Today I wanted to talk about a few shojo manga series that I feel are underrated, or are at least not talked about as much I think they deserve.
Here are five series that I think could use a little more love:
5.) Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts
I can kind of see how this series might have flown under the radar for some people, as it’s one of those series that starts out being just pretty good, but then gets better and better as it goes.
Sariphi, the heroine of the manga, begins the series completely resigned to dying as the sacrifice to the King of Beasts. When the King spares her life and decides to make her his queen, she is initially content to just remain by his side, but the story really takes off when Sariphi decides to devote herself to fulfilling her role as queen to the best of her abilities. It’s so satisfying to watch Sariphi build her power and political clout as she gains more and more allies, thanks in equal parts to her kindness and her courage.
4. Takane & Hana
Now with this series, I can see why some people might be hesitant to pick it up. The age-gap between the lead characters is troubling and I myself frequently wish that the mangaka had chosen to make Hana college-aged, instead of making her a high school student. But despite these legitimate concerns, I love this series to death.
Takane & Hana is simply hilarious! Takane’s ridiculous posturing and Hana’s deadpan comebacks are just too funny and the way they play off of each other constantly has me laughing. If you’re in the mood for a great comedy, and don’t mind overlooking the weird age difference, definitely check this series out.
3. Oresama Teacher
Another excellent comedy series, Oresama Teacher is by that same mangaka as Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun and it has the same wacky brand of humor as that series. If you’re a fan of Nozaki-kun, then this series will probably appeal to you as well.
The manga follows the adventures of Mafuyu, a former delinquent trying to make a fresh start at a new school, who gets roped into joining the Public Morals Committee by her teacher/neighbour, who wants her to deal with the ruffians who’ve taken over the school. Things just get crazier from there, as more and more bizarre characters show up to challenge the Public Morals Committee. It’s a fun and action-packed series and one of the few shojo series I’ve read that has almost no romance, at least where the lead is concerned.
2. Twinkle Stars
This series by Natsuki Takaya, the creator of Fruits Basket, never seems to get talked about, despite containing a lot of the same elements that made Fruits Basket so compelling.
Twinkle Stars is an emotional and moving drama series that focuses on issues of trauma, abandonment and depression. The characters are all multi-dimensional and I found it very satisfying to see how they all grew over the course of the series. I think fans of Fruits Basket would enjoy this manga a lot, so consider checking it out.
1. Ghost Hunt
Ghost Hunt is one of my favourite anime and I enjoy the manga just as much. This spooky supernatural mystery series has a great cast of characters who team up to solve hauntings and exorcise spirits who range from harmless to seriously dangerous. I love that the ghost hunters are a multi-denominational team who are all able to work together and some of the cases they deal with are spine-tinglingly creepy!
The one caveat that makes it difficult to whole-heartedly recommend this manga is that it was never completely published in English. I’d say it’s still worth reading though, and, who knows, maybe if we generate some buzz around the series, then Kodansha USA will consider finishing it.
Well those were five shojo manga series that I feel deserve more attention. What do you think of these series? And what shojo series to you think are underrated? Let me know in the comments.