Are you looking for a new romance manga to read? You’re in luck, as there are so many great titles to read, and I have prepared a list featuring the genre’s best titles. From classic love stories to modern romances, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Romance manga series are pretty popular among fans of all age groups. If you don’t believe me, look at all the new anime adapted from popular romance manga!
The romance genre is undoubtedly one of the most popular genres in anime and manga. There are many reasons for this, one of which is how they portray relationships, often focused on the love between its characters, which tend to be very charismatic or have complex backstories that make them relatable.
But, as happens with many genres, there’s a large selection of titles you can pick from, and it can be hard to choose the ones that are worth your time. So, I am here to help you by sharing a great selection of romance titles you can start today, each showcasing different approaches!
Whether you’re a fan of sweet and innocent love stories or steamy and passionate tales, you will surely find a manga that captures your heart.
Best Romance Manga Series to Read in 2023
1. Horimiya by HERO & Daisuke Hagiwara
Horimiya is a popular manga series I recommend if you want to see a realistic relationship between two high school students who have unique struggles, such as a lack of confidence and problems making friends.
The story mainly focuses on Hori, a popular, friendly, and strong-willed girl. On the other hand, we have Miyamura, an introvert, often considered a gloomy person who’s very hard to approach.
Both Hori and Miyamura end up getting acquainted, and they become close friends who interact with one another quite frequently. This friendship slowly develops into something more profound, however, and the two of them change one another as they know more about themselves and the people surrounding them.
2. Kaguya-sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka
Among the most popular manga series on this list, Kaguya-sama: Love is War is probably among the most popular ones, mainly because of its anime adaptation. But, just like it happens with many adaptations, it does not adapt the whole series, and as it is right now, the manga has a lot more content to enjoy!
If you know nothing about this title, I can summarize it. It involves the student council of the Shuchiin Academy, one of the most elite academies there is. As the president stands, Miyuki Shirogane and his right hand and vice-president is Kaguya Shinomiya, the two most brilliant students of the school.
The thing is, unknown to one another, they both love each other, yet they are too proud to confess their feelings first. With that in mind, they battle each day to make the other person fall in love and acknowledge their feelings first. Love is war, indeed!
3. My Dress-Up Darling by Shinichi Fukuda
My Dress-up Darling is a series that has gained a massive following since its inception. It is an exciting title that focuses on cosplay and has a very adorable female lead, Marin Kitagawa, who is often considered the best waifu by otakus worldwide!
The tale starts with Wakana Gojo, a high school student who lacks confidence and has difficulty making friends. His main problem lies in his passion for Hina dolls and a traumatic event that afflicted him because of it.
One day, though, he meets Marin, a very popular and cheerful classmate. She’s not scared of professing her love for anime and her passion for cosplaying her favorite characters. Admiring her determination, Gojo decides to help her fulfill her dream of becoming one of her favorite characters, and thus their friendship begins.
4. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita
If you are an otaku who loves anime, manga, or video games, reading this title will show you what a relationship between an otaku couple might look like.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku showcases four main characters. The first two are an otaku girl who loves reading and drawing yaoi and a hardcore gamer who is only interested in video games. The second pair of characters involve a cosplay enthusiast and a closeted otaku who likes reading shoujo manga.
Some of the aforementioned characters have traumas because of their hobbies. They try to enjoy being in a relationship where they can be themselves without worrying about what the other might say. This is a very adorable and comedic title and, indeed, one of the best romance manga series in recent times!
5. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! by Hiro Fujiwara
If you like a series involving a complicated relationship between its two main characters, one being cocky and the other serious, Kaichou wa Maid-sama! is definitely for you.
It starts with our main character, Misaki Ayuzawa, the student council president of her academy and a very reliable person. She stands as the only hope for the school since it only recently became a mixed academy, and she’s the person leading the girls.
However, she has a secret – she works part-time at a maid café even when the school forbids working. Her secret is discovered by Takumi Usui, a very popular guy who decides to enjoy the event and mess with her as much as he can.
6. Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka
Sometimes love does not go as intended, and this is the main plot of Ao Haru Ride, a story where backstories play an essential role in the development of the plot.
