• Popular princess-themed manhwa often feature protagonists with second chances at life, offering unique twists on traditional fairy tales.
  • The quality of pacing, illustrations, and character development can make or break these stories, with some endings leaving a sour taste.
  • Engaging protagonists and the incorporation of themes like depression and redemption contribute to the immersive and enjoyable nature of the genre.

Being a princess encapsulates the essence of shojo, where romance takes center stage. The genre flourishes in fantasy settings, with the life of a princess being a common and popular theme. Residing in opulent castles, adorned in elaborate gowns, and encountering love with a prince contribute to the allure of a traditional fairy tale or a cherished dream.

It's unsurprising that numerous shojo manhwa narratives revolve around protagonists living as princesses or daughters of nobility. While these plots may share similarities, the real distinction often lies in the charisma of the protagonist or unique elements within the world they inhabit. It is through the charm of these characters or the incorporation of distinct world-building aspects that exceptional stories emerge, enabling them to stand out amidst the vast array of shojo narratives.

10 The Abandoned Empress

MyAnimeList Score: 6.69

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

This manhwa follows a recurring theme in royalty narratives where the protagonist is granted a second chance at life. Aristia La Monique, a duke's daughter, experiences regression through time after facing execution. Armed with knowledge of the future, she takes on the role of a knight to sidestep becoming empress.

While numerous manhwa explore comparable premises, this particular one distinguishes itself through commendable pacing, captivating illustrations, and well-developed characters. Despite these strengths, the conclusion of the story disappoints many readers, leaving a lingering dissatisfaction that taints the overall narrative for some. The disparity between the promising elements and the unsatisfactory ending contributes to a mixed reception among the audience.

9 Into The Light, Once Again

MyAnimeList Score: 7.53

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

The uncommon trope of a protagonist being reincarnated into the same world takes center stage in this narrative. Following her execution after being framed and betrayed by her own family, Princess Alyssa awakens anew as Aisha, the newly born first princess of a rival kingdom.

The strength of the narrative lies in its character-driven focus. Aisha, now distanced from her previous life, faces a crucial decision on how to navigate her circumstances. Despite the option to ignore her past, she actively engages with it. The story unfolds as Aisha tackles challenges and strives for self-improvement, showcasing the transformative power of a compelling protagonist. Through Aisha's choices and growth, the narrative underscores the pivotal role a strong and dynamic main character can play in driving the storyline forward.

8 The Monster Duchess And Contract Princess

MyAnimeList Score: 7.56

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

In this manhwa, absent of isekai or reincarnation elements, a riveting tale unfolds around a girl destined to be a sacrifice. Leslie, the protagonist, escapes from a life of enduring abuse and forms an alliance with the Salvatore family to secure her survival.

Central to the narrative is Leslie's character development, serving as the driving force amidst the intricate subplots unfolding in the background. However, a notable drawback lies in the repetitiveness of these subplots, which, at times, hinders the pace of the story. While reinforcing a lesson can be meaningful, it becomes a detriment to the narrative if it does not contribute substantially to the overall storyline.

7 For My Abandoned Love

MyAnimeList Score: 7.65

  • 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 unique manhwa takes a refreshing twist on the conventional plot by casting the protagonist as a background character named Hestia. As a fangirl, she finds contentment in observing her favorite character, Caelus, from a distance. However, the story takes an unexpected turn, leading to a less-than-ideal outcome for Hestia.

Beyond the intriguing plot, the narrative highlights the depiction of depression, offering a nuanced exploration of this mental health aspect. The manhwa emphasizes the profound impact that the support of a single person can have, as demonstrated through Hestia's character. Her resilience, strength, and proactive approach contribute to making her a compelling protagonist within this genre.

6 A Way To Protect The Lovable You

MyAnimeList Score: 7.66

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

In this manhwa, a departure from the typical shojo fantasy unfolds as the saintess takes on the role of an evil queen. The central focus shifts to her daughter, who becomes the key figure destined to bring an end to her mother's tyranny and corruption.

