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Sometimes you just need a super-concentrated dose of wholesome teenage romance to brighten your day and restore your faith in humanity. Then again, what’s life without a little drama to liven things up a bit? In the world of romance manga, there’s a delicate balance to be found between cute couples, fluttering feelings, and teasing tsunderes! Kawaii dake ja nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie!) has something to offer for everyone. With an adorable high school romance and a tomboyish female lead, Shikimori has charmed fans of manga and anime alike! If you’ve already caught up on the manga, and are waiting for new episodes of the anime to drop, then we’ve got recommendations for manga like Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie! Join us love detectives here at Honey’s Anime as we navigate the ways of the heart! Today, we’re discussing 6 Manga like Kawaii dake ja nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie!).
Similar Manga to Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie! / Similar Manga to Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san
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We’re kicking off this list with Horimiya, which started life as an original webcomic before being adapted to manga by Hagiwara Daisuke (also the mangaka behind the age-gap one-shot Nenene). The central romance in Horimiya revolves around the titular characters, Hori and Miyamura. While Hori puts on the act of an “average, bubbly, teenage girl,” she’s secretly running a household and taking care of her younger brother while her mother struggles to support their family. Meanwhile, the quiet and unassuming Miyamura might look like a shy geek, but in fact, he’s got a rebel side complete with tattoos and piercings! When their secret lives crash together, these utter opposites find they have so much more in common than they could ever have expected. What ensues is a gorgeous love story about boundaries, identities, and expectations – along with a colorful cast of side characters every bit as endearing as the main leads! Hori and Miyamura have a strong, unshakeable bond, just like Shikimori and Izumi. Hori’s dominating, bossy side reminds us of Shikimori, while Miyamura’s tendency to be a bit submissive feels quite like Izumi. Their story might be slightly darker than Shikimori-san’s, but all the same, Horimiya is an excellent romance that reminds us that looks can be deceiving!
2. Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet)
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Did someone say “getting along like cats and dogs”?! In this Shakespearean-influenced romantic comedy, the star-crossed lovers from “Romeo and Juliet” are recast in a prestigious boarding school attended by students from two warring nations. Also, practically everything in Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet) is a delightful pun, so English majors will rejoice at the (not-so) subtle nods to the Bard. Leader of the first-year Touwa dorms, Romio Inuzuka (inu meaning “dog” in Japanese) is supposed to loathe everything about the Principality of the West. That includes their beautiful and spirited leader, Juliet Persia (a breed of cats, to complete the visual metaphors). Of course, true to Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet end up falling for each other and must keep their relationship under wraps or else have a diplomatic disaster on their hands! Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet) is perfect for readers who wanted a little more plot out of Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie! With the vague outline of the original play to serve as a setup, there’s plenty of dramatic rendezvous, silly “wars” between the dormitory houses, and a bunch of gender-swapped outfits, too! Who doesn’t love a classic enemies-to-lovers story?
3. Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen (Kaguya-Sama: Love is War!)
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Throughout its three anime seasons and 20+ volumes, Kaguya-sama has given us a taste of many different love tropes. The biggest and most persistent is, of course, the “refusing to confess their feelings” battle raging between student council president Miyuki Shirogane, and his vice-president, Kaguya Shinomiya. Boiling Kaguya-sama down like that feels quite reductive, because the series has equal highs of comedy, along with somber moments of introspection that the anime has yet to cover. For Shikimori lovers, you’ll enjoy the short gag-like format of the chapters, along with the bittersweet mix of love and mellowness; And of course, a veritable riot of laughs, too! As the series progresses, Miyuki and Kaguya’s romance ties up, and the second part of Kaguya-sama now revolves around secretary Miko Iino and treasurer Yu Ishigami. Their relationship is one of clashing sparks, with genuine care for each other buried beneath their complicated self-actualization. Phew! Who would’ve thought a comedy series would get so serious? There’s a lot to love about Kaguya-sama, with a little for everyone coming across from Shikimori-land, so we definitely recommend diving in!
Any Manga Like Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie! ? / Any Manga Like Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san
4. Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san (Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro)
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Shikimori is a tease, but never in a mean way – it’s just a charming part of her personality, especially because she loves getting Izumi flustered! But if you have a thing for cheeky girls and borderline bullying (hey, we’re not judging!), then take a look at Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san (Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro). Despite the title, Nagatoro isn’t an actual bully, although her constant teasing does stress her Senpai out! Their relationship might not start out entirely mutual, but over the course of the manga, Nagatoro’s Senpai does eventually warm up to her (and he even gets a real name after 102 chapters, ending one of the internet’s most beloved jokes). We like to think that Shikimori could have been more like Nagatoro if she didn’t have such a beautiful heart; And ultimately, Senpai and Izumi are both the easily-embarrassed sort, which leads to all sorts of silly moments and racing hearts. Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro is also ecchi-er than Shikimori, so readers who want some sexier content will also be happy with this pick!
5. Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! (Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!)
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Another kouhai/senpai relationship on our list, Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai (Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!) flips the script just a little, with the male lead Shinichi refusing to put up with the younger Uzaki’s constant pestering and teasing. A big recommendation for Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! is the setting – university. College-aged romances are rarely seen in manga, with high schoolers fitting the “folly of youth” ideals better and more frequently. That makes Uzaki-chan a great pick for older readers and helps the ecchi elements feel a little more natural. After all, Uzaki has a lot going on in the chest department compared to Shikimori, so y’know, that really matters for some of our readers (no judging, we swear!). If you wanted an aged-up version of something like Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro, or just love a constantly teasing girl, then you’ll love Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out – there are already five volumes out in English, and a great anime adaptation, too!
6. Sakurai-san wa Kidzuite Hoshii (Sakurai-san Wants to be Noticed!)
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The final recommendation on our list today is a 2022 debut, although it’ll be a short-run manga, finishing in just four volumes. Just because something’s short doesn’t mean it’s less meaningful, though, with Sakurai-san wa Kidzuite Hoshii (Sakurai-san Wants to be Noticed!) gathering lots of fans overseas ahead of its official translation. As the title suggests, Sakurai-san is all about getting noticed by your dense-as-a-brick-wall crush, and Sakurai has her eyes locked on her classmate, Makoto. He just…isn’t very receptive to matters of the heart, so Sakurai needs to try her hardest to get her message across! Sakurai isn’t as mean as Nagatoro, nor is she as overtly ecchi as Uzaki; she’s just a girl in love (and frustrated with her man!). Without spoiling too much of the plot, we can recommend Sakurai-san Wants to Be Noticed! for readers who enjoyed the fluffy feel-good pureness of Shikimori and Izumi’s interactions. Keep an eye out for Sakurai-san Wants to be Noticed when it hits the shelves in July of this year.
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Finding the right type of romance to read can be a difficult task, especially if there’s a manga that’s taken your fancy. There’s a lot to love about Kawaii dake ja nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie!), so our list above has tried to focus on a few different elements you might take away and enjoy in a more distilled format. If you have your own recommendations for manga like Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie!, please drop a comment below! We hope you enjoyed this list, and as always, thank you for reading!
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