*This is Part 3 of a 3-Part Post Series.  Enjoy!

Read:  10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 1)
Read: 10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 2)

This is the third and last set of 10 romance manga in this 3-part series that I personally recommend with strong or talented heroines.  Please note that the titles in this list are not limited to the shoujo genre.  Enjoy!

10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 3):

10. Grand Sun (グランドサン)
By Emura (絵夢羅).  I like the premise:  female bodyguard to a hot, rich guy.  The art style is nice enough.  Asahi, the heroine, is physically strong but nowhere the level of Tsukasa from Tokyo Crazy Paradise.  The romance is average and to be honest, it’s a bit too predictable for my taste.  Plenty of my fellow shoujo manga fans recommend this manga and shriek that they love it, but for me it’s so-so.  Still I’ll recommend this manga because it’s a nice enough one to pass time with.

grand sun by emura

9. Arakure (アラクレ) / Wild Ones
By Fujiwara Kiyo (藤原規代).  The premise is similar to Gokusen but with a lot nicer artwork.  Like Yankumi of Gokusen, Sachie is the granddaughter of a yakuza boss and she does her best to hide her yakuza background at school.  To be honest, reading this after the awesome Gokusen ruined it for me.  I was very excited about the nicer artwork, but the story is a lot weaker compared to Gokusen.  However, the romance aspect is definitely stronger and more blatant in Arakure.  The ending is a little disappointing, but overall this is an enjoyable read.

arakure by fujiwara kiyo

8. Matsuri Special (まつりスペシャル)
By Kamio Youko (神尾葉子), author of Hana Yori Dango and Cat Street, just to name a few.  This manga is really good, I’m telling you.  It’s not as awesome as Hana Yori Dango or even Cat Street, but it’s a fun read with a kick-ass heroine.  Matsuri is physically strong—she’s a wrestler for goodness’ sake!  Ya go, girl!  But even then, I’m not her biggest fan because it seems to me that most of the things she does are predictable and she annoys me sometimes.  Nevertheless, the romance is good—not as hot as HYD, but still romantic.  Read this!
P.S. To those of you who are wondering, I didn’t include Hana Yori Dango in any of these lists because I only watched the live-action drama.  I haven’t read the manga or watched the anime.

matsuri special by kamio youko

7.  Beauty Pop (ビューティーポップ)
By Arai Kiyoko (あらい きよこ).  This manga is so adorable!  I read this when I was in my teens and I loved it!  I’m not a fan of its cutesy art style now that I’m an adult, but I still read it now and then just because the story is entertaining.  Kiri is a very talented hairstylist, and that’s her main strength.  Her other strength is her strong mentality.  She’s like Kujou of Last Game in that she’s emotionless and kind of dense when it comes to the romantic tensions with the harem of guys surrounding her.  The romance is very teeny-bopper, but it’s so adorable.  I recommend this to those looking to read something light and funny.

beauty pop by arai kiyoko

6. Horimiya (ホリミヤ)
Original story/webtoon by HERO and illustrated by Hagiwara Daisuke (萩原ダイスケ).  Oh my gosh.  This manga is HOT!  Where have you been all my life, Horimiya?  It was originally a webtoon published by HERO on his website.  I’m so glad that they decided to publish it with a much-much-much better art by Hagiwara Daisuke.  The premise is similar to Switch Girl in that the main characters present different appearances and personalities to the public compared to how they really are in private.  I really like Hori.  She’s smart and confident, but also very responsible especially in the matters of running a household.  Miyamura is hot, too, with his bad-ass piercings and tattoos which he does everything to hide from school.  The chemistry between them is electric and I love the two of them together.  Must-read!

