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Top 15 Best Shoujo Romance Live Action Movies

Updated on October 9, 2017
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Live-action adaptations are becoming popular nowadays, especially in the shoujo romance genre. Lately, a lot of good movie adaptations are made, and among the many live actions created, the top 15 (as of 2016) is finally here! Take a good look to see if you're familiar with the 'best of the bests' movie according to popularity, actors, story line, and cinematography.

15. Wolf Girl and Black Prince

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Probably one of the most anticipated live-action movie of 2016, Wolf Girl and Black Prince was adopted into the big screen featuring Fumi Nikaido as the 16-year old Erika Shinohara, and Kento Yamazaki as the school's prince with hidden sadistic personality. Seeing the two terrific actors on the film is just superb - Fumi's excellent acting skills and Kento's never-seen-before sadistic side makes the performance level definitely on top. However, let's admit it - the cinematography isn't very perfect. If you're a movie enthusiast and you have a quick eyes for perfect photography, you'll agree that there are some scenes which are in awkward shot (e.g. the focus is on the glass wall and not on the actor). Even so, the story and the acting makes up to some of those scenes, so it's still worth a watch!

Cast:

  • Fumi Nikaido as Erika Shinohara
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kyouya Sata
  • Noboyuki Suzuki as Nozomi Kamiya
  • Mugi Kadowaki as Ayumi Sanda
  • Ryusei Yokohama as Takeru Hibiya

14. Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu

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Emi Takei and Tori Matsuzaka stars in the live-action movie adaptation of Kanan Minami's shoujo manga, Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu (eng: Today I'll Start Our Love). It features the story of Tsubaki Hibino, a girl who loves making her younger sister's hair pretty every morning, but doesn't think that kind of style suits herself. On the day of her high school opening ceremony, she finds herself sitting next to the top student of the first years, Kyouta Tsubaki. Kyouta seems a very diligent student, but it was the opposite - he's actually arrogant and rude. The two had a cross-encounter, until lately, finds themselves attracted despite their differences. Emi's portrayal of the shy Tsubaki is praiseworthy. Her braided pigtails and nerdy glasses, plus, her demure character is simply perfect. And when she's being transformed from nerd to chic, her chemistry with Tori becomes simply hot! The scenes and shots in this movie is also good.

Cast:

  • Emi Takei as Tsubaki Hibino
  • Tori Matsuzaka as Kyota Tsubaki
  • Fumino Kimura as Nana
  • Sho Aoyagi as Hananoi
  • Kento Yamazaki as Nishiki Hasegawa
  • Yua Shinkawa as Sakura Hibino

13. Bokura Ga Ita

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Also known as 'We Were There', this live-action film has its own uniqueness from the rest of the shoujo romance adaptations. With one of the best actors in Japan, Toma Ikuta playing the role of Motoharu Yano with her leading lady, Yuriko Yoshitaka as Nanami Takahashi, this movie can be considered as one of the most charming in the history of live-action films. The movie is filled with heartwarming scenes and great cinematography. The story is also well presented, and you can easily understand the story even without reading the original manga. Though this is less cheesy compared to the usual shoujo movies, the warm chemistry of our two lovely on-screen love team is just enough to watch. The film was released in two parts, with the first released in Japanese cinemas in the spring of 2012. The second part was released 4–5 weeks after the first part.

Cast:

  • Toma Ikuta as Motoharu Yano
  • Yuriko Yoshitaka as Nanami Takahashi
  • Sosuke Takaoka as Masafumi Takeuchi
  • Yuika Motokariya as Yuri Yamamoto
  • Ayaka Komatsu as Nana

12. Lovely Complex

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One of the funniest, most comical shoujo romance story of all time, Lovely Complex, is about the hilarious love story of a tall girl, Koizumi Risa (with a height of 170 cm) and her man, Otani Atsushi (with a height of 156 cm). The two lovebirds are being teased as 'Hanshin-Kyojin' because of their big height difference. Their cute story started with being friends helping each other to gain the attention of their love interests, however, as they slowly go along, Risa seems to be falling in love with Otani. But there's something wrong with Otani - he's the most dense when it comes to love. This funny story was portrayed by Teppei Koike and Ema Fujisawa, and they both look cute, especially the small Teppei being cuddled by the tall Ema like in the usual series. If you'd like a doze of laugh from a shoujo romance movie, this is definitely one of the best.