At first, we follow Futaba Yoshioka, who decides to change herself as she attends a new school, all to be less ladylike and stop other girls from hating her because of how popular she used to be among boys.
Futaba had a crush, though, on Kou Mabuchi, a boy who moved away before she could even confess. They reunite with one another, but the new Kou is very cold and distant. Conflicted by the feelings she used to have and his new attitude, she tries to interact with him and get to know why he has changed so much.
7. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
As Tohru Honda, the main protagonist of Fruits Basket, decides to live alone in the wilderness because of personal circumstances, she ends up in the care of the Souma family.
At first, she meets with Yuki and Shigure, who let her know that she’s been living on their property. They decide to take care of her, and as she’s being introduced into the household, another family member, Kyo, arrives to challenge Yuki to a duel.
In the fray, Tohru and Kyo make physical contact, and to her surprise, he turns into an animal. Apparently, the Souma family suffers from a curse, and Tohru, as a triggering factor, decides to help them uncover the truth.
8. The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto
This romance manga starts as a pretty straightforward series but becomes more complex as you continue reading. The premise of The Demon Prince of Momochi House starts with Momochi Himari, an orphan who inherits a family estate on her 16th birthday. The house, however, is claimed to be haunted, which she ignores as she has no other place to go.
Once she arrives, she is surprised by the presence of three handsome men – Aoi, Yukari, and Ise. They try to convince her of the haunting tales, which she ignores, only to find out the truth eventually – her house is a bridge between the world of the living and the world of the spirits, and she was supposed to be its guardian.
9. Sweat and Soap by Kintetsu Yamada
Most romance manga revolves around young high school students, but at times, we want to read something more mature, something that is linked to the relationship between two adults, and thankfully, we have Sweat and Soap!
The tale first introduces the female lead, Asako Yaeshima, who has an issue with her body. She tends to sweat a lot, making her self-conscious of her smell. However, the products of the company she works for help her with her problem, which is why she loves her job.
One day, though, she finds Koutarou Natori, a big fish of the company, smelling her body odor, which he claims has a very lovely scent. Due to the event, they become conscious of one another, and through their job, they slowly develop a unique relationship.
10. Wolf Girl & Black Prince by Ayuko Hatta
Wolf Girl & Black Prince is a good romance manga because of its premise and extensive set of interesting characters. The premise mainly focuses on one thing, though – a relationship built through a lie.
Erika was separated from her friend as classes started and stranded in a new class, so she decides to lie to her classmates to become friends with them. The lie is: “I have a boyfriend,” and she takes a random picture of someone to prove it.
However, the person she takes a picture of is a very popular student of her school named Kyoya. She begs him to help her maintain the facade, but Kyoya has a plan of his own – she has to become his pet if she wants his help!
11. Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda
If you’re looking for a heartwarming romance manga, then Komi Can’t Communicate is a must-read. This manga series follows the story of Komi, a girl who struggles with social anxiety and finds it difficult to communicate with others. Despite her challenges, Komi has a goal of making 100 friends, and the series follows her journey to achieve this.
Throughout the series, Komi meets a variety of characters, including Tadano, a boy who initially helps her with her goal but eventually becomes her love interest. As Komi navigates through various social situations, she learns more about herself and begins to open up to those around her.
One of the unique aspects of Komi Can’t Communicate is its portrayal of social anxiety and the challenges that come with it. It also featured well-written characters, an engaging plot, and beautiful artwork. The manga’s art style is both cute and detailed, making it a joy to read!
12. Lovely★Complex by Aya Nakahara
At times, manga series shine because of their interesting premises, and this is also the case with Lovely★Complex since it portrays a compelling story involving its two main characters. It is also considered one of the classics among romance manga that every fan of the genre should read.
The story follows two students. Risa, who is a very tall girl and, although very shy on the inside, has problems behaving femininely. On the other side, we have Atsushi, who is very small but is the ace of the basketball team despite his stature.
As friends who share some hobbies, they often hang out together, and people consider them to be not compatible and weird looking because of their height difference. Of course, they eventually develop feelings for each other, and the relationship progresses from there, sharing struggles and sweet moments with each other.
