Manhwa has captivated the hearts of fans who love Japanese entertainment such as anime and manga alike, with romance being the dominant genre to saturate the field. With the majority of manhwa possessing more capable female leads than manga, some have become accustomed to switching to South Korean comics.
Regardless of what kind of romantic stories readers enjoy, anyone can appreciate the storylines found across manhwa. Whether it’s a princess from a foreign country waking from her true love’s kiss or a sharp-tongued woman reincarnating to get revenge on her killer, there’s a romance manhwa for everyone.
Updated on May 1st, 2023 by Xandalee Joseph: Romance continues to be one of the popular manga genres. Manga readers are constantly looking for more romantic stories to dive into, and the manga pool can get pretty small, very quickly. Thankfully, manhwa romance has many similar stories to choose from. As such, we’ve updated this list with more information on the best manhwa romances available.
20 My ID Is Gangnam Beauty, By Maenggi Ki (2016)
92 Episodes (Completed)
If fans are looking for a good romance manhwa recommendation with excellent social commentary, they should look no further than My ID Is Gangnam Beauty by Maenggi Ki. The manhwa follows a college student named Mirae who underwent several rounds of cosmetic surgery to escape her bullies, but her peers still ridicule her for having such a plastic face.
- Plenty of social commentary on conventional beauty standards
- Received a K-drama adaptation
- Emphasizes personality over appearance
Mirae meets Kyungseok, an old classmate who cuts through the smoke and mirrors to understand Mirae as a person. It’s a romance manhwa, but it criticizes Korea’s harsh beauty standards and makes a statement against judging others based on their appearance.
19 Love Alarm, By CHON Kye-Young (2014)
211 Chapters (Completed)
Love Alarm by Kye-young Chon follows a high school girl named Jojo recalling when a new app took the world by storm. The titular Love Alarm tells users when someone in a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them.
- Unique premise & plot device
- Unexpected plot twists
- Received a K-Drama adaptation
Though it seems heartwarming at first, in retrospect, the idea of an app that can detect people’s hearts is a pretty dystopian concept. The manhwa doesn’t play it off either, and it shows the devastating consequences of such an app. The manhwa is still ongoing, and Netflix gave it a K-Drama adaptation.
18 Winter Before Spring, By Moonbun00 (2021)
52 Episodes (Ongoing)
Fans of LGBTQ+ romance animanga are sure to enjoy Winter Before Spring. The manhwa is about Hana, a timid girl who experiences tons of bullying at school. She falls in love with her best friend, Yura.
- Girl’s love romance story
- School setting
- Tons of drama
Hana accidentally spills her guts during a confrontation, but to her surprise, Yura reciprocates her feelings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a happy ending, and Hana once again becomes an outcast after discovering her other friend Min-ji’s true intentions. Min-ji was jealous of Yura and did everything in her power to sabotage their relationship.
17 Heesu In Class 2, By Lily (2019)
93 Chapters (Completed)
Fans of healthy BL hits like Given and Sasaki and Miyano are sure to enjoy Heesu In Class 2. It’s a classic BL story where the shy kid falls in love with his more extroverted friend and silently cheers for him. Heesu In Class 2 is a lighthearted BL romance manhwa with a good sense of humor.
- Boy’s love romance story
Great for fans of
- Introvert & extrovert dynamic between leads
Heesu and Chanyoung are best friends, but the latter is unaware of the former’s romantic feelings. Heesu listens to all of Chanyoung’s girl issues and is satisfied with just being recognized as his friend. Everything changes when one day, Heesu becomes the de-facto person everyone runs to for romantic advice. Little do these people know that he barely knows how to cope with having a crush of his own.
16 See You In My 19th Life, By Lee Hay (2020)
105 Episodes (Ongoing)
See You In My 19th Life is about Jieum Ban, a girl who was reincarnated after dying in a tragic accident. However, she’s granted the ability to remember all of her memories from her previous life. The manhwa follows her as she tries to reconnect with her loved ones in real time, even though they are from the past.
- Reincarnation plot device
- Female lead has a chance to change her fate
- Engaging premise & good pacing
Jieum’s romantic life takes a hit since she’s so determined to patch up things from her 18th life. The question with this romance is whether their love can stand the test of time or if it will be lost with Jieum’s memories.
15 I Love Yoo, By Quimchee (2017)
197 Episodes (Ongoing)
I Love Yoo was written and illustrated by Quimchee. Shin-Ae has decided to be alone after growing up in an environment that is less than ideal. She lives her life not speaking or getting close to anyone.
- Perfect for fans of love triangles
- Female lead aims to maintain her freedom
- Romance is a slow burn
All that changes when an accident takes place, and Shin-Ae becomes entangled in the lives of two boys. The story follows Shin-Ae as she’s faced with the decision to either change her behavior by interacting with the two new boys in her life or remain a total introvert. I Love Yoo is a great choice for manga fans looking for romance manhwa recommendations.
