Total Recommendations: 92
Broken people, broken romances. The story and characterization in Ane no Kekkon draw strength from these issues while the characters in Anata no Koto wa Sorehodo have very few redeeming qualities. Either way, lots of mature drama in these josei romance manga.
est em writes sexually charged manga centered around food.
What happens when your best friend has a gender flip? Tensions peak while both try to redefine their changing relationship.
Anno Moyoco was Okazaki's assistant and helped complete Helter Skelter after Okazaki was physically unable. Her strong influence on Anno, in both the drawing and writing style, is immediately evident. The themes are similar as well—women struggle with their own body image, how others perceive them, and the destructive extremes they go to for appearances.
Dramatic, disturbing josei manga that beautifully depict the deterioration of their characters. Sono Saki no Fuukei's style has many strong visual contrasts, such as the delicate features of a woman crawling with insects while Helter Skelter is rough, erratic, and raw in both writing and presentation.
Romance stories where the boys appear scary and tough on the outside, but are actually cute and considerate on the inside.
Shoujo/josei manga that are dark, bleak, and immersed in death, making the beauty of the story and presentation stand out that much more.
Comedic, moe manga written for the shoujo/josei demographic with similar tones: short, light, fun, and heart-warming.
Focuses on the antics of quirky, moe high school boys that are members of a sports club.
BL manga with a seme vs. seme theme.
Epic shoujo fantasy manga characteristic of Ichiraci magazine that have powerful, yet sensitive male leads who all characters naturally gravitate towards, even their enemies.
Short, yet poignant oneshot collections with similar decadent art styles characteristic of Gothic & Lolita Bible.
Instead of idealistic, fluffy first love, these josei romance manga are moving because of the flaws in their imperfect relationships. The characters are adults, thus carry the burden of their own emotional baggage and social complications.
Age gap romance manga between a high school girl/early 20's man who have similar personalities. The girls are quiet, thoughtful, and determined while the guys are kind, yet personally struggle to maintain a "proper" distance between himself the girl.
Absurd age gap "romance" manga that are more comical in nature as a result. The lead girls make the stories so entertaining because they are determined, precocious, and adorable.
Two well-known examples of the "ugly cute" trend found within BL manga.
Romance stories where a scary-faced, misunderstood boy shows his gentle side to the main character. The delicate art styles are similar.
Beautifully drawn josei manga where a career woman finds romance with a considerably younger man.
Boys with rough appearances that don't match their kind, sensitive personalities. They experience pure, innocent love and awkwardly, yet endearingly, try to get closer to their crush.
Saucy oji-san as a romantic interest in shoujo/josei manga.
Horrifying struggles for survival in female-orientated manga. Limit has more high school girl drama while 7Seeds is a sweeping epic.
Sculpted, muscular men who dance with grace and beauty.
Beefcake policemen BL manga.
Comedic BL manga with a seme vs. seme rivalry theme.
Hard-boiled, gritty yakuza dramas with a BL slant.
Supernatural manga with a touch of BL. While cloying romance is not a focus, the main characters' (self-appointed) partners have yandere tendencies.
Female-oriented manga with a hardboiled, gritty style. The unexpressed emotions, not exclusively romantic or sexual, between characters are palpable.
Serious, studious girl thrown off-balance by wild-type boy. Comedic tone with light romance.
Long series from award-winning shoujo manga masters which are merciless on both the reader and characters. Watch characters either break or endure (or more likely oscillate in between during the course of the series) shocking emotional and physical trauma. You will be left emotionally drained after completing both. Hurts so good.
Shoujo manga that share a similar general premise: an unwanted high school girl finds a home with a kind young man who cherishes the idea of a family. There's some uneasiness from mixed signals between romance and more platonic/family feelings or teasing/not being taken seriously due to age.
Shoujo romance manga with similar styles where the female lead is guarded with her feelings and the guys don't quite understand their own.
Tonari no 801-chan and Yuri Danshi are complementary works about two fandoms--Tonari no 801-chan stars a very enthusiastic fan of BL manga while Yuri Danshi features just what the title says: a guy obsessed with yuri manga.
Two womanizing men with very competitive personalities consistently cross paths and have surprising, almost vexing, compatibility themselves. Both manga feature comedic personal struggles as they wrestle with this development.
