Award-Winning Manga 2: Shojo Category

By Amanda Pagan, Children's Librarian
September 18, 2020
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL)
collage of manga book covers

Looking for manga recommendations? It can be difficult to sort through the multitude of titles available in search for a new series. Luckily, multiple award organizations have sifted through hundreds of titles in search for ones they felt were extraordinary or exemplary, which makes things so much easier! Here we have gathered a list of award-winning Shōjo manga to make finding your next favorite read that much easier. 

What is Shōjo? In short, Shōjo manga are Japanese comic books aimed at a young, female audience. If you are looking for romance and drama, then you’re in luck! Teenagers are typically the target demographic, but really these titles are accessible to anyone. For more information about manga, check out A Beginner's Guide to Manga.

This list is by no means exhaustive as these are just the titles currently available within our catalog, however, it does cover the most well-known manga award winners out there. So please dive in and see what all the fuss is about!

Looking for more award-winning manga? Check out Award-Winning Manga: General Category and Award-Winning Manga: Shonen Category.  Fan of the classics? Check out A Beginner's Guide to Manga Classics.

Award-Winning Manga: Shojo Category 

Kiss Him, Not Me

Kiss Him, Not Me by Junko; translator, David Rhie; lettering, Hiroko Mizuno

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2016

Hi there! My name is Serinuma Kae. I’m the kind of girl who loves checking out boys and fantasizing about them getting friendly (and more) with each other—I’m what you might call a fujoshi. One day, my beloved (yes, he’s an anime character) died, and the shock of it all was more than I could have ever prepared for! My grief over his passing resulted in some ridiculous weight-loss! And you won’t believe what happened next! Soon after my change, the four most divinely gorgeous boys in my school asked me out on dates! I accepted them all, and you’d think I’d be happy with my sudden popularity, but the truth is, my heart only yearns for a prince to be next to his prince. Ahh, yes, boys, I’d much prefer that you turn your affections elsewhere and KISS HIM, NOT ME!

Bride's Story

A Bride's Story by Kaoru Mori; [translation, William Flanagan ; lettering, Abigail Blackman]

Manga Taishō Winner 2014

As she and her husband adjust to their arranged marriage, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

My Love Story

My Love Story! story, Kazune Kawahara; art, Aruko; English adaptations, Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane; translation, JN Productions

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2013

Shogakukan Manga Award General Category 2015

Takeo Goda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn! Takeo can hardly believe it when he crosses paths with Yamato again, and he finds himself falling in love with her… But with handsome Sunakawa around, does Takeo even stand a chance?

Princess Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura; translation, Sarah Alys Lindholm; lettering, Carl Vanstiphout

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2010

Tsukimi Kurashita has a strange fascination with jellyfish. She’s loved them from a young age and has carried that love with her to her new life in the big city of Tokyo. There, she resides in Amamizukan, a safe-haven for girl geeks who regularly gush over a range of things from trains to Japanese dolls. However, a chance meeting at a pet shop has Tsukimi crossing paths with one of the things that the residents of Amamizukan have been desperately trying to avoid—a beautiful and fashionable woman! But there’s much more to this woman than her trendy clothes! This odd encounter is only the beginning of a new and unexpected path for Tsukimi and her friends.

Black Bird

Black Bird story and art by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Shogakukan Manga Award Shōjo Category 2008

Everything changes one day when Misao is attacked by a demon. Her childhood friend Kyo suddenly returns to save her and tend to her cuts—with his tongue! It turns out Misao is the bride of prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her. But most demons want to keep her power for themselves—by eating her! Now Misao is just trying to stay alive...and decide if she likes it when Kyo licks her wounds.

Kimi Ni Todoke

Kimi ni Todoke = From Me to You story & art by Karuho Shiina; [translation, Tomo Kimura]

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2008

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine...for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character—jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor—she's mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she's sure to make more than just that—she's about to make some enemies too!

