In this article we will make a complete guide to Shoujo anime and recommend to you readers the best shoujo anime of all time and also share a complete list separated by subgenres.
I want to make it clear that before we recommend the best anime Shoujo let’s talk a little about this genre, about my experience with the genre and how it is nowadays. If you want to skip straight to anime recommendations, simply use the table below:
What are Shoujo anime?
For those who are unaware, anime Shoujo are Japanese drawings directed to the female audience, where most of the time the main character is a girl and the story is usually a romantic novel or comedy.
The word shou[少女]jo literally means girl or a young woman. The anime are aimed at girls aged 12 to 18, but also predominates among adult women and even male fans.
In these stories usually the boys are docile and the girls are exquisite, most pass in schools and some totally break the clichés cited. Remembering that the fact that the anime is shoujo does not define a genre, but rather a target audience.
There is no official indication for categorizing an anime like Shoujo or Shonen, it will all depend on how the anime is seen by people and in what audience it is most successful. Some always succeed among everyone, regardless of sex.
My experience with shoujo anime
Shoujo for many years was one of my favorite anime genres. Unlike the shounen who focus on male audiences, shoujo anime are often more realistic and is not always categorized as an anime of fantasy and action.
The shoujo genre can be very comprehensive, as it is any anime directed at women. Even though I’m a man, I like shoujo anime because I’ve always liked realistic stories without fantasy and with plenty of comedy and romance.
I think my first shoujo anime were the same as that of most people, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama and Toradora. Both romantic comedy that is successful between both sexes.
Although we don’t even start recommending Shoujo anime, as some of you already know the vast majority, I’ll leave a list of my favorites below. Throughout the article you will see comments about them.
- Sekai wa Utsukushii Soredemo;
- 3D Kanojo: Real Girl ;
- Ashita in Nadja (was part of my childhood);
- Nana (enters the genus josei);
Unfortunately, I believe that nowadays no more shoujo anime are made as it used to be. Only fortunately there are some anime that are not categorized as Shoujo but are focused on romantic comedy that I think is very good.
The Most POPULAR Romance Shoujo anime
Let’s start by making a list of the most popular Shoujo anime of all time, using its popularity in MAL. In this list we will focus on the shoujo anime that really interest the majority looking for the genre, the anime of romance.
I’m not very good at describing synopses, not least because I’m afraid to give spoilers, so I hope you’re attracted to the name and also the images. I assure you, the stories are much deeper than described in synopses.
It is worth remembering that virtually most of the animementioned in this article has romance. So that’s not the only list that has the best romance anime. You find these anime in other categories as well.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Undoubtedly one of the best Shoujo of all time. In this anime we follow the story of a student council president who hates men and works part-time in a Maid Café. The most popular kid in high school falls in love with her and begins to give his attacks on this very funny comedy.
Kimi ni Todoke
One of the most cute and innocent novels of all time. In this story you accompany girl named Sawako who is bullied by her name reminiscent of the girl from the movie Called (Sadako). People are afraid of her, but soon she manages to improve her circle of friends and a slow romance with one of the most popular students in high school.
To Haru Ride
Another very popular and cute anime that tells the story of two young people in love, but things didn’t go very well. After they meet again the girl tries to get close to him but he apparently has indifferent feelings.
Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun
This anime shows the story of a studious girl who only cares about her school grades and a boy who is a troublemaker and messy. This anime is very cute and quite popular in the Shoujo world.
Sukitte Ii na yo
A very cute anime that tells the story of a girl who is afraid of men and social problems that will be overcome with the help of one of the most popular boys in high school.
Itazura at Kiss
It tells the story of a dumb, clumsy girl who is in love with an extremely popular and intelligent guy who rejects and despises her. After an incident, she ends up moving into his house. A great anime and manga that yielded several Japanese and Korean doramas.
Lovely ★ Complex
One of the most popular and classic romantic comedies of all time. It shows a romance between an insecure girl for being too tall with a short, grumpy boy.
Below are other Shoujo anime with romance or romantic comedy:
- Ookami shoujo to kuro ouji;
- Skip Beat!;
- Watashi ga Motete Dousunda;
- Bokura ga Ita;
- Brothers Conflict;
- Fukumenkei Noise;
- Hana yori Dango;
- 12-out: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki;
- Ashita in Nadja;
Maybe you’ll find more comedy and romance anime in our other article about the best romance anime.
BEST Shoujo anime with Fantasy and Action
The list of shoujo anime below focuses only on anime with a little action or fantasy.