13. Rent-A-Girlfriend by Reiji Miyajima
If you’re looking for a romance manga that’s entertaining and relatable, Rent-A-Girlfriend is an excellent choice. The story follows Kazuya Kinoshita, a college student who just got dumped by his girlfriend. In an attempt to move on, he decides to rent a girlfriend named Chizuru Mizuhara through a mobile app. However, things get complicated when Kazuya starts to develop real feelings for Chizuru.
Kazuya is your typical awkward college student, while Chizuru is a confident and independent woman who’s hiding her own secrets. As the story progresses, Kazuya’s relationship with Chizuru becomes more complicated, and he finds himself in situations where he has to choose between his feelings and his pride. Along the way, he also meets other girls who complicate things even further.
Overall, Rent-A-Girlfriend is a great romance manga that’s both funny and heartwarming. It’s a story that many people can relate to, and the characters are easy to root for.
14. Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie by Keigo Maki
Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is also one of those romantic manga series that has been gaining popularity over the years, and it even received its anime adaptation recently. However, I firmly believe that the manga version is better because it excels at showcasing the main strength of the series – Shikimori’s cute and cool side.
This title features Shikimori and Izumi as the main couple. Shikimori is a lovely girl who holds Izumi dearly, and Izumi, on the same note, loves Shikimori unconditionally.
Things become interesting once you see that, to protect her boyfriend from his bad luck, Shikimori can be rather protective and, on many occasions, a really cool person.
15. Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akizuki
Snow White with the Red Hair is the title I remember very fondly since I loved the relationship between the two main characters. It had a nice pace because it didn’t rush things but didn’t stale them either, and it wasn’t scared of showcasing the feelings both characters had for one another. One of my favorites, without a doubt!
On one side, we have Shirayuki, a young and beautiful herbalist girl with striking red hair. Because of it, she catches the attention of the first prince of the kingdom, who decides to make her one of his concubines regardless of her wishes.
She escapes the kingdom to avoid this fate, meeting and befriending Zen, a very athletic and good-looking guy who appears to be good at sword fighting. Eventually, Shirayuki learns the truth – Zen is the second princess of the neighboring kingdom, and to protect her, he invites her to join the royal court as an herbalist.
16. Nisekoi by Naoshi Komi
Nisekoi is quite a popular series in the romantic genre. It also tips its toes in the harem genre and showcases a wide cast of characters who, in one way or another, are related to the main protagonist, Raku Ichijou.
That being said, the premise revolves at first around two characters, Raku and Chitoge Kirisaki. You see, Raku is the son and heir of a yakuza family in constant conflict with an American gang, of which Chitoge is a part. To stop the conflict, the two family leaders decide to marry them and to avoid a further bloodbath, both will have to act as if they love each other.
This is troubling for both of them, not only because of the circumstances but because Raku is actually in love with one of his classmates, Kosaki Onodera!
17. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me To You by Karuho Shiina
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me To You is another adorable option for those who like wholesome romance manga with cute characters. Plus, this is a completed manga series, so you won’t have to wait every week for the release of a new chapter!
The story starts with a high school girl named Sawako Kuronuma, often called Sadako because she resembles the character from the famous movie, The Ring.
This makes it very hard for her to make friends, even though she is a very adorable girl who only acts with kindness towards others, even those who harm her. Things begin to change thanks to Shota Kazehaya, one of the popular boys in the school. She starts making friends and gets the confidence to talk to others.
Of course, feelings start to blossom between the two. As Sawako’s world keeps expanding, the story introduces new characters with real struggles, including Ayane and Chizuru, who become very close friends to Sawako, and Kurumi, a girl who is deeply in love with Kazehaya and is extremely jealous of her for being so close to Kazehaya.
18. Tomo-chan Is a Girl! by Fumita Yanagida
If you’re looking for a cute and heartwarming romance manga, Tomo-chan Is a Girl! is worth checking out. The series follows Tomo Aizawa, a tomboy who has been in love with her childhood best friend, Junichiro Kubota, for a long time. However, Junichiro only sees her as “one of the boys” and has no romantic feelings for her at all.