Cast:

  • Ema Fujisawa - Risa Koizumi
  • Teppei Koike - Atsushi Otani
  • Shosuke Tanihara - Kunimi "Mr. Mighty" Maitake
  • Nami Tamaki - Nobuko Ishihara
  • Risa Kudo - Chiharu Tanaka
  • Yusuke Yamazaki - Heikichi Nakao
  • Hiro Mizushima - Ryoji Suzuki

11. Kanojo Wa Uso Wo Aishisugiteru

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Also called 'The Liar and His Lover', this movie is based on manga written by Kotomi Aoki. It tells the story of a composer named Ogasawara Aki, who is an ex-member of a famous boy band, and Koeda Riko, a high school student with an angelic voice. This unique movie is actually a musical film, with the mangaka himself supervised in the making, which is highly appreciated (since some mangakas usually doesn't supervise in the making of the live-action films). It is not as sweet and cheesy as the other movies, but the songs and music creates the warm atmosphere. Takeru Sato's portrayal of the 25-year old music engineer is what makes it even more successful.

Cast:

  • Takeru Sato as Aki Ogasawara
  • Sakurako Ohara as Riko Koeda
  • Shohei Miura as Shun Sakaguchi
  • Masataka Kubota as Shinya Shinohara
  • Kouki Mizuta as Kaoru Ono

10. Beyond the Memories

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Probably one of the best heavy-drama in this list is Beyond the Memories, which focus on the story of love and pain that the two lead characters, Kanna Seto and Roku Azakawa carries from the past. This film doesn't only have an excellent scenes, but wonderfully tells how the two protagonists carry the burden of losing someone important. One of the most memorable lines in this movie is the question, “If a person loses someone important, will that person fall in love again?” Sure enough, a heavy sense of guilt, loneliness, pain, and unsure love is what makes this movie one of the best.

Cast:

  • Masami Nagasawa as Kanna Seto
  • Masaki Okada as Roku Akazawa
  • Kengo Kora as Kazue Haruta
  • Chizuru Ikewaki as Manami Sakuraba
  • Haru as Tomomi Kawaguchi

9. Senpai to Kanojo

A cute love story about Rika Tsuzuki, who is a first year high school student, and his senpai whom she fell in love with. Inside the school, our heroine met the third year high school student Keigo Minohara and she was starstruck. Just like a cute kohai looking upon her beloved senpai, Rika is motivated to see him everyday. However, things can't go on very smoothly for her. Her beloved Minohara-senpai is secretly in love with another person, Aoi Okita. Aoi attended the same high school as him and is now a first year university student. This cute movie is just perfect for a kohai who is secretly in love with her senpai.

Cast:

  • Jun Shison as Keigo Minohara
  • Kyoko Yoshine as Rika Tsuzuki
  • Riria as Aoi Okita
  • Junji Tozuka as Tetsuo Yada
  • Kaho Mitzutani as Yuko Momodani

8. Kimi ni Todoke

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This movie is just superb. Good cinematography, nice selection of scenes, terrific actors, and lovely chemistry. One of the best live-action movies ever is Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You. It came after the success of both manga and anime series. Because of this, many fans has high expectation from this movie before it came out. Thank goodness, they weren't disappointed, because the overall rating is perfect. Haruma Miura's natural handsome image fits the character of Shota Kazehaya. Even Haruma said himself that he felt no discomfort about playing the role of the "real Kazehaya", describing it as a "tailor-made" role. Also, Mikako Tabe's long hair suits the Sadako-like image of Sawako Kuronuma. The cheesiness of this story can also be felt in the film, it's definitely a must-watch!

