The 30 Greatest Romance Manga Of The Decade (According To GoodReads): A Comprehensive Analysis of Unforgettable Love Stories
Romance manga has always been a beloved genre, capturing the hearts of readers around the world. Over the past decade, numerous exceptional romance manga have been published, leaving a lasting impact on readers and earning critical acclaim. GoodReads, a popular online platform for book recommendations and reviews, has served as a reliable source for discovering exceptional manga titles. In this article, we will delve into the 30 greatest romance manga of the decade, as determined by GoodReads users. Brace yourself for a journey through heartwarming, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable love stories.
1. “Fruits Basket” by Natsuki Takaya:
This enchanting tale revolves around Tohru Honda, an orphaned girl who ends up living with the mysterious Sohma family. As she discovers their unique curse, she forms deep bonds and experiences love in its purest form. “Fruits Basket” mesmerizes readers with its beautiful artwork, intricate character development, and a narrative that tugs at the heartstrings.
2. “Ouran High School Host Club” by Bisco Hatori:
Taking a comedic twist on romance, this manga follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student who stumbles into the world of the wealthy and eccentric Ouran High School Host Club. Amid hilarious mishaps, Haruhi navigates her relationships with the charming host club members, leading to unexpected emotions and captivating romantic moments.
3. “Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You” by Karuho Shiina:
This heartwarming manga centers around Sawako Kuronuma, nicknamed “Sadako” due to her resemblance to the horror film character. Sawako’s life takes a turn when she befriends Shouta Kazehaya, a popular boy who sees beyond her appearance. Their blossoming relationship showcases the transformative power of love and acceptance.
4. “Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances” by Masami Tsuda:
Yukino Miyazawa, a model student with a perfect facade, meets her match in Soichiro Arima. As they uncover each other’s flaws and vulnerabilities, a beautiful romance emerges. “Kare Kano” captivates readers with its exploration of self-discovery, personal growth, and the complexities of young love.
5. “Nana” by Ai Yazawa:
In this mature and emotionally charged manga, two young women named Nana cross paths on a train, discovering they share the same name and destiny. As the story unfolds, their friendship deepens, and they navigate the hurdles of adulthood, career aspirations, and the complexities of love. “Nana” stands out for its realistic portrayal of relationships and the bittersweet realities of life.
6. “Orange” by Ichigo Takano:
Tugging at heartstrings, “Orange” revolves around Naho Takamiya, who receives letters from her future self warning her about the regrets she will have regarding a classmate, Kakeru Naruse. This thought-provoking manga explores the power of friendship, the impact of our choices, and the importance of seizing the present moment.
7. “Kaguya-sama: Love is War” by Aka Akasaka:
In this delightful romantic comedy, Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane, both geniuses and student council members, engage in a battle of wits to make the other confess their love first. Filled with hilarious mind games, “Kaguya-sama” cleverly portrays the complexities of adolescent romance and the vulnerability that comes with it.
8. “Ao Haru Ride” by Io Sakisaka:
Futaba Yoshioka, haunted by her middle school crush, encounters Kou Tanaka again in high school, but he has changed his name to Kou Mabuchi. This coming-of-age manga delves into the themes of self-discovery, moving on from the past, and the fragile nature of first love.
9. “Horimiya” by HERO and Daisuke Hagiwara:
This refreshing manga centers around the lives of Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura, who lead double lives at school and home. As they discover each other’s secrets, a genuine connection forms, and their relationship deepens. “Horimiya” stands out for its relatable characters, heartfelt moments, and exploration of the importance of accepting oneself and others.
10. “Kimi no Na wa” by Makoto Shinkai and Ranmaru Kotone:
Based on the hit anime film, this manga tells the story of two teenagers, Mitsuha and Taki, who mysteriously swap bodies. As they search for each other and unravel the truth behind their connection, an unforgettable romance unfolds, transcending time and space.
11. “Akatsuki no Yona” by Mizuho Kusanagi:
Set in a mythical kingdom, Princess Yona witnesses the murder of her father and embarks on a journey to reclaim her throne. Along the way, she gathers a group of loyal companions, including the enigmatic Hak. “Akatsuki no Yona” intertwines romance, adventure, and self-discovery, captivating readers with its rich world-building and complex relationships.
12. “Skip Beat!” by Yoshiki Nakamura:
This manga follows Kyoko Mogami, a young woman seeking revenge against her childhood friend, Sho Fuwa. As she delves into the world of showbiz, Kyoko discovers her true passion and navigates complicated relationships, including an unexpected connection with the renowned actor Ren Tsuruga. “Skip Beat!” is renowned for its engaging plot, strong character development, and exploration of personal growth.
13. “Say I Love You” by Kanae Hazuki:
Tachibana Mei, an introverted high school student, finds her life changing when she crosses paths with Kurosawa Yamato, a popular boy who takes an interest in her. “Say I Love You” explores themes of self-worth, trust, and the transformative power of love, captivating readers with its relatable characters and emotionally charged storytelling.
14. “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions” by Torako and Nozomi Ousaka:
Yuta Togashi, a former “chunibyo” (a person who believes they possess supernatural abilities), meets Rikka Takanashi, who still fully embraces her delusions. As their relationship deepens, they navigate the challenges of growing up while preserving their unique connection. “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions” combines comedy, romance, and poignant character growth.
15. “Kiss Him, Not Me!” by Junko:
This comedic manga follows Kae Serinuma, an overweight fujoshi (a female fan of boys’ love stories) who undergoes a dramatic transformation and suddenly becomes the center of attention for her male classmates. As potential suitors vie for her affections, Kae’s love for her favorite anime and manga series remains a constant. “Kiss Him, Not Me!” offers a lighthearted take on romance while exploring themes of self-acceptance and the power of fandom.
16. “Kimi ga Kirai na Koi no Hanashi” by Watanabe Ayu:
This manga revolves around Chihiro, a girl who believes she is cursed with misfortune in love, and Yousuke, a boy who seems to be the perfect match for her. As their relationship develops, they confront their past traumas and learn to trust each other. “Kimi ga Kirai na Koi no Hanashi” offers a heartfelt exploration of healing, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human heart.
17. “Kakukaku Shikajika” by Akiko Higashimura:
Based on the author’s own experiences, this autobiographical manga follows the life of Akiko Higashimura, who dreams of becoming a manga artist. Through her relationship with her mentor, Kenzou Hidaka, Higashimura explores her passion for art, her struggles, and the importance of perseverance. “Kakukaku Shikajika” offers a unique perspective on romance, creativity, and the pursuit of dreams.
18. “My Love Story!!” by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko:
In this heartwarming manga, Takeo Gouda, a physically imposing high school student, falls in love with the gentle and kind Rinko Yamato. “My Love Story!!” subverts traditional romance tropes, celebrating the power of inner beauty, friendship, and genuine connections.
19. “Kaichou wa Maid-sama!” by Hiro Fujiwara:
Misaki Ayuzawa, the student council president at a formerly all-boys school, hides her job as a maid at a maid café to maintain her strong reputation. However, her secret is discovered by Takumi Usui, a popular and enigmatic student. “Kaichou wa Maid-sama!” combines comedy, romance, and themes of gender roles, captivating readers with its endearing characters and tender moments.
20. “Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku” by Fujita:
This manga follows Narumi Momose, a fujoshi, and Hirotaka Nifuji, a gamer, who reconnect as office colleagues. As they navigate the challenges of adulthood, work-life balance, and their shared hobbies, a charming romance blossoms. “Wotakoi” resonates with readers by celebrating the unique quirks and passions of individuals while exploring the complexities of relationships.
21. “Ore Monogatari!!” by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko: