Shojo is a popular anime demographic, often targeted at a younger female audience. It usually features more emotionally-driven storylines told from a feminine perspective. Throughout the years, it’s become a highly respected and beloved anime genre, featuring many iconic titles that have influenced modern series. Though shojo stories see a great deal of popularity, they aren’t free of their own problems.
Even the greatest titles in the genre have their issues that make them frustrating for fans to watch. Whether it's thanks to the demographic’s many tired tropes, an unsatisfying anime adaptation, or anything in-between, many shojo anime can be difficult to sit through and leave a sour taste in the viewers’ mouths.
10 The 2001 Fruits Basket Series Leaves A Beloved Story Only Half-Finished
Fruits Basket is one of the most beloved shojo series of all time, and its first anime adaptation was a staple of the 2000s. But with the completion of the manga and the 2019 reboot now released, the original 2001 anime is a lot harder for fans to watch.
Though it's a great adaptation in its own right, it fails to completely capture the tone of the series, especially since it leaves the story half-finished. Since this version never reaches a solid conclusion, most fans now tend to skip it and go for the new series instead.
9 Peach Girl Exhausts Viewers With Its Drama and Mean-Spirited Nature
Over the years, Peach Girl has become an infamous shojo series that many fans found to be nothing but a headache all the way through. It's filled with drama at every turn, putting poor Momo through some of the worst situations that don't sit well with many.
Just about every character stabs her in the back at some point, constantly tearing down her already fragile self-esteem. While some may enjoy a good drama series, the mean-spiritedness of this anime takes it way too far for the average shojo enjoyer.
8 Maid Sama! Places The Strong Female Lead In A Typical Submissive Role
One thing shojo fans love about Maid Sama! is its spunky and headstrong protagonist, Misaki Ayuzawa. When viewers first meet her, she's introduced as Seika High School's tough Student Council President. She keeps everyone in line, especially the rowdy boys of her class.
However, her strong persona is broken after male lead Takumi Usui discovers her secret job as a maid. From there, Misaki falls into the usual submissive role that many shojo females find themselves in. It's a frustrating and annoying setup that fans initially don't expect from the series.
7 My Little Monster's Main Romance Is Hard To Root For
Many shojo series frustrate fans with their toxic and problematic relationships, and My Little Monster is one of the worst examples of this trend to come out in years. It's the typical romance between the school's bad boy and the star student, and it includes all the usual toxic clichés of the dynamic.
Throughout the series, Haru practically forces his love onto a girl who clearly isn't interested, basically giving her no choice but to reciprocate. It's a very dated and very uncomfortable situation that doesn't bode well in today's anime climate.
6 Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun's Romance Never Goes Anywhere
Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun features the comedic relationship between Chiyo Sakura and Umetarou Nozaki. Throughout the series, Chiyo tries her best to get Nozaki to realize her feelings, only for him to completely misunderstand.
While this makes for some good laughs, it gets old after a point, especially given that these two never seem to make any progress. Chiyo's failed attempts become painful to watch, ruining an otherwise wholesome and entertaining series.
5 The World's Greatest First Love Centers Its Premise Around A Ridiculous Misunderstanding
The World's Greatest First Love is a typical BL story in many ways. It has many of the usual frustrating tropes of the genre, not to mention a somewhat questionable main relationship. However, the most irritating aspect of this series for fans is its ridiculous premise. The story centers around two high school sweethearts who end their relationship due to one of the silliest misunderstandings in history.
While they could easily fix things with a simple discussion, they do the exact opposite and drag things out for many agonizing years. This carries on throughout the entire series, with protagonist Onodera refusing to make amends and admit his own faults in their breakup. It's an exhausting series, and its needless drama makes it hard to watch.
4 Glass Mask's Protagonist Is Constantly Kicked While She's Down
Glass Mask is a unique shojo series that tends to fly under the radar for most. It's the story of young actress Maya Kitajima and the many hardships she endures trying to make a name for herself in the theater industry. While the series is definitely an underrated gem, it's still pretty frustrating for viewers.
From the start, this classic shojo does its best to drag the protagonist down. No matter what Maya does to make her life better, something horrible always happens that completely derails her progress. She goes from one devastating blow to the next, leaving horrified fans wishing something would just go right for her.
3 Kodocha Goes From Funny & Lighthearted To An Unexpected Melodrama
Kodocha is an old school shojo featuring the budding relationship between two young kids from completely different worlds. The beginning of the series is a refreshing addition to the genre, focusing on comedy more than drama. However, it takes an unexpected turn after the main characters enter middle school, and almost immediately, drama gets inserted into the plot.
From then on, Kodocha begins to fall into the usual shojo tropes, including a very forced love triangle between Akito, Sana, and her best friend, Fuka. This emphasis on romantic drama completely changes the tone of the series, much to the annoyance of fans.
2 Ouran High School Host Club Has A Lot Of Frustrating Elements
Since its debut, Ouran High School Host Club has become one of the most beloved shojo series in anime history. But despite its immense popularity, this classic can be pretty frustrating, especially looking back at it from a modern viewpoint. It carries many of the typical problematic themes found in shojo, such as Haruhi's relationship with the boys.
Though she's hailed as a strong female protagonist, the male characters often force her back into a traditional submissive role, attempting to mold her into their image of her. To top it off, the series ends with one of the least satisfying conclusions in shojo, leaving most fans underwhelmed and longing for a reboot.
1 Diabolik Lovers Is Painful To Sit Through For Most Shojo Fans
Many shojo series play up the "damsel in distress" trope, but none do so quite like Diabolik Lovers. From the moment she arrives at the Sakamaki mansion, Yui Komori is subjected to some of the worst treatment of any shojo protagonist.
The brothers all use her as their plaything, forcing her into a cringeworthy submissive role that's worse than anything most shojo fans have seen before. Her entire ordeal is torture to sit through, and many can't take this problematic storyline. Thanks to its awful setup and unlikable characters, it's become infamous throughout anime as one of the worst shojo series out there.
NEXT: The 10 Worst Shojo Heroines Of All Time, Ranked