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Top 10 Best Shoujo Anime
If there’s the ever-popular shounen genre in anime, then there’s also the shoujo genre! The difference? Shounen is mainly catered to boys of all ages (but most especially, 8-18-year-old boys) while shoujo is mainly targeted to girls of all ages (but most especially 8-18-year-old girls). Literally speaking, the word "shoujo" means “girl” or “young woman.” Hence, the distinct demographic of the genre.
Through the years, the shoujo genre have come to form the shape of anime whose main elements focus on romance, girl power, and all the stuff and fluff of girly dreams and desires. That’s why you’d see all the said elements in most shoujo anime shows. Sometimes, they will even mingle with adventure, comedy, fantasy, magic, and all sorts of other genres. Nevertheless, even though this genre has a specific demographic, it can still be enjoyed by everyone!
Thus, here’s a collection of the best shoujo anime in existence! Tailored fit to what many people find amazing, apt, and very shoujo in nature, this anime selection is for the shoujo genre lover in you.
10 – Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)
The Story: Ao Haru Ride (a.k.a. Blue Spring Ride) follows high school girl Futaba Yoshioka and high school boy Kou Mabuchi as they suddenly meet again after a long time. It’s a fact that their last meeting didn’t end well. Misunderstandings, sudden disappearances, feelings that were forced to be bottled-up—these are things they share, dug-up from their past. And so, as time went by, both of them have enormously changed! So now that they meet once again, will they be able to continue the relationship that they never even started? Or will they lock things up and diverge forever?
The Verdict: This shoujo anime is bejeweled with romance and slice-of-life themes. It speaks of change as people go through all their phases in life. They say love lasts forever and never fades, but is it really the same for people who experiences and manifests it? Love may come as endless, but people's emotions and feelings do change with time. This is the story of a young love that is heavily tested by time and change.
9 – Special A
The Story: Since childhood, Hikari Hanazono and Kei Takashima have been rivals. In everything they do, they challenge each other with their competitive spirits; but the thing is—it’s all one-sided! Kei always comes out as the winner while Hikari always ends up as top 2. Though they have been rivals for as long as they can remember, they both actually look out for each other, backing one another whenever the need arises. And so, new feelings begin to develop. Is it love or is it something else? Kei and Hikari shall know the answer soon.
The Verdict: Taking the #9 spot is a show that tells everyone that the best of rivals can also be the best of friends. And in the case of Special A, the best of rivals can also turn into the best of lovers! Blossoming feelings of love excuses no one. It just blossoms! And this, is what you should expect from this show.
8 – Fushigi Yuugi (Mysterious Play)
The Story: School girls Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo never would have imagined that their simple trip to the National Library would turn out to be the most unforgettable experience of their lives! Stumbling upon a mysterious book, both were transported to ancient China. Little did they knew that what would happen next will drastically change their lives forever! Friendship, rivalries, love, and betrayal—Miaka and Yui shall soon experience life with its full might thrown in a storm!
The Verdict: Fushigi Yuugi (a.k.a. Mysterious Play) is a gem from the past! It’s now a classic shoujo, and it truly deserves the distinction. Well, many have come to love it, as well as got shocked, from the story progress it made. But that’s what made it popular! So, if you haven’t watched it yet and wants to know why, then help yourself and pick it up as soon as possible.
7 – Fruits Basket
The Story: It all started with a homeless girl named Tooru Honda. She had been living in a tent for quite some time. She didn’t know that the land her tent was erected is owned by the Souma family. And so, after a landslide wrecked her tent, the Souma family allowed her to reside with them—with the condition that she perform some simple household chores. Tooru now has a home—a place to stay and live--but, she doesn’t know about the accursed situation of the Souma family. The Souma family is actually cursed by the Chinese Zodiac!
The Verdict: Going by the typical formula of a shoujo anime, Fruits Basket executes its plot with extreme focus and precision unlike many others. In itself, this show is amazingly well-developed with highly likeable and relatable characters. Given so, it just hooks you in and moves you until you feel that you are part of the story. That’s why it works and that’s why it’s fantastic!
6 – Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)
The Story: Princess Yona’s beloved childhood friend and cousin, Su-won, has killed her father and usurped the regime! As a result, Yona lost everything including her title, her luxuries, her relationships, and her happiness. But, it’s all just fate’s way of guiding her towards her real path. It’s time for her to shine with brilliance! The old Yona is no more. A new Yona shall come to save her kingdom and restore it to its former glory!
The Verdict: Akatsuki no Yona (a.k.a. Yona of the Dawn) just oozes with GIRL POWER! It’s not like any other shoujo series that goes by the same formula over and over again. Here, you’ll find something more! This show combines shoujo with adventure, romance, and fantasy, creating a one-of-a-kind anime basked in a glorious light as well as epic moments!
