The 10 Best Shoujo Anime (According to MAL’s Users)

Shoujo is a very popular genre – not as popular as shounen, but it does its job to fulfill the needs of females and of course, some males too.

What does shoujo exactly mean?

  • it’s a genre of anime/manga aimed at a teenage female target-demographic readership
  • it can cover many narrative styles, from historical drama to science fiction, often with a focus on romantic relationships and feelings

I decided to make a list based on real ratings of people and so I used mal’s top 5 best-rated and 5 most popular anime to bring you the 10 best shoujo anime of all time. 

*they are all mixed up below.

*featured picture by Kondou Natsuko.

Related:


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here. 

 

10. Vampire Knight

Yuuki
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural, Vampire
  • Episodes: 13

Synopsis

The anime takes place in a world in which vampires and humans coexist (unknowingly to humans).

The main heroine, a high school girl named Yuuki Cross is attending a school that separates humans and vampires thanks to “the Day Class and the Night Class” system. Yuuki, together with Zero Kiryuu, her stepbrother are prefects for the Day Class and are trying to keep everything running smoothly and keep the secret of the Night Class safe.

Yuuki considers the prefect job a good opportunity to meet her savior and crush from the night class, Kaname Kuran, meanwhile Zero finds it a nuisance because he deeply hates vampires.

The question remains the same – can humans and vampires coexist this way?

What people love about it 

Vampire Knight is one of the few anime that have vampires and romance at the same time in their plot. The vampires are highly variable individuals, some of them are literally like thirsty animals, others can control their impulses way better.

What makes Vampire Knight stand out is that despite it being a soft reverse harem it does not really lack a solid plot. The animation is in my opinion also very good, considering it was made in 2008. The characters are detailed and complex and their background is mysterious; the anime does a good job unfolding the mystery of Yuuki’s past. And it is indeed an unexpected one.


🛒 Nendoroid No. 1194 Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba: Nezuko Kamado

9. Versailles no Bara (The Rose of Versailles)

  • Genres: Military, Historical, Drama, Romance, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 40

Synopsis

In 1755, Marie Antoinette is born in the royal family of Austria and raised in luxury. However, the fate of the future queen of France is set in stone—at the young age of 15, she has to leave her family and marry the crown prince of France.

At the same time in France, a girl is born in the family of the Commander of the Royal Guards. Upset at not having a male heir, her father decides to raise her as a man and names the girl Oscar. Oscar is trained from a young age to become the leader of the Royal Guards, but she is yet to discern that the will of the queen sometimes does not equal the good of the people.

(Source: MAL)

What people love about it 

The anime is portraying a realistic, romantic, tragic, and compelling historical story about the events leading up to the french revolution (the 1700s). History becomes interesting thanks to this anime even if you are not into it normally. If you have seen Marie Antoinette (the real movie), you will very likely like this too.

Fans often praise a great cast of characters with unique personalities, a strong female lead, and beautiful character design despite it being really old (1979).

 

8. Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)

  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo, Slice of Life
  • Episodes: 12

Synopsis

Futaba Yoshioka has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high school student. Because she’s cute, she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a misunderstanding, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the only boy she has ever liked, Tanaka-kun.

Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Kou Mabuchi. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but now that is the thing of the past. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?

(Source: Ao Haru Ride Fandom)

What people love about it 

While the story certainly couldn’t be called sophisticated or unorthodox, the anime does a great job when it comes to well-portrayed and realistic characters, outstanding art and animation, and the romance scenes will have you cheering, upset, happy, excited, and every other emotion you can name.

It has a simple premise, a linear and straight forward storytelling, but the personalities of the characters in Ao Haru Ride represent the attitudes of most high school teens, so they absolutely deserve this place as one of the very good slice of life rom-coms out there.

