Romance Manga where popular guy falls for unpopular girl

There are many Romance Manga where the popular guy falls for the unpopular girl, so I made a list with five of my favorites. I wouldn’t call this a ranking really, because they are all very different. Last Game is a breath of fresh air with Yanagi being a really unique character – spoiled and narcissistic, but completely smitten. Lovesick Ellie is extremely funny with Eriko constantly fantasizing.

Kyou no Kira-kun has it all: humor, awkwardness, friendship, and most of all: feels. Honey Lemon Soda is so damn cheesy – and I love it. It’s wholesome but the female lead is constantly working to better herself. What an average way Koiko goes! has really great pacing and art. Also, the main couple is adorable – they both work for their relationship. So here is my list of Romance Manga where the popular guy falls for the unpopular girl:

Romance Manga where popular guy falls for unpopular girl: Lovesick Ellie

(c) Kodansha / Fujimomo

Official summary on Bookwalker: “Eriko Ichimura spends her high school days in complete obscurity. Her sole hobby is staring at handsome, smooth-spoken Akira “Omi-kun” Ohmi, and tweeting her daily fantasies under the screenname “Lovesick Ellie.” One fateful day, she accidentally bears witness to Omi-kun’s true self-and if that weren’t enough, he sees her mortifying Twitter, too! Follow along with a plain, perverted girl, a two-faced boy, and their curious romance!“.

You can read an in-depth review here: Romance Manga where popular guy falls for unpopular girl: Review Lovesick Ellie.

Why is this on the list?

Ohmi is literally the most popular guy in school and Ellie is „invisible“ as she calls herself and doesn’t have friends at the beginning of the Manga.

(c) Kodansha / Fujimomo

You should read if, you:

  • like to laugh a lot, while reading a Manga
  • love to read about an outspoken female lead, who is lusting after the male lead
  • like it when the main characters challenge each other and grow out of their shells

Shoujo where popular guy falls for unpopular girl: Kyou no Kira-kun

(c) Bessatsu Friend / Mikimoto, Rin

Official summary on Bookwalker: „For one short year, hopelessly awkward, cockatiel-toting Nino has to keep watch over class joker and next door neighbor, Kira-kun. Can Kira-kun–who harbors a terrible secret–find it in himself to open up and learn something new from Nino, or will she be consumed by his world?“

The official summary is a bit awkward here is the essence of the Manga in my words: Nino finds out, that Kira-Kun is going to die in one year because he is sick. After that, she wants to get closer to him and Kira-Kun is very intrigued by her awkwardness and sincerity. That’s how their friendship starts and Nino makes the declaration that she will stay by his side until he dies.

Why is this on the list?

Kira-Kun isn’t your typical cool shiny school prince, but he is really popular in class and has many friends or rather acquaintances. Nino on the other hand is a reserved loner and gets labeled as „parrot-girl“ because of her little bird Sensei, that is always with her.

(c) Bessatsu Friend / Mikimoto, Rin

You should read if, you:

  • like it when BOTH of the main characters show emotion
  • want to feel all the feels (I cried my heart out at some point)
  • like to see love develop from a genuine friendship

Honey Lemon Soda: Shoujo with a really popular guy

(c) Ribon Magazine / Murata, Mayu

Summary: Ishimori Uka was labeled as “stone” in middle school and was constantly bullied. In high school she has a big goal: she wants to have friends and be more outgoing and express herself. With the help of Kai, Uka slowly comes out of her shell.

Why is this on the list?

It doesn’t get any more “popular guy, falls for unpopular girl” than this. Kai is loved by everyone and all the girls in his school swoon over him. Uka is very shy, can’t even talk properly in the beginning, and doesn’t have friends.

You should read if, you:

  • want the classic Shoujo package: the “kyaaah” from the girls in the Manga, the grand gestures, the constant happy tears– just cheesiness that will make you smile (hopefully)
  • like to read about a former bullied girl transforming herself
  • Love reading about a reserved but caring male lead and a mentally strong female lead who works for her goals

Romance Manga where popular guy falls for pragmatic girl: Last Game

(c) LaLa / Amano, Shinobu

Summary: Yanagi was always the best at his school – until Mikoto came around. She consistently scored top marks and Yanagi was left with second place, despite his efforts. After having failed to beat her in school Yanagi tells himself that he will beat her in one thing: love. He declares it his “Last game” and tries to make Mikoto fall for him, BUT it is actually the other way around.

Why is this on the list?

Naoto Yanagi is the rich heir of the business conglomerate Yanagi. He is always surrounded by people and idolized by everyone. Mikoto Kujou on the other hand is very gloomy-looking, diligent, and doesn’t have many friends.

You should read if, you:

  • like a very pragmatic and really REALLY dense female lead
  • love it, when the guy is the flustered one and tries to woo the girl
  • don’t mind misunderstandings and a really slow burn

Romance Manga where popular guy falls for normal girl: What an average way Koiko goes!

(c) Margaret / Nanaji, Nagamu

Summary: Koiko wants to live her life as average as possible. She tells herself, that she is the normal one in her family and that being normal is her happiness. She even says her relationship is average and repeats her “normalness” almost like a mantra. Till one day Tsurugi, the most popular guy in school, finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her and sends her a message.

Why is this on the list?

Koiko isn’t really unpopular and alone but she doesn’t stand out either. She really emphasizes being normal in her life. And then we have Tsurugi, who is always surrounded by people, is handsome, and has good grades.

You should read if, you:

  • like it when the female lead is reluctant at first
  • love it when the main couple chases each other equally
  • like it when there is another deep love story, despite the one between the mail leads

If you know all the suggestions I have given you and you don’t mind reading older ones give these three a try too – they fit the bill perfectly

  • Say I love you (first published 2008)
  • Kimi ni Todoke (first published 2008)
  • Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (first published 2008l

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