16 Best Historical Shoujo Manga
Historical manga are always so incredible to read, but throw in a shoujo theme and you have a story full of romance, adventure, and history.
1. Akatsuki no Yona
This manga series follows sixteen-year-old Yona, who is a princess with striking red hair. She has everything a girl could want, the best clothes, cosmetics, the finest sweets, and her loving emperor father. She also has a huge crush on her cousin, Soo-Won.
Her life is completely changed one day when she witnesses Soo-Won murdering her father, in order to take over the kingdom. She flees with her bodyguard Hak, and the two embark on a life on the run.
Yona needs to learn to fight on her own and meets both friends and enemies alike on her journey. Meeting an old man on the road one day, she learns of a prophecy that will shape her future. Her quest to win back her kingdom is full of historical settings and scenes.
2. Ookami Heika no Hanayome
Tei Yuulin travels to the palace, hoping to find a high-paying job to pay off all of her debts. What she didn’t expect, is that the job will be to become the temporary bride of the king, Haku Reishou. He is an emotionless and cold ruler who is known as “The Wolf”.
She is fearful what this new role will bring, but she soon discovers there is a different side to Haku that is not known to many. He is in fact kind and soft-hearted. He only puts up the defensive front to scare off enemies. Tei needs to decide for herself which side of King Haku is the real side, and whether or not she will be sticking around for their ensuing silly romance.
The manga features royalty and fare in long lost times.
3. Akagami no Shirayuki
Shirayuki is the neighborhood herbalist in Tanbarun. Her striking red hair draws attention from the prince of Tanbarun, Raji Shenazard. He demands that she becomes his concubine, but she could not imagine a worse fate. In order to escape, she chops off her hair and runs away in the dead of night.
In the forest, she meets Zen Wistalia, who is the prince of the neighboring country, Clarines. He takes a bite of a poisoned apple that was sent by Prince Raji, which was meant for Shirayuki. However, being an herbalist, she manages to save Zen’s life.
Along with Zen, his two friends Mitsuhide and Kiki, Shirayuki heads off to Clarines, a city in which she wants to start a new life as the apothecary of the royal court. A blooming romance starts between her and the prince, and the two need to find a way to be together, despite the vast difference in their status.
4. Hadashi de Bara wo fume
Sumi Kitamura has a dilemma. Her brother Eisuke, who is incredibly irresponsible, keeps bringing home orphans for her to look after, never mind the fact that the brother and sister can barely afford to look after themselves.
Sumi is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and just as things are all about to collapse, she is approached by Soichiro Ashida, a wealthy man. He offers to marry her and provide all the money she might need to look after her growing household.
Sumi, however, doesn’t fit into the norms of high society. She needs to trick them into believing she is one of them, to keep up the image of their false marriage. She finds herself wondering if it is even worth it at all until some new feelings start to arise.
5. Red River
Yuri is an ordinary, modern-day teenager who has just experienced her first kiss. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she is swept away to ancient Anatolia, and an evil queen wants to use her blood as a sacrifice.
She is saved by Prince Kail, but it is only temporarily. He promises to help send her back home, but the queen is set on killing them both. The two start falling in love with each other, and Yuri is hesitant to return home, as it would mean losing her Prince who she has strong feelings for.
There is a prophecy which sets to unite and liberate Japan. Sarasa takes her brother's place as the “Boy of Destiny”. She travels across Japan fighting for the oppressed, looking to gain allies and take down her enemies.
She has a secret though. The world cannot know she is not a boy, as many will lose belief in her as the one to fulfill the prophecy and bring peace to Japan.
She needs to become the spirit of freedom while transcending customs and traditions to fulfill her new role as the bringer of peace.
This manga will whisk you back to Victoria Era England. It is a story of a love between two people, who feel so strongly and deeply for each other but are barred from being together due to social customs and societal standings.
Emma is a working-class maid. She meets William Jones, a wealthy aristocrat. The two fall in love, despite living such different lives. They are persistent to be together, but sometimes love isn’t enough.
Williams’s family seeks to tear the two apart, believing he is not acting in proper conduct. However, no matter how hard to two try, they cannot stay away from each other.
8. Tail of the Moon
Usagi’s grandfather is the leader of a prestigious ninja village. The ninja genes aren’t so apparent with her though. She is clumsy and has never moved past the kids class.
Her grandfather becomes frustrated with her lack of progress and sends her off to marry the lord Hanzo. The plan was for the married couple to produce many babies who will grow to become powerful ninjas. Things don’t go to plan; Lord Hanzo has no interest in her childbearing capabilities, and instead has other plans for their marriage.
Journey through Japan’s ninja history with this wonderfully illustrated manga.
