3 Shoujo Manga with Depth (what?!)

Shoujo manga are notorious for not having depth and being filled with fluff and cliches.  But if you search hard enough, you’ll find a few gems within this genre that have more depth than your average shoujo manga.

Six Half

sixhalfAuthor: Iketani Rikako

Genres: drama, psychological, romance, school life, shoujo

Volumes: 11

Status: Complete

Summary: Kikukawa Shiori wakes up from a traffic accident to discover she has amnesia.  She has no memory of her past.  She has trouble assimilating to life with her supposed boyfriend, her worry-wart of a brother, and a sister who hates her.  She soon hears rumors of who she used to be, and she wonders if she really was as awful as everyone made her out to be.  Will she ever get her memories back?

Warning: there are some mature topics/scenes in this manga.

Thoughts: This manga is outstanding.  It is a little more mature, as it walks on the line between shoujo and josei.  Six half is a great story about a girl rediscovering herself and growing from her experiences.

What I like the most about this manga is the main character.  All the other manga have sweet and meek main characters who all just fit the same character trope.  Shiori is a true stand out in her character.  As you read the manga, you learn more and more about her motives and who she really is.  To be honest, this is something I’ve been looking for a while – a main character who is disliked by most.

sixhalf2

Orange

orangeAuthor: Takano Ichigo

Genres: drama, mystery, romance, school life, shoujo, slice of life, supernatural, tragedy

Volumes: 5

Status: Complete

Summary: One day, Takamiya Naho receives a strange letter, supposedly from herself 10 years in the future.  The letter proceeds to write about events that happen throughout her day, particularly about the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse.  The letter from her 27 year old self reveals her biggest regret is Kakeru, as he, for some reason is no longer with them in 10 years and begs the 16 year old Naho to watch over him.

Thoughts: I love Orange so so much, Takano Ichigo is one of my favorite manga artists.  Her characters are just absolutely lovable.  I love her art style (especially those watercolors!)  Orange is a bittersweet story about a group of friends, and hits pretty close to home.  Despite it’s tragedy label, it still has those moments of fun.

(okay, I’ll be honest, this one’s a little fluffy, but definitely a favorite)

orange2

Cat Street

CATSTREETAuthor: Kamio Yoko

Genres: drama, psychological, romance, school life, shoujo

Chapters/Volumes: 8

Status: Complete

Summary: Keito Aoyama was a child prodigy in the acting industry.  However, due to a traumatic experience, she withdraws herself from society.  Now, 16, she runs into a man who takes her to El Liston, a free school for students who don’t have a place where they belong.  She meets Rei, Mojimi, and Kouichi, and there she finally begins to find a direction in her life.

Thoughts: I really loved this series.  This coming of age manga explores human behaviors in how people perceive themselves, each other, and their goals.  It digs into how society, people and the show-biz works and reflects the dark side of the world, yet it’s a heartwarming story about a girl trying to find who she is.

CATSTREET2

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