Many people tend to think that the Shoujo genre and the Romance genre are the exact same genres. However, Shoujo is not just about romance. Moreover, it is a unique genre on its own with its own sub-categories which includes drama. Generally, the Shoujo genre is one that is targeted at girls. That is not to say that only girls are interested in this genre however! In contrast to Shounen, Shoujo emphasizes more on the development of the characters and deals with feelings and idealism much more than Shounen. That is why it is often confused with the romance genre as they both share the same themes. So if you feel that this is what you are looking for, today we will be listing 10 shoujo light novels. If you haven't already, we'd definitely recommend you to!
10. Kenkyou, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite orimasu
- Authors: Hiyoko no Keki
- Genres: Shoujo, Comedy, School Life
- Volumes: 299
- Published: 2013 - ongoing
Kisshouin Reika shares the same name as the antagonist of a manga series that she had read when she was young. Unfortunately for her, she was reborn into the very world of that manga as the very same antagonist. The Reika in this world was a spoilt and vain aristocrat who tried to ruin the relationship of the protagonist with the most popular boy in the series. She was 'defeated' when her engagement got cancelled and her father's company seized. Now, our protagonist must live the life of Reika after these events where she swore that she will be the most humble, well-mannered and courteous girl ever.
The title translates to 'I will live with humility and dependability as my motto'. As the title suggests, this is the main body of the story. It shows how a character is reborn as she tries to absolve the misdeeds of her supposed past. Most of the events in the story are of her making changes to a disgraced character and having everyone else recognizing it. All in all, it is a good read due to its straightforwardness.
9. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
- Authors: Kaminaga Manabu
- Genres: Shoujo, Supernatural, Mystery, Drama
- Volumes: 10
- Published: 2004 - ongoing
College student Yakumo Saitou was born with heterochromia. His left eye being red, allows him to see spirits and the dead. Haruka, a normal college girl, confronted by a spirit hears about Yakumo and decided to ask him for assistance. This was the start of an uncanny relationship between the two. Yakumo reluctantly accepted her request and was drawn into other supernatural-related mysteries that occur in the school.
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo shows the complementing relationship between two characters. In a typical Holmes-Watson archetype, Haruka assists in the investigation after the initial mystery and the whole relationship start to build from here. After being in close proximity to each other, it is not too far-fetched to say that romance will start developing between them. As much as Yakumo saves Haruka, so too has Haruka helped Yakumo change significantly. This mystery series has the genre embellish it, giving life to its characters.
8. Common Sense of a Duke's Daughter
- Authors: Reia
- Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Shoujo, Slice of Life, Isekai
- Volumes: 5
- Published: 2015
" I was reincarnated as the villain character of an otome game, the daughter of a Duke. However, when I regained my memory, I had already reached my “ending.”
My engagement had been cancelled and if things go according to its “course,” it was set that I will be imprisoned by the church." Our main character works as a tax accountant in her previous life. As she was about to be sentenced, she uses her knowledge of her previous life to escape her predicament. Moving forward, she decided to use her knowledge and her status as a defeated noble to build an empire.
This series tells the story of a single woman changing the society. In a society where the echoes of the mass are deemed as the absolute truth, it will take courage and a strong conviction to overturn the opinions of the masses. However, it is not often that we get to see the thinking of such leaders. This series illustrates the workings and methods of an individual with an earnest yearn to change the world. So throw away romance and comedy as there are bigger goals to accomplish, both externally and internally.
7. Kokuhaku Yokou Renshuu Series
- Authors: Fujitani, Touko
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Shoujo, Romance
- Volumes: 1
- Published: 2014
This light novel is based on the original Vocaloid song by HoneyWorks. The story goes like this... The third year high schooler Natsuki has a crush on childhood friend Yuu. As she finally gathers the courage to confess to him, her own embarrassment caused her to pass it off as a practice confession. This was made more complicated when Yuu earnestly proclaims his support for her and the involvement of other club members, one of which who may have an interest in Natsuki. The complications seem to be increasing which begs the question: Will Natsuki ever get her confession out?
Although this light novel is just a single chapter, do not be fooled into thinking that is underwhelming. This is one Shoujo manga that overlaps into the Romance genre. Within a single chapter, numerous characters’ feelings are revealed including that of the protagonist. This is all due to an accidental slip of the mouth. There is so much drama packed into this series such that it may be hard to keep up and as such, we'd highly recommend it.
6. Miracle Doctor, Abandoned Daughter: The Sly Emperor's Wild Beast-Tamer Empress
- Authors: MS Lotus
- Genres: Shoujo, Action
- Volumes: 201
- Published: 2015 - ongoing
Born into an abusive household, she holds her mother dear to her and loathes her father. One day, however, 13-year-old Ye was reborn. Before, she was constantly bullied due to her slow nature. Now, she oversees the God's Cauldron where even mythical beast bows down to her. Now she will exact her revenge on those who have wronged her.
