Hikari Hanazono has never been able to beat Kei Takishima at anything. At six years old the two were introduced by their fathers, and Hikari promptly challeneged Kei to a wrestling match, believing she'd easily beat him. However, she lost, and since then she's vowed to beat Kei, following him wherever he goes. Now fifteen years old, Hikari attends the super-elite school Hakusenkan where she and Kei are the two top students; Kei holds first place, while Hikari is second. While Hikari considers Kei her special friend and most importantly her rival, Kei is secretly in love with her. Will Hikari ever beat Kei, and Kei's love ever be requited?
The monarchy was abolished long ago in Korea – but what if it still existed to this day? Chae-Kyung lives in such a world where Korea’s palaces are filled with royalty and the crown prince Shin has transferred into her school. Her initial run-in with the boy is unpleasant to say the least; but what’s worse, Chae-Kyung soon discovers that she and Shin are forced to be married due to a promise their grandparents made! How can a simple commoner learn to live the life of a princess when she can’t stand her newly beloved husband?
Ayumi, Kei, Koyoi, Rika and Nao are five middle school friends whose hot topic of conversation is, as always, love. Ayumi dreams of having a boy confess to her and can't understand the idea that receiving unwanted confessions can be troublesome. She even believes that she will happily accept any guy who approaches her - that is, until she receives a love letter from Misao, a large, delinquent high school boy whose very presence makes small children cry! Not wanting to date him but too scared to reject him, Ayumi has no idea what to do, especially when Misao, now nicknamed Beast-kun by the girls, begins following her to and from school. To make matters worse, Ayumi then falls for Mamoru, a boy in her class who is Beast-kun's brother! With plenty of experiences in life and love left ahead, will the girls retain their naive beliefs, or is it time to shake off that brother complex and realize that appearances aren't everything?
Both of these mangas have a general theme of "there's somebody for everybody" ie. there is a girl/ guy out there for you. Special A focuses slightly more on one main relationship, whereas Hatsukoi Limited is generally all rounded. They are both very good romantic comedies, so if that's your sort of thing, then either one of these is perfect for you.
Kotoko Aihara has always been in love with Naoki Irie; he’s tall, handsome, and rumored to be the most intelligent student in Japan – who wouldn’t be? Only one thing stands in the way of a relationship with Irie: Kotoko is ditzy and is at the bottom set of her school, and Irie-kun hates nothing more than ditzy, stupid girls. When disaster strikes and Kotoko is forced to move in with Irie-kun’s family, she suddenly sees her chance to bridge the gap. After all, even cool, super-intelligent guys must have a soft spot, right?
While Special A is more of a comedy type manga and Itazura na Kiss takes on a slightly more serious tone, the characters in each are easily relatable to one another. It is interesting to see the one-sided love in both of these series but from entirely different perspectives.
Sawako Kuronuma is just like any other high school girl who wants to make friends and be useful. The only problem is she bears a worrying resemblance to Sadako from 'The Ring!' Because of her reputation, people are not only terrified of her, but small dogs even bark in fear at her presence; in fact, the only person in school who will talk to her is the lively class hottie, Kazehaya. As the pair spends more time together, Kazehaya slowly begins to bring Sawako out of her shell and soon their feelings for each other develop further. Though with her crippling insecurities, lack of social skills, and a series of cruel rumors and misunderstandings, it seems that Sawako's dream of a normal life won’t be quite so easy to obtain.
The characters are so similar in Special A and Kimi ni Todoke. The romance feeling concerning the main characters in each series builds and builds until the very end of the series and keeps people waiting in anticipation until the end.
Both Special A and Otokomae! Beads Kurabu feature head strong female heroines that are led by an overwhelming sense of justice, which gets them into a lot of trouble. The male heroes of both maga have eyes only for the heroine, both males are equally mysterious. Special A is a much longer read than Otokomae! Beads Kurabu, but no less satisfying. If you Enjoy Special A you will Enjoy Otokomae! Beads Kurabu and vice versa.