Which Wholesome Romance Novel Should Be Adapted to Manga?

Here are the 10 finalists from the MAL x Honeyfeed Writing Contest 2023! Try them out and let us know which web novels you want to see brought to life as published light novel or manga.

Vote Now

Back for its third year! The MyAnimeList x Honeyfeed Writing Contest aims to help aspiring overseas novelists realize their dream of being published—and debut with their very own manga in Japan. Writers had three months to write a wholesome romance web novel set in either our modern world or another world (isekai), and our team of judges then narrowed down all eligible novels into the best ten. Now it’s time for you to vote for your favorites.

Try out these 10 wholesome romances and let us know which you want to see brought to life as published manga!

How to Vote

You can vote for as many as novels you like.

To cast your votes, please make sure to use the official MyAnimeList app on a mobile device. Once you’ve installed the app, go to the Profile Menu and select “Vote!” Alternatively, you can tap the icon in the top right corner of the Home tab. You can vote for as many novels as you like. The voting period starts at 12 AM EDT on October 30 and concludes at 12 AM EST on December 1, 2023.

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With a Love Sorceress I’ll Make My Romance Last!

Novel1Jun Hiroyuki was ready: he bought the ring, planned his proposal, and thought of every scenario — every scenario, that is, except his girlfriend Amamiya breaking up with him!

Lost and confused, Jun finds himself at the doorstep of a self-proclaimed Love Sorceress. The mysterious Madam Claire offers the impossible: a second chance with Amamiya. But behind Madam Claire’s smile hides a deep magic, one that just might send Jun stumbling into another world in pursuit of his lost love. This time, with the help of a Love Sorceress, Jun wants to make his romance last!

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai, Romance

by minatika (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Desperation can lead to silly things, particularly when it comes to love. Jun is definitely a case of this, being sent to another world and turned into an elf by a love sorceress named Claire to chase after a look-alike of the girlfriend who dumped him. It is comical how much chaos ensues during this pursuit, fueled by Jun’s misunderstandings of how romance works. A similar vibe to ‘Rent-A-Girlfriend’ can be felt with all of Jun’s ups and downs driving both conflict and resolutions, but with all the whacky possibilities that come with an isekai setting and a helpful touch of magic.

The Songstress of Avalon

Novel2What happens to the hero’s party at the end of the quest?

In this instance, they go their separate ways and return to their old lives. Unfortunately for Ayatsuji Ayato, the express between the realm of Avalon and his native Hyōgo Prefecture isn’t quite running at the moment. Stuck, he decides to try his hand at living a normal life in this fantasy world.

With his credentials as the hero, he easily secures a job as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Amalfi. The work is dull, routine and completely different from the life he used to live as an adventurer, but this cycle of monotony is shattered when Iwasaki Arisa bursts through the doors of the embassy.

The catch? She’s from Japan too, and she’s gotten on the wrong side of one of the kingdom’s most powerful men. Ayato offers her diplomatic protection, but that doesn’t make either of them any less stranded.

Thus begins the daily life of a man who can’t go home, and a girl who can’t even leave the building without being attacked!

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai, Romance

by Yammu (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

What can break up the boring routine of a former hero, now ambassador to a kingdom? Protecting a freshly-isekaied girl named Arisa with the power of diplomacy! Ayato brings a freshness in terms of Isekai protagonists, using wit over strength in a similar manner as ‘The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt’. Combined with thrilling dialogue, narration, and worldbuilding, a budding romance develops amid petty princes, former comrades, and courtroom battles, all for the sake of protecting Arisa.

That Time I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess’s Stat Menu and Tried to Get Her Attention

Novel3Kyle Young is what some may call a spreadsheet monkey, morbidly obsessed with optimizing every facet of his atomized digital life. But after a virus erases his online life and prompts an untimely end to his offline one, Kyle crosses paths with a goddess, who decides to reincarnate him as a stat menu for the spurned aristocrat Vivian Greymoor. Unable to talk, Kyle is tasked with guiding Vivian from behind the scenes and is slowly drawn by her resolve and indefatigable spirit. But between a dashing prince, political subterfuge, and Kyle’s persistent failures to prove that he even exists, can a romance blossom between the two of them?

