Inspired by Karandi’s lamentation of pure romance series in anime.
My recommendation to Karandi in the comments section of the linked post was to read some manga. Not all of these are pure romance, but I’m currently in a bit of a writing slump due to being stuck somewhere between my KyoAni anime for OWLS and almost overdue library books
(I’m not sure where to start talking about Yuki Yuna as I type this, so there goes my Plan A), so…let’s keep it simple.
These all have the romance tag on AniList and are series I’m currently following…at least, as I’ve marked them on AniList. (It might be a while until I read some of them again, due to various factors such as the fact they’re ongoing.)
Note: All facts presented here should be correct as of writing the post.
Currently has an anime
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) (Kodansha)
Eh, the art is a bit funky, but isn’t that always the case? Anyways, it may not have actual music in it, since we’re talking about the manga, and I’m not going to touch the anime any time soon in case I become a Deku-style gusher of tears, but the emotional resonance is there.
Anonymous Noise (Viz)
Y’know how I said Your Lie in April has no music in the manga? Well, based on the reviews I’ve read for the anime, you’ll thank your eardrums you didn’t watch the anime for this one. The romance isn’t particularly strong in this one, although it’s always in the background until a few volumes in where one of the main guys starts figuring out his feelings for the protag.
Eureka Seven (Bandai Manga, currently out of print)
The romance is a bit shoehorned in this one, but I chalk that down to the length of the series – it’s 6 volumes long and has to explain all the terminology and has to explain why Renton x Eureka is a good ship, which has gotta hurt for an anime with 50 or so episodes.
It’s on this list because I kept seeing the penultimate volume and the volume before it on the shelf at the local library and eventually caved when I found the rest of the volumes at another branch. I only properly got into it in the past 2 years or so, but I’m missing a volume…volume 5, ironically.
I prefer the manga for this one – the narrator works there, but not in the anime. The chapters are short and snappy, so they’re good time-wasters.
Kenka Bancho Otome: Love’s Battle Royale (Viz)
Short and sweet at 2 volumes, but also torturous in that I own the 1st volume but not the 2nd…
Doesn’t have an anime yet
Urakata!! (Behind the Scenes!!) (Viz)
I’ve talked about this one before. At 7 volumes it’s fairly short, but I still need to chase down the final 2 volumes…grr…
Blue Flag (Media Do via Manga Plus, upcoming release from Viz starting spring 2020)
I found out about this series via it having a simultaneous licence announcement with Jigokuraku. I thought it was just a slice of life, like a series called Seishun Koryakuhon (Youth Strategy Guide) which I discovered during the days where I was more lax with legal releases, but turns out it’s a romance…It helps that the humour ain’t too bad and I keep thinking, “If Masumi (a girl in the series) were a dude, I’d claim him as a husbando”…
yeah, my preference for long-haired dudes is getting worse (?).
Not licensed in English yet
Akuyaku Reijou wa Shoumin to Totsugitai!! (The Villainess Wants to Marry a Commoner!!)
I mentioned this one in another post. Again, I’m not that far into it, but it’s far too cute and relatable to toss up.
The manga that didn’t make the cut were 7thGarden (which I still need to write a proper post on, since I’ve obtained – yet not read – vol. 1), Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun/My Little Monster (which I dropped then picked up again when I found the rest of the volumes – it’s also typeset in a way that’s messier than the series I’ve recommended), Detective Conan (catching up on that series is a royal pain in the behind, even with the current English 70+ volumes), Nana (which I wouldn’t recommend due to an immense focus on sex, which may alienate or attract readers) and Fruits Basket: Another (which I discussed the issues of here).
So, is there anything interesting in this list you’d like to check out one day? Are there any patterns you’ve noticed between the manga?
Yes, I know I read a lot of Viz manga…they are one of the biggest distributors of English-language manga, after all…
Thanks for sharing the list. I might look to manga sooner rather than later to get a romance fix if nothing else comes along.
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I hadn’t heard of Akuyaku Reijou wa, Shoumin ni Totsugitai but it sounds pretty good. I’ve really been enjoying The Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, which is a manga with a similar premise licensed by Seven Seas. The first 2 volumes didn’t have much romance but that’s started to change in volume 3 and it’s a lot of fun.
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The Villainess Wants to Marry a Commoner is a rare one for sure because IIRC, it was the newest entry on the list at about 13 chapters when I last set eyes on it…in turn, each manga chapter is an adaption of part of the LN chapters so technically it’s only at about 4 chapters.
I’ve heard of Accomplishments of a Duke’s Daughter, although that gets overshadowed by Bakarina and even Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life? (<- I need an abbreviation for that when the anime comes out…). I'd check it out in some form or another, but I have a pretty sizeable backlog as it stands (and a very low level of self-restraint when it comes to starting new series).