The 25 Best Romance Anime Adapted From A Shojo Manga

Shojo + Romance, an incredibly effective pairing and undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of the entire anime scene.

Shojo works are not solely romance and cuteness, as many mistakenly think, but series aimed at a female audience have consistently delivered incredible love stories.

This is undoubtedly due to their cute, light, and dreamy approach, distinct from other anime in the same genre targeting different audiences.

That’s why we couldn’t resist creating our own list of the best shojo romance anime that no fan should miss.

25. Fushigi Yuugi – Mysterious Play

Fushigi Yuugi

Fushigi Yuugi is a series that holds a significant place among isekai anime, as it stands as one of the pioneering series in this genre. It is an adaptation of a shojo manga, with 52 episodes released in 1995.

If you like isekai series, traditional settings, and romantic moments, especially the reverse-harem trope, then this series could be a great choice for you.

Miaka Yuuki and her friend Yui Hongo stumble upon a mysterious book at the national library that transports them to a fantasy world immersed in ancient China.

Upon their arrival, they encounter the emperor, Hotohori, who believes Miaka to be the prophesied priestess of the kingdom’s protector god, Suzaku.

Her mission becomes finding the 7 Celestial Warriors to summon Suzaku and have her deepest desires fulfilled.

24. Snow White with the Red Hair

Snow white with Red hair

Snow White with the Red Hair is an amazing fantasy romance adapted from a shojo manga, and it truly deserves much more recognition than it currently receives.

If you ask our opinion this is a fantastic romance that stands out in this genre. The story is adorable, well written, far from being clichéd, and it takes place in a stunning fantasy world filled with vibrant colors.

The story follows Shirayuki, a young herbalist living a peaceful life in the kingdom of Tambarun. Her life takes an unexpected turn when Prince Raji forces her into an unwanted arranged marriage. Determined to escape this fate, Shirayuki flees.

During her escape, she encounters Prince Zen, who welcomes her into his court as an herbalist and offers his assistance in resolving her predicament.

And as they spend more time together, a heartwarming love story unfolds between them.

23. Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn is a 2014 anime consisting of 24 episodes that deserves far more recognition, adapted from a well-regarded shojo manga.

This anime tells the inspiring story of a perfect female protagonist who transforms from a weak princess into a formidable leader throughout the story.

All of this comes with a lot of political intrigues, romantic moments, and a fantastic ancient Korea setting infused with fantasy elements, making the entire experience nothing short of magical.

The story revolves around Princess Yona, who is betrayed and forced to flee her kingdom. Determined to reclaim her rightful place as ruler, she embarks on a journey filled with adventure and self-discovery.

Throughout the series, you’ll witness Yona’s transformation from a pampered princess to a skilled fighter, guided by her loyal bodyguard and love interest, Hak.

22. Neighborhood Stories

Neighborhood Stories is a shojo manga by Ai Yazawa, the same acclaimed author known for Nana.

And indeed, perfectly in line with the author’s style, Neighborhood Stories offers a well-crafted narrative, blending excellent romantic moments with psychological depth.

If you find yourself enchanted by this series, it’s worth noting that there’s also a movie and a spin-off series called Paradise Kiss, both serving as sequels to the story and excellent products.

The anime revolves around Mikako Kouda, a 16-year-old girl with a passion for fashion design who attends the Yazawa Art School with her best friend Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

The 2 are often seen bickering, which their friends interpret as signs of a budding romance, but Mikako and Tsutomu insist that they are just friends.

But everything changes when Tsutomu becomes popular among girls for resembling a famous singer.

The once-platonic relationship between Mikako and Tsutomu is now called into question, leaving them both wondering about the true nature of their feelings.

21. Skip Beat!

Skip Beat

Skip Beat! might not be widely known, but it presents a captivating and fresh story that we highly recommend.

The story follows Kyoko, a 16-year-old girl who dedicates her life to supporting her childhood friend Sho, an aspiring idol, even going so far as to drop out of school to follow him to Tokyo.

But Kyoko’s world crumbles when she overhears Sho belittling her, considering her as nothing more than a personal servant.

Determined to seek revenge, Kyoko resolves to enter the entertainment industry, vowing to surpass Sho’s fame and humiliate him in the process.

The series revolves around Kyoko’s journey of revenge and personal growth, with her standing out as a strong and great female lead while she also discovers love in the process.

You’ll witness her development, self-discovery, and quest for her own identity.

20. Blue Spring Ride

Ao Haru Ride

Blue Spring Ride is a romantic anime based on a shojo manga with 12 episodes that was released in 2014.

The story follows Yoshioka Futaba, who, due to the bullying she experienced in middle school because of her beauty, decides to change her appearance and aim for a quiet and peaceful high school life.

