Best High School Romance Manga
Romance is meant to be sweet, caring, confusing and maybe a little comical. But, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be heartbreak as well. This proves to be true in manga series as well. That is why we love romance manga so much! You get to experience the butterflies, heart flutters, and heart wrenching moments with the characters you have gotten to know through the series. This is what makes school romance manga series so relatable, as they are very diverse. Since they are purely fiction, manga series can stretch the boundaries and allow you to completely immerse yourself in the characters’ worlds. School romance manga series often feature competitiveness, troublemakers, sports, and other popular school themes that we have come to know and love. The manga listed below are our absolute favorite school romance manga.
What is manga? Manga series are comics created in Japan and the art has a very distinctive look. Manga dates back to scrolls found from the twelfth century. However, modern day manga looks a lot different than from back then and has developed into what we now regard manga as. Osamu Tezuka is a Japanese cartoonist that is regarded and as “the God of Manga”. He is known as having invented the large eyes that are present in both anime and manga series.
We went back to some classics in our list, but also added some underrated newer school romance manga series as well.
1. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is also known as: My Little Monster. It is centered around Mizutani Shizuku and Yoshida Haru. Mizutani Shizuku is a very prestigious student and mostly only cares about her own grades. Yoshida Haru missed a day of school and now needs lesson notes. Mizutani Shizuku is tasked with running this notes to Haru. Haru, although deemed as kind of a trouble maker, is actually quite shy and innocent. He takes this gesture of Shizuku as her reaching out to become friends. Shizuku, being known as the cold-hearted girl, doesn’t want something like this to ruin her reputation at school. This is one of the best school romance manga because it portrays the emotionless girl and troublemaker boy in a different light that is refreshing.
2. Boys Over Flowers
Although this is a much older manga series, it still is one of the best school romance manga. It centers around the prestigious school known as Eitoku Academy, which features elite students from wealthy families. Tsukushi comes from a poor family and is known by students as the “weed” of the school, but only by her family’s economic status. A son from the most wealthiest family in Japan also attends the school. His name is Tsukasa Domyouji. Immediately, Tsukasa becomes increasingly interested in Tsukushi. However, she is not interested in his harsh teasing and aggressive nature. Although this is where most mangas would connect the two and then end the series, Boys Over Flowers does not and instead goes into greater detail of the surrounding characters and how they each influence each other’s decisions.
3. Peach Girl
An absolute classic in our eyes when it comes to the best school romance manga. The manga series focuses on Momo Adachi, who is struggling to fit in. She was on the swim team, has beautiful tan skin, and bleaches her hair. These attributes are what make some classmates make fun of Momo Adachi. Her only friend is Sae, who just so happens to be causing some drama of her own and stirring the pot. Momo falls for one of the basketball players: Toji. Unfortunately, Sae is also holding a torch for Toji and has to make the decision if she wants to jeopardize their friendship for a boy. As the plot develops further, a clear love triangle is introduced and the once bullied Momo Adachi is laying out a path for herself.
4. Ouran High School Host Club
This manga is one of the most fun to flip through and is incredibly light-hearted. That is why it is one of the best school romance manga. Ouran High School is an elite school that Haruhi attends. One day, she happens to break a vase valued at eighty-thousand dollars that actually belongs to the “Host Club”. The Host Club is known for being super mysterious and is an extremely exclusive group of handsome guys, six of them total. In order to pay back the club for the broken vase and stay at school, Haruhi is forced to work for the club. When she arrives, the hosts are taken aback by her beauty, but assume that she is a male. They enlist her as their newest house and Haruhi agrees in order to make money, all without revealing her identity. But, it’s only a matter of time until she is discovered. The President of the group,Tamaki Suoh, begins experiencing feelings for Haruhi, but he quickly represses them and tries not to let it show around Haruhi.
5. High School Debut
This school romance manga follows Haruna Nagashima and Yoh Komiyama. Haruna Nagashima is a former softball star, but is lacking in the flirting department. Yoh Komiyama is one of the cool guys and Haruna decides to recruit him. She has no idea how to dress to impress boys or what to say. After much negotiating, Yoh Komiyama finally agrees to help coach Haruna to help her get a boyfriend. The only rule Komiyama gives her is that she must not fall in love with him while he coaches her. Soon enough, Nagashima falls in love with Komiyama. But, that’s the least of their problems when exes begin to appear and even maybe a stalker in the mix. This is one of the best high school romance manga because it follows the two characters closely, developing them and their relationship up until the very end. It also throws in just a bit of mystery that keeps things interesting.
6. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is generally regarded as one of the best anime and manga series, so naturally we had to include it in the list of the best school romance manga. The story follows high school student Tohru Honda after her mother dies in a car accident. Due to family issues, Tohru Honda ends up living at Yuki Sohma’s home with his cousin Shigure. Tohru discovers that the family she is living with is cursed and twelve members of the family are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac. Tohru becomes a positive light in their lives, which is helpful because if they are weak or stressed then they will turn into their zodiac. Tohru soon becomes attached to the family and sets out to break their curse. However, along the way she is faced with obstacles and must face the Sohma family’s vengeful spirits one by one. Fruits Basket is the definition of romance with a touch of a fantasy element that keeps things increasingly interesting. There is also heavy character development for each character involved, which allows the reader to become attached. Tohru’s sweet nature and desire to help her adoptive family rubs off on Yuki and his cousins and proves to them that positive things can still happen.
7. Lovely Complex
Lovely Complex, sometimes called Lovely Com, is one of the cutest school romance manga. The story focuses on the duo Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani. They are jokingly called the “All Hanshin Kyojin” because of their height difference. Due to their abnormal heights, the two are often teased and their conversations together are usually not taken seriously. The two meet potential love interests and agree to help each other pursue them. Unfortunately for them, the two people they are trying to get for themselves end up dating each other. However, Risa and Otani become better friends through their efforts together. Although awkward together, Otani feels connected to Risa. Their friends continue to tease them and they sometimes feel as if they shouldn’t like each other as more than friends. They begin discovering several things that they both have in common. Lovely Complex progresses further by allowing Risa to start to see Otani in a different light than just being her friend and she begins to develop a crush on him.
8. Open Sesame
Danjou Yamato is a student in the rural countryside. He is known as being the boxing champion of his region. His family, suddenly, has to move to live in Tokyo. The school he is being transferred to just so happens to once be home to all girls school. The girls are definitely running the roost when guys are introduced into the school system. Yamato, having to uphold his reputation and also being a stubborn individual, does not give in to the girls’ teasing and their various antics to keep in power at the school. Yamato makes it his mission to gain some power for the guys at the school. On his way to the top, Yamato discovers a girl from his past that he had almost forgotten about. Maki Mogami is the daughter of a very well-known doctor and knew Yamato when they were younger. Due to their opposing positions, the two become bitter rivals at their school, but might become something more as well.
We included Suzuka on our list of the best school romance manga because it’s sports-themed, light-hearted, and at times pretty funny. The story centers around Yamato Akitsuki, who is moving from Hiroshima Prefecture into Tokyo. He moves in with his aunt, who happens to run an all girl dormitory and spa. This makes for some awkward encounters. His next door neighbor is skilled and highly scouted Suzuka Asahina. Yamato begins to have a crush on Suzuka and joins the track and field team to hopefully impress her. Although Yamato figured he wouldn’t be incredibly good, he learns that he has potential to become a top sprinter. As he climbs to the tops of the ranks, he grows increasingly closer to Suzuka. The characters are well developed and their backstories do come into play and help advance their relationship.
10. Kare Kano
Kare Kano is also known as His and Her Circumstances. This manga series is one of the classic best school romance manga. Yukino Miyazawa is a premiere student and the envy of a lot of her classmates. She has perfect grades and always keeps up on her appearance. However, when she arrives home she is a lesser version of herself. At times, she acts like a brat and is a complete slob. When she enters high school, she is no longer at the top and is knocked down by Soichiro Arima.Yukino only sees Soichiro Arima as a threat to her reputation and wants to destroy him. Even though Yukino is boisterous about how she feels about Soichiro, he confesses that he has a crush on her. At first, Yukino is dismissive of his feelings and even brags about it. But, she suddenly becomes confused about her feelings. Unbeknownst to Yukino, Soichiro decides to visit Yukino in her home. He sees Yukino being her natural self and uses this information to blackmail her into doing some of his work. She soon grows sick of this and retaliates against him.