Tanpopo Yamazaki, a humble girl from Hokkaido, moves to Tokyo to attend an elite school and make a new life for herself. But for Tanpopo, life at the elitist Meio Academy seems way out of her league. The daughters of wealthy families snub her; other students make light of the fact that she actually tested into Meio instead of relying on family connections; and the cute boy she saw tending a dandelion the day before wouldn't even acknowledge her existence, despite being in the same class! Hoping to make friends and have some fun, Tanpopo starts up a Gardening Club; but will this help her survive in a school where superficiality and nepotism reign supreme?
All Riiko Izawa wants is a boyfriend, but she has been rejected left and right by every guy she has ever liked. In a moment of desperation, she orders a special "Nightly Lover" figure from a website, and the next day, a extremely attractive naked man is delivered to her doorstep! Night, as Riiko names him, is the perfect boyfriend; he's sexy, smart, athletic, and is a gourmet cook. There's just one problem: he cost $1,000,000! Riiko can't let anyone know that Night is a doll, even though he knows almost nothing about humans. Can she find a way to pay for Night while keeping him a secret from her childhood friend Soshi next door?
Imadoki! and Absolute Boyfriend aren't two manga that are similar on the surface, but once you start reading them you will undoubtedly be reminded of the other. They both have a lead girl who is good natured and you can't help but like. They also both throw a cute guy in the mix with opposite results. In Imadoki!, Tanpopo does her best to change her guy for the better and in Absolute Boyfriend Riiko's guy works to help her improve her image of herself.
The same type of wanting to be better feeling is seen through Absolute Boyfriend and Imadoki! Nowadays. Even though the situations are opposite: the guy in Absolute Boyfriend is trying to change the main female characters while in Imadoki! the situation is in reverse both have the same aspects to them.
When Najika was a little girl, her parents died, and she nearly did as well until a boy saved her and gave her a flan so that she'd stop crying. Since then Najika has wanted to once more meet her ‘Flan Prince,' though all she has to go on is the silver spoon he left behind. Now a young lady, Najika is on her way to Tokyo to study at Seika Academy, the origin of the spoon and a prestigious cooking school. While there she'll hone her culinary skills, help transform a school eatery into something special and make new friends such as the brothers Daichi and Sora - but will she ever find her prince?
In both shows the girl's parents die. And go to a new school with a funny entrance. In Kitchen Princess, Najika meets Daichi from climing down a tree, and in Imadoki! Nowadays, Tanpopo meets Koki from flying over the school wall on her bike. Both shows are similar in many other ways also....
An orphaned but still optimistic girl moves from the boonies into a big city to attend an elite academy and promptly gets snubbed and picked on by everyone, yet still soldiers on and makes a place for herself (and thaws the jerkish-seeming but actually nice love interest) with her never-say-die attitude. Imadoki! and Kitchen Princess pretty much have the same premise. The plotlines do diverge somewhat as both series advance, but if you liked the basic premise in one, checking the other one out is a good idea, as well.
But this alone isn't the reason they resemble each other. Both also feature a surprisingly serious and "real world - like" subject amidst their initial more light-hearted antics with Kitchen Princess having a character suffering from an eating disorder while Imadoki has the cast scrambling about to figure out what to do to about a teenage pregnancy with the father-to-be bailing out. Both were firsts for me among shoujo manga, at least. (To note a difference, Kitchen Princess takes an even darker turn as it advances, though.) Still, they resemble each other enough to warrant a mention.