horimiya by hero - art by daisuke

5. Vampire Knight (ヴァンパイア騎士ナイト)
By Hino Matsuri (樋野 まつり).  All the characters in this manga are beautiful!  I don’t care what others say, I love this manga!  The incest element is kinda iffy initially, but the story did a great job in justifying it as a normal occurrence to preserve a pure vampire bloodline instead of something forbidden unlike a lot of other incest romance manga.  The anime is also pretty good, and I wish that they adapt the rest of the manga.  Crossing my fingers.  Yuki is strong but not perfectly.  She can fight, yes, and she’s stronger than the average human girl, but she’s also helpless against vampires. . .that is, until her vampire blood is awoken inside her.  There are many times that she annoys me, but the hot guys especially Zero and Kaname calm my annoyance with her.  I’m with Team Kaname but I’m not happy with the things he did in the end.  Poor Zero.  He deserves better.  The tragic ending is satisfying in a way but it’s still tragic so. . .(sniffs and wipes a tear).  Read this!

vampire knight by hino matsuri

4. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (となりの怪物くん) / My Little Monster
By Robico (ろびこ).  I love this!  So romantic and funny!  It’s kind of similar to Special A where the heroines constantly try to compete academically for the #1 spot against the heroes and the heroes effortlessly defeat them.  Shizuku is very intelligent but she’s also socially clumsy, her fashion sense questionable—and I like that.  It makes her more relateable.  The relationship of Shizuku and Haru is a mixture of drama and hilarity, and I just can’t get enough of the two of them.  The manga ended perfectly.  I love it!  Highly recommended!

tonari no kaibutsu-kun by robico

3. The One (獨領風騷) 
Manhua by Nicky Lee.  This is the hottest romance title among this list.  Whoo!  It’s getting hot in here.  The art is beautiful.  It’s like Skip Beat! in that it’s set in showbiz, well, kind of—at least consider modelling as show business.  But The One is like Skip Beat! on crack.  It’s darker, definitely more adult with a lot of sex and booze.  The heroine, Lele, is a naturally talented model with both her deceased parents former models.  She’s mentally strong but not without vulnerabilities.  The romance. . .well, what can I say?  It’s freaking hot and I love it!  The ending is very satisfying.  Highly recommended!

the one by nicky lee

2. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (赤髪の白雪姫) / Snow White With The Red Hair
By Akizuki Sorata (あきづき空太).  I’m a bit resentful that this got a second anime season while Akatsuki no Yona fans like myself are left hanging with only a first season to watch.  Frankly, I think that Yona is way better than Shirayuki but oh well, I’m not the one who’s making the anime.  Now that little rant is out of the way, let me say that I still love Akagami.  I’m not the biggest fan of its art style and I find the story just a bit too tame compared to Yona, but there is definitely stronger romance here than in Yona.  The heroine, Shirayuki, is a hardworking and a skilled herbalist.  I like how she uses her herbal skills to slowly climb the social ladder, but I resent that she has to work so hard to attain a higher social rank to be more acceptable as Prince Zen’s potential marriage partner.  But I guess that’s the point of the story so I can’t complain much.  Highly recommended.

akagami no shirayukihime by sorata

1. Saiunkoku Monogatari (彩雲国物語) / The Story of Saiunkoku
Story by Yukino Sai (雪乃紗衣) and illustrated by Yura Kairi (由羅カイリ).  I can’t remember how many times I’ve recommended this to others.  It topped both of my reverse harem lists here:  “My Love Affair With Reverse Harem” and “6 Must-Watch Reverse Harem Anime With Beautiful & Meaningful Stories”.  The main strength of Shuurei, the heroine, isn’t her combat skills but her intellect, wisdom, compassion, and determination to be the first woman to hold a government office in history.  Ya go, girl!  The romance is, oh my gosh, so romantic!  There are so many hurdles in her romance with Emperor Ryuuki—and additionally there are a lot of other hot guys surrounding her—so you can really feel the serious romantic drama in this series.  The political aspect gives the story depth which I love.  Highly recommended to the highest level!

saiunkoku monogatari manga

And that’s it for this 3-part post series of my Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists.  But this isn’t the end.  There are still a lot of amazing romance manga out there with kick-ass heroines, so I’ll continue compiling them.  Feel free to help me out by sharing your favourite romance manga that have strong main female characters.  You’ve already recommended great titles to me in Parts 1 & 2, so please do so again here in Part 3.  I’m always delighted to receive recommendations that sound interesting.  When I’ve compiled enough, who knows? Perhaps there’s going to be a Part 4 and so on?  Looking forward to that.