Cast:

  • Mikako Tabe as Sawako Kuronuma
  • Haruma Miura as Shota Kazehaya
  • Misako Renbutsu as Chizuru Yoshida
  • Natsuna Watanabe as Ayane Yano
  • Mirei Kiritani as Ume Kurumizawa

7. Sukitte Ii Na Yo

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Also called "Say 'I Love You'", Sota Fukushi and Haruna Kawaguchi's brilliant portrayal of Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa brought success to the most anticipated hyped-up shoujo manga adaptation of 2014. Based on the original manga written by Kanae Hazuki, it features the developing story of two students falling in love with each other. Although it as considered a success, some fans with keen eyes believed that some of their kissing scenes were awkward, and there are hidden feelings in the manga that can't be portrayed in the film. Even so, many fans have come to love the real-life Mei and Yamato.

Cast:

  • Haruna Kawaguchi as Mei Tachibana
  • Sota Fukushi as Yamato Kurosawa
  • Tomohiro Ichikawa as Kai Takemura
  • Rika Adachi as Aiko Muto

6. Orange

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A film that will make you feel heartbroken, not because of love, but because of Kakeru Naruse's emotional distress and family conflicts. 'Orange' is a fantasy drama about time written by Ichigo Takano. The movie, starring Tao Tsuchiya as Naho Takamiya and Kento Yamazaki as Kakeru Naruse, is a huge success, making it number one in the box office during its first week. The lead actor's chemistry is something to die for - Tao's innocent and shy image is so natural, and the emotionally-laden Kento is the best in this movie (especially his fight scene with his mother). Viewers can actually feel the frustration and sympathy towards Kakeru, who is blaming himself for the death of his mother, which is hidden to his friends. On the other hand, Naho's matured image in the future features the pretty Tao, and the regret that Naho felt is very well portrayed. If you'd like to see a movie with highlights about friendship more than love, then this is definitely the best.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Naho Takamiya
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kakeru Naruse
  • Ryo Ryusei as Hiroto Suwa
  • Hirona Yamazaki as Takako Chino
  • Dori Sakurada as Saku Hagita
  • Kurumi Shimizu as Azusa Murasaka

5. Your Lie in April

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Another wonderfully-made live action film is the new one, Your Lie in April. It is about the bittersweet musical story of the piano prodigy, Kosei Arima, and the freestyle violinist girl, Kaori Miyazono. Kosei's mother was very strict about him winning the piano competitions, and when she died, he has been unable to hear the sound of his piano. Until she met the girl that changes his life, the lively Kaori, who helped him face the piano again. However, their happy encounter was only short-lived because of Kaori's secret, which left Kosei devastated upon learning it. It became a hit in Japan after its anime adaptation, and fans have a high expectation towards the live action. The chemistry between our young Suzu and Kento is also noteworthy. Kento being nerd while Suzu is being playful is just so cute!

Cast:

  • Suzu Hirose as Kaori Miyazono
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kosei Arima
  • Anna Ishii as Tsubaki Sawabe
  • Taishi Nakagawa as Ryota Watari

4. L-DK

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L-DK is a cute story of Aoi, a young girl with a strong personality, and her encounter with the school prince, Shuusei. At first, Aoi confronts Shuusei for being rude to her friend, Moe, after the girl confessed to him but he turned her down. However, it turns out that Shuusei is actually the new next-door neighbor of Aoi, and things just went accidentally wrong, so they have to live under the same roof. Ayame Gouriki's portrayal of Aoi is just similar to the manga - she's cute, strong, and at the same time, fragile. She looks so much like Aoi before the scene where she cuts her hair. Kento portrayed Shuusei the way it was supposed to be - he is playful and a bit arrogant, and of course, handsome. Although there is a change in some parts of the scene, it remained successful because of the good characterization and cinematography.