14 Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion, Written By Milcha With Art By Whale (2017)
158 Episodes (Completed)
Why Raelianna Ended Up At The Duke’s Mansion was written by Milcha and illustrated by Whale. Raelinanna is a supporting character who has the horrid fate of being poisoned by her fiance.
- Receiving an anime adaptation
- Some political intrigue & controversies
- Great for fans of isekai
When a woman awakens and realizes she is said character, she instead pretends to be the fiancée of Duke Noah to save her life. It becomes apparent that she’s falling in love with his charms to stay alive, but there’s always the question of whether or not she can actually escape her fate.
13 The Abandoned Empress, Written By Yuna Jeong With Art By Ina (2018)
145 Episodes (Completed)
The Abandoned Empress was written by Yuna Jeong and illustrated by iNA. Aristia is down on her luck, despite being the proud daughter of House Monique as well as the next in line to become the empress.
- Time travel dynamic
- Female lead gets a second chance to change her fate
- Gorgeous artwork
When Aristia’s entire life changes with the appearance of a mysterious girl, she is sent back in time to seven years earlier. Aristia now has to figure out how to fix the problems that will plague her in the future. Fans of Kamisama Kiss and Your Name will enjoy this manhwa.
12 Orange Marmalade, By Seokwoo (2011)
119 Chapters (Completed)
Orange Marmalade was written and illustrated by Seokwoo and features a unique premise. In a world where vampires are no longer feared as bloodthirsty monsters and are instead discriminated against, Mari Baek hides her true identity to live as a normal high school girl.
- Female lead is a vampire
- Lots of focus on female lead’s development
- Unique take on vampires
However, the most popular boy in school, who also happens to hate vampires, is her crush. Mari Baek is now faced with the choice to either tell him the truth or continue to watch him from afar. Fans of other vampire-themed anime like Vampire Knight and Dance In The Vampire Bund will definitely enjoy this romance manhwa.
11 Empress Of Another World, Written By Lee Young Yuu With Art By Lim Seo-rim (2016)
129 Episodes (Completed)
Empress of Another World was written by Lim Seo-rim and illustrated by Lee Young Yuu. This isekai manhwa features a Korean high schooler named Sabina who died in a traffic accident, only to awaken to be amid a power struggle over who should ascend to the throne.
- Great for isekai fans
- Courtly romance setting
- Female lead has to outsmart adversaries
Sabina begins living as the concubine to the emperor, but it is not long before an assassin murders him. With all the power left in Sabina’s hands now, she must gain the trust of her subjects as well as the court.
10 The Maid & The Vampire, Created By Dolce Yi & Adapted By Yujeong Ju With Art By Seon Lee (2019)
76 Episodes (Completed)
The Maid and the Vampire was written by Seon Lee, Yujeong Ju, and illustrated by Dolce Yi. This romance manhwa is about a vampire and his maid, but it’s far from cliché. After Areum is sent to Soltera because of a car accident, she is mistaken for a vampire.
- Master & Servant dynamic between the leads
- Lots of fluff & sweet moments
- Male lead is a vampire
However, Areum was sold to the one and only vampire in Soltera, Duke Millard Travis, and she vows to serve him as her master. Despite the master and servant plot, this is one of the most wholesome manhwa out there that’s full of fluff.
9 The Evil Lady’s Hero, By Lee Haron (2019)
101 Episodes (Completed)
The Evil Lady’s Hero was written by Lee Horan and illustrated by R. For fans who are looking for a new isekai manhwa, this series is an utterly evil recommendation. The protagonist finds herself reincarnated as the villainess in a romance novel.
- Perfect for isekai fans
- Plenty of mature content
- “Reincarnated as a villainess” trope
The original villainess, Yunifer Magnolia, was in love with the male lead, Ishid, and was jealous of her best friend, Rael Cania. The crown prince, Cassian, ultimately killed her. To avoid her cruel fate, Yunifer decides to avoid the main characters. When she has a one-night stand with Ishid, the threads of fate begin to twist and tangle.
8 Something About Us, By Lee Yunji (2008)
98 Episodes (Completed)
Something About Us was written and illustrated by Lee Yunji. This romance manhwa has tons of fluff, as well as a friends-to-lovers romance. The story follows two childhood friends now in college, Da Gayoung and Han Woojin, who are often mistaken for a couple.
- Friends-to-lovers romance dynamic
- Childhood friends trope
- Lots of fluff & sweet moments
Although others see them as a perfect couple, they think of themselves as best friends. Because their relationship blurs the line between friends and lovers, they do not know how to describe it to themselves or others. By the end, their relationship takes tons of twists and turns.
