10 Best Shojo Anime Live-Action Adaptions


Unfortunately, not many shōjo manga receive anime adaptations. Instead, creators opt for live-action movies or J-dramas. Longtime shōjo fans may find this irritating since the genre has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years – not to say that a live-action adaptation is terrible. A drama or film can add more creative eyes to a shōjo and even bring more fans to the original work.



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Several notable titles have been adapted from shōjo manga, creating a worldwide fanbase. Some have even won awards for emotional storytelling and impressive character performances. Shōjo fans shouldn’t completely discount live-action adaptations. They may tell just as compelling of a story as its source material.

10 Otomen’s J-Drama Is Underrated

before Requiem of the Rose KingAya Kanno created another notable shōjo manga: Otomen. Unlike its bleak successor, Otomen is more light-hearted but still has its dramatic moments. Asuka’s struggle between enjoying his feminine hobbies and appealing to limiting gender roles is a fascinating take on toxic masculinity and its effects.

In 2009, the manga was adapted into a live-action drama. sorry, Otomen was still publishing, so the drama had to take a different route with its ending. It’s still a fantastic watch, even with its changes, with just the right amount of gut-busting comedy and tear-jerking drama to keep fans interested.

9 Shōjo Fans Should Check Out Life For Something More Mature

Keiko Suenobu never shies away from controversial topics in her shōjo manga. Bullying is a major theme in her stories, and she’s not afraid to take her characters’ harassment to extreme levels. life is one of her most well-known works and even had a US release through Tokyopop. However, publication stopped after the company went bankrupt in 2011, so a possible continuation or re-release is unknown.

in June 2007, life aired as an 11-episode J-drama. However, due to the mature source material, the drama faced censoring and directorial and plot changes. It’s still a solid watch for any shōjo fan looking for a live-action series that tackles the horror of mental health, social isolation, and school bullying.

8 Limit Is A Short But Sweet Survival Drama

like life, limit also tackles the horrors of adolescent bullying but takes its story on a different route. Limit is a survival-thriller where a group of students survives a bus crash that kills most of their classmates and strands them in an abandoned forest. Unpleasant school interactions breed distrust and hatred, as they must fare against the elements until help comes.

Four years after Limit’s ending, TV Tokyo came out with a J-drama in July 2013. The drama excels at capturing the characters’ deep-seated trauma and the overall dreadful atmosphere. like lifethere were some changes to its plot, but it remains a stellar adaptation worth the watch.

Fans can’t get enough of Ai Yazawa‘s 2001 drama-romance series nana. It’s chic and enticing like a soap opera, and Yazawa knows how to style her characters. Unfortunately, the manga has been on hiatus for over a decade, forcing its anime into an ambiguous ending.

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nana did have a two-part movie series in 2005, starring singer-turned-actress Mika Nakashima as Nana Ōsaki, who also provided songs for both movies. They did exceptionally well when they aired, grossing over $34 million at the box office and remaining in the #1 spot for weeks.

6 Fans Can Find The 2013 Playful Kiss Drama On Crunchyroll

Seasoned shōjo fans may remember the 2008 romantic comedy Playful Kiss. The plot annoyed some fans — it involved a not-so-smart but sweet girl, Kotoko, relentlessly pursuing her cold and easily annoyed crush, Naoya. But the comedy and drama make up for the characters’ frustrating relationship dynamic; it’s still a highly recommended series.

Playful Kissalso called Mischievous Kiss in some translations, has many live-action film and drama adaptations across multiple countries: Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan. The most well-known adaptation is the 2013 Japanese remake, Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyowhich is currently available on Crunchyroll.

5 Fans Of Medical Dramas And Shōjo Manga Will Fall Head Over Heels For An Incurable Case Of Love

Medical dramas are popular on American TV, so the live-action version of An Incurable Case of Love may pique some fans’ interest. The manga has recently gained popularity through TikTok manga and anime communities, so it’s the best thing fans have regarding a TV adaptation.

The drama aired in 2020 with a total of ten episodes. Outside of Japan, not much is known about this drama, but it was highly popular when it came out. if An Incurable Case of Love‘s manga was well-received in Japan, Western fans would most likely love the drama.

4 Top Actors Portrayed Kimi Ni Todoke’s Lead Protagonists

Despite Kimi Ni Todoke‘s recent popularity surge, there isn’t more anime-related content for new fans to consume. The anime ended in 2011 and has no plans for another season. However, fans may enjoy the live-action movie released in 2010.

The movie starred two affluent actors: Mikako Tabe, who played Sailor Star Healer in the Sailor Moon musicals, and the late Haruma Miura, who starred as Eren in the live-action Attack on Titan movies. It became the second highest-grossing film on its opening weekend, with an overwhelming 22:3 female-to-male viewer ratio, and debuted at Dallas’s 10th Asian Film Festival the following year.


3 Blue Spring Ride’s Movie Made Almost 1 Billion Yen In A Year

Blue Spring Ride, one of Io Sakisaka’s best-selling manga, resonated with many young female readers. Futaba’s character development and internal struggles were relatable and realistic to many readers’ experiences. The manga did receive some pushback among Western audiences, but it’s still a shōjo staple.

A live-action film hit theaters about three months after the anime ended. The director added a few extra characters to the cast but adapted most of the source material. Blue Spring Ride‘s movie gained lots of attention when it hit Japanese theaters, reaching the #1 spot on its opening weekend. It’s not as long as a drama or an anime but still worth the emotional roller coaster.


2 My Love Story!!’s Movie Stars A Famous Actor

The hilarious romantic comedy My Love Story!! gave fans the wholesome romance they needed. This series featured a male protagonist, a kind, tall, “gorilla-like” boy named Takeo, whose romantic pursuits always favor his best friend, Makoto. His faith in love slowly dwindles until he meets Rinko, who sees and loves him for who he is.

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My Love Story!! received a live-action film adaptation in October 2015, starring prolific Japanese actor Ryōhei Suzuki as Takeo. The movie was a commercial success, making third place on its opening weekend and about $1.1 million in box office sales. Shōjo fans looking for a funny but sweet romance should check out My Love Story!!‘s movie.


1 Boys Over Flowers Is One Of The Most Well-Recognized Shōjo Dramas

One of the most iconic shōjo manga-turned-J-drama is none other than Boys Over Flowers. Even younger shōjo fans are familiar with at least one of the many live-action adaptations spanning almost three decades and five countries. There are even a few “unofficial,” not as famous dramas from Indonesia and India.

The two most famous adaptations were the 2005 Japanese version and the 2009 South Korean drama. The J-drama’s lead actors, Mao Ishii and Jun Matsumoto, won “Best Actress” and “Best Supporting Actor” at the 47th Television Drama Academy Awards. The K-drama became a cultural phenomenon, boosting multiple Korean actors into worldwide popularity.

NEXT: 10 Worst Anime Live-Action Adaptation

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