Death and how people respond to it is a common theme. It's not treated as an oppressive force, but a matter-of-fact occurrence within these episodic stories where the leads are charged with helping those gone and sometimes those left behind. A bit grim, neither is motivated by benevolence and certainly not for the little money involved.
Shiina-kun is a contemporary shoujo twist on Doubutsu no Oishasan. Both are episodic, comedic shoujo manga that focus on people who regularly work/study/care for animals.
Shoujo romance manga featuring pirates. They were both even published in LaLa DX. Predictable, but fun enough.
Two long historical romance shoujo manga. The rival romance leads are similar and very charismatic, arguably more so than the main male lead. They steal the spotlight (and girl) whenever they appear. Try Umi no Kishidan for a stronger/more independent female lead.
10+ years later, Eiki Eiki/Tsuda Mikiyo took the same premise and basically updated it. As children, a boy mistakes another as a girl and harbours a crush. They meet again years later and the uh, "cat" is let out of the bag.
Beautifully, intricately drawn and written romance manga published in the josei magazine Feel Young. The manga are driven more by atmosphere and flow of the panels and art over words.
Master/servant relationships where the power balance between the two is constantly in flux. The master is young and tries to earn (or force) the respect of the steward, and the steward is cold and mostly concerned with preserving the household status.
Josei romance manga with older men. The women themselves are capable, independent, but show no interest in pursuing any type of romantic relationship until they meet that particular man. Of course, there are younger male love interests rival as well, more so in &.
Well-known josei romance manga featuring an older man.
Over-the-top comedies which are prime examples of the "ugly cute" trend. One is BL while the other is a shoujo manga that focuses on friendship.
Ono Natsume tells us a story using atmosphere and art instead of lots of text.
Toxic feels like it's trying very hard to best Ilegenes and borrowed certain aspects (cute, uniformed guys in military setting and revolutionaries in shoujo manga), but instead of providing light commentary on genetic engineering, it has more man-whoring (perhaps a positive with someone frustrated at Ilegenes?). It mostly feels like a rip-off so far, so try the other out.
Both are about a strong, unbreakable bond between a man and his dog. Although still not as well-known as the story/movie with Hachi, the popularity of Happy's story has exploded.
Following Banana Fish's success is near impossible, but Yoshida Akimi gave a good fight. Yasha has less action, but more mystery and intrigue. The main character of Yasha was reared mostly in sterile laboratories instead of at the hands of the mafia in the rough streets of NYC. Despite this, similar character types are easily recognized in both works. If you're feeling empty after reading Banana Fish, Yasha is a worthy substitute.
KtN likely took some inspiration from YnM. Ikuta has goofy mannerisms that hide a painful past like Tsuzuki. Hisui is "special" and alternatively sweet and abrasive like Hisoka (but less extreme); both need the other's protection, but want to become more useful. Matsushita claims YnM is not BL, yet loaded it with rather unsubtle subtext. KtN is similar in that it the characters seem straight, yet it often veers a little too far over that bromance line.
What happens when your best friend has a gender flip and becomes your ideal type?
Teenagers must adjust to their gender changing at times. They are surprisingly good at showing cute, innocent, and slightly awkward behavior. While Ame Nochi Hare keeps a peaceful tone, Oyajina takes it to the extreme, with the teenage girls acting exactly like teenage girls, such as their speech, mannerisms, and even personal preferences for older men...except they all look like mustached middle-aged men.
Pretty, capable, smart young women use their supernatural ability to read minds/memories to help solve crimes while partnered with attractive men. Honey Bitter is both sweet and drama-filled as the name implies while Keishichou Tokuhanka has a lighter romantic comedy tone.
Chicken sex. Chicken Club is a bit more symbolic, but both make you pause and wonder just exactly what are you reading. Both are illustrated by regulars that publish oneshots in Gothic & Lolita Bible.
A high school boy with (mostly latent) supernatural powers becomes attached to an old spirit. There are light BL hints and some comedy dealing with the spirit adjusting to the new world.
Miracle Dieter Miyuki is a painfully obvious, yet cute and good-natured parody of the lighter, fluffy side of Sailormoon.
There's an emotionally painful edge to how uncertainty in relationships is portrayed in both the dialogue and body language. A surprisingly relatable aspect not often found in BL works.
Old school artwork, old school drama and tragedy--both are relatively earlier explorations of the shoujo genre into the subject of homosexuality and gender identity.
