Let’s stop being coy: the only genre of manga I can talk about with any degree of expertise is BL. Having said that though, I am not averse to a bit of shoujo every now and then, especially if it involves a little gender-bending and a lot of pretty boys.
So — in no particular order, here goes the list of my favorite shoujo manga from the past decade:
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge
What happens when you put together one socially awkward teenage girl, four gorgeous but woefully shallow young men, and a rent-free stay at a fabulous mansion with a living allowance to boot? I can tell you, or you can read Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge to find out for yourself.
Boku to Kanojo no XXX
Probably my favorite of favorites (and followed very closely by AiOre) BokuKano is more body-swap than gender-bender, and more “disaster of the century” than “minor inconvenience”. Uehara Akira and Momoi Nanako find themselves in each others bodies after a freak science experiment, and while Akira is trying his best (in Nanako’s body) to reverse the swap, Nanako is perfectly happy being a boy — and has a girlfriend to boot.
Things are complicated further when Akira’s best friend Senbongi decides that with Akira currently residing in a female body, it’s the best time to admit his feelings and ask her (him?!) to go steady. It has all the makings of my favorite BL manga, minus the naughty bits — I heart it very much 😀
Kimi ni Todoke
Although the female lead resembles YamaNade’s to a certain degree, the delicate way the story is handled distinguishes it from its more slapstick cousin. I’ve only read a few chapters so far but already I feel that this series is something special — if their circulation numbers are something to go by. Kimi ni Todoke has already topped sales charts in Japan, and its English-language licensed translation is one of the best-selling graphic novels in the international market.
Boku ni Natta Watashi
When honor student Takanashi Akira skips out on a prestigious private school scholarship, their distraught mother forces his naive fraternal twin sister Momoko to take his place. When Akira — or rather, Momoko is discovered to be a girl by her roommate Itou Kunio, the two do their best to keep the secret from being discovered by the rest of the school, and eventually fall for each other.
Yes, Momoko as Momoko makes me want to beat her brains out with a two by four, but Momoko as Akira is oddly endearing and has earned my grudging respect. So err — you go, girl!
Ai wo Utau Yori Ore ni Oborero!
YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW WHAT the best thing about AiOre is the fact that if you tilt your head sideways and squint a little, it’s no longer a shoujo title but a BL manga :D:D:D Mizuki is a handsome young lady who would make the perfect boyfriend, while unexpectedly raucous Akira is the petit “idol” of an all-boys school, and when the two decide to become a couple all hell breaks loose.
A gender-bending reverse-harem trope-killing mindfuck of epic proportions, this is the first shoujo title in the past ten years that actually made me want to go out and buy the manga, as opposed to simply borrowing them.
11 Comments Add yours
What’s the English titles of Kimi ni Todoke and Boku ni Natta Watashi?
“kimi ni todoke” is “arriving to you”, or “from me to you” to make it less awkward in the official VIZ translations. as for “boku ni natta watashi” it is literally “i have become me” — but take note that the possessive pronoun for “i” or “me” in japanese is different for boys (boku) and for girls (watashi/atashi); the context of what she’s saying is “i’ve become a boy”.
LOL sorry if the answer to your simple question has gotten so long-winded ^^;;
僕と彼女の××× I am looking for that! Are there scanlations up somewhere in the internet?
I came across the title when I was able to procure a copy of its very short dorama adaptation. The dorama is about 6 episodes long but every episode is only 15 mins. I am not sure if it belongs to the release only to cellphones market or maybe the one used as filler between regular dorama seasons but it was entertaining. I found out that it was from manga but I was not able to find the manga yet.
okay, i’m not supposed to be doing this, but as long as you promise to purchase the original manga in japanese or in english once the official license comes out, you can find fan scanlations here for the time being.
where can i find boku ni natta watashi?
you can purchase it from your favorite local comic book store like FULLY BOOKED or COMIC QUEST.
looks like we have the same favorites hehe
btw, did you know that kimi ni todoke has a live-action adaptation? 🙂 im sooooo excited hehe
yep — although i think it’ll be a challenge to match up real actors to the original character design :DDDDD
I love your Boku ni Natta Watashi review. I’ll make sure to put it in my manga list.
PS: Why are people so into kimi ni todoke? I envy you for seeing something special in it that I didn’t
Oh my god!
We have the exact same tastes:)
It was so difficult for me to find good recommendations for gender-bender stories, thank god I found your article:)
I LOVE YOU:)
Aha, have to agree with Boku to Kanojo no XXX (I know it as My Barbaric Girlfriend), Kimi ni Todoke and Boku ni Natta Watashi (it was fun to read, but I also found Momoko annoying), and Ai wo Utau Yori Ore ni Oborero! has me curious.
But as for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, I think the English publications we find in NBS don’t run all the chapters. I’ve read scanlations, and the volume numbers don’t seem to match the published ones (probably because it has a lot of redundant chapters) I see at the bookstore. I could be wrong about the chapters published, but despite me loving Sunako and enjoying her antics, after a hundred chapters of almost no progress between her and Kyouhei, it seems plausible that they cut out some chapters. I heard the series actually has an ending and seems promising too, so I guess I’ll go try it instead. As for the manga, I don’t think I’ll be reading it anymore.