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Isekai, LitRPG, Romance

by Kaisei

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Reader’s Comment

A fresh perspective on Isekai, That Time I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess’s Stat Menu and Tried to Get Her Attention (wow, long title am I right?) asks the question no one thought we needed an answer to. It’s a quirky and irreverent take on court culture, political intrigue, class and meritocracy, and all that good fantasy as told from the perspective of Kyle Young – a spreadsheet junkie reincarnated as a stat menu. Reading this was a pleasure and a breeze; from start to finish the humor had not worn thin once. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who wants to get their quota of isekai fulfilled but with a twist that only gets cleverer the more it plays out.

Telling the Bees

Novel4Since his wife passed away, Mitsu Kaname has seen near every spirit medium in Japan in the hopes that someone can help him relay one final message to his wife. When they all turn out to be dirty fakes, he’s left with no choice but to give up.

Of course, that is, until he’s whisked away to a world where bees serve as messengers between the human and spiritual world, and he meets Amber Lamanne—a beekeeper.

Genres: Fantasy, Isekai, Magic, Romance

by Armonia

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Reader’s Comment

In a genre dominated by high school protagonists, it can sometimes be challenging to find a story with an adult lead character dealing with mature themes. Mitsu is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife when he is unexpectedly transported to a fantasy world where bees serve as messengers of the gods, and magic requires a spot of honey! There, he encounters the beautiful Amber, who helps him overcome his grief. I really admired the author’s subtle world-building skills and how they were able to introduce fresh ideas into the Isekai Fantasy genre. And despite tackling weighty subjects such as death, it offers a soothing reading experience that will leave you wanting more.

VISUAL SHOCK – sometimes you have to promise not to fall in love~

Novel5Tai loves J-rock and Visual-kei, so much so that he spent 10 years saving to go to Japan, forgetting that fashion and music change in time… when you lose the first thing you love, sometimes you need someone to help you through it, and try not to fall in love again~

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance, Slice of Life

by Just_Another_Adult (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Visual Kei, J-Rock, and a blossoming romance between two fervent enthusiasts! Tai, a dedicated aficionado of Visual Kei fashion, moves to Japan only to discover that the culture he adores is no longer in vogue. Enter Kaori, a fierce devotee of Visual Kei, who refuses to let trends dictate her love for the music and fashion she adores. Tai and Kaori make an incredibly striking couple, their vibrant styles and collection of jaw-dropping attire makes this romance story so delightful to read. As their love story unfolds, you’ll be treated to a captivating blend of fashion, music, and humor, reminiscent of a modern “Paradise Kiss” with a generous dose of romantic comedy.

Vibrancy x Vibrancy

Novel6With a 10,000 yen research grant in one hand and an empty notebook in the other, laidback Tokyo college student Shun Shunsuke embarks on the project of a lifetime – a travelogue contest hosted by backwater Yoshiaki Prefecture. For one hot August, he’ll traverse the region, exploring vibrant cities and the colorful countryside, encountering fun and perplexing citizens and denizens along the way. The most interesting one of them is all Shizuko, his quiet tour guide who sees the world far differently than Shunsuke does.

For one month, the two will learn about themselves, each other, and the wider world around them. From bars to inns, from rival writers to ambitious actors, from ancient myths to urban legends, Shunsuke and Shizuko will see them all. And when you spend this amount of time with a person, open up to them, learn how they experience and interpret life – just as summer ends, perhaps something new will start between them.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life

by Pope Evaristus

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Reader’s Comment

Like the Rei in March Comes In Like a Lion, the protagonist of Vibrancy x Vibrancy sees the world as harsh and desolate, without color, but that stands in stark contrast to the richly crafted world that surrounds him. Beginning with elaborate details that ground the setting in realism, this book slides into the whimsical and absurd, and then masterfully brings it crashing back down, leaving its characters to deal with the consequences. Along the way, they discover that the world is more vibrant than they realized, giving them the courage to open themselves to others, and, perhaps, even fall in love. Vibrancy x Vibrancy is expertly written, hilarious, touching, creative, and entertaining all the way through.

The Sound of Love

Novel7In the lively school setting, Yuuji Tanaka, a music lover, finds himself crossing paths with Akane Kurokawa, a drop-dead gorgeous classmate that works as a model.

When Akane witnesses Yuuji playing the guitar, a passion for music is awakened within her. She’s totally captivated by the harmony of the notes and Yuuji’s expressive playing, feeling an emotional connection like she’s just stumbled upon a whole new world.

Joined by his friends Airi Suzuki and Haruto Yamada, they set off on a journey of self-discovery and friendship, exploring new musical experiences.