5 – Cardcaptor Sakura
The Story: Sakura Kinomoto is an elementary school girl who stumbles upon an enigmatic book with magical cards sealed into it. As it turns out, the cards possess enchanted powers and wills of their own. But then, Sakura accidentally releases the seal and a magical gust of wind scatters them all to the world! Cards with free wills and magic certainly can’t be left running amok and wreaking havoc everywhere! And so, Sakura becomes the cardcaptor! Her task is to collect the magical cards around the world before chaos and mayhem spreads!
The Verdict: Sitting on the throne that labeled #5 is a shoujo anime targeted to the younger bracket of the shoujo populace. With magical powers, childhood friendship, puppy love, and growing feelings—Cardcaptor Sakura creates a youngling-appropriate formula that ultimately becomes a fun and magical coming-of-age show.
4 – Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
The Story: Shirayuki is a simple country girl working as an apothecary practicing herbalism. Her life is simple and tranquil, but her bright red hair catches unnecessary attention. One day, the prince of Tabarun—Prince Raji—tries to force her to be his concubine! Unwilling and terrified, Akagami flees the kingdom. Then it happens, destiny unveils as she encounters the prince of the neighboring country—Prince Zen. With feelings flourishing and each other in debt to one another, Akagami and Zen begins their romantic journey filled with endearing moments and challenging life trials.
The Verdict: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (a.k.a. Snow White with the Red Hair) tells the story of a supposedly ordinary girl with bright red hair whose being is loved by many and her charming prince who will always be there for her. Sounds like a classic fairy tale huh? And it sure is! With focus given on character interaction and development, this is the romantic, shoujo show that will come at you in many ways you won’t expect but will ultimately make you fall in love!
3 – Kamisama Hajimemashita
The Story: Being homeless and sad, Nanami Momozono is too young to experience these things! She’s just a simple high school girl who has a very kind heart. One day, she helps a man in trouble; and lucky for Nanami, the man gives her his home. Suspicious as it may sound, Nanami is better off with some place to stay than nothing at all. But there’s a catch, the man she helped was actually a god! So now, Nanami must assume the position as god being that she’s the new owner of the shrine home, and the new master of the fox spirit, Tomoe!
The Verdict: Kamisama Hajimemashita (a.k.a. Kamisama Kiss) expresses the importance of having a home where you feel loved and cherished. But what exactly is a home? Is it a place where you simply live, or is it a place where your dearest people and effects exist and your heart feels that it truly belongs? Well, this heart-touching and smile-inducing shoujo anime will show you what it really means to have a home and be in the right place to belong.
2 – Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
The Story: It all starts with Misaki Ayuzawa doing her student council president work and responsibilities with her iron-clad rule. She has to act the way she does because the school is just in its early years of being a coed school. As such, the female student population is still scarce and far-outnumbered by the male students. She takes it upon herself to be strict and harsh even though she gains notoriety and hate in the process. She has a secret though—she’s a maid at a maid café! And the one to discover this secret, which she doesn’t want to go out, is—the most popular boy in school, Takumi Usui!
The Verdict: With a super-attractive male character and his heart-tickling interactions with the heroine, “Kaichou wa Maid-sama!” easily rides its way towards the top 2 spot of this list! This is a show that will tickle your heart endlessly and make it flutter. For a lot of girls, they just can’t help but fall in love with the leading male character, Takumi Usui! All that has been said are the reasons why this show is overwhelmingly popular. It has comedy, romance, and all the essential elements of a great shoujo show. And oh, did I even mention that it has one of the most popular anime heartthrob in existence?
1 – Ouran High School Host Club
The Story: Haruhi Fujioka manages to enroll and attend in the ultra-elite high school—Ouran High School! But unlike the other students of the school, she’s on the lowest level and status. Looking for a quiet place to study, she stumbles upon a room where she accidentally breaks a super expensive vase. Such event marks the beginning of her new school life! The room and the vase are owned by the members of the Ouran High School Host Club; and so to pay it back, she now has to work as a host despite being a girl! Simple-looking, elegant, and refreshing, Haruhi is now a host of the Ouran High School Host Club!
The Verdict: Since shoujo is our main focus here, then why not put an anime show that all shoujo (literal translation: young woman) wants to live in? And so, with all sources pointing to this anime, then it’s reasonable enough to put it on the highest, most glorified spot of this list—the Top 1! And the anime in question is none other than—Ouran High School Host Club! With handsome, charming boys flocking the show, and sprinkles of comic relief, romantic moments, and super-lovable instances, Ouran High School Host Club truly deserves the love and hype!