Read:  10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 1)
Read: 10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 2)

Happy reading, my fellow romance manga fans!  Cheers!


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Published by Arria Cross

Blogger at fujinsei.com since 2014. Currently a webnovelist. Check out my work "His Genius is a Superstar".

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  1. I saw your list cause I really need a strong female protagonist that doesn’t need a guy so I checked it out and I thought I’d tell you about Mizutama honey boy. It is also a good manga with a strong female lead although it can get annoying at times. Basically, the guy is the girly one and the girl is the more masculine of the couple. I highly recommend it.


  2. Hi! I am also a fan of akatsuki no yona and also very upset about not having season 2 faster. Anyway, I stumbled across your list and decided to read red river, and I was like OH MY GOSH I REALLY LOVED ITTTTT 😂😍 wah. Thanks really! Ur an angel
    Want to ask if you know any other manga with historical, romance and way too cool and string heroines???


  3. Where is *Sunako Nakahara from *Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge(aka.perfect girl evolution). I highly recommend it for shoujo comedy lover. Its my favourite shoujo manga. The main female lead is strong both mentally and physically and stubborn in quite a funny way. She is a oddball( loves horror and gore). And she hate beautiful people,also called radiant creatures by her. I love how she reacts to so called “radiant creatures”.


  4. personally i’d recommend othello- it’s got the “split personality” trope, but it’s very well done in my opinion. the main character, yaya, alternates with her split personality nana (who comes out whenever yaya looks at her reflection and / or things are going badly for her). nana is very physically and mentally strong in order to make up for / protect the weak side, yaya (she’s such a badass although i can’t go into much context without spoiling), but eventually yaya becomes mentally stronger as well and goes through some awesome character development. there’s also a good element of romance in it and the romantic interest is very likable, and the art style is really pretty. i didn’t get annoyed with this manga at all, and i go back to it every so often since i love it so much. i recommend it to anyone, to be honest.


  5. I’m so glad I found these lists, and I was soooooo pumped that you had Skip Beat on it, it’s one my favorite series 🙂
    Have you read 1/2 Prince? If not you should! I was a little disappointed you didn’t have it on one of your lists tbh but I hope you make one with it on 😛
    I have some more suggestions if you’d consider some of them?:

    Nekota no Koto ga Ki ni Natte Shikatanai
    Song of the Long March(highly recommend)
    Seishun x kikanjuu
    (Idol Shopping
    He’s Dedicated to the Roses
    Crazy Girl Shin Bia) these three are all by the same author who wrote Hot-blooded Woman, I haven’t read all her works but I’m pretty sure they all have strong female protagonists
    Superior Cross(sequel to Superior)
    Fenglin Tianxia – Wangfei Shisansui

    I hope I’ve managed to fill up even just a little of your to read read list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! I have read 1/2 Prince, including most of the titles you mentioned here, except for , Nekota no Koto ga Ki ni Natte Shikatanai, Song of the Long March, and Fenglin Tianxia – Wangfei Shisansui. I’ll check these 3 out, thanks!

      I’m still working on compiling the next list in this recommendation series of romantic manga with strong female leads. That’s why there are still so many titles that aren’t included in these list.

      Thanks for dropping by and for the recommendations. Keep on reading manga. Cheers!


    1. Hi Rachel,
      I’m glad that you enjoyed this list. I hope to add more lists like this…when I’m not feeling too lazy, that is. 😉
      And yes, I have read Reimei no Arcana. And I’m looking for the opportunity to add to a future manga list like this sometime in the future. Thank you! Happy reading. Cheers!