9. Hana to Akuma
This manga is more historical fantasy than proper historical fact, but it is entertaining and does speak to those who love lore and tales.
Vivi is a demon who, fourteen years ago, decided to leave the demon world. He wanted to live among humans. Once he arrived in the human world, he stumbled across an abandoned baby. Not thinking, he took the baby in and decided to keep it.
Fourteen years on, the baby is a beautiful teenage girl. However, it becomes difficult to separate adopted parent from daughter, and the lines become blurred. Can this demon really successfully raise a fourteen-year-old?
10. Kago no Naka
Something strange happened to Selleal. She wakes up in an unknown place, injured. She is kept there by a strange and mysterious man. Over time, she falls deeply for him, praising his kindness.
As time goes by, she realizes that he isn’t as much of a stranger as she initially thought, she knows him from somewhere in the past. Her journey leads her to many different questions, who is this man? How does she relate to him? Why was she left injured and alone with this man, what could have happened in her past to lead her here?
11. Shinobi Life
Beni Fujiwara is always at risk of being kidnapped, thanks to being the heiress of a powerful and rich family. She is cornered one day, stuck in a dangerous position. Luckily, she is saved by a mysterious man who seemingly falls from the sky.
The man turns out to be Kagetora, who is a ninja, but not from Beni’s time. In the past, he served a princess named Beni, but he died when he fell into a lake protecting the princess. However, instead of dying, he was transported to the future, convinced he must now protect the modern-day Beni.
This time-warped love blooms beyond duty, and the two find themselves in a very unique situation.
12. The Bride of the Water God
This is one of the most beautifully illustrated manga around and is true to old-style Japanese art.
Soah’s village suffers through a huge drought. The only way they think they can bring back the rain is by offering Soah up as a sacrifice to Habaek, the Water God. They plunge her into the water, but instead of drowning, she wakes up in a mysterious place. It turns out that she was transported to Habaek’s palace. To her surprise, Habaek has a childlike appearance.
She soon becomes wrapped up and involved in the world and affairs of the gods and is tangled in Habaek’s secrets, including the past brides who were also sacrificed to him. In time, she realizes that he isn’t the monster everyone thinks that he is.
13. Reimei no Arcana
Nakaba knows that her destiny is to be married to the prince of Belquat to keep the peace between her country, Senan, and Belquat, where Prince Caesar lives.
The two countries have been at war constantly for over two-hundred years. She is in a way, a sacrificial lamb of peace. She often suffers discrimination for her red hair, and for being associated with her friend Loki, who is half-human and half-animal, who goes with her to Caesar’s palace.
Nakaba has a vision and foresees an event that will lead to Prince Caesar’s demise. She needs to decide if she will save him, or let him die and have revenge of all the people of Belquat who have such hate for her.
Sunao hoped that she would fall in love when she went to junior high school. To her disappointment, there aren’t any attractive boys attending her school. She is determined to fall in love and expands her horizons.
She meets two cute upperclassmen. One is sensitive and kind Toru, and the other is cheerful and friendly Kaoru. Both are members of the school’s Magic Club, which Sunao decides to join.
She soon finds out that the two boys are actually the notorious thieves known as “B-Apostrophe”. They rope her in, hoping that her skills as a master of the martial art Shinnu-Ryu will help them.
They want to find the treasures rumored to be left by a thief from the Taisho Era. Legend says that whoever finds the seven glass balls, and solves the seven secrets, will win 30 billion yen worth of treasure, along with being gifted with a magic secret. She becomes a part of the team, because of her attraction to the boys, but they are not the only ones trying to hunt down the treasure.
Another hunter, B, is also out looking for the treasure. In all the events, Sunao feels strongly for Toru, but also Kaoru and then develops feelings towards the mysterious B who reaches out to her.
15. The Story of Saiunkoku
Shuurei Kou is a young woman who lives with her noble family in the empire of Saiunkoku. Her family loses its wealth and prestige, and her dream of working in the imperial court is squashed.
The new emperor, Ryuuki Shi, doesn’t have any interest in running the empire but instead spends his time flirting with other men. The Grand Advisor, out of desperation, asks Shuurei to be consort to Ryuuki and hopefully make him more responsible. If she succeeds, she will be paid abundantly. This is her chance to follow her dreams of working in the imperial court but also dealing with an impossible emperor and the complicated palace life.
Kagome is sucked down into the past when thrown down a family well. She lands in Japans ancient past, where the legends she never believed in are alive and true.
Inside of her, she carried the Shikon Jewel, which shatters on her arrival. Along with Inuyasha, a half-dog, half-demon, she must seek out the pieces of the shattered jewel, which could give unimaginable power to whoever finds even a shard of it.
These are some of the best historical shoujo manga. Take part in the beautiful histories, stories, and illustrations that they have to offer.