• Life as a princess in shojo manhwa is full of romance, fantasy, and dreamy fairy tale settings.
  • Great stories stand out with charismatic protagonists in similar princess or nobility plots.
  • New shojo manhwa titles feature unique twists like active protagonists or unexpected narratives.

Nothing is quite as shojo as being a princess. Romance occupies a large space in the shojo genre, which is why fantasy settings are so popular. Living in castles, wearing ornate gowns, and falling in love with a prince all lend themselves to a traditional fairy tale or a dream people may have.

It’s no surprise that many shojo manhwa feature protagonists living as princesses or daughters of other nobility. These plots are often very similar, but a charismatic protagonist or a unique aspect of the world usually helps great stories stand out among the rest.

Updated April 8, 2024, by Garrett Huon: Shojo is an ever-evolving category, with more and more stories being published as the years go by. When reviewing this list and the most recent manhwa, it was clear that some additions needed to be made. Not only were there some great new releases, but there was also a title that was overlooked when originally curating this list. Here are a few more titles that fans of shojo manhwa should consider checking out.


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14 Second Life Of A Trash Princess

MyAnimeList Score: 7.47

Regina in Second Life of a Trash Princess

  • Author: Wheedrian
  • Illustrator: Jonadan
  • Published: 2022 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel

Princess Regina lost everything: her family, her status, and her kingdom. However, at her last stand, she’s able to turn back time and live her life again. This time around, she won’t be the helpful older sister. She’s going to be the worst princess in history.

One pitfall many shojo stories step into is having a passive protagonist. Many things happen to them, but they take no action otherwise. Regina is exactly the opposite. She takes what she wants and does what she wants to further her goal. A main character like her is refreshing.

13 Philomel The Fake

MyAnimeList Score: 7.48

Philomel in Philomel the Fake

  • Author: Oaen
  • Illustrator: Logo
  • Published: 2023 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Romance

One day, Princess Philomel finds a strange book in the garden, and strangely enough, the main character shares her name. In the book, Philomel is switched at birth with the real princess. Later, she is executed for tricking the emperor. Philomel brushes it off as fantasy — until events in the book start happening in real life.

This isn’t a regression or a reincarnation story. Philomel is a child at the start of the story, and her emotions feel very true to how a child would feel. She is portrayed like a normal person and not as a quirky character, which makes the story more immersive.

12 Mother’s Contract Marriage

MyAnimeList Score: 7.86

Lyrica From Mothers Marriage Contract

  • Author: Siya
  • Illustrator: Choo, Hae-Yun
  • Published: 2022 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Time Travel

This manhwa is special because the main character isn’t the one regressing. Lyrica is a little girl who lives in the slums, taking care of her mom. One day, her mom jumps out of bed and starts doing things she’s never done before. Not too long after, they both move into the palace.

Lyrica is a kind and innocent girl, and this story is about all the new experiences she has as a princess. The plot doesn’t have a clear focal point, meaning the direction of the story is a little vague, but it makes sense because the story is told by a child. The images and art style evoke a sense of wonder that reflects Lyrica’s narrative.

11 The Abandoned Empress

MyAnimeList Score: 6.69

Aristia From The Abandoned Empress

  • Author: Yuna Jeong
  • Illustrator: iNA
  • Published: 2017 to 2021
  • Genres/Theme: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel

This is a common royalty manhwa where the protagonist is given a second chance to live. Aristia La Monique is a duke’s daughter who regresses through time after being executed, and with her knowledge of the future, she serves as a knight to avoid being empress.

Though other manhwa tell similar stories, this one is known for its good pacing, its great illustrations, and its strong characters. However, its ending leaves many with a sour taste in their mouths, even ruining the story for some.

10 Into The Light, Once Again

MyAnimeList Score: 7.53

Aisha From Into the Light, Once Again

  • Author: Tikatika
  • Illustrator: Yuya
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Theme: Drama, Fantasy, Reincarnation

It’s not very often that a protagonist is reincarnated into the same world as the one where they died. After being framed and betrayed by her family, Princess Alyssa is executed, but then she opens her eyes as Aisha, the first princess of a rival kingdom who was just born.

The narrative is incredibly character-driven. It is up to Aisha to decide what happens and when. She’s so distant from her past life that she could ignore it, but she doesn’t. The ways she confronts her problems and betters herself show how a good protagonist can carry a story.

9 The Monster Duchess And Contract Princess

MyAnimeList Score: 7.56

Leslie From The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess

  • Author: Liaran
  • Illustrator: MinJakk
  • Published: 2019 to 2022
  • Genres/Theme: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Despite having no isekai or reincarnation elements, this manhwa tells a compelling story of a girl born to be a sacrifice. The protagonist, Leslie, runs away after being abused her entire life, allying with the Salvatore family in order to save herself.

Leslie’s character development is what drives the story, even among the intricate subplots happening in the background. The only negative would be the repetitiveness of those subplots, which only slowed down the narrative. Reinforcing a lesson only makes sense if it benefits the story.

