Anime News Network posted an interesting ranking from Japanese site Goo of what 500 women thought were the most overused shoujo manga tropes. As TV Tropes explains, tropes are not cliches, but when the whole manga is basically one of these main tropes after another…ugh. Bring something new to the table. A good manga needs at least one major difference or twist to help set it apart, especially in shoujo school life manga.
Shoujo – Romance, slice-of-life, drama
10 Volumes (complete)
Ninako is an ordinary girl who just doesn’t quite understand love. However, after the most popular boy in school, Ren, accidentally destroys her cell phone strap and replaces it, she starts to develop feelings for him. But Ren already has a girlfriend…
Hetalia Axis Powers
ヘタリア Axis Powers / Axis Powers ヘタリア
Seinen – 4-koma, comedy, historical, war
Tokyopop / Right Stuf print-on-demand
Will the world ever be at peace? Well, maybe. That is, if Italy gets out of the tomato box, Germany loosens up, and America quits trying to be the hero. Then France could stop picking fights with England (and visa versa), Japan could finally leave his room, and China would continue his pursuit of cuisine. And who knows what Russia is really thinking…
Until Death Do Us Part
死がふたりを分かつまで (Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu Made)
TAKASHIGE Hiroshi (Story), DOUBLE-S (Art)
Seinen – Action, war, mature, sci-fi
8 Volumes (24 Volumes original Japanese release) (ongoing)
Haruka, a girl with the ability to predict the future, is kidnapped by yakuza. Taking advantage of an opportune moment, she begs for help from a blind swordsman, Mamoru. Mamoru is part of a vigilante group and ends up agreeing to Haruka’s request to protect her “until death do [them] part”.
Note: this review has been updated and can be found here.
Shoujo – Romance, slice-of-life, drama, psychological
15 Volumes (original release), 8 volumes (bunko) (complete)
Out of print
Kira is rather shy girl who is good at drawing. One day, she runs into the school’s most popular guy, Rei, at a park. She helps him out by giving him a map and tries desperately to avoid any further interaction. When he compliments her drawing, however, the two form a rather unusual friendship which becomes something much deeper.