The main characters share some interesting qualities—Ash and Rei are naturally smart and cunning, despite their outside appearance, intense, scarred, beautiful, and dangerous. Rei is a diluted version of Ash in many ways. They both meet a quiet individual and their interactions and the qualities they bring out in each other are a highlight of the works. Read either one if you're looking for something outside the norm of shoujo manga.
Sweet girls fall in love with an otherworldly person who can take the form of a child or a man, causing plenty of confused, but cute, romantic moments. Kissing also serves as an awkward (but still cute?) transfer of power.
Young, pretty guys are somehow linked to a "special" woman and gain a protector that was attached to this other person. Cue emotional baggage about the past and current relationships. Mild BL/fantasy elements.
Cute young girl meets a foreign demon/alien. Happy, fluffy shoujo stories with a touch of romance and fantasy/supernatural.
Peaceful school-life stories drawn by Bikke with a small fantasy/supernatural element. They have a similar innocent feel to them, despite one being (sorta) BL and the other being a gender bender.
Action-orientated, supernatural shoujo series that feature strong and somewhat similar art styles.
Manga which showcase the love, sadness, strength, and faith found in two dogs with very different lives.
Manga adaptations of QuinRose otome games that feature more unique characters than your average reverse harem. Heart no Kuni no Alice has violent characters while the female lead of Crimson Empire is a former assassin turned personal guard. Lots of hot guys too, of course.
Mishima Kazuhiko takes another shot at the robot/doll lover theme and produces something both a bit darker and sweeter in Lovers Doll.
Young children notice a forgotten, rejected man and then pursue them once they're older. Fun, impish boys pursue their loves.
Same theme. Young girls who are prominent yakuza members fall in love their devoted bodyguards, even though their relationship is deemed unacceptable.
Young women work as models for eccentric (and hot) young male artists. The guys take an artistic interest in the girls' bodies, but of course it can be interpreted as more. Despite frequent nude modeling in Torikagosou, it is less adult-themed than Venus ni Arazu.
BL comedies that focus on a character with multiple personalities and the problems that arise in a relationship due to them. Kokoro Logic has less focused, choppy writing.
The heroine is left very lifelike, attractive male "dolls" crafted by family members. The dolls are less blindly loyal in Will o' Wisp, which is also aimed at a slightly older audience.
Tonari no 801-chan helped inspire Fujoshi Kanojo and offers a slightly less crazed fujoshi lead (don't let the green monster fool you!). Tonari no 801-chan is more comedy based and less romantic. However, Fujoshi Kanojo's "romance" is hampered by the girl's over-the-top behavior.
Alice in Wonderland adaptations filled with cute, twisted guys and aimed at a female audience. Wonderland is quite a dangerous place for the Alices to wander around.
Houou is a reverse harem manga with a cross-dressing female lead while Maria†Holic has a cross-dressing male lead surrounded by women. Similar comedic tones and premise. Both must keep their real gender secret and have connections to the school's staff. Mariya's antics tend to be similar, but more extreme than Houou's main male character Yui. The main female characters are lesbians searching for a partner and have physical aversions to men, yet find themselves unable to escape their presence.
These two stories are about strong, beautiful women with the soul of a knight. They are driven to avenge the death of a parent. Being the longer series, Umi no Kishidan's Aciel is more experienced, skilled, and is an actual knight. While Oranjyu is a tomboy, Aciel identifies less with her actual gender (unless she can use it to her advantage). Both works are historical, romantic fantasies written by Togawa Mitomo.
Shoujo fantasy manga with a relatively modern world, except there are supernatural creatures that the main characters work to control and protect unaware bystanders. Shino and Kio are abnormally powerful, yet not conceited. People naturally gather around them. Both works feature beautiful art and a well planned and structured story.
These manga feature the very distinct art of Chayamachi Suguro. Both are manga adaptations of popular games aimed at women with the BL elements removed, making them more accessible to wider audiences. Togainu no Chi is sci-fi while Lamento has a fantasy theme. They contain lots of action and have well developed stories and environments.
These manga contain cute, mysterious guys, nice art, and similar episodic storytelling with a supernatural bent.
The characters in both works start out as an unlikely pair—a powerful being and a (not quite) normal human. They are slightly older, very light BL fantasy adventure stories with many enjoyable side characters.
The two couples in the main stories face the difficulty of forming a romantic relationship in a pseudo-family environment. The younger child in each manga is also adorable and lightens the mood.
