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The Best Shoujo Anime: Our Top 10 Shoujo Favorites

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Shoujo anime has grown largely in popularity over the past ten years. Before it was mostly seen as a medium to tell cute stories about magical girls fighting evil, but the stories of shoujo anime have gotten increasingly more complex over the years.

Often love stories revolving around middle school or junior high school students, many themes encompassing the shoujo genre are love, friendship, and coming of age. Sailor Moon is likely the most popular shoujo anime to date. The magical girls have inspired many more tv shows after them. However it might be a bit complex for first time watchers. So we put together the best shoujo anime to watch for beginners and long time veterans. 

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10. Fruits Basket:

Tohru Honda finds herself orphaned after her mother dies in a terrible car accident. She lives on her own for a while but is soon taken in by a few members of the Sohma family Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo. As Tohru becomes closer with the three young men she discovers their family secret. When hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they turn into their corresponding animal of the zodiac. The show is lighthearted while also throwing in some dramatic tear-jerker moments that will leave you laughing and crying. 

9. Carole & Tuesday 

It's been fifty years since mankind began migrating to planet Mars. A girl named Carole is scraping by for a living in the middle of Alba City, working part-time trying to become a musician. There’s another girl named Tuesday who was born to a wealthy family. She feels as though she's the loneliest person in the world but also has dreams of becoming a musician. A chance meeting brings them together. They sing, make music, and create a movement that will grow into something larger. The anime gives the story a sci-fi twist making it slightly different from your standard shoujo anime. 

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8. Ouran HighSchool Host Club 

A fan favorite for the past 20 years, Ouran HighSchool Host Club still remains at the top for shoujo fanatics everywhere. Haruhi is a poor student on an academic scholarship to the prestigious Ouran HighSchool. After accidentally breaking a very expensive vase from the Host Club, Haruhi is required to work in the club to pay off her debt. As she grows closer to the boys of the club, their relationship quickly turns into a personal bond of friendship and possibly even an opportunity to fall in love. Despite the animation being a little dated, the storytelling of the show still holds up. You might even notice how much modern shoujo anime is influenced by this show. 

7. Lovely Complex

Another long-time classic, Risa and Otani are made out to be the most unlikely pair in the school. Risa, a tall young girl, is often rejected by boys because of her height. Otani a short young man, faces rejection because of his height as well. The two start fighting and bickering with each other but they eventually grow to become the perfect match for each other. The show is lighthearted, fun, and sweet—all the ingredients needed for a shoujo anime. 

6. Ao Haru Ride 

Futaba Yoshioka took the shoujo manga scene by storm in 2014 with her debut manga Ao Haru Ride. Viewers follow Futaba Yoshiokaas she deals with the emotional turmoil of high school. Her unfeminine demeanor isolates her from the rest of her classmates. When she reunites with her childhood friend Kou Tanaka, she starts to blossom into a young woman as she tries her best to win him over. Although her feelings are originally unrequited at first the two eventually grow to accept their feelings for each other. The series is a roller coaster ride of emotions but it’s definitely one that will remain in your heart for a long time. 

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5. NANA

Originally debuting in the early 2000s as a manga series, Nana was unfortunately cut short due to the writer suffering an injury from an accident. The two titular characters Nana and Nana couldn’t be any more different from each other. Nana Komatsu sets her sights on Tokyo in order to discover her dream Nana Oosaki goes to Tokyo to make it as a musician. The girls upon meeting each other become instant friends and decide to live together to help each other achieve their dreams. While romantic love is heavily explored throughout the show, the main attraction is the female friendship Nana and Nana grow to have for each other. 

4. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day 

Five childhood friends grow apart after the death of a close friend. Jinta Yadomi, the leader of the group, unexpectedly starts seeing the ghost of Meiko who encourages him to fulfill his long-forgotten wish. The story is very honest and very much a look at death, grief, and the way it affects those who are left behind. The theme is present in a lot of shoujo anime but having an entire series centered around the theme of death is rather original and makes the show very unique. 

image via shutterstock.com

3. Kaicho wa Maid-Sama

Debuting over 10 years ago, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama is still considered a series worth watching. Misaki is a student council president at her school and is the only female in the male-dominated school politics. At school, she has a tough no-nonsense demeanor but after school, she moonlights at a maid-cafe to support her family. Unfortunately Tamaki the school heartthrob discovers her secret and while he had an opportunity to ruin her reputation, he uses this new secret as an opportunity to get close to Misaki instead. Every episode is filled with cute, unexpected, and funny moments. 

2. Orange 

It's the beginning of Naho's sophomore year and it's already starting on a strange note. Literally as she receives a note from herself 10 years from the future. The letter is full of her past regrets in regards to the new transfer student Kakeru. This shoujo anime starts off really cute at first but underneath the beautiful animation, viewers are taken through a wild ride of emotions following themes of love, depression, and even suicide. 

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1.Sukitte Ii Na Yo

This anime really proves that opposites can attract. Mei is a quiet girl who scares off all the students with her serious nature. Yamato is the popular boy in school and has a bit of a reputation as a playboy. After Mei roundhouse kicks Yamato, he begins to have an interest in her and helps her blossom into more of a social butterfly. 

There are many shoujo anime out there, but these are just a few that we feel are the best to watch. How did you like our list? Are there any shows you think should’ve made the list? Let us know in a comment below.

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