Akatsuki no Yona
A girl who lives a life of luxury ends up being chased by problems that happens in her kingdom. She flees with a friend looking for a solution after a tragic attempt to be murdered by the person she loves.
Akagami No Shirayuki-hime
It tells the story of a red-haired girl who dreams of being an herbalist. She is ordered by a king to become his bride against his will, but soon a prince appears to save her.
One of the most popular anime among girls and that helped grow the genus Mahou Shoujo. I don’t want to describe much about these magic girl anime, so read our article about Mahou Shoujo.
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
This anime tells the story of a rainprincess who has the power to rain while singing, where she enters a relationship with a much younger boy who is the king of the sun.
Below is a more complete list of popular Shoujo anime with fantasy or action:
- Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R;
- Tokyo Mew Mew;
- Kamigami no Asobi;
- Fruits Basket;
- Special A;
- Versailles in the Bara;
- Hotarubi no Mori and;
- Donten ni Warau;
- Shounen Maid;
- Vampire Knight;
- Natsume Yuujinchou;
- Kamisama Hajimemashita;
- Vampire Knight: Guilty;
- Diabolik Lovers;
- Ghost Hunt;
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica;
- Shugo Chara!;
- Banana Fish;
- Shoujo Kakumei Utena;
- Tenkuu in escaflowne;
- Donten ni Warau;
- Full Moon wo Sagashite;
- Kamichama Karin;
- Miyu Kyuuketsuhime;
Shoujo anime Where The Protagonist Is Man
Of course all shoujo anime have male protagonists, but the anime below shows the anime in the male character’s view rather than the feminine as usual, often a reverse harem. So girls have a deeper view of japan’s boys’ heads:
3D Kanojo: Real Girl
It tells the story of an antisocial Otaku, where already in the first episode he receives an invitation to date one of the most beautiful girls in high school. The anime has a very deep story with other couples, beautiful and ends complete with two seasons.
It tells the story of a super giant guy and disproportionate to the other characters who never succeeded in love, but soon meets a super cute girl. He also has a friend in which he is super popular but has no interest in relationships. (Very comical);
A short anime with a super entertaining novel that shows the relationship of four boys with girls of different personalities. I thought it was pretty cool and I think it fits into this subcategory.
Ouran Koukou Host Club
A girl who studies at a rich school but is poor the bridge to wear pants and be confused as a man, where she ends up breaking an expensive vase and being forced to work at a Host Club.
Other anime that show a lot the sight of a male protagonist, to the point of not remembering a Shoujo (some are not but rememberquite the shoujo anime):
- Golden Time;
- Sword Art Online (shonen);
- Kimi at Na wa;
- Sakurasou at Pet in Kanojo;
- Hachimitsu to Clover;
- Nodame Cantabile;
- Uta at Prince-sama;
I shouldn’t or shouldn’t mention, but many anime I found on the shoujo list shows the relationship between two boys. If you want to see a list of boy love animes read our article on yaoi and shonen-ai anime.
What’s going on with the shoujo anime?
Many years ago shoujo anime were so popular worldwide, but rarely did we find a recent Shoujo anime on my anime list with a good score or with many fans. Is the Shoujo industry dying?
In recent years the only anime with the Shoujo category that appear in these seasons are idols, or in most are low budget. In 2018 we had only 3D Kanojo Real Girl, 7 Seeds, Banana Fish, Fruits Basket, Gakuen Babysistters, Meiji Tokyo Renka and others Mahou Shoujo or Idol anime.
Apparently manga Shoujo magazines are increasingly childish. Not to mention that many works that could be classified as Shoujo currently appear in Shonen magazines or for teenagers, while shoujo magazine has become increasingly childish.
Japan is probably also targeting the most childish audience as the West has done with the Calarts, unlike the 1990s where the drawings had more action and the characters looked more adult.
That’s why we see a huge quality loss in the anime world, not just in the works themselves but in the adaptations and studios that seem to get more and more generic and full of clichés.
Shoujo anime aren’t disappearing. We have this impression because we have seen many Shoujo anime over the years and today the anime of romance end up being redirected to both audiences, mainly works focused on male audiences such as Nisekoi, Kaguya-sama and other popular harem.
Others even stopped classifying their works directed to a given target audience, since this type of categorization does not make much sense, since industries seek to reach as much audience as possible.
I hope you enjoyed the recommendations of anime Shoujo. If you liked the article don’t forget to share and leave your comments. Do you know another Shoujo anime to recommend?