8 For My Abandoned Love

MyAnimeList Score: 7.65

For My Abandoned Love

  • Author: Seonyu Kim
  • Illustrator: Kimyong
  • Published: 2022 to Present
  • Genres/Theme: Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Reincarnation, Time Travel

Also known as For My Derelict Favorite, this manhwa puts a twist on a typical plot by having the protagonist become a background character named Hestia. She’s a fangirl who is content with watching her favorite character, Caelus, from afar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end well.

While the story itself is interesting, the depiction of depression is also a highlight. The difference the support of a single person can make is evident through Hestia’s character. Her strength and initiative are great to see from a protagonist in this genre.

7 Happily Ever Afterwards

MyAnimeList Score: 7.76

Peony and Richt in Happily Ever Afterwards

  • Author: Dotol Hwang
  • Illustrator: Jeongseo
  • Chapters: 89
  • Published: 2020 to 2022
  • Genres/Theme: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Reincarnation

When the protagonist is reincarnated into her favorite novel, she becomes Peony, the princess of the kingdom of Garten. As a character who doesn’t show up at all in the story, her life and future are fine, especially since the original story has already ended. However, that means her favorite character, Richt, has been abandoned to the northern wasteland.

This romance starts as an unrequited love of a fangirl for the banished second male lead. What starts as an obsession turns into understanding and an actual relationship. It’s one of the best depictions of people falling in love with each other in manhwa.

6 A Way To Protect The Lovable You

MyAnimeList Score: 7.66

A Way To Protect The Lovable You

  • Author: Mayak Jelly
  • Illustrator: Jiui Kim
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Theme: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel

The saintess can be a huge figure in shojo fantasy, usually because she’s the main character. However, in this manhwa, the saintess is an evil queen, and it’s her daughter who will end her tyranny and corruption.

A Way To Protect The Lovable You does a great job of balancing the romance plot with the overall narrative, making space for great world-building and character development. The lore and history of the world have a huge impact on the plot, which helps the story feel more immersive.

5 Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady With The Lamp

MyAnimeList Score: 7.67

Doctor Elise The Royal Lady with the Lamp

  • Author: Yuin
  • Illustrator: mini
  • Published: 2017 to 2021
  • Genres/Theme: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Reincarnation

Elise is one of the more fascinating main characters in this genre because she’s actually been reincarnated twice. Having her third life be in her first identity is a great twist on how reincarnation works, and it helps this manhwa stand out from others in this genre.


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Doctor Elise is a wholesome story that’s meant to be a redemption for the protagonist, but it doesn’t do much with the plot other than introducing contemporary medicine into a historical setting. The lack of variety doesn’t take away from how good this manhwa is though.

4 Marriage Of Convenience

MyAnimeList Score: 7.86

Bianca and Zachary from Marriage Of Convenience

  • Author: Ken
  • Illustrator: Ant Studio
  • Published: 2022 to Present
  • Genres/Theme: Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel

There are few manhwa as dramatic and tense as Marriage of Convenience. What would seem like a normal romance with some time travel turns into a political narrative with scheming and assassination. There are many twists and turns in the story, especially toward the end.

The manhwa is really carried by the relationship between Bianca and Zachary. As they grow closer, the story also becomes more complex as more characters are introduced and new conflicts appear. That being said, it’s a story where the beginning is the hardest to get through.

3 The Remarried Empress

MyAnimeList Score: 8.04

The Remarried Empress

  • Author: Alphatart
  • Illustrator: Sumpul
  • Published: 2019 to Present
  • Genres/Theme: Fantasy, Romance

This manhwa is full of political intrigue and conflict. The story follows Empress Navier as she handles the emperor’s new concubine. The struggle between the two factions ends with her deposition.

Navier is a strong protagonist; something not very common in the shojo genre. She is proud, confident, and intelligent, never backing down when challenged and always looking three steps ahead. It can be difficult to understand all the scheming that’s done, but it’s easy to see how impressive it is.

2 The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion

MyAnimeList Score: 8.15

The Reason Why Raeliana Ended up at the Duke's Mansion Cover Art

  • Author: Milcha
  • Illustrator: Gorae
  • Published: 2017 to 2021
  • Genres/Theme: Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Reincarnation

This story is like the typical isekai romance with contract marriages and surviving death flags, except there’s so much more. The protagonist, Park Eunha, was murdered, which resulted in her transmigration into Raeliana McMillan.


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The mystery elements add some much-needed excitement to the otherwise bland story. Raeliana herself is also a great protagonist who keeps the story going when it drags on. There are a few loose ends here and there, but overall, it’s a great manhwa to read.

1 Suddenly I Became A Princess

MyAnimeList Score: 8.45

Athy From Suddenly I Became a Princess

  • Author: Plutus
  • Illustrator: Spoon
  • Published: 2017 to 2022
  • Genres/Theme: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Reincarnation

This manhwa is a staple on any reading list regarding royalty and fantasy romance. Also known as Who Made Me a Princess, this manhwa tells the story of Athanasia, who was reincarnated in a book where she dies at the end. While it begins as a story of survival, it quickly becomes much more.

In the story, Athy has no connection to her father, the emperor, but over time, their strained relationship becomes the driving force behind the entire narrative. Its depiction was so well done that it popularized the father-daughter theme seen in many other manhwa.


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