But when she discovers that Tanaka, a childhood friend and the only boy she has ever truly loved, is in the same class as her, she questions whether she can maintain her new persona.

The series blends a beautiful romantic storyline with relatable psychological themes and moments that might resonate with you.

We recommend not overlooking this remarkable series, as we believe it deserves even more recognition.

19. Marmalade Boy

Marmalade Boy is a classic romance anime and a fantastic vintage series.

If you enjoy vintage anime and are looking for an engaging romance anime with a lot of plot twists, this is a fantastic choice for you.

The story revolves around Miki, a normal high school girl who loves spending time with her friends and playing tennis.

One day, her parents shock her by announcing that they want to divorce because they fell in love with a couple they met on vacation in Hawaii.

And to make matters worse, the couple has a son named Yuu, who Miki can’t get along with. This leads the girl to give him the nickname Marmalade Boy: sweet on the outside but bitter on the inside.

As time passes, Miki and Yuu develop a closer relationship, but when the boy Miki was in love with in the past appears, it throws a wrench into their developing romance.

18. Orange


Orange is an excellent anime that combines drama, science fiction elements, a compelling plot filled with twists and turns, and a believable love story that perfectly integrates into the narrative.

The story follows Naho Takamiya, a girl who receives a letter from her future self.

Initially skeptical, Naho becomes convinced of its authenticity when events predicted in the letter start to come true, including the arrival of a new student named Kakeru Naruse.

The letter urges Naho to treat Kakeru with love and care, as he will tragically lose his life in the future. As the story unfolds, both Kakeru and Naho develop feelings for each other, while Naho remains unaware of her best friend Hiroto’s secret love for her.

As you can tell from the plot, this anime is filled with unexpected twists, intense moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and heartwarming romantic scenes.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that you won’t want to miss, so add it to your list asap.

17. From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill is what we consider one of the best romance anime movies overall.

Its story is set during the economic boom of Japan in 1963 after World War II, and it stars Umi Komatsuzaki, a student in the port city of Yokohama who falls in love with Shun’ya Kazama.

But through getting to know each other, the two will discover a shared secret from their past as their love story progresses.

From Up on Poppy Hill has a really interesting story that you’ll simply love because of its depth, plot twists, and love story.

It’s a timeless animated movie that we wholeheartedly recommend not to miss out on.

16. Kodocha

Kodocha stands as one of the vintage icons of the shojo genre from past years, even though it may have lost some of its luster and popularity in more recent times.

Debuting in 1996 and spanning 102 episodes, we highly recommend watching even if the animation may seem somewhat dated. The beautiful character design and soundtrack contribute significantly to its appeal, though.

The protagonist is Sana Kurata, a girl that got it all: fame, fortune, and a personal bodyguard to keep her safe.

But there’s one thing that’s been gnawing at her perfect life, Akito Hayama. This rebellious classmate of hers is causing chaos in their classroom and it’s up to Sana to put a stop to it.

Follow Sana on her journey to uncover the truth behind Akito’s misbehavior and find out what makes him so special to her.

As Sana learns more about Akito, she discovers there is more to him than his troublesome behavior in class, and a slow romance will soon blossom between the two.

15. The Story of Saiunkoku

The Story of Saiunkoku

The Story of Saiunkoku is a 2006 anime released in 39 episodes based on a shojo light novel.

Set in a fictional version of ancient China with fantasy elements, it’s about the story of Shurei, a descendant of a respectable noble family, who is going through bad economic times.

To turn things around, Shurei agrees to become the concubine of the new emperor Ryuki to educate him about court life.

But a love triangle is set to arise with the recent hiring of the new head of the guards, Seiran.

The Story of Saiunkoku is a great option if you’re seeking to blend an exceptional love triangle with an accurate ancient Chinese backdrop infused with some cool fantasy touches.

Additionally, it features the characteristic animations of the 2000s, which as always possess their cool and nostalgic charm.

14. Searching for the Full Moon

Searching for the Full Moon

Searching for the Full Moon is an incredibly gentle shojo anime that combines a strongly dramatic foundation with an enjoyable comic atmosphere.

Debuting in 2002 with 52 episodes, we highly recommend watching it if you are a fan of this type of anime, which manages to make this delicate duality coexist in a balanced way.

12-year-old Mitsuki Koyama dreams of becoming a singer, but unfortunately, she suffers from throat cancer, treatable only through delicate surgery that could permanently damage her vocal cords.

Mitsuki’s dreams thus seem impossible to achieve until she is visited by two shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, who let her know that she has only one year left to live.

Mitsuki will realize that she can’t wait for a second longer, and will go straight to an audition.

This series is quite a call to anyone to realize their dreams before it’s too late, including love.

