It’s perfectly normal to have those fictional men we crush on all the time, but why limit ourselves to just a few crushes? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with broadening our horizons and exploring new crush-worthy characters. If you’re looking to diversify your pool of fantasy crushes, why not dive into the enchanting world of romance manga? These captivating stories are brimming with fresh and intriguing green flag men, ready to capture your heart and imagination.
Many of these romance manga gems are still relatively new, making them a perfect choice for readers who crave exciting and undiscovered romantic adventures. The thrill of uncovering a hidden gem can be just as exhilarating as falling for a classic heartthrob. So, why not give them a try?
And here’s a little secret: reading these mangas late at night can be an entirely different experience. The quiet darkness enhances the magic and charm of these stories, making it easier to immerse yourself in the world of romance and emotions. As you embark on these late-night literary journeys, you may find your standards for what makes a desirable man rising to a whole new level.
So, embrace the opportunity to expand your list of literary crushes and explore the captivating realm of romance manga. Who knows, you might just stumble upon your next ultimate fictional crush among these mangas, ready to sweep you off your feet and make your heart flutter in ways you never expected!
6 Ongoing Romance Manga:
Love, That’s an Understatement by Fujimomo
© Fujimomo / Kodansha Ltd.
Synopsis: Spare eraser? Check. Extra folding umbrella? Check. First aid kit? Check. Cool and collected high school student Risa Amakawa has something in her heavy bag for every situation, and the last thing she needs—or knows how to ask for—is anyone’s help. When she saves a beat-up delinquent in the park one rainy evening, she refuses any sort of repayment. But it turns out that saving the notorious Zen Ohira buys her the attention of some unsavory characters. As Zen keeps swooping in to help her out of one pickle after another, her feelings about relying on anyone but herself—and her feelings toward Zen—slowly begin to change… A new romcom from the author of Lovesick Ellie! (Kodansha US)
Review: This manga delves into the classic trope of the bad boy and good girl love story, but it’s clear from the outset that it’s destined to become one of those universally beloved tales. What truly sets it apart is the exceptional characterization of both protagonists, not to mention the delightful addition of Risa, an absolute darling. She strikes a familiar chord as a shoujo protagonist, yet her uniqueness shines through in the most wonderful way possible compared to other female leads in the genre.
Beyond the surface, the narrative holds promise, offering a depth that I’m eagerly anticipating to see unfold. The growth of Zen and Risa, both as individuals and as a couple, holds my impatience at bay The quirks of the characters add an extra layer of authenticity; for instance, the main lead’s “short” stature, by society’s standards, and the female lead’s endearing hissing-like reactions, which are really just a result of her self-reliance and nervousness. Her tendency to blurt out unintended words when cornered strikes a relatable chord in me. These quirks breathe life into the characters, making them truly relatable.
Moreover, the plot itself is heartwarming and endearing, leaving me eagerly awaiting each new chapter. Zen and Risa, in my opinion, deserve the world, and I can’t help but root for their journey together. If you’re in the mood for a story filled with fluff and wholesomeness, this manga is an absolute must-read.
Koigakubo-kun Stole My First Time by Rin Miasa
© Rin Miasa / Kodansha Ltd.
Synopsis: Eiko Kagehara truly loves one thing in this world: the MMO she’s played with her friends for the last 15 years, in which she leads a fantasy life as a sought-after blacksmith. But when her friends start leaving to, of all things, get married, have kids, find new jobs…she’s thrown for a loop. So much so, in fact, that she drunkenly shares her gamer ID with her super-hot new colleague…who just happens to have been helped by her in-game in the past, and who wants to repay her by teaching her how to love?! A brand-new rom-com from the author of With the Sheikh in His Harem! (Kodansha US)
Review: Initially, it seems like the male character has a reputation as a playboy, but as the story progresses, it becomes evident that he’s developing genuine feelings for Eiko. Eiko’s character is highly relatable, particularly for someone like me who lacks experience in matters of love. I’m eagerly anticipating more of their heartwarming moments as a couple. This story is a gentle reminder that it’s perfectly fine to bloom at your own pace when it comes to matters of the heart.
It Takes More Than a Pretty Face to Fall in Love by Karin Anzai
© Karin Anzai / Comikey
Synopsis: Chiken Sana loves good-looking guys more than anything. After enrolling at Minowa General Highschool in hopes of meeting her ideal man, she finds Ugo Kanato, a man blessed with looks from the gods themselves. However, she quickly finds herself in a predicament! Due to skipping too many classes, Kanato is set to be expelled! Unless she can help leverage his good looks and get the school’s social media account to 100,000 followers, Sana’s dreamboat will disappear from her life forever. The story follows the pair and their changing relationship as they try to prevent Kanato’s expulsion. (Comikey)
Review: I must say, this story comes across as rather whimsical. It has its own charm in the way the characters interact with each other. I would suggest approaching this read with a light-hearted mindset. The character development is gradual, and while there are moments when they appear to regress, it offers a glimpse into how individuals sometimes revert to their comfort zones during certain situations.
How I Met My Soulmate by Anashin
© Anashin / Kodansha Ltd.
Synopsis: Yuuki is a 20-year-old college sophomore who has wished for one thing since moving to Tokyo: to find her soulmate. Growing a bit desperate after a long drought, she goes along with a friend to a club for the first time. Her friend thrives, but it’s chaotic and loud…just not Yuuki’s scene. Just when Yuuki begins to despair that she’ll ever find a real, adult relationship, she meets Iori, a man with bleached hair and a slightly scary demeanor…but first impressions don’t always tell the whole story. Could destiny still have more cards to play? (Kodansha US, coming later this year)
Review: One cannot help but be struck by the charisma and appeal of the male lead, Lori-kun. He’s portrayed as a total sweetheart and an incredibly thoughtful individual. His character is crafted with such care that readers find themselves wondering where they can find someone like him. Lori-kun’s dedication and hardworking nature make him a standout character in the story.