  6. Hi! Have you tried reading P.A. (Private Actress) ? Is a very good one, the daughter of a famous actress works incognito in real life (not for showbiz industry) and while playing the different roles she’s asked (fiancee, lover, high school student…) sometimes she finds herself in dangerous and even life-threatening situations, but she is definitely strong. Sadly it’s short but i think there’s a sequel. You’ll love it!! (even more if you’re fan of Skip Beat! although there isnt all that revenge plot, but there’s also romance so dont worry 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Nigaria! Yes, I hunted for it and I read it because of your recommendation. Thank you very much! I enjoyed it. I wish there was more, so I’m a little unsatisfied but over all, I liked it very much. I like the premise. Thanks again!


  7. Read all of these, and definitely loved them all! Especially Kiri and Shizuku ❤ Have you read Takane to Hana yet? She’s definitely a strong female leads too xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! High five! Oh my gosh. Yes. Kiri so cool! No, I haven’t read Takane yet. It’s been recommended to me numerous times before, though. Is it really good like what they say? Thanks!


  8. To understand the appeal of Grand Sun, you have to read W-Juliet and its connected series. Based of your previous recommendations these would also qualify under Strong Female Protagonist. But W-Juliet has allot going for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I’ve read W-Juliet before…way before…years ago. I don’t really remember much about it anymore. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t include it in these lists. But I may reread again one of these days and consider it when I decide to create an additional list under this category. Thanks. Keep on reading manga. Cheers!


    1. Yes, I do write about josei as well. I have some josei titles from my hottest & sexiest romance manga recommendations series. Anyway, thanks for dropping and commenting. Keep on watching anime and reading manga. Cheers!


    1. I know, I know. I want a 2nd season so badly for Yona. There should be a 2nd season. The manga is so awesome, even more than Shirayuki, I daresay. And yes, do read some titles from this list. Thanks!


      1. I HUNGER for that second season, it went from thirst to hunger as time passes ;-;
        Shirayuki…I tried watching right after finishing Yona and kept comparing it and finding it less good, so I backed away until I can return to it without comparing xD;
        I will!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! Same here. Oh my gosh. So true. I looked for series similar to Yona and was immediately recommended Shirayuki & I just felt underwhelmed by it because Yona was just better. But I think that if I don’t compare the two, Shirayuki is a good series on its own. I’m just dismayed that we’re all still waiting for s2 of Yona.


      3. Yup, yup! They’re not even the same genres, their only common theme is being a shoujo and red-headed protagonists (༎ຶ⌑༎ຶ)
        I felt really underwhelmed too xD;
        I’m super sad we might not get that S2, I’ve been told the chances are slim because the dvds and blurays didn’t sell well ༼ ༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ༽


      4. I know, right? Same thing happened with a lot of my favourite manga that got anime adaptations but didn’t sell well so we didn’t get s2 of them. Sigh. So sad. I think I would have rated Shirayuki higher if I watched it before Yona.


      5. It always hurts my soul when that happens ;_;
        Like Oofuri not getting a S3 and S2 being small ;____;
        I would’ve enjoyed SHirayuki more before Yona too, maybe, not sure because lately I’m into fast-paced anime and little patience for slow. I’m a moody watcher, so depending on how I feel I don’t feel as keen for certain genres or paces :’D


      6. Oh my gosh. Same here. We were just talking about phases at the other post, and here I must agree with you about being a moody watcher. I’m a moody watcher too. That’s why I can’t bring myself to watch airing shows because if I have to wait an episode every week, I’ll lose my mood and end up dropping it.


