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Mar 12, 2011 12:06 AM

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 43
So I've starting reading mangas now after my five year ban on reading for pleasure (thanks to college). I've noticed that a lot of the heroines really suck. They are so needy and helpless, and I can not stand it. I have also noticed that mangas portray strong women in a negative light, as someone who is undesirable to the opposite sex. There seems to be some unwritten rule that if you aren't super short, petite, delicate, young, and emotionally needy you aren't good enough to get the guy. I want to read a series that has a strong heroine, someone who's strength is considered a desirable attribute. I want to see a well rounded heroine who is tough but kind, smart, and relies on herself because she is capable of taking care of herself. I would prefer seeing a love story in which she is not desperate to fall in love, but she finds the right guy who adds happiness to her life. I would appreciate any recommendations. The romantic element does not have to be the main part of the story, but it would be appreciated.
Mar 12, 2011 3:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 2276
Akuma to love song features an unusual shoujo heroine and is a brilliant manga.

Skip beat is another such manga but you have seen the anime and at least in my opinion, from the end of the anime ownwads, the manga starts dragging on with silly arcs that consist of simply throwing more bishounen into the soup.

Cat street, ashita no ousama and beauty pop also feature somewhat strong female characters. Beauty pop has some hilarious comedy as well. Also look at tokyo crazy paradise; the main female character is a true badass :) Happy Hustle high also has a tomboy heroine who feels no need to rely solely on a man to get through life.

Kimi wa petto is a wonderful josei manga with a strong and smart heroine who discovers that being strong and smart is not always enough to survive in society. If you are beyond college age and entering the work force, you will probably love kimi wa petto. Do not let its premise discourage you.

I can find more shoujo/josei titles but I want to give you some seinen ones as well; I hope you will not reject them before at least taking a look at them. The primary one I have in my mind is Wakusei no samidare; in my opinion, it is a great manga with an awesome "heroine"!

Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge is also worth looking into, its characters are pretty interesting.

Billionaire girl is also worth looking into; the main character is not precisely what you are looking for; although she is devilishly smart and intense in her work, her utter devotion to it has left her emotionally empty and she is now starting feel the dread of loneliness. There are some similarities between this manga and the Spice and Wolf anime (it is not in your list and even though you demanded manga, you cannot beat Spice and Wolf for having a heroine with precisely the qualities that you demand; I recommend it very strongly), as they share the same creator.

Then we have some action manga like Battle Angel Alita; its romance is not pronounced but is very intense when it is there.

Omoide Emanon is one of the most beautiful manga in terms of art and atmosphere; its heroine is an extremely intriguing character and you will probably keep thinking about her condition long after the end of the manga.

Ghost in the shell also has one of the strongest heroines ever, but there is no romance, at least not in any conventional sense.

Superior has a very interesting "heroine" whose heart is slowly changed by the main character. Its quality drops a little, however, near the final chapters.

Great teacher onizuka also has some very strong female characters, even though the main lead is a guy. It also has a much better end than the anime.
Mar 12, 2011 10:25 PM

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 5438
Ashita no Ousama, maybe, she's not physically strong, but this isn't a battle manga. Also, the romance is secondary to the main plot for most of the manga
1/2 Prince, maybe, she's definitely revered as one of the strongest in the world, but everyone thinks she's a man most of the time (and when she's not pretending to be a man she has no problem whatsoever with using her femininity to get stuff out of guys)
Rappi Rangai, lots of strong female leads who fit some or all of your requirements, but none of the romantic relationships last.
Hoshi no Samidare, not really a romance, but there's definitely an epic love story in there if you're paying attention
Nodame Cantabile, she's a weirdo, but everyone respects her abilities in spite of that fact.
Skip Beat!, romance elements become more prevalent latter in the series. The majority of the recurring female cast hates that stereotype just as much as you do, and the heroine meets all of your criteria at least some of the time.
Hajimete no Aku, maybe, she definitely doesn't fit the stereotype you described, but I'm not sure if she's exactly what you're looking for either.
also, if you're looking at anime too, I'd try Serei no Moribito. Female lead is pretty much exactly what you're looking for, no real romance elements though.
Mar 13, 2011 12:08 AM

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 236
Kimi wa Pet sounds like exactly what you're looking for
Mar 13, 2011 1:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 35
I think that'd work. Tsundere service is wonderful.
Mar 13, 2011 7:36 AM

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 569
Kare Kano, from your PTR list. The rivalry thingy in the description only happens in the beginning. Afterwards its a rather dramatic story of an uphill love.
Modified by Kojiro_S, Mar 14, 2011 6:02 AM

Mar 13, 2011 7:24 PM

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2776
Otoyomegatari, features a strong female lead and her husband who is 8 years younger.
Mar 13, 2011 9:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 47
Mirai Nikki
Mar 13, 2011 11:32 PM

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 226
Solanin kind of has what you're looking for, even though there's not a huge focus on the romance. But it's amazing, nonetheless *A*
Mar 15, 2011 8:36 PM

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2191
Chiiko from Sekitou Elergy wants words with you. Now.

Maybe Sana from Kodocha, if you've yet to read that, too. She has more about her than most depictions of female adults in manga.
Mar 16, 2011 12:26 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 2276
AironicallyHuman said:

Oh dear, I forgot Kodocha. I'm going senile.