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Old 2010-07-20, 02:14   Link #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hen-Tie pen
Shoujo manga/anime that are not...

Actually I hate to ask anyone what kind of anime that are really worth watching and this thread is the main reason why. Seriously shoujo genre don't improve much since I start to watch anime and read manga.

Can anyone here suggest me a shoujo manga/anime that are not...

1. Reverse harem(one girl + many guys)
Its natural for teenage girls and young women to like such shows but what I hate about it is the viewers are more interested seeing the guys rather than anything else. You can call me double-standard for liking Clannad than Ouran but Clannad have something Ouran don't, like decent plot. Ouran just another bishounen fanservice show. I'm not going to see Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge for similar reason.

2. Shoppaholic girl who craves pretty dresses, high-heeled shoes, anything about 'glam' stuffs.

3. Average-looking girl who met a cold-hearted but good-looking guy.
Unfortunately there just too many of them!

4. Girl who fall in love to guy who raped her.
I'm looking at you Shinjou Mayu!

5. About guys alone.
Actually Maria-sama ga Miteru fit to this criteria but (un)fortunately I already seen all of them.

You can say that I'm pretty choosy but I'm a man so what do you expect? It much like expecting a yaoi fangirl see lots of yuri shows and tell her how she likes them. It pretty much the same anyway. However I don't see many decent shoujo manga and anime if I a woman either. Just don't take my words too seriously if you don't get what I try to say.
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Old 2010-07-20, 05:17   Link #2
Le fou, c'est moi
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Frankly, Ouran > Clannad in my opinion. It is infinitely funnier.

But that's a topic for another day, rather, I'm at your service:

Lovely Complex is as lovely as it sounds. Nakahara Aya is one of those mangaka who "works in the genre" but whose manga transcends that limitation by being just plain good at what it does. The manga has, in order of importance: a lovely heroine, a funny style, energetic pace, and a bunch of supporting couples that make the whole thing much more like real schools than the usual shoujo manga. It also has a pretty damn good anime a while back.

What it doesn't have: rape and abuse, bishie harem, shallow shoppaholics, or a school full of idol-worshipping bitches.

If you like it, you can always graduate to other, shorter series by the same mangaka. They tend to be just as funny but being short series may seem to you rushed and a bit obvious.

A little caveat: despite my praise for it, be warned that the middle parts stretch one's patience a bit regarding the resolution of the guy's feelings (the characters feel it much worse that us though ). Rest assured that it will be resolved and resolved satisfyingly.

Orange Chocolate is also an interesting one. Though it's a shoujo manga, what your type of reader would notice first of all is that the heroine doesn't look anything like a usual shoujo heroine. She's short and bubbly with round face and with messy black hair -- BUT, she's cute, in her own confident, innocent way, with none of those complexes a shoujo heroine would have.

The manga is about two very close childhood friends who have a secret wish (the gimmick is that a god fulfills that wish uninvited, with unintended consequences). One is a beautiful traditional Japanese performer boy and the other is said heroine. When I say very close they really are very close, the manga does a brilliant job of conveying a genuine sense of dynamics between the two leads that the romance is nothing short of adorable.

What it doesn't have: despite the bishie male lead, he's not in the least bit abusive or cold but in fact very likable himself, despite the bishie male lead, the school's female students aren't after the heroine's head, and despite the bishie male lead, there's no love rivals on either side so far to mess up the light and happy atmosphere.

Akagami no Shirayuki Hime. My absolute favorite shoujo manga. It's a fantasy series about a girl with apple-red hair who meets a prince and his companions in a forest. Despite the simple description, the manga is absolutely amazing because Shirayuki -- the heroine -- is a very believably strong young woman. She's intelligent, calm, capable, femininely beautiful, yet doesn't come off as a Mary Sue. The prince Zen is not an idiot either: he's respectful of her, talented, cares for his people. The romance is slow going but convincing, the political atmosphere is there to provide gravity but not overbearingly so, and the cast of characters around them are just as interesting.

What it doesn't have: abusive rapists who the heroine falls in love with, a weak heroine who keeps crying all the time, idiot plot, flaws (lol).

She also has a new series that just started. It's focusing on the boys (the main characters are boys at a boys' school -- no, it's not BL) but is showing every sign of being every bit as awesome as this one.

Hitsuji no Namida by Hidaka Banri is, like Nakahara Aya above, a shoujo manga distinctly lacking in the worse sides of melodrama and distinctly full of the better sides of shoujo manga. It is a funny manga, but also a drama, but what truly distinguishes her works (this includes her other long work, V.B. Rose) is that it has a uniquely sensitive perspective to human motivations. Frankly I can't explain to you what makes her manga works, because it is something in the tone, the way she draws her characters' expressions, the way they express troubled but genuine emotions, and the natural shifts from quiet sorrow to hilarity, from comedic scenes to serious discussions with subtle meanings.