Tomo decides to confess her love to Junichiro, but he misunderstands and thinks that she’s just joking around. From then on, Tomo tries to become more feminine and catch Junichiro’s attention. Along the way, she learns more about herself, her feelings, and her relationships with others.
The series is filled with charming and relatable characters, including Tomo’s friends and classmates. The art style is simple and cute but also expressive and dynamic. The humor is light and playful but also heartfelt and genuine.
Overall, this title is a delightful and enjoyable romance manga that will make you smile and feel good. It’s a perfect choice for beginners and fans of romantic comedies and slice-of-life stories.
19. Orange by Ichigo Takano
Orange is another tale with a complex story that can be very appealing to those wanting something more profound. It also touches on very real problems besides love, including depression and suicide.
The story starts with the main character, Naho, receiving letters from her future self. The letters instruct and guide her through certain things, mainly involving a transfer student named Kakeru. The letters are supposed to help her avoid her greatest regrets, but as you would have expected, she ignores them.
As she starts relating to Kakeru, she quickly notices that the letters tell the truth and that not following the instructions leads to bad things. Apparently, Kakeru will eventually commit suicide, and her future self only wants to save him from such a bleak future.
20. The Quintessential Quintuplets by Negi Haruba
The Quintessential Quintuplets is another romance title that focuses on the harem genre. It is a rather special and unique title because of its exciting premise – a harem formed by 5 sisters who are quintuplets.
Futaro Uesugi is a brilliant high school student with his own share of difficulties. His mother passed away, and his family is in debt. He also has no friends because he’s constantly studying, but he’s determined to become successful through studying.
Due to his academic skills, he receives an offer from the Nakano family to be hired as a private tutor for the family’s daughters. He eventually meets them, discovering they are 5 identical sisters, each with a very different personality. But they all share one particular thing – considerably poor performance at school!
21. Given by Natsuki Kizu
If you’re looking for a romance manga that will tug at your heartstrings, then Given is worth checking out. This manga follows the story of high school student Ritsuka Uenoyama, who feels lost and unfulfilled in his life. One day, he meets Mafuyu Sato, a fellow student who asks Ritsuka to teach him how to play the guitar. As they spend more time together, Ritsuka starts to develop feelings for Mafuyu.
What makes Given stand out is the depth of its characters and their relationships. Ritsuka is a complex protagonist who struggles with his identity and feelings for Mafuyu. Mafuyu, on the other hand, is dealing with some serious emotional trauma that has left him unable to express himself fully. As the two of them grow closer, they must navigate their issues while also trying to figure out what they mean to each other.
The manga also features a diverse cast of supporting characters, including Ritsuka’s bandmates Haruki and Akihiko, who both have their own romantic subplots. Overall, Given is a must-read boy’s love manga series for fans of the romance genre looking for something a little different!
22. Boarding School Juliet by Yousuke Kaneda
This story of Boarding School Juliet introduces a fictional world where two rival nations stand against one another. The first one is Touwa, a very Japanese-like country, and Occidente, a principality that is quite European-like. Although the two nations have signed a peace treaty, their communities hate each other and can’t stand the idea of fraternizing between them.
Then, a school with students from the two nations is introduced. They are separated into two groups, the White Cats from Occidente and the Black Dogs from Touwa. As you might have guessed, the two groups fight each other, and fights happen almost on a daily basis.
What these two groups of students don’t know is that their two leaders have feelings for one another, with Romio Inuzuka belonging to the Black Dogs and Juliet Persia belonging to the White Cats. They eventually end up in a relationship surrounded by their challenging environment and promise to change things to create a world where they can be together.
23. My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara & Aruko
My Love Story!!, also known as Ore Monogatari!!, is possibly one of the most adorable, cutest romance manga series you can read. However, you have to bear in mind that the series’s main protagonist is rather different from what you may have seen so far. But I find it to be one of the series’ great points, and if you enjoy wholesome, adorable tales, it is definitely for you!
The series follows Takeo Gouda, a high school student who is very tall and muscular for his age. This causes him to have problems with girls, especially those he falls in love with since they all end up falling in love with his best friend, a very cool and handsome guy named Makoto Sunakawa.
