Rin wrote the following, “I like josei / shojo series that are not too romantic or smutty, my two favourites are Honey and Clover and NANA.”
I could not have asked for a request more up my alley. I’m not recommending Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss because I assume everyone who reads NANA has also read that. On the other hand, I still want to mention the title because Paradise Kiss remains my absolute ideal of a series that nicely bridges the world of shojo and the world of josei.
And so I take this opportunity to recommend three titles that also function as excellent transitions from shojo to josei.
1. Venus in Love, by Yuki Nakaji, published by CMX.
Description by publisher: College: A time for new friends and new loves — and getting confused about which is which. It seems like Suzuna is on track to land Eichi the guy of her dreams. But her other new friend — the beautiful Hinako — has some interesting information regarding Eichi that’s going to force Suzuna to take a second look at the whole situation. She’s about to discover that love can come with some unexpected competition.
2. Walkin’ Butterfly, by Chihiro Tamaki, published by Aurora.
Description by publishers: Michiko’s height is matched only by her complex about it. While delivering pizzas at a fashion show she is mistaken for a model. Mihara, the show’s designer, confronts her and tells her that she can’t walk the catwalk. From that moment on, Michiko is determined to find her place in the world as a model. Can she find the inner strength to undergo a spectacular transformation? Is Michiko up to the challenge? Just try her.
3. Flower of Life, by Fumi Yoshinaga, published by DMP.
Description by publisher: Forced to enroll in school one month late after recovering from a serious illness, Harutaro is doing his best to remain optimistic about the entire situation. The other students are working hard to make Haru feel welcome – especially his chubby, loveable pal, Shota. However, Kai Majima, President of the Manga Club and all-around hard case, seems to be the one person intent on making Harutaro’s school life a living nightmare.