After watching Horimiya this season, I’ve been in the mood to read more romance manga. It feels really strange to say this because a) I couldn’t get into the Horimiya manga at all, and b) normally I’m not a huge fan of this genre. Yet, here I am, craving some fluffy, friendship-turning-into-lushy-love type shenanigans. Maybe my ice-cold black heart is finally thawing, or maybe spring is just in the smoggy air. Either way, I went on AniList and perused their catalogue of high-rated romance titles and found four serials that seem like they may be worth checking out when Spring officially arrives!
I tried to find manga that were a bit different from one another, narratively speaking, that way it wouldn’t feel like I was reading the same exact stuff and thus get bored (which is typically what happens I read romantic things). One of these serials is a popular one that has actually been on my To-Be-Read list for ages, while the others are fresh discoveries that I’m pretty excited about overall.
All manga listed below shall have links to their respective AniList pages (via their titles), so if you see something of interest, you can check ‘em out for yourselves!
This shōjo, supernatural romantic comedy is written by Julietta Suzuki and follows a young girl named Nanami who ends up homeless after her dad skips town to flee from a mountain of gambling debts. So when a strange man offers to open up his home for her after Nanami saves him from a doggo, she accepts without hesitation. However, once she gets there, she realises that she’s been tricked into taking his place at a local shrine where she has unwittingly taken over his job as the local deity. New responsibilities and dangers begin to fill her life along with a wickedly handsome yet cranky ex-familiar.
This one has been recommended to me quite a lot. I’ve avoided it mostly due its length, but the premise reminds me a teeny tiny bit of Fruits Basket and I feel like it can turn into a fun and entertaining series all-around.
A shōjo, romance series by Megumi Morino about a craven kid named Tetsu Misato who one day finds himself working at a creepy estate on a hill. There he meets Shizu, the only daughter of the Karasawa family. She’s been kept away for her entire life. One day their budding friendship takes an unexpected and fearful turn when several spirits of the dead borrow Shizu’s appearance to emerge before Tetsu. As Tetsu struggles to decipher the humanity in her supernatural condition, he must also grapple with a question that is as horrifying as it is heart-breaking: what if Shizu never returns?
I love that this sounds like it’s going to be a bit more serious and psychological rather than straight-up fluffy and slice-of-lifey. I’m hoping that if it’s written well, it will add some fresh originality to the romance genre. Plus, supernatural things are pretty much always my gig.
A seinen, drama, romance series by Motoi Yoshida that revolves around a woman named Akira who becomes obsessive about a man named Tetsuo and his incredible art. She watches as he constantly tries to draw day after day via overseeing his creations at a local art exhibition. One rainy night, Tetsuo realises that Akira has forgotten her umbrella. Deciding to deliver it to her, he never expected this simple encounter to end with her lips meeting his beneath the ambiance of a cool, rainy night.
This actually sounds simple and mature, but I feel like there may be a twist to it that could make things interesting. If not, then at the very least it will be a decent change of pace from all the adolescent romance flying around (fingers crossed).
This seinen manga is an adaptation from Sumomo Yumeka of an original South Korean novel authored by Gong Ji-Young. It follows a suicidal pianist who’s attempted to kill herself three times already. Hoping that a change of environment can give her perspective, she is taken to assist her aunt at a prison where murderers that have killed indiscriminately are sentenced to death. There she meets a man named Yū that is on death row for having killed three people. The two formulate a friendship and a bond over their individual deep scars and together find a sense of companionship that compels them to want to embrace living for the first time.
I’ve never heard of the South Korean novel this is based off of (Our Happy Time 우리들의 행복한 시간), but the premise sounds like it can be incredible if its written well. While I’d prefer to read the original novel as it’s the sort of literary fiction I tend to devour, I’m hoping the manga shall fare well enough to provide an intriguing and contemplative experience.
Those are the four manga serials that I hope to get to over the Spring season. My goal is to become more acclimated to being a full-time student so that I can balance reading for fun better, hence waiting until Spring to start these puppies up rather than cracking them open sooner. I’m going to keep my fingers tightly crossed that at least half of them shall be pleasant experiences as romance is something I’d like to develop more interest in. I think it’s really just a matter of finding the right sort of storytelling to fit my eccentric tastes.
Do you like reading romance manga? What are some of your favourite romance and/or romantic comedy manga releases?