Most action series feature a male protagonist. As such, it is very rare for a female protagonist to be featured. This series just does that! In addition to that, the series combines elements of romance and harem. All in all, this series illustrates the journey of a girl who was wronged, encapsulating her struggles in the process.
5. Tensei Shitanode Tsugi Koso wa Shiawasena Jinsei wo Tsukande Misemashou
- Authors: Saeki-san
- Genres: Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 53
- Published: 2014
Our protagonist finds herself in a world that is unfamiliar to her. She soon realised that she was born into a new world after being hit by a car. She finds herself bound to a young child's body but with the mind of an adult. Lizbeth, as she is now known, vows to make her new life a 'moderately successful' one. However, with attempted takes on her life and numerous suitors after her, she found out that to achieve her goal would be a little bit hard...
This series features pretty much a princess with a lot of guys in it. A reverse-harem of ikemens is pretty much the dream of every girl. In this case, our protagonist tries to go about her life without stirring much attention. However, the action she does seems to raise more flags than not. Keen to find out what happens next? Then start reading this series today!
4. Okobore Hime to Entaku no Kishi
- Authors: Ishida, Rinne
- Genres: Shoujo, Fantasy, Romance
- Volumes: 17
- Published: 2012
The current king had known that should he pass on, both his sons will contest for the throne. However, the other brother's faction will rise up against the winner, causing a civil war to break out. Left with little choice, the king named his only daughter, Leticia the successor to the throne. Leticia was shocked when she was named the successor to the throne. Wasting little time, she started to recruit knights to form her own roundtable only to realise that the 'choice' knights have already been taken up...
The summary to Okobore may seem like the start of a harem story but don't let it fool you! Leticia is anything but a clueless queen. Jump into an era where treachery and chivalry exists. Instead of a reliable prince, the job has now been taken by a princess. While there are chances of romance, the bulk of the story will not be solely on it. Let the adventures of Leticia begin!
3. The Power of the Saint is all around
- Authors: Tachibana, Yuka
- Genres: Fantasy, Shoujo, Drama, Slice of Life
- Volumes: 2
- Published: 2017 - ongoing
Sei is a 20-year-old office worker. She was summoned one day after work into an unknown world. Due to some miscommunication, the person who summoned her did not recognise her as the Saint. Hence, she left the palace and started working in a lab. Being proficient at what she does, she fulfilled the requests of the commoners. Can Sei continue to do so without others finding out about her Saint title though?
Unlike other shoujo-isekai series out there, this series has a relatively easy interpretation of the genre. There are no plot intense events going on that requires you to be engaged at all time. Even the romance is depicted in small amounts such that it is not overbearing. The characters are all simple but yet not one dimensional. In short, it is a series that showcases the shoujo genre but presented in an easy format.
2. From Maid to Mother
- Authors: Yudzuki Seiya
- Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Shoujo, Slice of Life
- Volumes: 4
- Published: 2015 - ongoing
Lily holds the title of Maid of the Royal Family. She spends her time travelling and working in various homes. One day, the court magician, Leonard requests her aid. She was quite surprised when she realised that her duty will now be to act as a mother. Jill, the adopted daughter of Leonard is now placed in the care of Lily. Now, she must raise Lily as her own while at the same time, manage the relation between Jill, Leonard and herself.
The series is a heartwarming take on raising children. It revolves around the theme of family and the meaning of a home. There are various parts in the series that deals with the relation of Lily and Leonard. Brilliant and simple, this is a series that you should not miss out on!
1. Akuyaku Reijou wa Ringoku no Oitaishi ni Dekiai Sareru
- Authors: Puni-chan
- Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Volumes: 3
- Published: 2016 - ongoing
Tiararose was about to be exiled from the country. Like any other Isekai-shoujo trope, the heroine was about to be sent towards the destruction flag. Just as her fate was about to be sealed, the neighbouring prince decided to court Tiararose. Unlike traditional trends, the end of the villainous character was not made known to the main character. Now, she has to stand up for herself and direct her own life.
Similarly, this series is about the main character awakening to a foreign land. She is familiar with the setting as well as the future. However, what's different about this series is the question of 'what happens next?'. The independent main character will now have to make decisions to prevent herself from getting into trouble again. A good combination of romance and shoujo, this is where the overlapping complements both genres, allowing both to flourish.
So that's 10 shoujo light novels for you. Shoujo is usually a genre that emphasizes character development and drama. The world of Shoujo is expansive if anything. Its subcategories are still popular today amongst teenage girls and even women. That is the true nature of the Shoujo genre. Have you read any of the novels on this list already? Do you have another novel to recommend? Leave it in the comments below and we will see you next time!