Best Romance Manga of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Romance Manga of All Time

Although many people cherish watching anime, they often forget that most anime serve as adaptations of the original source material. While there are some instances where the anime is better than the manga, those instances are few and far between.

With the amount of manga released on a daily basis, it could be hard to cut through all those books to find the “Best of” for any chosen topic.

Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable manga through the years. For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best manga, our attention this time turns to those with a strong focus on romance. From fabulous comedies to gripping slice-of-life mishaps, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!

Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Aka Akasaka

Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a fabulous romantic comedy manga. Unlike traditional love stories, this manga highlights the intense rivalry between its protagonists Kaguya and Miyuki. They’re two student council members who are deeply infatuated with each other but refuse to confess their feelings.

Their battle of wits and willingness to get the other to confess their latent emotions makes for a captivating reading experience. Moreover, this tale delivers phenomenal characterization. Kaguya and Miyuki are complex characters with distinct personalities and insecurities, which helps their tale create a sense of depth and empathy.

In addition to having timely jokes and hilarious misunderstandings, Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a romance series that’ll impress you. 

Ao Haru Ride – Io Sakisaka

Ao Haru Ride (or Blue Spring Ride) is a beautiful romance manga that’ll leave readers amazed. It contains heartfelt storytelling and relatable characters. It successfully captures the essence of young love and the complexities that stem from emotional connections. The manga follows Futaba and Kou, who reconnect in high school after a heartbreaking separation in middle school. 

Through their quest for self-discovery and emotional navigation, Io Sakisaka presents readers with a tale of love and second chances.  Many readers will adore Sakisaka’s attempts at delving into their cast’s insecurities and their longing for acceptance. It makes Futaba, Kou, and the rest of the cast feel authentic.

In addition to having marvelous illustrations that bring forth joy and sorrow, Ao Haru Ride is a remarkable romance manga that’ll tug at readers’ heartstrings. 

Fruits Basket – Natsuki Takaya

Lovely Complex (Love Com) – Aya Nakahara

Snow White with the Red Hair – Sorata Akizuki

Snow White with the Red Hair is a fascinating romance series that enchants audiences with its beautiful art, wonderful characters, and heartwarming narrative. It takes place in a medieval setting and revolves around the ventures between a talented herbalist named Shirayuki and a prince named Zen. Shirayuki is an independent female protagonist whom many readers will appreciate. 

She knows her worth and displays enough favorable skills to win anyone over. Zen is an equally enjoyable male protagonist due to his compassionate nature and the respect he has for Shirayuki’s character. Readers will be thrilled to know that their relationship is built on mutual understanding, trust, and admiration.

With impressive art and incredible obstacles set in our characters’ ways to help them grow, Sorata Akizuki crafts an exceptional romantic tale that everyone should experience. 

Wotokai: Love Is Hard For Otaku – Fujita

Wotokai: Love Is Hard For Otaku is a refreshing romance manga that explores obstacles and joyous aspects of love within the context of otaku culture. The manga follows Narumi, a female otaku, and Hirotaka, a hardcore gamer, as they navigate through their strange relationship while balancing their respective pursuits. As one can expect, Narumi and Hirotaka are well-written protagonists. 

They’re depicted as genuine otaku and have their own quirks, obsessions, and issues that make them special. Readers will resonate with them when they’re vulnerable and cheer for them to overcome their hurdles.

On top of embracing the otaku lifestyle through its characters’ satisfying conversational moments, Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku is a must-read. 

Horimiya – Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara

Another tale of self-acceptance and growth is what you’ll find with Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara’s Horimiya. This anime explores the idea of young love by examining the relationship between its protagonists Miyamura and Hori. This duo is extremely relatable and likable. They have an endearing relationship that evolves gradually over time and have their own hurdles they’ll need to overcome. 

Horimiya’s supporting cast receives wonderful roles and things to do in the story too. They’ll add depth and humor to the tale, further enhancing its appeal.  Moreover, both authors successfully weave together slice-of-life, romance, and comedy to create a tale that’s poignant and worth investing time into.

With its successful handling of themes like friendship and self-growth, Horimiya is a gratifying romantic work that’ll leave you in awe. 

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You – Karuho Shiina

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is a marvelous romance series written and illustrated by Karuho Shiina. The manga follows the shy and misunderstood Sawako as she navigates high school life, friendship, and love with the popular Shouta. Sawako and Shouta are beautifully crafted characters with their own set of quirks and issues that’ll pull readers into the story.

Furthermore, readers will adore Kimi ni Todoke for its tender and pleasant tone. Shiina expertly paces this tale, allowing readers to invest time into Sawako’s journey as she slowly breaks free from her isolated habits and discovers the happiness one can attain through friendship.

With its excellent life lessons, phenomenal story beats, and lovely portrayal of young love, Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is a must-read for romance enthusiasts. 

Skip and Loafer – Misaki Takamatsu

Skip and Loader is a fairly popular work and gained more traction due to its stellar 2023 anime adaptation. This story follows Iwakura, a girl who flees to Japan to attend high school. The manga explores her quest to establish heartfelt connections with this school’s populace. This manga falls under the “moe” moniker and features characters taking part in various mundane activities. 

Nonetheless, the story often inserts real-world issues in the narrative to make matters feel more complex and riveting to follow. However, those who adore romance series for their calming content will appreciate Misaki Takamatsu’s handling of that style of content in Skip and Loafer.

With a cutesy art style, relatable cast, and joyous antics, Skip and Loafer is well-deserving of your time. 

The Rose of Versailles – Riyoko Takeda

The Rose of Versailles may be the most complex romance series you’ll ever read from this list. With its sweeping historical setting and compelling characters, Riyoko Takeda creates a series that’s more intricate than you’d expect. Our tale follows Oscar, an independent noblewoman who is raised as a man and serves as captain of the Royal Guard. 

Amidst political turmoil and palace intrigue, Oscar’s path crosses a young Marie, the future queen of France. Their complex companionship serves as this tale’s heart and leads to many tragic and profound moments you’d never expect.

With its excellent portrayal of 18th-century France, interesting stance on gender roles, and emphasis on love, duty, and sacrifice, The Rose of Versailles is an incredible romance manga that’ll amaze you. 

So, there we have it, our picks for the best romance manga through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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