Ooku the Inner Chambers 1

Ōoku. Vol. 1 : the Inner Chambers. Vol. 1 / by Fumi Yoshinaga; [translation & adaptation, Akemi Wegmüller; touch-up art & lettering, Monlisa De Asis]

Japan Media Arts Award Excellence Prize 2006

Tezuka Osamu Cultural Grand Prize 2009

Shogakukan Manga Award Shōjo Category 2010

In Eisner-nominated Fumi Yoshinaga’s alternative history of Edo-era Japan, the men of Japan are dying out, and the women have taken up the reigns of power—including the shogun’s seat! In Edo period Japan, a strange new disease called the Redface Pox has begun to prey on the country's men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen by seventy-five percent. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected. And the most beautiful of the men are sent to serve in the shogun's Inner Chamber…

Sand Chronicles

Sand Chronicles story & art by Hinako Ashihara; [translation, Kinami Watabe; English adaptation, John Werry]

Shogakukan Manga Award Shōjo Category 2004

After her parents get divorced, Ann Uekusa and her mother move from Tokyo to rural Shimane. Accustomed to the anonymity of city living, Ann can't get used to the almost overbearing kindness of the people in her mother's hometown. But when personal tragedy strikes, Ann discovers how much she needs that kindness.

Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover story and art by Chica Umino; [translation & English adaptation, Akemi Wegmuller]

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2003

Love Triangles—who says you don't learn math in Art School? The friends you make in college can change your whole life. Takemoto, a sophomore art student in Tokyo, thinks his greatest worries in life are finding ways to eat more meat and getting to class on time. But with friends like his, life is never going to be that tame.


Nana story & art by Ai Yazawa; [English adaptation, Allison Wolfe; translation, Koji Goto]

Shogakukan Manga Award Shōjo Category 2002

A chance meeting on a train to Tokyo sends two girls named Nana on a collision course with destiny! Nana "Hachi" Komatsu hopes that moving to Tokyo will help her make a clean start and leave her capricious love life behind her. Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, has plans to score big in the world of rock 'n' roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends in a whirlwind world of music, fashion, gossip and all-night parties!

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya; translation: Sheldon Drzka; lettering: Lys Blakeslee

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 2001

After a family tragedy turns her life upside down, plucky high schooler Tohru Honda takes matters into her own hands and moves out...into a tent! Unfortunately for her, she pitches her new home on private land belonging to the mysterious Sohma clan, and it isn't long before the owners discover her secret. But, as Tohru quickly finds out when the family offers to take her in, the Sohmas have a secret of their own—when touched by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac!

Red River

Red River story and art by Chie Shinohara ;translation and English adaptation, Yuko Sawada*

Shogakukan Manga Award Shōjo Category 2000

Yuri, a pretty Japanese girl, is ecstatic after passing her college entrance exam and having her first kiss with her childhood friend-turned boyfriend. However, her luck soon changes. She starts to notice that water becomes agitated whenever she goes near it. One night, hands appear out of a puddle on the street and drag her into the water! Transported to an ancient village in the Middle East, she is then captured by armed troops and taken to the Queeen's palace for a human sacrifice. 

Peach Girl

Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda; [translator, Ray Yoshimoto; English adaptation, Jodi Bryson]*

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 1999

It's not easy being beautiful. The envy, the jealousy, the vicious rumors spread by your best friend. That's life for young Momo. While everyone thinks that Momo is a wild party girl, the reality is that she is shy and honest. Can Momo confess her love to her classmate Toji, or will her best friend Sae steal him away. It's a bittersweet drama of growing up and fitting in that will charm girls everywhere.

Sailor Moon

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi ; translation, Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley; lettering, Lys Blakeslee.

Kodansha Manga Award Shōjo Category 1993

Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!

*Note: some volumes may only be available through Interlibrary Loan.

Looking for more shojo? Check out Manga Monday Picks: Shojo Beat Favorites!

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!