We don’t do manga series in our recommendations here, just anime. However, that doesn’t mean that anime fans don’t want to lie in bed and read a few good chapters quietly before bed. Instead of branching out into manga recommendations, we’re going to give you a few good ones that you can look into. So if you want to read some good romance manga or are just some sort of anime hipster that wants to be all “I read the manga before it was cool and animated,” then check out these romance manga recommendations below.
A quick preface here, any romance manga fan will know that romance manga has a lot of cliches. I’ve included some of the more cliched scenarios below, but also tried to present more unique alternatives. I like romance manga, but the same story in a million different ways tends to wear.
With a meteorite headed towards Earth, humanity was facing an extinction-level event. In order to preserve mankind, the government started many programs. However, the one for the worst case scenario was to place 7 young people each in five different teams (Spring, Summer A, Summer B, Autumn and Winter). They were put into deep preservative sleep and hidden away safely. Hundreds of years later, they wake up suddenly to find the world much different, dangerous, and empty than they left it with much of plant and animal life evolved to survive and all humanity aside from the teams gone.
(This is very much a love story at many times (a good one with many couples) but it is also, in truth, a really good manga outside of the romance genre as well. One of my favorites despite the art.)
Teru’s only family in the world, her brother, passed away. However, before he died, he gave her a cell phone and told her if she ever needed help or just to talk to contact someone called Daisy. To this day, this mysterious cell phone person remains a confidant. After a certain event, she finds herself in debt and needing to work with the rude, yet handsome school janitor. However, are her different world’s more closely connected than she thought?
Kira is a shy high school girl that lives only for her art. Rei is a violent and rebellious playboy who does what he wants. They are complete opposites. Although Kira initially fears him, when she sees Rei kissing a statue of Mars, she asks him to model for her. To everyone’s surprise, he agrees.
Japanese-American Mizuki has a passion for track and field, so much so, she transfers to a prestigious school know for its track in Japan. However, athletics are not her only reason for transferring, it is also the school where her idol and once-national track star Sano attends. The issue is that it is an All-Boys school. Now she must keep her gender a secret, but will it stay a secret?
Kaguya Wants to be Confessed To
Considered a genius because of his top scores, Shirogane is also the student council president of his prestigious academy. By his side is his equally intelligent vice-president Kaguya. The student body think they make an excellent couple, even though they are not together. The reality of the situation is that they have both developed feelings for each other, but their pride prevents them from confessing first. So begins a war of love to rock the ages.
House of the Sun
After her mother left and her father remarried, Mao Motomiya feels like she is unwelcome in her own home. One night while she is eating a cheap convenience store dinner at the local shrine, she runs into Hiro Nakamura. Once her childhood friend, she hasn’t seen him in a long time. However, he offers for her to come and stay with him. She reluctantly accepts, and there she learns that Hiro has a dream of his own, reuniting his younger siblings in their house, who have been living apart after their parents passed away.
The Daytime Shooting Star
After her parents moved for work, Suzume Yosano decides to move to the city to live with her uncle. On the way to her uncle’s place, she gets lost, but luckily a kind young man comes to her aid and guides her. However, it turns out she will be seeing a lot more of him as he turns out to be her homeroom teacher.
High School Debut
In middle school, Haruna was a softball ace, but she has different goals for high school. She wants a boyfriend. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to be attractive or fashionable. However, after an encounter with the cold, but fashionable Yo, she manages to persuade him to teacher her how to be more attractive to boys.
Yuki Machida is the oldest of a very large family. She became accustomed to making sacrifices for her siblings, especially when it comes to burying feelings. However, one day she decides to do something daring, not expecting anything to come of it. She decides to manage the boy’s basketball team to inch closer to her crush. However, instead a new member of the team takes an aggressive interest in her. He is a man that has no issue letting his desires be known.
In order to relax, Minedera Zen has a bad habit of taking up-skirt shots of girls. However, one day he takes a shot of the wrong woman. She catches and begins to blackmail him. It isn’t money she wants, but rather to wrap him up in a twisted bondage relationship.
Koizora: Setsunai Koimonogatari
Moka, like all girls, dreams of a wonderful life. However, the reality of her life is not quite so happy. One day she meets Hiro, and the time she spends with him is the happiest fleeting moments of her life. (It’s hard to properly convey this without spoilers, but this one is packed full of many tragedies.)
Please Love the Useless Me
Shibata Michiko is unemployed, but enamored with a younger man. She does everything to keep him happy, including depriving herself to buy him expensive clothes. Unfortunately, he devastatingly breaks up with her. Depressed and out on the hunt for a job, she runs into a former boss that she used to hate.
While only half way through her first year of high school, Chiemi Yusa has already been suspended twice for fighting. After starting a third fight and with expulsion on the line, her teachers gives her a unique offer: get classmate and fellow fighter Akifumi “Deranged Devil” Hirata to behave. With a clean record on the line, she goes on the attack.
As she was growing up, Sasara always knew that her twin brother Tatara was the “child of destiny,” a child prophesied of overthrown the oppressive government. However, after her brother is killed in battle, Sasara disguises herself as him. She meets a mysterious and secret-laden man named Shuri, with whom she gathers a group of fighters that aim to overthrow the tyrannous Red King.
After being constantly rejected by men she attempts to date, Riiko Izawa decides to randomly sign up for a free trial of a Nightly Lover figure. However, the next day, she is shocked to discover a real and naked man delivered to her doorstep. He is perfect in every way, and dedicated to her. However, as she grows more attached, she also realizes she needs to return him before the end of the trial or pay a million dollars.
If you have more good romance manga recommendations, let fans know in the comments section below.
As an extra addition, while they both have anime series, both the Blue Spring Ride manga and My Little Monster manga are excellent. Instead of hoping for second seasons that won’t happen, I recommend reading them because their anime series don’t do them justice.