The female lead, Honda Yuuki on the other hand, brings her own charm to the narrative. She is not your typical shoujo heroine. Instead, she comes across as cute and relatable. What truly sets her apart are her natural interactions with the male characters. Unlike some shoujo heroines who tend to become overly bashful and obvious in their feelings, FL strikes a perfect balance between being cute and maintaining her intelligence. She emerges as a refreshing portrayal of a strong, relatable female character in the shoujo genre.
This manga offers readers a delightful character dynamic with Lori-kun and the Female Lead. While Lori-kun’s charisma and dedication make him an endearing character, FL’s relatability and her ability to maintain a balance between cuteness and intelligence truly make her the “best girl” in the story. With its compelling characters and engaging plot, this manga is a must-read for manga enthusiasts looking for a fresh take on the shoujo genre.
You’re My Cutie by Nakaba Harufuji
© Nakaba Harufuji / Kodansha Ltd.
Synopsis: Madoka is obsessed with shoujo manga—specifically manga that features younger, innocent guys who fall for their Senpai. So she should be thrilled when a gorgeous kohai comes to work at her father’s restaurant…except he’s rude and standoffish, and wants nothing to do with her. But when she protects him from some extra-pushy fans, he finds that maybe he’s found someone letting his walls down for…! (Kodansha US)
Review: Prepare to be engulfed in the heartwarming world, where wholesome moments abound. In this brief review, we’ll delve into the endearing characters and their captivating dynamics that make this manga a must-read.
Madoka is nothing short of extraordinary, and she’s bound to steal your heart from the very beginning. Her character radiates an undeniable charm that leaves no room for disappointment. She’s not just cute; she’s the epitome of consideration and adorableness. Madoka’s portrayal is so compelling that it’s hard not to wish for her as a real-life girlfriend.
Prepare yourself for an overload of cuteness, because Shiraku is here to make your heart melt. The “gap moe” factor, where he seamlessly transitions between different facets of his character, is nothing short of lethal. It’s almost impossible to believe just how adorable he can be. Shiraku’s precious demeanor is bound to tug at your heartstrings and leave you yearning for more.
The dynamic between Madoka and Shikura is, in a word, perfection. While Shikura embodies the essence of a good-natured boy, Madoka exudes strong older girl vibes despite being only a year older. Her self-awareness and humor create a unique and endearing blend. Their interactions are akin to a culinary masterpiece—a perfect fusion of flavors that makes you savor every moment.
For those who appreciate stories featuring good-natured male leads and an abundance of heartwarming moments, this manga is an absolute recommendation. The characters, particularly Madoka and Shiraku, are so well-crafted that they’ll undoubtedly leave you longing for multiple doses of this delightful manga. Brace yourself for an overdose of cuteness and prepare to fall head over heels for Madoka and Shikura’s captivating interactions. This manga is a charming gem that you won’t want to miss.
Shujinkou Nikki by Yuu Yoshinaga
© Yuu Yoshinaga / Shogakukan
Synopsis: Raised in the shadow of her renowned manga artist mother and her basketball star brother, Aoi always struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Determined to boost Aoi’s self-confidence, her brother Itsuki and their mutual classmate and friend, Sena, embarked on a mission to help her embrace self-assuredness by encouraging her to explore the world of shoujo manga as a source of inspiration.
Review: The female lead, Aoi is a breath of fresh air. She’s portrayed as a young girl with low self-esteem, a natural response to her age and the environmental factors that shape her. What’s truly admirable about her character is her openness to self-improvement. She begins by building meaningful friendships and gradually embarks on a journey to transform her physical appearance. There are no sudden, unrealistic transformations here, and this grounded approach is something to appreciate, especially for a high schooler.
The male lead, Sena, on the other hand, exudes a sense of calm and respect. He gives off what some might call “second-lead vibes,” reminiscent of a brother’s best friend who doesn’t display overzealous possessiveness. Instead, he focuses on cultivating a healthy friendship with the girl he has a crush on, which is not only refreshing but also a portrayal of a genuinely respectful relationship.
The manga also introduces prominent side characters who contribute significantly to the story’s charm. These include FL’s supportive family members, an extroverted brother, and a working but happily involved mother. Not to forget their cute puffball dog. As the story progresses, more endearing side characters are seamlessly integrated, enriching the overall reading experience. This manga offers a simple yet engaging plot, primarily centered around school life. Unlike some shoujo manga that indulge in hyperbole and drama, this one takes a refreshingly grounded approach. It’s an easy-to-digest shoujo that stands out as a favorite for many readers. The heart of the story lies in the healthy relationship between the leads. Their openness and chemistry add depth to an otherwise typical shoujo plot. It’s an unproblematic couple surrounded by equally likable side characters. This is a delightful and heartwarming addition to the world of shoujo manga. Its realistic characters, down-to-earth plot, and portrayal of a healthy relationship make it a standout in the genre. For those who appreciate genuine, unproblematic couples and a wholesome reading experience, this manga is a must-read. Here’s hoping that the wonderful chemistry and character dynamics continue to shine till the very end of the series.
Thank you for joining this romantic journey through the world of manga. We hope you’ve enjoyed these recommendations and that they’ll keep your heart aflutter as you dive into their captivating stories. Remember, not only do these manga provide entertainment, but they also set high standards for the kind of love and respect we all deserve.
So, whether you’re curled up under the covers, drinking boba, or simply seeking a delightful escape, these romance manga should be your go-to companions during those magical nights.
Featured image: Durarara!! © Ryohgo Narita / ASCII MEDIA WORKS / Ikebukuro Dollars / MBS