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.

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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)

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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.

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5 Anime that Pleasantly Surprised Me

Here are 5 anime that really exceeded my expectations and turned out to be something completely different from what I thought they were going to be…in no particular order.

gekkanshoujoGekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

I think this one really surprised everyone…and became pretty much everyone’s favorite shoujo anime.  We were all expecting a sappy shoujo with cliche characters and cliche plot but psych, this anime is all about making fun of those cliches and creating interesting and fun characters!  This anime is probably one of the funniest shows ever, especially if you’ve watched other shoujos and have a general understanding of the tropes.

This is going to be saying a lot, but I think it stands up there with other classics like Kaichou wa Maid-Sama and Ouran.

Free!

I know why you’re wondering why this anime is on this list.  I started watching this anime expecting a lot of fan service.  And what did I get?  Fan service.  But this anime is much more than the majestic stripping scenes (okay that sounds a little wrong).  Free really is a fun and sweet anime about friendship and teamwork.

Akame Ga Kill

I started this anime expecting a typical shounen-adventure anime.  But within the first episode Akame Ga Kill really showed what it really is and turned out to be so much more than a standard adventure.  It was a lot darker than anyone could’ve imagined and really brought up some dark themes and didn’t not hold back about the truth of war.

Kekkai Sensen

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Again I thought this anime was just going to be a typical sci-fi, maybe something with the vibe of Aldnoah.Zero, but I got a completely different vibe.  It was jazzy, fun, and quirky all while holding on to your attention.  It was an extremely entertaining watch that gets you really invested in the stories and characters.  It shows that anime doesn’t need lengthy exposition scenes to understand and be involved.  It is probably one of my favorite shows ever.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

sakurasou2This anime started off as a funny comedic anime with some rather ecchi scenes that some of us don’t like talking about, but Sakurasou, slowly started surprising us with scenes of true and pure emotion.  Eventually by the second half, it shows the emotional struggles of people and relationships.  Sakurasou deals with the struggle of artists and what talent really is and what it means to the artist and the people around them.

Even with those serious themes, it’s hidden in the wraps of a extremely fun romantic comedy.  Sakurasou is a pretty great show.

That is my list!  Sorry for the really bad writing…Do you agree with this list?  What shows surprised you?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