Behind his rough looks, however, Takeo is a lovely and affable person who is always willing to do his best for others. One day, he ends up saving Rinko Yamato, a small girl who was being harassed on the train. Of course, Rinko falls in love with him and does her best to catch his attention. But because of his previous experiences, things don’t go as she planned!
24. Rosario to Vampire by Akihisa Ikeda
Rosario to Vampire is a popular romance manga series written and illustrated by Akihisa Ikeda. The story follows the life of Tsukune Aono, a teenage boy who accidentally enrolls in a boarding school for monsters. The school is hidden from the human world, and Tsukune must keep his identity a secret while navigating the challenges of a monster high school.
Throughout the series, Tsukune’s life is turned upside down as he falls in love with a beautiful vampire named Moka Akashiya. However, Moka is not your average vampire. She has a split personality, and her true nature is hidden behind a rosary that Tsukune wears around his neck.
As Tsukune tries to navigate his way through school, he must also deal with the other students, including a succubus, a witch, and a werewolf. Along the way, he makes new friends and enemies and discovers the truth about his own hidden powers.
This fantasy series is filled with action, romance, and comedy, making it a popular choice for fans of the genre, and it is even considered as one of the popular ecchi manga series as there are a lot of fanservice and mature moments!
25. Sankarea: Undying Love by Mitsuru Hattori
Sankarea: Undying Love is a little unique and original since it involves the idea of a zombie. You see, Chihiro Furuya has an obsession with zombies and wants to have an undead girlfriend. One day, he loses his pet cat and, incapable of accepting its fate, decides to raise it from death using a mysterious book he found in the family’s storage room.
Due to a series of events, he ends up meeting Rea Sanka, a girl who is constantly harassed by her father. They work together to create a potion to revive the cat, which Rea eventually drinks. She thought it would poison her and kill her because she wanted to end her miserable life. However, it didn’t have that effect.
But unfortunately, Rea ended up dying in a fatal accident soon after, which is when the potion shows its effect. Due to the potion, Rea revives as a zombie, and Chihiro decides to take care of her, making sure that her body doesn’t rot as time goes on.
26. How Do We Relationship? by Tamifull
How Do We Relationship? is a heartwarming romance manga series that follows the love story of two college women, Miwa Inuzuka and Saeko Endou, who start a romance of convenience that soon becomes the real thing.
Miwa is a shy girl who has always dreamed of finding love, but living in a small town in Japan makes finding the right match difficult, especially since she likes girls. On the other hand, Saeko is more confident and outgoing, but she’s also dealing with her insecurities and fears. As they navigate their relationship, they discover more about themselves and each other and learn to overcome their obstacles together.
One of the things that sets How Do We Relationship? apart from other romance manga is its realistic portrayal of same-sex romance. The characters are not fetishized or stereotyped, and their relationship feels genuine and authentic.
27. Love Me, Love Me Not by Io Sakisaka
If you’re looking for a classic romance manga that’s completed, then Love Me, Love Me Not by Io Sakisaka is an excellent choice. The story follows Yuna Ichihara, a shy girl who loves to read romance shōjo manga but has never experienced love herself. However, her life changes when she unexpectedly meets Akari Yamamoto at the train station and befriends her.
Fast friends Yuna and Akari are complete opposites as Yuna is an idealist, while Akari is a realist. When lady-killer Rio Yamamoto, Akari’s older brother, and the oblivious Kazuomi Inui join their ranks, love and friendship become quite complicated!
The manga explores themes of friendship, love, and self-discovery. The characters are well-developed, and you’ll find yourself rooting for them as they navigate their relationships. The art style is beautiful, and the pacing is just right.
So there you have it, a list of some of the best romance manga you can read right now. Whether you’re a fan of classic romance titles or titles that include some comedy, drama, and more adult-like representations of the genre, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Remember that this is just a small selection of the many fantastic romance manga out there, and there are plenty more waiting to be discovered. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new; you never know what hidden gem you might find.
But if you are still confused about which title to pick and start with, hopefully, this list will give you a good starting point for finding your next favorite series. So grab a cup of tea, curl up with your favorite blanket, and dive into the world of romance manga!
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