A Way To Protect The Lovable You skillfully navigates the balance between the romance plot and the overarching narrative. The manhwa provides ample room for in-depth world-building and character development, ensuring a rich and immersive storytelling experience. The incorporation of lore and history within the world significantly influences the plot, contributing to the overall depth of the narrative. This unique twist on the saintess trope adds a layer of complexity and intrigue to the shojo fantasy genre.

5 Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady With The Lamp

MyAnimeList Score: 7.67

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

The character of Elise stands out as a particularly intriguing protagonist in this genre due to the unique aspect of being reincarnated twice. The twist of experiencing her third life in her original identity adds a compelling layer to the narrative, setting this manhwa apart from others in the same genre. The atypical approach to the concept of reincarnation introduces a fresh and innovative perspective, contributing to the overall distinctiveness of the storyline. Elise's journey through multiple lives, especially with this unconventional twist, adds depth and complexity to the narrative, offering readers a captivating and distinctive experience within the genre.

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

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

Marriage of Convenience distinguishes itself as a dramatic and tense manhwa, taking an unexpected turn from what initially appears to be a typical romance with elements of time travel. Instead, it evolves into a political narrative filled with intricate scheming and the looming threat of assassination. The storyline is marked by numerous twists and turns, particularly as it progresses toward the conclusion.

At the heart of the manhwa is the relationship between the main characters, Bianca and Zachary. Their growing closeness adds depth to the narrative, which becomes increasingly complex with the introduction of new characters and emerging conflicts. While the story gains momentum and complexity, it's acknowledged that the beginning may be challenging for readers, suggesting that the initial stages of the manhwa may require more perseverance before the full depth of the plot unfolds.

3 The Remarried Empress

MyAnimeList Score: 8.04

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

The manhwa you're describing seems to be "Remarried Empress." It is characterized by a narrative rich in political intrigue and conflict, primarily revolving around Empress Navier's dealings with the emperor's new concubine. The power struggle between the two factions eventually leads to Navier's deposition.

Empress Navier stands out as a strong protagonist, a characteristic not commonly seen in the shojo genre. She exudes pride, confidence, and intelligence, never yielding when faced with challenges and consistently thinking several steps ahead. The intricacies of the political scheming may be challenging to fully grasp, but the impressive nature of Navier's strategic thinking is readily apparent. "Remarried Empress" showcases a compelling blend of political drama and a resilient, intelligent lead character, offering a unique take on the shojo genre.

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

MyAnimeList Score: 8.15

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

The story you're describing appears to be "Beware of the Villainess!" (also known as "I Raised an Obsessive Servant"). It takes the familiar isekai romance concept of contract marriages and navigating death flags but adds a unique twist. The protagonist, Park Eunha, experiences transmigration into the character Raeliana McMillan after being murdered.

The inclusion of mystery elements adds a layer of excitement to the narrative, elevating it beyond the typical isekai romance. Raeliana's character is praised as a strong protagonist who effectively propels the story forward, particularly during moments when the plot may feel slow. While there may be a few loose ends, the overall reception suggests that "Beware of the Villainess!" is a great manhwa with an engaging storyline for readers to enjoy.

1 Suddenly I Became A Princess

MyAnimeList Score: 8.45

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

The manhwa you're referring to is likely "Who Made Me a Princess." Also recognized as "Suddenly Became a Princess One Day," this story follows Athanasia, who finds herself reincarnated into a book where she faces the inevitable fate of death. Initially focused on survival, the narrative evolves into a compelling tale with deeper layers.

One notable aspect of the story is the evolving and strained relationship between Athy and her father, the emperor. The depiction of this father-daughter dynamic is well-executed, resonating with readers to the extent that it has popularized the theme in many other manhwa. The exploration of this complex relationship becomes a central driving force in the overall narrative, adding depth and emotional resonance to the fantasy romance involving royalty.