As usual: bishies, yes. Abuses, no. Harems, no. It actually is based on the viewpoint of the gentle, caring main male lead but the major focus of the story is the girl.

For the lulz, you could always look back into history and discovers shoujo manga in an earlier era when it had a totally different atmosphere and focus. The greatest of all the legendary shoujo manga is undoubtedly the still running Glass Mask (40+ volumes lol). Maya is a girl who has a dream, she loves to act and wants to be on stage. One day a unique old woman (Tsukikage-sensei, who has become something of an icon of the "harsh but loving" teacher) discovers her talent and sets her on the path to try for the legendary title of Crimson Goddess. Along the way she meets a worthy rival in the beautiful and supremely talented Ayumi and mysterious benefactor who is known to her only as Purple Rose.

Classic stuff. Melodrama when melodrama was actually awesome. Plus the stage scenes are truly convincingly creative.

Now, I'm focusing mostly on shoujo manga that involves romance as a central point, but the thing is, there are shoujo manga out there which are more like long-running shounen series focusing on plot and conflict and mysteries and all that. The most prominent example of this would be Gakuen Alice, which, though you can stretch your objections somewhat (Natsumi in earlier chapters was pretty mean...though to be fair he was an elementary school kid with a truckload of nasty issues to ruin his mood), is more or less considered one of the best shoujo manga in its generation. A little girl follows her best friend who has been designated as a genius "Alice" to her new school, and discovers that "Alice" means much more than just being a genius -- but rather that it means you got cool psychic powers the government wants to use. Cue 100+ chapters and ongoing of friendships, puppy romance, adventures after adventures (think Harry Potter), secrets of the past and hopes for the future, and a lot of funny commentary on the side.

Just a few recommendations to tide you over.

Last edited by Irenicus; 2010-07-20 at 05:41. Reason: Moar recommendations added
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Old 2010-07-20, 06:23   Link #3
Join Date: Mar 2010
Kaichou wa maid-sama.
Good looking very strong girl and a good looking epic guy.
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Old 2010-07-20, 06:27   Link #4
Komrades of Kitamura Kou
Join Date: Jul 2004
Age: 33
I will second Lovely Complex, both the manga and the anime.
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Old 2010-07-20, 08:20   Link #5
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
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How about Kimi ni Todoke?
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Old 2010-07-20, 09:04   Link #6
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Kaichou wa maid-sama - the girl doesn't have harem, though there are people who like her but it isn't harem centred. The girl is strong and can fight back, though has slight tsundare personality. The guy is cool, not rude.

So you hate a garem with one girl and bunch of guys? How about one guy and bunch of girls? Rosario + Vampire would suit then though manga is MUCH better (but manga is more shounen though). Also the main heroin has two personalities but the guy in anime sucks in my opinion... that is why manga is better.

Air and Kanon 2006 are good series but they are more drama based than humour. But if you liked Clannd, you might like them as well since they are from the same author. Angel Beats is also from the same author but it is slightly different and not really shoujo but still has romance involvement.

Love Hina a harem show with one guy and bunch of girls, but I recommend manga in this case. It is 10 times better than anime but anime isn't really bad either but characters are more developed in manga. Also series are funny, the main guy works as mangaer in girls inn and is doing cleaning duties and stuff. Had been seen flying through the walls and roofs many times.

Spice and Wolf - fully romance based though includes some slight action.

Toradora - romance comedy.

Suzuka - involves love triangle so drama is included though has some comedy too. Also this triangle goes in circle like Guy A loves girl B but girl B is not really interested at first while girl C likes the guy A.
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Old 2010-07-20, 12:18   Link #7
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Will Natsume's Book of Freinds count? It's shoujo but it's not a romance.

Last edited by Haak; 2010-07-21 at 12:05.
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Old 2010-07-20, 22:33   Link #8
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Age: 29
kitten320, most of your recommendations are targeted at males and are not shoujo anime.

As for my recommendations, Natsume Yuujinchou is indeed shoujo, a great anime, but not romance - although there are certainly moments where it examines love. But no, there's no overarching subplot of Guy X and Girl Y getting together. That could be seen as a good thing.

I also recommend Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou. The anime director, in my opinion, took a somewhat typical shoujo manga and spun it into something quite unique and satisfying. Not unique in terms of plot description, but in terms of execution. Frankly I can't say there are many high school romance stories that have surpassed it.

If you're feeling crazy, give Kodomo no Omocha a spin for some zany and occasionally heartwarming fun.

And finally....Nodame Cantabile. Not much to say - just an excellent romantic comedy.

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Last edited by Theowne; 2010-07-21 at 14:03. Reason: there vs. their, doh
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Old 2010-07-21, 07:02   Link #9
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Join Date: Jul 2007
But they are romance based unless I missunderstood the term shoujo... some of them only indicate at romance but don't explore them much.

