The 10 Best Romance Manga To Fall In Love With
Manga and anime have been paving the way for romantic fiction for decades. But figuring out where to start in a genre that may not always have been your first choice is a big step. We’re here to help you navigate the world of romance manga, with a curated selection of classics, cult favorites and contemporary hits. There’s something here for every type of reader, whether you’re looking for comedy, action, fantasy, or even crime-centric romance tales. So get ready to get romantic!
10 best romance manga
Also, be sure to check out our guide to the best romance anime for even more fun.
10. Rose of Versailles
Although it’s more of a historical tale that features multiple romances than a classic love story, it’s visually and tonally one of the most romantic manga ever made. Beginning in pre-revolutionary times in France, the series follows a fictionalized version of Marie Antoinette and a female commander in her guard, Oscar François de Jarjayes. This groundbreaking Shōjo manga became a breakthrough in the industry due to its complex narrative around politics and sexuality. Creator Riyoko Ikeda is nothing short of a manga legend, and Rose of Versailles is a masterpiece that’s a great entry point for those who want more romantic manga in their lives.
9. My Androgynous Boyfriend
Some of the best manga ever made feature people making manga for a living. My Androgynous Boyfriend continues this tradition since its protagonist, Wako, is a manga editor. While she grinds on her job as an editor, her glamorous boyfriend Meguru does what he does best, look gorgeous online and gain even more subscribers. See, Meguru is an androgynous fashion influencer who loves nothing more than wearing makeup and looking cute for Wako. This humorous slice-of-life romance celebrates their radical relationship and has a lot of fun while it does. Plus, Wako and Meguru are a couple you’re always rooting for.
8. Grab those hands!
Ever wanted to read a romance about rowdy adult delinquents? So grab those hands! got you covered. Takebe has put her days of violent crime behind her. Although she was the easy winner in any fight, now she’s taking it easy. Or at least that’s his plan until one of his old rivals, “Bloody Cardigan” Soramori, appears in his life. But she doesn’t just want to fight Takebe. Instead, she wants to date her! This hilarious and cute murata manga is only a few volumes long but has already established the early days of a romance that could easily become a new favorite for readers of the genre, especially those with a youth ill-spent!
7. Restart after returning home
This gorgeous Cocomi gay love story inspired a hit live-action movie just a year after its release. Mitsuomi Kozaka is less than happy to have to return to his country home after losing his job in a big city. It’s a huge change, but when he meets Kumai Yamato, a neighbor’s adopted son, he realizes that coming home might not have been the worst thing in the world. This charming and sweet story is the kind of slice of life that infuses immediate nostalgia and warmth. As the couple become friends, they grow closer and begin to open up to each other. They embark on an unexpected journey that will change both of their lives for the better.
6. A sign of affection
Another more recent romance that has taken the manga fandom by storm is A Sign of Affection. This sweet love story between Yuki, a deaf girl, and Itsuomi, a hearing boy, is a skillful and innovative manga that makes the most of its visual format. After a cute encounter, Yuki and Itsuomi embark on a budding friendship that could grow into so much more. But there’s a problem: Itsumi doesn’t know sign language. Suu Morishita is creating something truly surprising and delicious here that will likely become iconic in the manga romance realm for years to come.
5. Jump Beat!
You can’t write about romance manga without including Skip Beat! This beloved romantic comedy from Yoshiki Nakamura centers on a teenage girl, Kyoko, whose childhood friend, Sho, becomes a famous celebrity in Japan. The pair live together but Sho is conceited and cruel, which eventually leads to Kyoko swearing revenge by becoming a bigger star than Sho. We follow Kyoko’s journey to fame and fortune as she tries to find her place and seek revenge. Of course, love is in the air when she meets a grumpy actor named Ren. But will the couple ever overcome the torments of their romantic past? You will have to read Skip Beat! discover.
4. The Demon Prince of House Momochi
What would you do if you inherited a famous haunted but beautiful house? When that exact thing happens to Himari Momochi, she feels like she has no choice but to move in. Amazingly, the legends are true and the house acts as a gateway between this world and the spirit realm. As if that wasn’t weird enough, when she arrives at her new home, she’s already inhabited by supernatural beings. One of them is a “magnificent demon guardian” and suddenly Himari’s whole life is turned upside down in this charming and fantastical tale by Aya Shoutoto.
The first of Rumiko Takahasi’s two entries on our list, Inuyasha is arguably his most famous creation. Although it’s a fantasy action story first, there’s a hilarious romance at its center that has become one of the genre’s defining stories. When Kagome is dragged down a well at her grandparents’ Shinto shrine by a strange monster, she finds herself transported back to the Sengoku period. Soon, she meets the half-demon half-dog known as Inuyasha. Thanks to one of her ancestors, Kagome holds strange magical powers and the ability to control Inuyasha with a special collar and the “Sit, Boy” command. Together, the bickering couple must search for a series of artifacts deeply connected to their tangled history in one of the best manga love story foes of all time. It also makes for a great anime series worth watching.
2. Sweat and soap
One of the biggest romantic comedy hits of recent years, Kintetsu Yamada’s Sweat & Soap has a unique concept. At its center is Asako. Working at Lilla Drop, a famous perfumery, is almost too good to be true. Not only does she love their products, but their soap is the key to getting rid of her body odor, which she is very sensitive to. So when the company’s sexy boss starts talking about the smell he can’t get enough of… he couldn’t talk about Asako’s sweat, could he? And what would that mean for a woman who has always been ashamed of it? This deliciously dirty office romance is both radical and exciting as it explores a blossoming romance amidst the world of perfumes, smells and sweat, subjects most of us don’t talk about.
1. Ikkoku House
Rumiko Takahashi is here twice for a reason. One of the most prolific and impressive living mangaka, she has created many beloved manga that also feature rad romances. His most classic love tale is this naughty slice of life about a young widow, Kyoko, who becomes the manager of a boarding house. Once there, she finds herself among an eclectic group of neighbors including a young student, Godai, who falls in love with her almost instantly. Over the course of 15 volumes in this beautifully illustrated series, the couple struggle with anxiety, awkwardness and very nosy neighbors as they try to figure out if they’re meant to be more than just friends.
Rosie Knight is an Eisner Award-winning journalist, author and comic writer. She co-hosts Crooked Media’s X-Ray Vision Podcastdiscussing pop culture from superhero movies and prestige TV to the best fantasy novels and, of course, comic books.
Check out his related work on the best junji ito manga and the best sad anime all time.