Cast:

  • Ayame Gouriki as Aoi Nishimori
  • Kento Yamazaki as Shuusei Kugayama
  • Akiyoshi Nakao as Ryosuke Sato
  • Rei Okamoto as Moe Shibuya
  • Anna Ishibashi as Satsuki Mizuno

3. Strobe Edge

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Written by Io Sakisaka, the same mangaka who made Ao Haru Ride, Strobe Edge is another great live action movie to watch. Starring Sota Fukushi and Kasumi Arimura, Strobe Edge tells the story of Ninako Kinoshita and her secret feelings towards the school's prince, Ren Ichinose. This light, heartwarming movie is a worthwhile film that will make you fall in love with the lead characters. Knowing Ninako's honesty and pure feelings, viewers can sympathize on her one-sided love. The actors were also great, with Sota playing the princely-type guy well and the innocent-looking Kasumi playing the pure girl, Ninako. Together, they make a good chemistry. Overall, the movie is cute and the good scenes are well achieved.

Cast:

  • Sota Fukushi as Ren Ichinose
  • Kasumi Arimura as Ninako Kinoshita
  • Yuki Yamada as Takumi Ando
  • Arisa Sato as Mayuka Korenaga

2. Ao Haru Ride

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Also called 'Blue Spring Ride', this movie is one of the most awaited live action in 2014, because of the popularity it gained when an anime series was made. The heroine, Futaba Yoshioka was portrayed by Tsubasa Honda. The gentle guy, Kou Mabuchi, was portrayed by Masahiro Higashide. The actors have played a great role in giving life to the story of Futaba's crush towards Kou and their struggles to finally become honest with each other. Their on-screen chemistry is just so good, and they have anchored the emotions of the characters from the story. The movie is light and cheesy, and is also heartwarming. Unlike the usual shoujo romance, it is more emotional (especially the back story of Kou's life) than romantic. Thanks to Masahiro Higashide for executing this complicated part of Kou's character. No doubt about it, Ao Haru Ride is definitely good in story, music, performance, and cinematography.

Cast:

  • Tsubasa Honda as Futaba Yoshioka
  • Masahiro Higashide as Kou Mabuchi
  • Yua Shinkawa as Shuko Murao
  • Ryo Yoshikawa as Aya Kominato
  • Izumi Fujimoto as Yuri Makita
  • Mitsuki Takahata as Yui Narumi
  • Yudai Chiba as Toma Kikuchi
  • Yu Koyanagi as Yoichi Tanaka


1. Heroine Shikkaku

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The number-one film at the Japanese box office in 2015, Heroine Shikkaku, is a movie that will completely satisfy your emotions. This live-action adaptation gives us the similar feeling as we read the manga. It's funny, comical, hilarious, sad, heartbreaking, and lovable. Mirei Kiritani's portrayal of Hatori is simply perfect - she's cheerful, self-centered, wild, and bombastic. Her wild imagination towards her one and only crush, Rita, is executed well in the movie. Kento's role as Rita is also good, as he remained dense about Hatori's feelings. Mirei pulled off her playful side, while Kento is just as casual as he is. Kento and Mirei's chemistry is just perfectly amazing, and it became even better because of the good sound effects, music, and cinematography. The scenes included in the film were also good. Once you watched it, you'll remember it for a long time...because it's simply the best.

Cast:

  • Mirei Kiritani as Hatori Matsuzaki
  • Kento Yamazaki as Rita Terasaka
  • Kentaro Sakaguchi as Kosuke Hiromitsu
  • Ayano Fukuda as Kyoko Nakajima
  • Miwako Wagatsuma as Miho Adachi

Did we miss your favorites? Recommend them below.

This marks the end of the article. Let us know your favourite shoujo anime manga adaptations and your opinions on them. You can also express your insights by taking a vote on a poll below.

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