And Kameruka did say that he/she is not interested in the shows where there is bunch of guys so logically the shows with bunch of girl will suit more
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Old 2010-07-21, 09:13   Link #10
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Age: 39
Kimi Ni Todoke

Cross Game - A Story of Love, Life, Death - and Baseball. What more could you want?
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Old 2010-07-21, 10:34   Link #11
Le fou, c'est moi
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
But they are romance based unless I missunderstood the term shoujo... some of them only indicate at romance but don't explore them much.
Yes you misunderstood the term shoujo.

Strictly speaking it's a publishing label -- "this product is marketed to the younger female demographics" -- though broadly speaking it's also a vague stylistic indication, what subjects are common and how they are treated.

Air, Kanon, Toradora, Love Hina, Suzuka are all shounen or seinen romances, both stylistically and in terms of what their publishers categorize them.

You can write huge essays on the differences, but the crude guideline kinda works: boobs and panties, or otaku moe = NOT shoujo.

What the OP wants is a shoujo work that will hopefully dispel his disappointments with shoujo works in general. Recommending him shounen/seinen works is missing the point.
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Old 2010-07-21, 10:57   Link #12
Kleo Scanti
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Europe
If you want a manga, try W-Juliet. It is quite different from an average shoujo manga, there are comedy, drama, romance, and the story is generally good. There are few guys who are in love with the female lead, but for her it's not a matter of choice as she gets a really great boyfriend at the very beginning.
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Old 2010-07-21, 12:37   Link #13
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Marmalade Boy.
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Old 2010-07-21, 14:06   Link #14
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Academy City
Full Moon o Sagashite. The best shoujo manga I have ever come across with such a heartfelt and noncliched plot. The art is gorgeous too. I definitely recommend you check it out.
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Old 2010-07-21, 21:08   Link #15
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Mars is an amazing romance manga.

The Devil Does Exist is another incredible, epic romance manga.

Wild Act is a great romance manga.

Sand Chronicles

Paradise Kiss

Bokura ga Ita

High School Debut

Kare First Love

Happy Hustle High

Kare Kano

Peach Girl

Ceres Celestial Legend

Ultra Cute

Missile Happy!

Akuma De Sourou

Last edited by MamoruUsagi; 2010-07-21 at 21:18.
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Old 2010-07-22, 07:04   Link #16
a regular van veen
Join Date: Feb 2007
I know how you feel TC. I'm just as much picky (or perhaps even more so, tbh) when it comes to my shoujo picks.

I like the more down-to-earth works of Ikuemi Ryo: Assari Chocolate, Cousin, and Kano Hitoya Tsuki.

There's the more eccentric works of George Asakura as well: Shounenshoujo Romance and Oboreru Knife (with horrid, horrid translation though).

The mind trippy Vampire Girl is heady and not quite the typical love story. Coelacanth is no less interesting too, although the ending felt too saccharine for me.
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Old 2010-07-24, 15:15   Link #17
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Well I have read a LOT of shoujo manga. One manga that really stands out for me is Skip beat by Nakamura Yoshiki, because it focuses on character development rather than a quick romance. The main character is weird but she has a strong personality. Plus it's not like guys fall for her, she gives out too much of the ordinary girl vibes... Well if you don't read it you wont know, but give it a try, it's really good
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Old 2010-07-24, 17:16   Link #18
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How about NANA?
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Old 2010-07-25, 23:34   Link #19
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Join Date: Jul 2010
I'm just going to go by the 5 points you put in the OP (well try to anyway), not sure if there are other aspects of some shoujo (e.g. cute designs, magical girls etc.) that aren't up your street however:

Someday's Dreamers
Figure 17
Telepathy Shoujo Ran - I just started this, but seems like it might fit

Magical girl series:
Nanatsuiro Drops
Magic Knight Rayearth
Card Captor Sakura

Male protagonist but classified as shoujo:
Tsubasa Chronicles

Harem-ish but with a decent story outside "zomg bishounens":
Fruits Basket

Don't know if they count under Shoujo:
Ah! My Goddess
Lucky Star
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Old 2010-07-27, 15:20   Link #20
Team Spice and Wolf UK
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: England
Age: 30
I'll add my voice to the recommendations for Spice and Wolf, Kimi Ni Todoke, Kanon and Toradora!

As has been brought up not all are Shoujo, but still probably worth a watch, Kimi Ni Todoke is the only directly Shoujo one there though, S&W is more unisex whilst the others are more male orientated. Nodame Cantabile is also meant to be very good, but I've not had a chance to watch it yet.

Rosario and Vampire the manga is also good, but again not exactly aimed at women, with the subject matter, the harem aspect etc, that said it is read by girls because the characters aren't just throwaway stereotypes.
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