In 2005, Kei Kusunoki started the serialization of Bitter Virgin. At a first glance, this manga could look like the typical shoujo manga with a heroine in search of love, trying to beat the demons from her past. It takes just the first chapter, though, to understand how this is very far from the truth, in spite the typical shoujo art style.
In fact, this is a seinen manga able to pull the readers' heartstrings and make them shed tears. Its themes are deep and dark. Our protagonist is Hinako Aikawa, who actually had a very difficult past. Her stepfather abused her repeatedly, and she became pregnant two times. So we find a broken girl, scared to death of men.
The fated meeting with Daisuke Suwa, though, will change her life completely. Daisuke's patience and deep affection towards her will make Hinako open up to love. Therefore, this is a story revolving around the infinite ways one person has to overcome the past. It's dramatic, sad, and dark, but there's a message of hope in the end. For all those readers who read Bitter Virgin and are fond of drama, this list will give you six other manga sharing with it the fundamental themes. Stick with us until the end to discover them!
Similar Manga to Bitter Virgin
1. Asa mo, Hiru mo, Yoru mo. (Morning, Noon & Night)
- Mangaka: Aoki, Kotomi
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, School life
- Volumes: 2
- Published: 2002 – 2003
Asa mo, Hiru mo, Yoru mo is a manga revolving around Shinobu Suetsugu. This high school girl may look like any other teenager, but she has a secret. In the past, she was abused by a boy. That event changed her life and her conception of men; in fact, she hates them now. When Jun Yokomizo appears before her eyes and confesses to her, she doesn't know what to do. The problem is, Jun looks exactly like the boy who abused her in the past... How will Shinobu face the situation bringing up the demons from the past?
These two manga share the same plot and similar characters. In both, we find a heroine who fears men due to the trauma of having been raped and a male counterpart who tries to help her. Asa mo, Hiru mo, Yoru mo and Bitter Virgin share two characters who begin a path of recovery, learning to trust and love again. The only difference is that Asa mo, Hiru mo, Yoru mo is more romance-oriented, while Bitter Virgin focuses more on the recovery of our protagonist. That makes sense, as we can safely state that Asa mo is the shoujo version of Bitter Virgin. If you liked one, you'll like the other for sure!
2. Koizora: Setsunai Koimonogatari (Love Sky – Sad Love Story)
- Mangaka: Haneda, Ibuki
- Genre: Drama, Romance, School life, Shoujo, Slice of life
- Volumes: 10
- Published: 2007 – 2009
Let's go on with another strong girl whose name is Mika. She is a high school student with a dream: to find the true love and live a wonderful life. One day, she happens to meet Hiro, an extraordinary boy, and falls for him. Then, life puts Mika through a lot of sad events. But in spite being hurt, being left broken, the moments she shares with Hiro are the most special. The road towards a happy life is long, but Mika is not alone and she will realize her dream eventually.
With Koizora: Setsunai Koimonogatari we are yet once again in front of a dramatic love story, where the main character is deeply hurt. Mika and Hinako from Bitter Virgin are very similar, and the bond they share with their counterpart – Hiro and Daisuke – is special, as it's the starting point for them to recover. Mika, too, was an abused girl who had to realize just too soon how life isn't always fair. Both these stories feature tragic events, and happy moments, in a perfect balance that make the readers stick to the pages. Go catch Koizora up, all the more if you loved Bitter Virgin!
3. Hana no Namae (The Name of the Flower)
- Mangaka: Saitou, Ken
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo
- Volumes: 4
- Published: February 2004 – August 2007
Chouko Mizushima is our 18-year-old protagonist with a tragic past. Her parents died in a terrible accident, and she lost the will to live. From that moment onward, she changed home repeatedly, from a relative to the other, but eventually, she settled in with Kei Mizushima. Kei is a young writer who doesn't know how to deal with people, let alone a broken girl like Chouko. When she discovers a passion for gardening and shows dedication towards flowers, Kei finally learns to accept her presence. Will their feelings for each other bloom?