In “The Sound of Love,” they soon discover that appearances can be deceiving, and the most meaningful connections transcend surface-level judgments. It’s an inspiring story that celebrates love and its unexpected forms, revealing the transformative power of music.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance, School

by mfvice (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

The Sound of Love is a heartwarming tale of two young souls, Yuuji and Akane, who fall in love through their shared interest in music. Akane discovers a newfound passion for music, thanks to the infectious enthusiasm of Yuuji who just became her music instructor. This wholesome romance is a match made in heaven, where the slow and steady rhythm of their affection makes your heart skip a beat. It’s hard to compare it to any anime out there, but it reminds me a little of Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia or Skip to Loafer if they had a much stronger focus on romance.

Some random girl wants to make me her familiar

Novel8Onitsuka Makoto is your usual delinquent teenager. He has a loving easygoing family, a group of faithful friends, and a possibility to throw punches at members of rival gangs. Nothing other than his grades at school could ruin his cozy life. That is until a strange girl crosses paths with him and demands him to become her… Familiar!?

Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life

by Aikeji

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Reader’s Comment

Whenever eighth-grade syndrome is brought upon in a light novel, everyone remembers Yuuta and Rikka from “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!” and “Some random girl wants to make me her familiar” brings back some of that essence. This novel takes on the animanga trope of putting together a girl from a prestigious school who has delusions of grandeur and a delinquent who isn’t that bad and makes them fall in love. While reading, the interactions between Mami and Makoto feel organic, and realistic, and the wholesomeness aspect is their energy together. Mami never gives up, and Makoto doesn’t act like a jerk when it comes to her long-winded tirades. This story showed me that the “chuunibyou” trope can still give brilliant and lovely content.

A Study on the Stand-In Love Interest

Novel9Isekai into your favourite fictional world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Orion is transported into his favourite otome villainess isekai, only to discover that he’s thrown straight into the original otome game itself.

Halie is transported into her favourite otome game as the heroine, only to discover that some random guy had been reincarnated as her favourite character.

When this fictional universe becomes reality, Orion slowly learns that he essentially knows nothing about the world. His favourite villainess character doesn’t exist. There’s flesh-eating [redacted], and a useless game system in his head calculating affection levels like they’re quantitative. His only companion is a huge fan of the character he happened to have been isekai’d into this world as.

And that’s the problem. Because getting the heroine to fall in love with him may be the only way for him to survive. But it’s not easy when she’s a fangirl that only cares about his face…

Genres: Game, Isekai, LitRPG, Romance

by yitsuin (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Imagine how jaded you are when your favorite character of an Otome game is gone, and you are forced to court the ‘generic’ female protagonist, Halie, instead. Orion gets isekaied into the role of a love interest (1 of 5), a ‘Stanley Parable’-like voice compelling him to do so with passive-aggressive suggestions or face consequences. However, Halie is anything but generic, but rather, a drooling fangirl of the series. What results is an original and compelling narrative as the two attempt to ‘follow the script’, only to find that someone has messed everything up. It’s a novel that leaves you wanting a continuation. To keep following the budding relationship of two people who start looking beyond appearances, as they try to survive in a strange world where still water in the environment holds a plague that turns people to clay.

Jasmine-scent Dreaming

Novel10Falling for that perfect stranger, only for them to walk away a few seconds later–is what our main character Yuuma Matsushima goes through one fateful day. Being an avid reader of shoujo manga, he attends an anime con and finds his heart stolen by a cosplayer he doesn’t even know the identity of. All that remains in his heart is their jasmine scented perfume and mysterious words.

Will they meet again? Who even is the mystery cosplayer? Can Yuuma make sense of his feelings? Find it out in this sugar-packed bundle of dreams and collision of hearts!

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life

by shirayuriP (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Imagine all the glitter and idealization of the perfect romance you’ve read all those years in Arina Tanemura’s amazing mangas. The protagonist, Yuuma, is an open ‘diary’, which matches the writing method the author of Jasmine-scent Dreaming uses. Yuuma is a boy who truly desires to experience love as a shoujo manga protagonist, wishing for that one girl who will make his heart flutter. I found that extremely charming. A man who accepts and embraces his feminine looks, yearning for a romance that most girls portrayed in animanga dream about. I found that premise absolutely wholesome. Rika, Yuuma’s prince charming, is a character that brings so much to the story, and you cannot help but root for them to be together and achieve that magical, happy ending we all deep down dream about.

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