 

7. Kamisama Kiss (Kamisama Hajimemashita)

  • Genres: Comedy, Demons, Supernatural, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 13

Synopsis

The main heroine, Nanami, becomes a land god after getting kissed on a forehead by a stranger she had saved. She is homeless of her father’s debts so she willingly accepts the stranger’s offer to live in his home as his gratitude for saving him. So-called home is, in fact, a shrine – filled with shrine spirits and a pretty familiar, a fox yokai named Tomoe.

Will Nanami be able to fulfill her tasks as a god?

What people love about it 

You have probably heard about Kamisama Kiss by now – after all, it’s a very popular shoujo anime. The character design and animation are both amazing, the story is interesting and unique, you are surrounded by youkai, deities, and shrines, despite it being placed in the real world and ordinary events like going to school.

The romantic development is not rushed and you can’t predict what is going to happen next, so you just keep binge-watching. This anime is showing how a great rom-com should look.

I can not forget to include that Kamisama Kiss has the most handsome fox youkai Tomoe, who is boyfriend material.

Related: 7 Anime Like Kamisama Hajimemashita 

🛒 Nyanko-sensei a.k.a. Madara as a tissue cover!

6. Akatsuki no Yona

  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Historical, Parody, Samurai, Sci-Fi, Shounenň
  • Episodes: 201

Synopsis

The story revolves around princess Yona facing the harsh realities of the kingdom Kouka.

After the sudden murder of her father and the king preceded by the betrayal of her beloved cousin, she is forced to escape with her childhood friend Son Hak. The reality is rough – if Yona wants to get her kingdom back, she has to learn to fight and outsmart the forces of the new King of Kouka.

What people love about it 

I included Akatsuki no Yona in my list of top 8 best historical romance anime for a reason. In fact, a few of them.

Yona, the main heroine of the story is not your typical crybaby female character. It is true that at the beginning of the story she is a very fragile and spoiled individual and a typical portrayal of a princess.

But that changes drastically after turn of events resulting in her father’s death, forcing her to leave her beloved palace and lose her position as a princess. Her story is tragic but she blooms into a stronger woman with her own goals and aspirations.

Akatsuki no Yona combines a captivating and well-written story, beautiful art and animation, and well-developed characters.

5. Nana

Komatsu Nana
  • Genres: Music, Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 47

Synopsis

Nana Komatsu is a helpless, naïve 20-year-old who easily falls in love and becomes dependent and clingy to those around her. Even though she nurses ambitious dreams of removing herself from her provincial roots and finding her true calling, she ends up traveling to Tokyo with the humble reason of chasing her current boyfriend Shouji Endo.

Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is a proud, enigmatic punk rock vocalist from a similarly rural background, who nurtures the desire to become a professional singer. Putting her career with a fairly popular band (and her passionate romance with one of its former members) firmly behind her, she boards the same train to Tokyo as Nana Komatsu.

Through a fateful encounter in their journey toward the metropolis, the young women with the same given name are brought together, sparking a chain of events that eventually result in them sharing an apartment. As their friendship deepens, the two attempt to support each other through thick and thin, their deeply intertwined lives filled with romance, music, challenges, and heartbreaks that will ultimately test their seemingly unbreakable bond.

(Source: MAL)

What people love about it 

If you love to connect emotionally to some anime, this is the right one. Fans find the characters of Nana colorful and realistic (you can probably find yourself in some way in them), the world is portrayed also realistically so you can relate due to your own real experiences. And there is also incredible character development.

It’s easy to differentiate between characters in Nana – they are provided with a strong backstory, unique traits, and some underlying secret/mystery.

4. Kimi ni Todoke

  • Genres: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 25

Synopsis

Kuronuma Sawako, who is nicknamed Sadako (ghost girl from “The Ring”) by her classmates wants nothing more than friends and life as a normal student. Unfortunately, her classmates find her scary and mistake her timid and sweet demeanor with malicious intent. Sawako greatly admires the most popular guy in the class, Kazehaya-kun and is naturally drawn to him due to his refreshing personality.