13. Maid-Sama!

Maid Sama

Maid Sama! is a fantastic romance anime adapted from a shojo manga that managed to attract its own audience, and rightfully so.

Misaki Ayuzawa holds the distinction of being the first female student council president at her school, dedicated to safeguarding girls from the advances of boys.

But at the same time she harbors a secret: she works part-time at a maid café.

And when Takumi Usui, a fellow student with a strong-willed demeanor, uncovers her secret, their relationship takes an unexpected turn.

Maid Sama! is not only one of the best 2010s romcoms, but also one of the best romance anime on Hulu.

So if your goal with this list was to find a good classic romantic comedy to enjoy some quality time this is a solid choice.

12. His and Her Circumstances

His and Her Circumstances

His and Her Circumstances (Kare Kano) is a landmark in the trope where enemies become lovers, released in 1998 in 26 episodes made by Studio Gainax.

We consider this series to be one of the most solid and well-executed vintage romance anime available, featuring excellent romantic moments and numerous psychological insights into its characters.

Yukino Miyazawa, the protagonist, is a model student who excels in all aspects of her life. She is highly popular and a talented athlete.

But her dominance is challenged when Souichiro Arima, who possesses equal skill and ability, enrolls in their high school.

This sets off a fierce rivalry between the 2 characters, which gradually evolves into something more profound.

11. Ouran Koukou Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club is known as maybe the best and most popular reverse harem romance ever. It comes from a shojo manga released in 2006, and there are 26 episodes of the anime.

Haruhi Fujioka is a girl who after much effort has managed to enroll in Ouran Academy, one of the most prestigious academies in Japan.

After finishing classes, to find a quiet place where she can study, Haruhi enters a seemingly empty room, only to stumble upon the headquarters of the renowned Host Club.

Haruhi however surprise drops a valuable vase, and to repay the debt she is forced to start working as an employee at the host club by disguising herself as a boy.

If you asked three anime fans about the first reverse harem romance they know, at least two would talk about this anime.

And it’s fair because this is a fun and enjoyable series that’s hard to not like.

10. Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex is another superb romantic anime that’s ideal for those who enjoy lighthearted and comedy-driven romance.

The story revolves around Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani, two students who live in Osaka and attend the same high school.

Risa is 170 centimeters tall, which is considered quite tall for a Japanese girl, while Otani is a basketball player but stands at only 156 centimeters tall, below average for the sport.

At school, they are often referred to as All Hanshin Kyojin, after a popular Japanese comedy duo consisting of a short man and a tall man.

Throughout the series, we witness their growing confidence and see their love develop into something strong and genuine.

This series shines due to its exceptional comedic elements that will have you in fits of laughter, skillfully balanced with adorable moments. So if this type of show appeals to you, it’s definitely worth a watch.

9. Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss is a sweet romantic anime based on a shojo manga that came out in 2012.

The story centers around Nanami Momozono, the main protagonist, whose life takes a dramatic turn when her father disappears, leaving her burdened with a significant amount of debt and without a home.

In a twist of fate, Nanami comes to the aid of a mysterious traveler named Mikage, saving him from a rabid dog.

Grateful for her kindness, Mikage offers her a place to stay, which turns out to be a shrine inhabited by various spirits, including Tomoe, a fox-eared boy who becomes particularly intrigued by Nanami.

If you’re into light and easy romance shows without too much drama and some cool complementary supernatural themes, then Kamisama Kiss is a good pick that we recommend discovering.

8. My Love Story!!

Ore Monogatari!!

My Love Story!!! is a romantic anime adapted from a popular and acclaimed shojo manga in 2015 with 24 episodes.

The protagonist, Takeo Gouda, breaks away from the typical prototype of a romantic anime MC with his muscular physique and unique personality.

When he comes to the rescue of Rinko Yamato, he immediately falls deeply in love and pursues her, despite facing opposition from his best friend, Makoto Sunakawa.

Throughout their journey, their love experiences both highs and lows, but their bond only grows stronger with each passing episode.

My Love Story!!! is a reaffirmation that great romance series can be created without relying on specific plot twists or drama, but mainly on their cute and well-written love stories.

If this is the kind of romance you adore, then it’s definitely a series you shouldn’t overlook.

7. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light

Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a medium-light anime movie that we’ve talked about a lot in our articles, including our list of the best romantic movies.

The story revolves around Hotaro, a young girl who becomes lost in the woods behind her grandfather’s house. There, she encounters Gin, a cursed humanoid spirit who will vanish if touched by a human.

Despite this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, the two manage to develop a beautiful relationship built on mutual love.

But the inevitable can’t be postponed forever so yes, prepare some tissues.

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a sweet and sad story that will touch your heart in just 45 minutes. You’ll feel strong emotions that will stay with you for a long time and yes, grab some tissues before watching it.

