies-turning-to-animals-when-they-are-hugged-by-girls, it has mutants. It's actually pretty good (I would even recommend it to non-X-men-fan-girls)
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Postby Cianter » Fri May 04, 2012 1:13 pm

Oh man Neane, you are my new favorite person in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have got to check that out, I love manga and I LOVE anything superhero, oh yea, this should be good. Not to mention I love Kitty and Bobby:D
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Postby steenajack » Tue May 08, 2012 12:56 am

....Is it really that good? O__o now I'm curious because at first glance at the plot and everything (while I think the art is pretty), I couldn't help but think how weird it was. It just seemed so out of character to me, making the X-men into a shojo drama. Sure, there's romance in the story lines...but shojo manga tend to be...no offense...rather "girly" and kinda shallow and fluffy. I have seen some good shojo manga though that actually was deeper, so perhaps I'm wrong. So now I'm tempted to check this out, cause I love X-men and I love manga. And you saying that it was good, piked my curiousity. O__O
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Tue May 08, 2012 7:14 am

Guys, I know this is going to sound hipsterish and also I was just going on about it, but Basara is really, really great stuff. My favorite shoujo manga, and I've read slightly less than a third of it, but it is so good.
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Postby Atria35 » Tue May 08, 2012 7:36 am

Mr. Hat'n'Clogs (post: 1556075) wrote:Guys, I know this is going to sound hipsterish and also I was just going on about it, but Basara is really, really great stuff. My favorite shoujo manga, and I've read slightly less than a third of it, but it is so good.


I've heard it's fantastic. I really need to read it at some point.
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Postby Derek_Is_Me » Tue May 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Try reading Kagetora. A VERY good shojo manga.
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Postby Maokun » Tue May 08, 2012 11:20 pm

MangaRocks! (post: 1539965) wrote:Amatsuki:
A joke was made in one of the volumes that this series is a 'Science Fiction Historical Supernatural Fantasy Romance Mystery', which is funny not only because it's true, but because it *works.* It does indeed have all of those elements, and yet somehow they're all blended perfectly into one awesome package. Add to that the fact that the plot is really intriguing, the characters are well-developed and endearing, and the art style is interestingly unique, and you have a winner. (In fact, since this series is currently ongoing, I'd originally rated it a 9 with the intention to give it a 10 if the end is pulled off well]just that good.[/I])


This review coupled with the fact that it doesn't have the super-bland, cookie-cutter, fading-pastels-oh-so-obviously-shoujo character design has encouraged me to read this manga.
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Postby Neane » Wed May 09, 2012 12:00 am

steenajack (post: 1556033) wrote:....Is it really that good? O__o now I'm curious because at first glance at the plot and everything (while I think the art is pretty), I couldn't help but think how weird it was. It just seemed so out of character to me, making the X-men into a shojo drama. Sure, there's romance in the story lines...but shojo manga tend to be...no offense...rather "girly" and kinda shallow and fluffy. I have seen some good shojo manga though that actually was deeper, so perhaps I'm wrong. So now I'm tempted to check this out, cause I love X-men and I love manga. And you saying that it was good, piked my curiousity. O__O


It really is good. I hope more Volumes of it get created in the Future.

And you are right about some Shoujo being Deep.
Olimpos showed me that, which was also the first Shoujo manga I read.
So happy that it got licensed.
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Postby SierraLea » Wed May 09, 2012 7:55 am

airichan623 (post: 1519809) wrote:HORRIBLE Shojo:
-Princess Tutu: adapted from the amazing anime into a crappy manga.

Totally agree with that. Tha manga was way too dark.
The Tale of Saiunkuko is one of my favorites. Not a cheesy plotline, and hilarious characters.
Is Black Butler a Shoujo or a Shonen manga? I'm confused.
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Postby Atria35 » Wed May 09, 2012 9:31 am

SierraLea (post: 1556449) wrote:Totally agree with that. Tha manga was way too dark.
The Tale of Saiunkuko is one of my favorites. Not a cheesy plotline, and hilarious characters.
Is Black Butler a Shoujo or a Shonen manga? I'm confused.


The anime was dark as well, but it had an expansive storyline. I appreciated that the characters had time to develop and grow.

Black Butler is supposedly a shounen, but... I don't know. That's a really good question.
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Postby Nate » Wed May 09, 2012 1:28 pm

Black Butler ran in Monthly GFantasy, which is a shounen magazine. Therefore it is shounen.
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Postby MangaRocks! » Wed May 09, 2012 6:38 pm

Maokun (post: 1556383) wrote:This review coupled with the fact that it doesn't have the super-bland, cookie-cutter, fading-pastels-oh-so-obviously-shoujo character design has encouraged me to read this manga.
Awesome! :jump: Hope you enjoy! :)
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Postby SierraLea » Thu May 10, 2012 8:18 am

I also think Ultra Maniac was good. Imadoki! was really good too, because there was a lot more emphasis on friendship than anything else. It's a little dirty in the sex department, but it's all plot related and no fanservice.
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Postby SierraLea » Thu May 10, 2012 8:24 am

Neane (post: 1539090) wrote:The anime is terrible.


What idiot screen writer had the stupidity to make that into an anime when there's so much else to work with, like +Anima? Seriously!
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Postby Nadia » Thu May 10, 2012 7:29 pm

I would now like to add to my list: Wild Ones or Arakure. I finished it a month ago, and really enjoyed it. It wasn't too sappy or dramatic. ^_^
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Postby Lynna » Sat May 12, 2012 11:28 pm

SierraLea (post: 1556761) wrote:I also think Ultra Maniac was good. Imadoki! was really good too, because there was a lot more emphasis on friendship than anything else. It's a little dirty in the sex department, but it's all plot related and no fanservice.


While I appreciated the emphasis on friendship, I felt that the manga didn't really work out he characters problem's enough. I felt like it went very skin deep, sadly. The one character who I felt really shone was the girl who got pregnant. I felt like I really saw some character development there. The rest...well, it just didn't feel complete.
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Postby Neane » Sat May 12, 2012 11:46 pm

SierraLea (post: 1556763) wrote:What idiot screen writer had the stupidity to make that into an anime when there's so much else to work with, like +Anima? Seriously!


Because more people know more about La Corda d'Oro than +Anima.
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Postby Atria35 » Tue May 15, 2012 11:51 am

Lynna (post: 1557500) wrote:While I appreciated the emphasis on friendship, I felt that the manga didn't really work out he characters problem's enough. I felt like it went very skin deep, sadly. The one character who I felt really shone was the girl who got pregnant. I felt like I really saw some character development there. The rest...well, it just didn't feel complete.


THIS. THIS TIMES FOREVER.

You have no idea how glad I am that someone else feels the exact same way I do. :grin:
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Postby Maokun » Tue May 15, 2012 9:16 pm

I just realized that I've neglected to mention Peach Girl.
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Re: Good Shoujo Manga

Postby SierraLea » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:28 pm

I've been reading a lot of this stuff lately, and have come across two new ones that I really liked, The Good Witch of the West and dengeki daisy. The first is very clean in most departments, and the second one has story elements that totally spice up the action. For once, the boy has bigger problems than the girl! I also liked Mars, but that one had a lot of issues, which made the story real but fairly dirty.

I think the best Shoujos are the ones that have other things going on besides the romance. Otherwise, you come up against the same predictable plotlines and keep using the same tricks. That's also why I think Shonen romance is really good.
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