I’ve been wanting to do another manga recommendations list for a bit. And I decided that this time, I just have to go for josei manga. Josei manga is manga series aimed at women 16+, and is, therefore, a little more mature than shoujo. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re smutty, and there are actually quite a few series that are fantasies focused on male protagonists, but they still have pretty art styles.
As someone who loves fantasy with pretty boy characters, and doesn’t mind a bit of fujobait as unpopular as that can be (I understand queerbaiting is wrong, but it’s still fun to see these pretty boys have fun interactions), that kind of josei is definitely for me.
Most of the series on this list will be fantasy josei, as that’s the kind I tend to read. So if you’ve wandered over here from my BL list, there will be stuff you will enjoy too. I do have to say that one of these series is a little older and maybe a bit more difficult to get, but I had to include it.
If you’re looking for stunning art, is this series for you. This is a manga series that only ended in Japan last year, so the English translation still isn’t finished. I’ve been in love with this one for a few years, and I just want to gobble it all up. The volumes are all bigger than your traditional manga book, but that just means you get more story in one go.
In this series, you follow Gareki and Nai. Gareki is an orphan who’s been stealing things to get money. One day during a theft, he stumbles across this strange white-haired boy. During the theft, they’re attacked by some kind of monster, and they meet a team from CIRCUS, a group that travel around fighting these monsters and then put on a show afterwards.
If you like your fantasy to be a little dark, this one definitely goes there. Some of the monsters backstories can be sad, and I know later on there really are some character twists that you won’t see coming. I love this series so much, and I have to recommend it to all.
Devils and Realist
This is the series where the volumes may be a little difficult to get. The early ones, at least. Devils and Realist is set in Victorian England. It follows a young man called William, who is a self-proclaimed realist. One day he returns to his family estate to find out why his school fees haven’t been paid, and he stumbles through a portal to hell. In hell, he is told that he’s the descendent of Soloman, and that means that now Lucifer has slept for so long, he needs to decide which demon should become next.
If you’re looking for something funny with some very emotional moments, this series could be for you. It definitely has some good action scenes. It has some dark moments as well. I really feel for my save Sytry’s ‘family’ life for one thing oof.
As I said, this one might be difficult to get now, but it’s so worth it. Every time I pick one of these volumes up, I’m filled with joy. I’d love to see others love this one too.
My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom
Finally, a series with a female protagonist and one that has a lot of spin-off series. If you’re looking for a series with the opportunity F/F ships, then this one is for you. It’s a reverse harem isekai series, and it’s so much fun.
Catarina is the villain in an otome game, but one day after banging her head, she remembers that she had a life before this and now is living out her life in this game. The character of Catarina dies in the game, and the new Catarina is determined to survive and live a quiet life. She decides to do all she can to better her chances, and by doing so, she makes all the other characters fall in love with her, including her rivals.
I believe the anime for this one is ongoing, and as well as the original light novels, there are a few spin-offs. I’ve even seen a yuri anthology that’s coming out for the series, and yeah, it is official. I love this series so much, and though I do have one preferred ship, I’m going to keep consuming all the content I can.
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard
The final series on this list I probably shouldn’t be recommending as I’ve yet to read it. Or watch the anime either. But it’s one that I’ve been wanting to read for so long, and it’s finally coming out in English. I have preordered volume 1, so I’ll be getting to this one with the rest of you.
Usually, I’d write a new summary, but since I don’t really know what it’s about, I’m just going to copy from Amazon. When Japanese college student Seigi Nakata rescues a handsome young jewellery appraiser from a group of drunken assailants, he gets more than he bargains for! The appraiser is Richard Ranashinha de Vulpian, a brilliant and mysterious British jewellery expert. Seigi hires Richard to appraise a ring left to Seigi by his grandmother…and the adventures are just beginning. Together, they unlock the secret messages hidden in the hearts of jewels–and those who possess them.
You might be wondering how I can be recommending this one if I’ve not read it? As well as having a friend really into it, this series is published in Monthly Comic Zero Sum. The other three series on this list have been from there too, which means I trust it, and I’ve flicked through the chapters in the issues I own. The art is stunning, it’s a mystery, and I just think it looks so good.
So that’s it for this recommendation list. I may wind up doing a second josei post, or I may move straight onto seinen manga. We’ll see.
What do you guys think? Do you have any josei recommendations?