Hana no Namae and Bitter Virgin share the same deep story lines and emotions. In both, the heroine had to deal with a very difficult event, which changed her life entirely. We can find the same willingness to fight, to rise again, coming from Chouko and Hinako. But the path must be faced step by step, and that's where their male counterparts will intervene. Hana no Namae has a focus on the male protagonist, as well, since Kei had to deal with a difficult past exactly like Chouko. For those who are fans of drama genre, and dark themes, we are sure that you will find Hana no Namae as interesting as Bitter Virgin.
Any Manga Like Bitter Virgin ?
- Mangaka: Suenobu, Keiko
- Genre: Drama, School life, Shoujo, Slice of life, Psychological
- Volumes: 20
- Published: April 2002 – February 2009
Ayumu Shiiba is struggling: she is studying for the high school entrance exams, but since her best friend Shii-chan – the model student – is there to help, there's nothing to fear. Yet, the results come and to everyone's surprise, Ayumu surpasses Shii-chan, who doesn't manage to enter the high school of her choice. Ayumu's world falls apart; she's so hurt, that she starts cutting herself in order to find relief. When she meets Manami, at the new school, Ayumu decides to open up to friendship, wishing for a new start. But the question is, will Manami prove to be a true friend?
Plot-wise, Life and Bitter Virgin are very different. In spite their differences, these two manga share the same deep, dark themes. We have our female heroines going through a lot of suffering, what's with auto-mutilation, rape, and bullying. And then, there's the comeback. Hinako will find the strength in her love toward Daisuke, while Ayumu in her friendship with Manami. Life and Bitter Virgin give the readers the same vibes, but we can affirm that Life is a little bit more lighthearted than Bitter Virgin. Fans of dramatic shoujo manga will love it!
5. Yesterday wo Utatte (Sing “Yesterday” for Me)
- Mangaka: Toume, Kei
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice of life, Seinen
- Volumes: 11
- Published: December 1997 – June 2015
Rikuo Uozumi is the protagonist of Yesterday wo Utatte. Rikuo is a boy without ambitions; he has graduated from college and accepted to work at a convenience store. His boring life goes by until he meets Haru Nonaka. Haru is a high school dropout, hanging around with her pet crow. The fated meeting with Haru, plus the meeting with his former love interest – his senior Shinako – will start changing his life and, slowly but surely, his approach to life.
Yesterday wo Utatte and Bitter Virgin are two seinen manga containing a lot of drama. Both stories revolve around love and youth, and right because of it, they both revolve around relationships. As these two series are seinen, the relationships are very realistic and they both show how life isn't always fair, with its ups and downs, and unpredictable events. In both Yesterday wo Utatte and Bitter Virgin, the past has an important role; yet, Yesterday wo Utatte is slightly more lighthearted than Bitter Virgin. If you are interested in mature themes and developments, and liked Bitter Virgin because of it, you should read Yesterday wo Utatte, as well!
- Mangaka: Souryo, Fuyumi
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of life, Psychological
- Volumes: 15
- Published: January 1996 – November 2000
Kira Asou is a shy high school girl. All she lives for is her art: she loves drawing, but hides from her classmates, and never shows her works to anyone. What's more, Kira hates men: she thinks all the men are dirty so she doesn't want to get involved with them. One day, though, Rei Kashino, a delinquent motorcyclist and playboy, finds one of Kira's drawings and decides to keep it. Kira and Kei are on opposite sides, exactly like night and day, and that is the beginning of trouble...
Mars and Bitter Virgin are somehow similar, in spite of the significant difference of one being a shoujo manga and the other being a seinen one. Kira and Hinako are similar, and they both hate, or are afraid of, men. In both Mars and Bitter Virgin, we see characters dealing with the repercussion of a traumatic past, and then the comfort coming from learning to open up once again toward a loved one. Basically, these two stories are romances with dark themes. If you want to enjoy a shoujo version of Bitter Virgin, we recommend Mars with all of our heart!
And so our list came to an end. Since Bitter Virgin has dark and mature themes, we tried to put manga that share with it equally dark themes, or the same interesting plot with amazing and deeply analyzed characters. Whether darker shoujo is your cup of tea, or you love seinen manga, this list will help you find the same vibes you had while reading Bitter Virgin. We really hope you'll find it useful, somehow. And don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!