Romance Manga That Show The Realistic Struggles Of Relationships – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Relationships are hard — and so is depicting realistic romance in manga. These series are the perfect examples of real-world romance.
Romance is one of the most popular genres in fiction. It helps the readers relate to the story, and grounds it in reality as romance is a concept relatable to most. Despite this, the romance in many manga are still portrayed unrealistically as is usual with a work of fiction from the relationship development to relationship progression.
Sometimes, readers want something that reflects the reality and emotions of realistic relationships and these series definitely fulfills that role wonderfully.
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Gaeyon and Woojin have been best friends since high school, so close that everyone questioned if they were dating. But every time they were asked, the answer has always been a resounding no from both of them. As seasons change and the two find themselves attending the same university, perhaps these feelings will become more ambiguous
Crossing the line from friendship to relationship isn’t always going to be smooth sailing or clear-cut. Gaeyon and Woojin’s relationship progression demonstrates that perfectly. Even after making that transition, Something About Us does an excellent job of showcasing the imperfections of relationships which keeps the characters really grounded in reality.
Yu Yang is friendly and amiable, but he knows when to stand his ground. So, when he becomes responsible for welcoming the newcomers at his university, the tall and unsociable Li Huan really gets on his nerves. As they grow closer to one another, Yu Yang discovers that this gentle giant isn’t a bad person after all.
University romance is made more difficult when the characters are LGBT, facing discrimination in a culture that's largely homophobic. Many Chinese manhuas don’t address the issue of homophobia in China as explicitly as Here U Are. It is a realistic journey of up and downs both through their relationship and against the judgment they face from the larger society.
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For seven years, Eunsung has been searching for one person — the person that took her virginity and showed her a new realm of ecstasy. In that time, no one else has been able to give her that same enlightening experience, with her past lover becoming more elusive.
Mature themes, such as the topics covered in The Missing O are something that is often avoided in most manhwa unless they are explicitly smut. It is rare to come across a series that addresses these issues so realistically and relatably, especially in regard to how females are often under-represented in these mature stories..
Hori seems like an ordinary student at school, but it's a different story at home. In lieu of her workaholic parents, she becomes responsible for her brother and the household after school, leaving little time for an actual social life. At school, Miyamura seems like a typical quiet, four-eyed nerd — in actuality, he is outgoing, bad at studying, and dawns an alternative aesthetic with piercings and tattoos.
Despite being an immensely popular slice of life manga, Horimiya is great at slipping in deep and meaningful moments amongst the lightheartedness. Hori and Miyamura hit off each other really well and as their relationship develops, readers get to watch them work through all the little arguments and issues rather than just seeing the cute and wholesome moments.
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Miyano is a normal high school boy with an unusual interest — he’s a hardcore boy's love fan. Though he is passionate about his hobby, it's not something he shares with others easily. That is until he meets his quirky upperclassman named Sasaki who takes a pure and nonjudgmental interest in his hobby. Sasaki may be unaware of the terms ‘seme’ and ‘uke’, but he's always willing to learn.
Boys love manga are plentiful nowadays, but it can still be hard to find the perfect mix of realism and wholesome content. Sasaki To Miyano hits that sweet spot perfectly. The development of Sasaki and Miyano’s relationship is gradual, but immensely sweet and satisfying. Sasaki to Miyano shows that feelings and relationships don’t always develop in an instant — and that’s perfectly fine.
As realistic as these series are, they are obviously still fictional, and the relationships can be idealized in some way but as a whole, they provide a good representation of real life relationships and struggles.
Anime Feature Writer for CBR. An avid anime fan for as long as she can remember, Jessie likes binge-watching her favourite animes and catching up with seasonal shows. She is a big sucker for beautiful animation and deep stories.


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