One of the best things I love about shoujo stories is the blushing expressions. Especially if the manga has that sparkle shoujo aesthetic from the artwork, the atmosphere from the panels has this wholesome effect over you. Since getting back into manga these past few months here are 5 titles that I’ll happily pick up anytime for blushes alone.
The following image must have been you during your whole time of loving manga?
Shoujo is a demographic in all I’ve read spread out has left me feeling wholesome from any setting. Part of that wholesome comes from cute artwork with all the twinkle and sparkle. I don’t think you cannot deny particularly for romances set in high school that is something special in those artworks. The cute and fluffy effect leaves a innocent, adosoleicent atmosphere that is impossible to deny falling for. The worst lure in for me is the beating red faces of character blushes. Unlike in any other mediums the way blushes are expressed, and drawn in manga is something magical to me. These special expressions stop you in your tracks, leave a fluttering goodness inside of us and weed their way into our hearts so easily. They know the heart.
During my time this year getting back to manga I wanted to share 5 titles currently I’m reading still or completed that stopped me in my tracks every time. These are wholesome, fun-filling shoujo titles to give a read and you’re girl Lita needs in her collection stat.
1. Kiss Me At The Stroke Of Midnight
This romantic comedy was my very first manga read in six years and I picked up beginning of this year. We all like our daydreams and fantasy of good things (possibly naughty things) about our favourites celebrities or fairytale romance, us girls would all like. Reality don’t work that way, Author Rin Mikimoto takes this relatable romance desire we have and puts a hilarious fun spin in Kiss Me At The Stroke Of Midnight. Hinana is a goody two shoes appearing on the outside to others, excels in school well but leads a boring life. Secretly she is a romance fanatic and dreams of prince charming, having that fairytale romance.
Hinana thinks she finds that with celebrity hottie Kaede, coming to her school to shoot a movie. Accidentally bumping into him, she peeks his curiosity and Hinana discovers Kaede is far from a prince. The first volume had me dowsed in laughter especially the epic comedic faces from Hinana and Kaede. Main pair are two peas in a pod, couple of oddballs that work well together, Kaede cracks me up most with his secret butt fetish. Hinana idealism of romance turns into a bit of a fetish as well down the track, Kaede feeling the pressure then to live up to her expectations. Hinana has the big expectations of love that were all blinded by as a novice but experiencing many firsts along with Kaede. Their blushing expressions are genuine and pure especially from Hinana. An innocent and comedic pair I’ve loved following their relationship grow. Author Rin Mikimoto has a lovely art for big patchy blushes that encompass along side her cute comic relief art style.
This is a title currently I’m collecting and best romantic comedy anything I’ve loved in a long time. As we go down the list the dose of blushing and blushes just gets worse.
2. Idol Dreams
If you don’t know who Arina Tanemura is in the shoujo demographic, you will after this. Although you may know past titles Phantom Thief Jeanne, Sakura-Hime. Arina Tanemura next to Yu Watase was one of the first manga authors I feel in love with for their work. Arina is known for her distinct cutesy art style among her works, progressively getting better with each series. Finding out she had a publishing new work Idol Dreams, I nearly screamed the roof down. Idol Dreams compared to her past work is different as Arina wanted to attempt adult modern day approach to this series. At 31 Chikage has let many chances pass her by, at a class reunion she is humiliated someone screaming aloud she’s still a virgin. Chikage runs into an old friend who suggests her to take an experimental drug they’ve worked on, turning her back to 15 years old.
I’ve only read first two volumes but it didn’t take long to be swallowed by Arina Tanemura’s art style. She has brought her A game in Idol Dreams, her artwork has levelled up. The shoujo aesthetic is to die for particularly the backgrounds, every panel is wholesome visually and refreshing. This modern day take of hers, it’s paid off well for her, Chikage is an easy character to have an instant connection with as someone of my age bracket. The scientific twist of Chikage going back to fifteen to fulfil her childhood dreams to be an idol is endearing. Makes the plot slightly complex for where things could go but keeps you on your toes. Arina’s blushes now compared to her other titles for me have become. . . deadly showing off their innocent flare like no tomorrow. Twisting my feels inside out but it’s all good. Arina has blossomed once more.
Wholesome cute Idol Dreams you won’t be disappointed over here!
3. Hatsu Haru
Next two titles after this are the worst, this fluffy high school romance took me by surprised, I was not ready. Hatsu Haru I saw floating around on instagram earlier this year, the pastel manga covers initially drew me in. I went in with very low expectations so far reading the first three volumes curtesy of my library, Now I feel dumb. The typical high school formula for a romance like this, Playboy Kai knows how to woo the girls, running into tomboy Riko leaves him starstruck. Not at all his cup of tea, stubborn, short-tempered but begins to fall for her anyway.