These works deal with two male partners (either cops or part of a security team) that work together and fall in love. Each character is devoted to his partner and is willing to risk his own safety to protect the other. Both feature a sweet, romantic relationship that takes time to develop.
Both of these fantasy manga involve a traveling pair where one character has a darker streak that emerges if something dares threaten the other. Both are very possessive and will do anything to keep their partner around. While Itsuki in Tokaido HISAME makes his intentions very clear, Sefa from LIFE☆SWITCH isn't driven by physical attraction and prefers his boss in fluffy dog form (since Will is not only cute, but also utterly dependent on Sefa).
Alichino and Tengu Onmyoudou contain beautiful, fantasy-themed art. Both manga have detailed character designs. Tengu Onmyoudou even has the seemingly lost art of elaborate, well drawn backgrounds in shoujo manga that truly illustrates the story's setting. Alichino's characters have a slightly odd "doll" look to them while Tengu Onmyoudou has stronger jawlines and bulkier male bodies not often found in shoujo manga. Both are great examples of unique art styles.
Aki's writing and drawing style has matured greatly from her first to second work. Nearly every page in Olimpos features intricate drawings and the story has darker tone than Utahime. Both deal with the idea of captivity for strange or unknown reasons.
Shounen Hakaryuudo and Tokaido HISAME -Kagerou- are both fantasy shoujo manga that focus on the adventure of the main character to find some link to his past. Hisame is more simple and kind-hearted while his companion Itsuki is not above using violence. The pair in Shounen Hakaryuudo is opposite, where Ren is driven by revenge, yet still has the capacity to help others. Both feature nice art and light comedy.
@Full Moon is the continuation of Full Moon ni Sasayaite that no one knows about and no one is reading. The sequel has less BL, coming from a shoujo magazine. Published nearly a decade later, the art is more polished. The sequel introduces a new town and new characters while still maintaining (and expanding upon) David and Marlo’s rather unique relationship. David and Marlo are a happy couple, but David is still incredibly popular with the ladies, which feeds into Marlo’s insecurities. However, David obviously loves Marlo no matter his form.
These works contain sharp art and lots of action and senseless school violence. While Kazuki revels in the violence as if it were a game, Aritsune is noticeably smarter and acts mainly out of duty. Each boy shares a bond with a close friend that acts as their more mature counterpart.
Rein klar is like a shoujo manga interpretation of Chobits. Chobits and rein klar both contain the theme of robots replacing the roles of humans, either emotionally or as physical labor. The world in rein klar still treats robots mostly as tools, except Haku is a unique model capable of displaying and responding to human emotions. Chi starts with a simplistic mind that is fast to adapt. In contrast, Haku appears to function and communicate normally. Both are human-like robots that attach themselves to a man and want nothing more than to help that person.
Train☆Train and Zassoukan no Juunintachi contain lots of trademark Eiki Eiki humor and cute guys. The main characters are relatively normal high school boys surrounded by quirky, entertaining characters. Zassoukan tends to be a bit more risque. Both are fun reads.
These fantasy manga contain female lead characters that don't fall into the dense, overly kind, or quirky personality stereotypes. Both Karin and Shirayuki are young women that are pursuing their own goals. Karin runs a tea-leaf fortune telling business and Shirayuki is a pharmacist. The romantic interests are "nice" guys who are eager to support them. Both manga are good picks for a light fantasy story.
Both of these works are fantasy stories with mild BL elements. Like its prequel, Tokaido HISAME -Kagerou- is lighter fare, but the story focus is expanded, making it a more worldly adventure like Yasashii Ryuu no Koroshikata. Both are good stories that contain self-appointed and not necessarily invited bodyguards.
Both of these works are fantasy stories with mild BL elements. Yasashii Ryuu no Koroshikata tends to be more developed and has a wider focus, dealing with the world’s state and politics. Tokaido HISAME is a bit lighter and has more comedic moments. The story mostly revolves around the main characters and their immediate surroundings (and anyone who needs help within them). Both are good stories that contain self-appointed and not necessarily invited bodyguards.
Both works involve well-developed, imaginative fantasy worlds that contain interesting people, magic, and creatures. The main characters, Shino and Rakan, attract unique, likeable allies. They are considerably powerful themselves--one wields a living sword and the other wields plants (quite effectively!). Overall, both works are beautifully drawn and read like a fantasy novel.