      7. YOU’RE ME WOA, I’m exactly like that too! I lose momentum if I have to wait between epides and end up dropping it until years later x’D
        Ditto for manga, if I can’t bingeread or bingewatch, then forget about me keeping up with it :’D

        Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG OMG OMG! HORIMIYA! I love that one! (I need to catch up on it too; God, I don’t even remember where I left off with it.) It was so funny and amazing, aaaah~
    I’ve heard there was also an ova, but that it wasn’t that good. Did you watch it?

    My little monster—I actually watched a few episodes from that one. I have yet to read it and to complete watching it. Eek, where does time go?!

    Vampire Knight… everyone loves that… but me. xD I watched the anime there, a few years back. And one of my friends lent me one or two of the volumes to read. I’m not that much of a fan for that one, honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Noooooooo! I didn’t hear anything about any OVA for Horimiya. Aaaaaaah! Need to check it out. If there is one, well, I’ll see if it’s good or not.

      Read the My Little Monster manga. It’s so funny & romantic. And that ending/epilogue? Awesome!

      Aaaaaaw. That’s okay. Not everyone likes Vampire Knight. I like it. The ending was er tragically happy? Anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts about these series. I appreciate it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have yet to make time to look at it, but there’s a sequel to Vampire Knight. I was on the Zero train, though, so maybe that’s why I’ve been putting it off haha.

    This was a very educational series, by the way. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you mean the season 2 of the anime, yes, I meant both seasons when talked about the anime. I really liked it. The manga is really good, in my opinion. Not everyone agrees with me, though. Ahaha! No problem. And of course thank you very much for dropping by. I appreciate it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I thought the anime was decent, but I was referring to the manga’s supposed sequel. It’s called Vampire Knight Memories and focuses on Kaname living with [two spoiler characters]. Again, I haven’t checked this sequel out, but I thought it could be interesting.

        Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Arakure, Beauty Pop and The One was all ones that I especially enjoyed while reading. The One had a really good and interesting plot but all three of them also had really great characters. I’ve only watched the anime of My Little Monster and Akagami no Shirayuki-hime and I especially loved Akagami no Shirayuki-hime.
    I’m not caught up with Horimiya (every time I get caught up to a manga, I can never keep it up! I’m so bad at finishing manga) though I really liked it as well. I haven’t read much of Vampire Knight either…one day. =P
    I haven’t actually sat down to properly read a manga series in ages!
    Thanks for the other recs! I’ll keep it in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? I especially enjoyed The One like youm the art style is really pretty and the romance is mature and sexy. I love it! I also think that it ended well. As for Beauty Pop, I wish there was more but it was still great. Arakure is so-so, but the art is good.

      Oh my gosh. Do read My Little Monster manga. It’s so hilarious but very romantic too. The ending is really great because it showed an epilogue of them years after when they’re all very successful. I love those kind of epilogues. As for Akagami, I can’t help comparing it to Yona and I think that Yona is way better. But by itself Akagami is really good.

      Ehehehe. I know what you mean. Can’t waiy for Horimiya to end so that I can marathon it. 😉
      Not everyone likes Vampire Knight but I do. I hope that you get the chance to read it someday.
      And thanks very much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts about some of these series. I appreciate it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes! The One’s art style is so pretty and I was so happy and glad it had a good ending.
        I’ve heard many praises for the manga for My Little Monster. I kind of enjoyed the anime so hopefully I’ll like the manga more! The epilogue sounds nice…
        I haven’t read Yona either, loved the anime though. I think Yona is ongoing as well and I’ve been avoiding ongoing series. I’ll definitely read it once it’s completed. Though in all honesty, I would prefer a second season!
        Binge reading Horimiya sounds great too 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. Do read My Little Monster when you have the time. It’s really good. I hope there will be an anime adaptation for the rest of the manga.

        Actually, s1 of Yona anime is finished already. I’m crossing my fingers for another season. I’m kinda dismayed that Akagami got a s2 immediately while Yona didn’t.
        Ehehe! Let’s binge read Horimiya. I’m up to that. Thanks! 😉


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