Playboy characters like Kai never draw me in quickly or never at all. Kai was different, from never falling for a girl truly watching his progression through first three volumes was heartfelt and warming. I blame the god damn bedazzling, artwork that makes you feel like your sitting on cloud nine. Their is a harmonious, heavenly feel from this manga’s artwork that makes the moments between Riko and Kai gorgeously addictive. Use of soft pastel blushes are utilises well in every scene in combination with this dreamy atmosphere, it’s how I feel when I’m eating favourite ice cream. I underestimated this high school romance things right now are one-sided out of the main pair and it’s tearing my heart out right now.
Hatsu Haru is coming to my shelves, and it reminds me of when I eat strawberry ice
4. So Cute It Hurts
We’re onto the two out of this list that . . . have killed my heart. None is better than the other because their equal. Another high school romance I underestimated entirely, recommended to me by a close friend. Go Ikeyamada where has this author been hiding from? Stunning shoujo aesthetic, Ikeyamada blew me away with her saturating art style. This author draws out cutesy to the max so much so matching the title So Cute It Hurts. Their artwork literally is so cute it HURTS my heart and if we’re talking blushing expression factor here, it’s over one million percent – let’s go beyond that.
My pictures don’t even do the manga panels justice, they really don’t. So Cute It Hurts, I’ve only just started in August, volume one left me stunned. Currently up to volume 5 and the heart feels shot. . . this series is 15 volumes long. The characters haven’t helped my heart either focusing on the kobayashi twins Megumi and Mitsuru. Mitsuru convinces Megumi to cross dress as him at his school to cover a week’s worth of makeup exams. The twins cross dress as each other but falling in love with someone from one another’s schools wasn’t part of the plan. Megumi falls for shy delinquent Sanada, Mitsuru falls for Sanada’s sister Shino.
Sanada and Megumi moments embody that ultimate shoujo aesthetic, the detail is insane in every panel their in. No. . . every panel is insanely detailed in this manga. Megumi is an automatic draw in loves history and is a otaku gamer, Sanada shy hottie with a eye patch and physiological issue getting close to women. It’s makes for an interesting mixture Megumi is very forth coming, how Sanada responds to this is awkward. These moments exampling between the pair, artwork floors me. Whole artwork does, can’t believe how much I’ve come to love this series already. The atmosphere set through ever volume is comforting and satisfying, comedy aspect of this rom com is hysterical bonus. Right now twist and turns are being thrown at me along with artwork so cute it hurts BAD!
I felt obsessed with a shoujo like this in a long while, trust me on the artwork for this one. This series can be cheesy as hell but it can saturate me all it wants, we’re here for it over here!
5. Honey So Sweet
So Cute It Hurts hurt my heart this title hurts my cavities. I remember as a kid begging my parents for a giant rainbow lolly pop, the sweetness impact no way I could finish. Honey So Sweet reminds of sucking on that giant ass lollypop, and it’s sugar sweetness ten fold. I heard about this series from a fellow youtuber friend’s video, diving into half way of volume one, it was all too much. Taiga a misunderstood delinquent falls for Nao after one rainy day leaving him bandages and umbrella – from getting into a fight over kids bullying a turtle. Taiga ask Nao out with the idea of marriage in mind, Nao rejects him at first but slowly begins to the Taiga for who he was.
Honey So Sweet is the best pick up you could ever ask for in all I’ve read from the demographic thus far. Taiga and Nao’s growing relationship is the purest, towards new found confidence and being more vocal as individuals. Nothing but wholesome goodness you’ll receive from this innocent adolescent. Author Amu Meguro like Go Ikeyamada shoujo aesthetic, you’re drowning in every page. Blushes dosage is off the charts with this one, throughout their is purest atmosphere and the precious moments glistening in this illuminating light. I completed this title earlier this year and had never felt so saturated with sin, this series was too pure for me as Lita is not all pure.
If you would love to know more thoughts I did a seperate post here
Hope in this list you find a new shoujo to check out, these are all wholesome reads whether I’m reading currently or have completed. Well only one I’ve completed is Honey So Sweet but regardless, the on-going on reads have been top draw for me. Shoujo aesthetic in every one is bloody stunning and blushes . . . I’m left drowning in a sea of aesthetic goodness.
What shoujo has left you drowning in a sea of aesthetic? Do tell me because I might like to stay under the surface for eternity?
I’ll see you all in the next post !!