6. From Me to You

From me to You

From Me to You is in our opinion one of the most underrated romance series ever that we recommend you discover, and it just so happens to be adapted from a shojo manga.

The story follows Sawako, a high school student who faces bullying from her classmates due to her resemblance to Sadako, the protagonist of the horror movie Ring.

Despite this, Sawako is a kind and shy girl, and that’s why she catches the attention of Shota, the most popular boy in school.

From Me to You is a romance series with capital letters, with a cute and beautifully written romance and incredibly fleshed-out characters.

The animations are also excellent, rich in color and beautiful to look at, so what more could you want?

5. Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart is one of the most iconic Studio Ghibli movies, released in 1995, and easily another one of the best romance movies ever made.

The story follows Shizuku, a 14-year-old girl with a deep passion for reading and aspirations of becoming a writer.

During a summer visit to the library, Shizuku discovers that the books she borrows were previously checked out by a boy named Seiji Amasawa.

Intrigued by this connection, she embarks on a quest to find Seiji, often getting lost in her daydreams about him.

Whisper of the Heart set in the suburban town of Tama, near Tokyo, beautifully captures the essence of Japan at its time.

It’s a heartwarming tale filled with anticipation, and you’ll be hoping for the best outcome until the end.

4. Cardcaptor Sakura

Card Captor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura is a well-known majokko anime adapted from an equally renowned shojo manga created by the iconic CLAMP.

If you’re a fan of magical girl stories, filled with enchantment, fantasy realms, captivating plot developments and even romance subplots, Cardcaptor Sakura is undeniably a timeless essential.

The story follows Sakura, a young girl who accidentally releases a book of magical cards, which grants her magical powers.

As she sets out to retrieve the lost cards, she discovers new magical abilities and forms close bonds with those around her.

Cardcaptor Sakura is a defining anime that adapted an already great shojo manga. Compared to other series like Sailor Moon, there is much less recycling of sequence animations and outfits.

What to say about the relationships then? This anime has among the best OTPs ever and one of the most interesting female leads ever, even in terms of powers.

3. Nana


Nana is another one of the most iconic shojo anime adaptations, with an animated version that was released in 2006 in 47 episodes.

The series revolves around two girls who share the same name, Nana, but possess contrasting personalities.

They find themselves as roommates, with one being a rock/punk star with a tumultuous life, and the other being a timid girl trapped in a toxic relationship that is slowly destroying her.

From that point onward, their destinies become deeply intertwined.

This anime is a true gem that we recommend to everyone, no matter their age group.

What sets Nana apart is its unique character design that perfectly suits the story’s context, alongside its well-developed characters and a storyline that beautifully balances intense moments with heartfelt tenderness.

2. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic anime series ever, based on Naoko Takeuchi‘s legendary shojo manga, which has been adapted into multiple series, remakes, and spin-offs.

Usagi Tsukino is an ordinary eighth-grade student who encounters a talking cat named Luna during her daily routine.

To her surprise, Luna reveals that Usagi is a Sailor warrior, who must team up with other allies like her to protect the earth from the imminent arrival of evil.

Sailor Moon is the quintessential majokko anime, with vibrant and colorful transformations taking center stage in a lighthearted, engaging story with an iconic lo-fi vibe.

The romantic aspect is also a significant part of the series, with the iconic love story between Usagi and Tuxedo Mask, a vigilante who will join the Sailor Warriors’ cause.

Sailor Moon doesn’t feature a mature ’90s style compared to other anime but it’s still today one of the most influential anime in terms of fashion and design.

We recommend you watch the anime because of its iconic style and vibrant colors. The manga doesn’t feature the same avalanche of filler episodes but we still vote in favor of the adaptation.

1. Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is a shojo romance icon and easily one of the best romance anime ever. It also received an animated remake in 2019, surpassing Studio Deen’s 2000s version in every aspect, so we recommend this version.

The story follows the kind-hearted Toru Honda, who, following the tragic death of her parents, finds herself living with her grandfather.

But due to unavoidable circumstances, she’s forced to leave that home as well and ends up living alone in a tent in the woods.

It is there that she encounters Yuki Soma, who offers her an invitation to stay at his family’s home, a place harboring a peculiar secret.

Fruits Basket is a masterpiece with a plot and love story that is still incredible today, with incredibly well-written characters.

But an incredible merit of this series is not only its excellent exploration of sad themes but also how it handles them. It delves into depression, trauma, abuse, and social anxiety, but it does so with incredible tenderness, creating a beautiful illustration of how to overcome fears and insecurities.

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Passionate about Japanese culture for years, serial devourer of manga, anime, and videogames that have now become part of my routine. My favorite series? Goodnight Punpun and One Piece.

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