7 A Tender Heart: The Story Of How I Became A Duke’s Maid, Written By Jooahri With Art By Aloha (2019)
111 Episodes (Completed)
A Tender Heart: The Story of How I Became a Duke’s Maid was written by Jooahri and illustrated by Aloha. It’s yet another romance manhwa where the female lead is transported into the world of a novel, but this time with a twist.
- Great for fans of isekai
- Kindhearted female lead
- Defying social status in the name of love
In the original story, Liandro is a supporting character fated to loneliness because of a curse that caused his family to reject him. But Evelina, a kind reader, comes into the novel to act as his maid and decides to change his role. She just might be the one to save Liandro from his curse of loneliness.
6 The Baby Isn’t Yours, Written By Arongdri With Art By Passerby & SIN (2020)
33 Episodes (Completed)
The Baby Isn’t Yours was written by Arongdri and illustrated by SIN. It’s a promotional one-shot to promote the novel of the same name. The story is centered on Kalia, a commander and celebrated hero who put an end to a past war.
- Best friends become lovers
- Female lead is a recognized hero
- Male lead takes the initiative
After having a one-night stand with her best friend, Simon Terroan, she discovers she is pregnant with his child. She decides to retire and leaves while he is away to hide the truth in fear that he doesn’t wish for a child. However, Simon is actually in love with her, and he desperately begins to search for Kalia.
5 You At First Sight, By Icchae (2016)
98 Episodes (Completed)
You at First Sight was written and illustrated by Icchae. It’s a slice-of-life slow-burn romance with a twist of mystery. There are two seasons of this manhwa, so there is plenty to read after finishing the first one. Yechan can see a person’s inner thoughts in place of their face, which makes her seem distant to other people.
- Perfect for slow-burn romance fans
- Supernatural element sparks interest
- Clean, attractive art style
But when Yechan can see a boy’s face without hearing his thoughts, her interest is sparked by the solace of white noise. During the story, Yechan gets closer to this mysterious boy and discovers why she can see his face.
4 Whale Star: The Gyeongseong Mermaid, By Na Yoonhee (2022)
25 Episodes (Completed)
Whale Star: The Gyeongseong Mermaid was written and illustrated by Na Yoonhee. It’s a historical romance for fans looking for a more mature love story recommendation. The story takes place in 1926 when Korea, then called Joseon, is ruled by Japan. 17-year-old Su-a works as a maid for a Japanese collaborator who happens upon an injured activist named Uihyeon Kang.
- Based on a historical romance
- Great for those who want a tragedy
- Authentic Korean cultural story
After nursing him back to health, Su-a falls in love with him, and he tells her the tale of The Little Mermaid. Coincidentally for the two, it turns out that their love story is similar to the somber and twisted tale.
3 This Girl Is A Little Wild, Written By 303 Planet With Art By Coyo (2018)
50 Chapters (Discontinued)
This Girl is a Little Wild was written by 303 Planet and illustrated by Coyo. Fans who are looking for a short and sweet romance with a strong female lead will definitely be pleased by this romance manhwa. After Sir Roel, the captain of the Holy Knights, defeats the Demon King, the demon uses the last of his strength to transform Roel into a frail woman.
- Strong female lead
- Fantasy setting
- Body swapping plot
What the Demon King didn’t know was that she was already a woman. When Sir Roel swaps souls with Sila Epheria, however, she must prove her identity by becoming engaged to the captain of a special task force and acting as his fiancée.
2 What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, Written By JEONG GYEONG YUN With Art By Kim MYEONGMI (2016)
98 Episodes (Completed)
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? was written by Jeong Gyeong Yun and illustrated by Kim Myeongmi. It was based on the 2013 novel of the same name. This series was so popular it spawned a manhwa as well as a 16-episode K-Drama that aired between June 6 to July 26 in the year 2018.
- Office-based setting
- Competent female lead
- Growth for male lead
When Miso, legendary secretary to narcissistic vice-chairman Lee Young-joon, wishes to resign from the company after nine years, problems arise between them as he begins to develop feelings for Miso and attempts to stop her from leaving the company. This manhwa is perfect for fans of workplace romantic comedies like Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku.
1 Light & Shadow, Written By Ryu Hyang With Art By Heewon (2016)
103 Episodes (Completed)
Light and Shadow was written by Ryu Hyang and illustrated by Hee Won. This romance manwha is based on a novel of the same name. When the strong yet lowly maid Edna is to be married to Duke Eli instead of the noble daughter he expected, things become complicated.
- “Opposites Attract” trope
- Plenty of tension between the leads
- Strong female lead
It turns out each is hiding secrets from the other that would turn the kingdom on its head if they were to spill out. The two might be able to fall in love without killing each other, but their differences might just be too much for both of them to handle.
NEXT: 10 Must-Read Virtual Reality MMORPG Manhwa For Fans Of Sword Art Online
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