After being approached by Kazehaya-kun she gets her hopes high for the friendship she has been longing for – and maybe even something more!

What people love about it 

No matter how cliché the story might sound, the execution was done extremely well. Sawako is a kind and sweet girl feared by others because they can not see her for what she truly is inside. The only person who can see it is Kazehaya, and thus, the friendship and eventually, a romance develops. The anime is not creating unnecessary drama or tragic events, it’s realistically telling a romantic story with remarkable supporting characters.

You won’t find any reverse harem here, the male lead is not a typical bishounen surrounded by 1000 females and the female lead does not fall for the “bad guy”, but rather for a kind guy who is popular both among girls and boys.

It’s also one of three slice of life anime on this list.

 

3. Hotarubi no Mori e (The Light of a Firefly Forest)

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
  • Episodes: 1 (Movie)

Synopsis

Intrigued by the tale of a mountain god, six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in the ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru is thrilled to find a masked forest spirit named Gin. She learns the hard way that she should not touch the boy, or he would disappear. In spite of this, Gin leads Hotaru out of the forest and warns her never to return when she promises to come again with a gift.

Paying no heed to his cautionary words, and despite being separated by both distance and planes of existence, Hotaru and Gin become close friends as she visits him every summer. However, their relationship and resolve are put to the test, when romantic feelings conflict with the one and only rule.

(Source: MAL)

What people love about it 

Many fans of this anime will tell you that Hotarubi no Mori e can break your heart (in such a short time, yes). The story is touching and it explores much more than conventional romance can – what if you could not hold what you find dear? What if you love someone who can’t be touched? What if you both want to hold hands, kiss, hug… and you simply can’t?

They are together, but they are not. The philosophical concept of this anime is truly amazing – and the ending will surely make you cry.

The anime teaches us how precious love is and how little it takes to lose something we hold dear.

 

2. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Misaki and Usui
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 26

Synopsis

Misaki Ayuzawa doesn’t have it easy – she is the first female student council president after her school just transitioned from an all-boys high school to a co-ed one. She might appeal ambitious and well-disciplined at school but also has another side – Misaki works part-time as a maid at a maid café to help her family financially.

Everything seems to be well hidden until one day her whole life turns upside down when some of the school’s students visit the maid café where she works.

What people love about it 

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! is having an unoriginal premise of a slightly tsundere girl falling for a “bad boy” who is actually kind.

But… there is something about Maid-sama! what makes you want to watch it more and more with each episode. I am actually not sure what it is – maybe it’s the development of the relationship between Misaki and Usui, maybe it’s the overall motivational feeling you get from hard-working Misaki, or the whole rom-com light-hearted situation that cheers you up.

In any case, this anime is amazing and I love to come back to it at least once per year.

Related: 7 Cute Anime Like Kaichou-wa Maid Sama!

 

1. Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou)

Natsume
  • Genres: Slice of Life, Demons, Supernatural, Drama, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 13

Synopsis

Natsume Yuujinchou follows Natsume, a fifteen-year-old boy who has always been chased by youkai. He soon discovers that his deceased grandmother passed him a Book of Friends, containing sealed youkai hoping to attain their lost freedom. Natsume, along with his companion, Madara, endeavors to free the youkai bound by his grandmother’s contract.

What people love about it 

Natsume Yuujinchou (season 6) is the highest-rated shoujo of all time (according to MAL’s users).

The other seasons of this anime are included within the top best-rated shoujo on MAL multiple times.

Some people would argue that this anime is not even shoujo due to a lack of female main character, which could not be further from the truth. In reality, shoujo = series marketed to young females.

The show itself is doing a great job with the storytelling, the characters, and also with playing with your emotions. It’s very touching and light-hearted.

 

Misaka

Hi, my name is Mia and I'm the founder of 9 Tailed Kitsune. I love anime, games, and esports (I am also a bit weird). My passion for anime sparked when I was about 7 (Phantom Thief Jeanne, hello!) and has never stopped.

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