While there are lots of popular anime shows, within the broader spectrum of this animation style there are different story genres. Shoujo anime is specifically romance or romantic comedies. This genre of anime stands out among fans and always tugs at the heartstrings and it’s the shows that do this best that are the top Shoujo anime.
Shoujo anime has been around in Japan since the 60s. The first anime of this kind, Sally the Witch, was released in 1964. Girls loved this series because the lead was female, which had never been showcased before. Since then, romantic anime has grown in popularity, with the release of more shows and manga to go along with it.
Are you looking for your next Shoujo anime to watch? Got an account on CrunchyRoll you’re dying to break in? Here you will find a whole list of the top Shoujo anime shows from the 2010s.
OrangeThe story of Orange follows Takamiya Naho and Naruse Kakeru, and their love story. Each episode makes you wonder if they will ever be together as each problem they face pushes them farther apart.
The other side of the story is about their group of friends and all of the adventures they face together. They reunite years later after they graduate and share their stories. Like any other students, they went through emotional issues. This show deals with the hardships of growing up, depression, and even suicide.
During their high school days, they put together a time capsule. When they meet again years later, they decide to open it. The friends realized that there were so many things they could have done to make the past better. This makes them want to write notes to their past selves, telling them what they wish they did in certain situations.
The story gets interesting when you find out that their past selves receive the letters. Will they believe the words they read or will the past stay the same?
Wolf ChildrenWolf Children is a beautiful love story about a woman, Hana, living in Japan. She attends a college class where she meets a man who has been sneaking into her classes. He does not have the money to go to college, but he always shows up. She starts talking to him and learns about his mysterious life.
They become good friends and fall in love. Nothing can rip these two apart. While they are poor, they decide to get married and have children. One night, when they are together, the man turns into a wolf. Hana is so enchanted by this and isn’t scared at all. In fact, she completely trusts him. This kind of unwavering love is quite common in the most popular Shoujo anime shows.
Hana’s husband is always telling her wolf stories. The fact that she accepts him for who he is shows the true beauty of this movie.
Unfortunately, Hana’s husband meets his demise when he falls into a ditch and tragically dies. She is left with a baby girl and pregnant with her second child. The city they are living in is unkind, expensive, and full of sad memories. This forces them to flee to an old house in a small town in the countryside.
They fix up the house and make it their own. Hana raises her children near the woods and sends them to a small school. Yet the ultimate challenge is: how do you raise children that are half-human and half-wolf?
Fruits BasketFruits Basket has always been a popular Shoujo anime since the late 2000s. However, the original anime didn’t tell the whole story from the manga. That allowed TMS Entertainment to reboot the show and add more of the original story to the new series.
The story starts with a young high school girl, Honda Tohru, who lives alone in a tent in the middle of the forest. Her mother has died some time ago, and she decided to live on her own so she would not burden relatives. One day when she is walking around the forest, she finds a house that shelters the Sohma family.
She meets the man of the house, Shigure, who is an author and ultimately takes care of the other residents.
The Sohma family decides to take her in, despite Tohru’s efforts to stay out of their way. Tohru decides that her payment for their generosity will be cooking and cleaning. Each episode is a new adventure with Tohru and the Sohma family. Fans can watch as each character’s personality and bonds with the others grow.
Yuri On IceYuri On Ice is a short anime series that follows a young ice skater, Katsuki Yuri, and how he goes from zero to hero. Katsuki has been in competitive ice skating for a very long time. One day, he loses a competition so badly, he decides to quit.
He does not regain his inspiration until, one day, his favorite ice skater, Victor Nikiforov, comes to visit Japan. This lovely Russian skater decides he wants to train Yuri and make him the best. Coincidentally, Victor is training another competitive ice skater who also goes by the name of Yuri.
Unfortunately, the two Yuri’s hate each other and want nothing to do with one another. Affection triangles and romantic angst are key elements to popular Shoujo anime.
As training goes by, the boys’ skating skills improve, and Yuri’s love for Victor grows deeper and deeper. Victor loves coaching, but his career is always following closely behind. He is constantly reminded that quitting his own skating career to take on coaching is a bad idea.
Will Victor be able to get Yuri to the top or will Victor’s loyalty to his career keep him from being able to complete his coaching?
Yona Of The DawnYona Of The Dawn is a beautiful story set in a fictional land called the “Kouka Kingdom.” The anime is very Korean-inspired in clothing and architecture. The plot is about a princess, Yona, whose life falls apart when the prince that she loves kills her father, King Il.
The prince plans to take over the kingdom because King Il was a pacifist and he believes the world is suffering because of it.
Yona’s bodyguard takes her far away so that the prince doesn’t kill her as well. Along their journey throughout the kingdom, Yona learns all about the people and towns they pass through. Yona has never left the palace, and for the first time, she sees what problems lie outside of her rich lifestyle.
Yona has always been weak, but she wants to avenge her father. She learns to fight and befriends these special men who represent powerful dragons. Together, they train, build allies, and ultimately go against the evil prince. During this training, her bond with her bodyguard grows deeper.
They want so desperately to protect each other, but they both want to fight as well. The anime really makes you feel for them when one of them gets injured.
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Kimi Ni Todoke
Kimi Ni Todoke is a lovely and funny Shoujo story between Kuronuma Sawako and Kazehaya Shota.
Sawako is a cute Japanese high school freshman. She has no confidence and thinks she is quite ugly. Unfortunately, the opinions of others at her school don’t help either. Everyone calls her “Sadako” because she looks like the ghost from the horror film The Ring. Sawako’s classmates spread rumors that she can curse people and talk to ghosts.
Sawako doesn’t believe that she is pretty enough to have any boy, especially love interest Shota. Our male lead is popular and desired by every other girl in school. Throughout the series, Sawako tries to learn how to love herself and be confident. Luckily she has the help of her friends and Shota.
With each episode, Shota becomes closer friends with Sawako. He is always there for her.
The Garden Of WordsThe Garden of Words is a short film is only 45 minutes long, but it is a beautifully illustrated love story. A high school boy, Takao, decides to skip morning classes so he can spend his morning in a beautiful garden. When he gets there, he finds a young woman named Yukino sitting under a gazebo. They start talking and becoming friends.
This becomes routine. Takao comes every morning, talks with Yukino, and then goes to school.
One day when he visits the garden, Yukino tells him that she has a new job and she will not be back. Takao decides not to go to the garden anymore, but he discovers that Yukino is now a teacher at his school. Takao was so happy to see her again. He was developing feelings for her. However, you find out all along that she was developing feelings for him too.
She felt uncomfortable dating a minor, so she tries her best to get away from him. Takao tries so hard to convince her that they can be together. Will he be able to or will they go their separate ways?
Your Lie In AprilYour Lie In April is a very meaningful Shoujo anime series about a pianist, Arima Kousei. He is a genius when it comes to playing the piano. Yet when his mother dies, he no longer hears his music. He is depressed and can’t find the light.
One day, he meets a violinist named Miyazono Kaori. Seeing her play the violin brings Arima inspiration to play again. The two musicians decide to play together during a concert. Sadly, during the concert, he loses the music. He cannot hear anything, and hundreds of people are watching.
Kaori starts playing, allowing him to breathe. Arima watches her in awe and begins to play again. Arima loves playing with Kaori so much that he falls for her. Unfortunately, Kaori develops health problems that potentially will shorten her life.
All of the best Shoujo Anime keep viewers guessing! Will they be able to keep playing together or be with each other? Are both of their music careers over for good?
A Silent VoiceA Silent Voice is a sad film about a deaf child, Shouka, who transfers to a new school. Unfortunately, everyone in her class bullies her. A couple of girls are at least willing to hang out with the girl. However, one boy, in particular, Shoya, picks on her more than anyone.
Shoya rips her hearing aid out all the time, which makes Shouka’s ear bleed. He pushes her around on the playground and talks bad about her behind her back. Shouka finally decides to transfer schools. She doesn’t see most of these kids again until years later when she comes across Shoya.
All the sad memories start flooding back. She hates him, but he wants to make it right. Shoya hates the boy that he was and the memories of this deaf girl haunt his conscience. He goes to visit her at a deaf school that she attends to talk to her, as he attempts to mend the past. However, Shouka is skeptical.
Shoya put her through so much pain and agony. In spite of this, Shouka treats him with complete kindness. She even forgives him for his awful behavior. They become great friends and start to fall in love. While Shouka has forgiven Shoya for all of the pain he caused her, she can’t find happiness within her situation.
One night, when the two lovers go to a summer festival together, Shouka disappears. Shoya finds her standing on the edge of a balcony ready to jump. Shoya finds her and grabs her hand, but it is too late to pull her back up, so they fall together.
The plot of this Shoujo anime throws so many turns at you and invokes emotions quite well. It is very easy for the audience to get attached to the characters.
Snow White With The Red HairSnow White with the Red Hair is entertaining, especially if you love fairytales. The main character, Shirayuki, is an herbalist with bright red hair. She lives in an ancient kingdom with princes and princesses, and everyone there loves her.
She is smart and has been able to heal people with her medicinal concoctions.
One day, the prince decides that he wants a mistress, and when he sees Shirayuki, he immediately sends his guards off to get her. She doesn’t want to be forced to be a mistress for the prince’s selfish needs, so she flees. She cuts her beautiful hair to disguise herself from her kingdom’s guards.
Shirayuki wanders through the forest until she comes upon a large house. She sleeps outside of it, and when morning comes, a trio finds her. They question her and why she ran from the palace. Knowing that the king is trying to take her against her will, they decide to protect her.
Unfortunately, the guards find her in the house in the woods. Luckily, the love interest in the series, Zen, is a prince and can convince the King that his ways are wrong. From then on, Shirayuki and Zen become best friends and slowly start to fall in love.
Zen generously offers his home to Shirayuki so that she can be ruled under a new king. She gratefully accepts and decides she wants to be a royal herbalist. She gets to be with the prince all the time and do what she loves. With each episode comes a new adventure and it gets more and more interesting.